The Holden Grey motor is often referred to as the Holden side plate. The engine earned its name as they were painted grey from the factory. They came in 2 sizes, 138ci and 132ci. More engineering and after market modifications have gone into this engine than any other engine in Australian automotive history.

December 18, 2014

Australias top six pack Rod - Holden Grey Motor

11:19 Posted by GreyFC No comments
Australia's top six pack Rod -Roger Curruthers

Most rod builders prefer a good old V8 mill to power their street rigs. Not so Peter Eames, of Melbourne. He's used one of the General's milk and built one M the best street rods to hit the bitumen.

Twenty six -year-old Peter Eames declares he won't build another rod. He intends to concentrate on further improvement to his present Chevy/ Holden rod—a Ford Thames/Holden drag machine and the restoration of interesting motor cars. He already owns a rare Graham Page sedan, ant an Immaculate Rugby tourer. Although, there's no need for hint to build a new rod, the Iridescent blue Chevy jigger Is one of the most unusual and well-sorted rods road-bound In Melbourne. Since the firs: story on the rod in *HRH about two years ago — very shortly after It hit the road — much refinement and alterations have been carried out and more is on the way.

With bearded Pete, owning a rod is a never-ending story of improvement. So we can't in all honesty say, "This is it". The rig has finally arrived and tie owner's going to leave it as is. A close look revealed a. host of Interesting changes. Probably the most novel and most obvious feature Is the Holden sideplater powerplant.

This car is THE shining example of the few slx.pack rods around. And when you come to think about it, six cylinder rods can add up to a lot of sense. For starters, you're not being a bit of a sheep by making the far more popular V8 choice. And then there's the advantage of weight saving. Peter's Chevy/Holden scores a lowly 15 cwt weight-bridge ticket and there are six score or more Holden broncs to push that along. It all makes for a PDQ rod!

The basic body is a wildly modded '34 Chevy tourer unit. It was shortened by the length of the rear door, and then some. This was followed by an economy-size channel of 9 in. Body drop over the chassis was originally planned at 12 in. but Pete, being a little on the lanky side, found that this would have made driving the car impossible. So 9 in. it had to be. Stubby little turtle-deck type tail-piece is of hand-formed 'glass and all fenders are the same material. Peter doesn't claim to be any sort of a body builder in steel but give him some 'glass and he's away like a St Kilda tram! Usual snag with fibreglass is the ever present problem of cracking but not so in this case. Cracks are undetectable, even where the rear guards join the firewall, where problems often start. The 'screen was Pete's work, too. He fabricated a custom job from odd bits and pieces he had around and anything he didn't have he made. This task was made easier by the knowledge gained in his trade of Engraver/Die-caster. Radiator shell at the moment is ex a '34 Chev sedan, sectioned 2 in. It differs from the first one fitted (the original tourer grille, which was far narrower and is already ear-marked for replace-ment. It's low-slung and looks fetching but eats away at the ground clearance and the lower bit has already been wiped off by a set of ramps left lying in Peter's garage. The replacement was made up in fibreglass and features quad headlights within the radiator sur-round. There's also a pick up bed well on the way to act as an alternative to the turtle deck. It has a different rear glim set up and bolts on to the same brackets. These locate the tail-piece you see in the pies, thus giving the owner the choice of setting the style of the rod to suit his mood. Taillight clusters are actually what they look most like — EJ, with alternations. Both top and bottom lenses are red with a custom mounted,
 amber indicator set between them . . . very neat!

The chassis is basically '34 Chev complete with the four semi-elliptics and knee action hydraulic shocks. Four leaves only remain in the front springs to lessen the stiffness of the ride. Our impression, after tripping around over varying surfaces, was that the rig provides unusually com-fortable transport for a rod. This is due in part to the suspension set-up and complemented by the excellent seating arrangements. Peter made the basic shells — in fibreglass of course — for driver and passenger and then packed the whole lot off to Olympus Motor Trimmers to finish the interior. They've done a superb job throughout, using plum red doehyde on the seats and doors with black/red fleck car-pets on the deck. Padding for the seats is more than ample. Behind the seats is a trimmed cover over a handy bits 'n' pieces compartment. There's room for a spare, even — quite a novelty for a bucket-style rod — plus the battery and any tools. Steering wheel is a cut-down early Olds hoop. Pedals are pendant Holden ex-FE (with clutch and brake, master cylinders to suit) but the gear shift is of home design and construction, running a reversed H change. Atop the lever is a truly one-off knob. It's an ex-Carlton and United draught beer gun and came from the bar of the recently-auctioned Menzies Hotel, a once very swank stop-shop in the heart of town! The dash is quite a work of art. Fully padded, it runs Austin 1800 gaugery — continuous strip speedo etc plus an impulse tacho and oil, vacuum and amp registers.

Switch gear is largely FE Holden with 12 volt electrics throughout. Pete tried it with six for a start . . . but very often it just wouldn't do that. The owner also made new hood bows and Olympus trimmed them in white vinyl-type weather-proofing. See-out-of cut in the hood has a style of its own. Seems you're just not in the race if you opt for a plain ole rectangle in your soft top, specially considering the number of wild and way out rear window designs that abound. Drastic shortening of the Chev chassis has resulted in a tiny 84 in. wheelbase but there's still room aplenty to accommodate the inline six. The chassis has also been narrowed 6 in. at back and some boxing at strategic points carried out. And before it's overlooked, a point of correction for the first article. It was then stated that the front bumper was from a Rugby, a reasonable assump-tion on Peter's part as that was the brand of car he removed it from. He's since discovered that some cunning Fred removed the same bumper from a '29 Chrysler to Fit the Rugby. Some people make it damn hard to be accurate in this business! Yet another advantage of the six-cylinder rod is that donks are so cheap and bits to make 'em go better likewise. Testimony to that is the fact that Peter estimates the car owes him little more than $1000.

When he bought the GM-H sideplater, he sent it away to Brunswick Engine Reconditioners for a complete overhaul. It came back with a 31/8th  in. block after the big do up. Then a stage three head (ported, polished, 60 thou shave, X2 valves) was bolted up. Cam is a Wade 103 and bolt on bits are triple Strombergs, Hama extractors and resonators, snappy little sports air cleaners and a "fiddled" distributor. Estimated bhp is 120 as stated previously and the tacho redline is set at six thou. Practically everything that unbolts on the mill has been chromed and the block is finished in red — bright red, at that. Running temperature is controlled by a Holden core with the Chevy top and bottom tanks grafted to it. The flywheel to the rear axle is all FJ and all stock apart from the shortened tailshaft and the FE, 3.65:1 diff, with FE axles or half shafts, if you come from the other school.


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