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 19, 2014

Marlo - a 13ft skiff of Championship Class - Waggot Twincam Head Grey motor

10:06 Posted by GreyFC No comments

FROM time to time we hear of an outstanding racing craft that has performed so well that it puts it in the class of champions.  One such, is a 13ft. clinker skiff,  Lewis built, of the 135 cubic inch class, by the name of Marlo, owned and driver by Ken France, of Marrick N.S.W.

As recent as of this year, Ken scooped the pool and won the 20 miles Restricted Speedboat Championship of N.S.W.  for  Stuart F. Doyle Gold Cup in record time.  In the first heat,  Marlo covered the course in 10 minutes 31 seconds, which was equivalent to 58.779 m.p.h. and to round it off, Marlo in the second heat, reduced this time by 11 seconds, with an average speed of 60 m.p.h. This is believed to be the fastest heat ever recorded by a skiff in speedboat racing in Australia.

Corning into the third lap of the first heat, Marlo's time was clocked at 2 minutes 1 second. To have reached this time, Marlo had to do an average speed of 65 to 67 m.p.h. in the straights and clocked 59.3 m.p.h. for the 10 miles.

This victory was all the more remarkable, as in this partidular race it was for skiffs of the 266 cubic inch class and Mario was the only small boat to compete in it, in fact it was the only boat in the race. It was certainly a marvellous follow up to Marlo's performance in January. Ken's craft has carried off the State championships for the 135 cubic inch class. Marlo put up the fastest time of this event and recorded an average. time of 55 m.p.h. for the course.

Ken and his co-pilot stated that Mario obtained a speed of 67 m.p.h. but unfortunately this speed could not be verified, owing to the rum not being officially supervised. 

The power unit mounted in Marlo, is a six cylinder Holden motor and was modified by Mery Waggott of Bankstown, N.S,W. The feature of this motor, is the twin overhead camshafts designed by Waggott.

Compression ratio for this motor has been stepped up from the standard Holden's 6.3 to 1, to 10.5 to 1 by means of  high-domed pistons of a special aluminum alloy. The motor has a number of features, namely, twin ignition, six separate Amal carburetors, one for each cylinder and each exhaust port has its own exhaust pipe, each being  taken directly outboard with one slight curve.

In addition to the conventional oil pump, a scavenger pump has been mounted to keep the sump dry and free from frictional drag of the ordinary type of wet sump. Lubrication is by the forced feed manner with the cylinder walls being supplied through apertures in the oil ducts of the big ends of the connecting rods.

The cooling system, both for the engine and the circulating engine oil, is obtained by being scooped up by the momentum of the craft, through two ports on the underside of the hull.

During 1955, Marlo has won 23 racing trophies for events conducted by seven clubs. These trophies , included the cup for the highest points score for the year of the Royal Motor Yacht Club of Port Hacking. Mario also annexed and still holds the fastest time for both the Wagga and Goulburn courses.

Ken France, when he is not operating a taxi service in the Canterbury district, is an active speedboat enthusiast and has been so for the last ten years. Ken named Marlo after his two daughters, Margaret and Lorraine, with the latter sharing her father's flair for the game and often takes a hand at the controls, whilst Mrs. France and baby Alan make keen barrackers.

Ken attributes Marlo's wonderful successes to the efficiency of the motor, to a light, strong and tight hull of exceptional maneuverability and to the quality and efficiency of his fuels and lubricants.  Ken admits that skill, experience and judgment in driving are contributory factors, but places them last on the list.

-  Powerboat and Yachting - August 1956

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.

December 16, 2014

200 Horses from an unblown FJ - Repco Corssflow Grey motor

11:33 Posted by GreyFC 1 comment
 Above: The Repco Highpower cylidenr head, with
three Webers and Repco extractors as installed
in Barry Ferrari's Holden.

FOR FIVE YEARS now, Barry Ferrari has campaigned one of Victoria's best-known modified production cars, an FJ with an unusual top-chop and sponsored by Wynns.

During this period Ferrari's team has been twice National champion, three times Victorian champion and, until the recent '70 Big Go, held the record for E/MP class. With this sort of success, a great deal of development on the car is called for.

Recently Ferrari obtained the magic 200 b.h.p. from his Holden engine, a 132 cubic inch donk more than 10 years old.  This is how it was done.  After three years of success with the basic 132 c.i. engine and the cast iron cylinder head (worked over many times), the Wynns team began to look further afield for a power plant.  Many engines came under consideration, including the later Model 186 Holden engine and the rather heavy but extremely powerful Chevro let six engine of around 231 c.i. Finally a crossflow Repco head was purchased and the decision to con-tinue with the old sideplater was made.

Preparations for the new head began immediately and many hours were devoted to planning and design. A complete crack test and visual inspection had to he critically carried out and after Dyno Dave Bennett gave the nod of approval that the head was OK, work began in earnest.  Wynns boss man in Melbourne, Mr. Nes, Dumbrell, called in Norm Gown and John Stevens, both well known Vic-torian racing drivers and proprietors of Engine Developments. to figure the new set-up.

Many difficulties were encountered due to the fact that no one had ever seriously considered a crossflow head for drag racing. The head had been obtained from an enthusiastic Tasmanian and came complete with two twin choke. downdraft Weber 45 mm. carbs. so for the initial running the existing set up was retained. The engine was developing 130 plus h.p. with the iron head. so in order to pin some idea of what increase could be expected the crossflow head was bolted up and the engine sent to the dyno with Norm Gown to supervise proceedings.

The FJ itself at Calder

With virtually no tuning the engine cranked 145 b.h.p. on pump as "first pull of the string". The indications were good, for the increase had been achieved without special cams or any head work. An unofficial record was subsequently established at Calder in May. 1970 with a blistering 14.89. The record was officially posted at 15.22 later in the day by Ferrari.

The New Motor

Encouraged by this success, work hastened en the "new' engine. Racing experts such as John Patterson Men-co Research) and Pat Ratliffe (Eddie Thcfmas), together with Norm Gown and John Stevens contributed to the end result. A "one off" camshaft ground by Pal Ratliffe was used. Pals long cam grinding experience coupled with Norm Gowns' testing in this department produced a cam-shaft designed for the job. Weslite 14:1 racing pistons were selected as they were manufactured especially for the Repco head. Com-pression ratio was reduced to what was regarded as a more realistic 12:1 figure. Eddie Thomas balanced the entire assembly including clutch, crankshaft, rods, pistons, even push-rods and cam followers. The head was then cc'd by Norm and ten days later the short motor was assembled to the desired tolerances and clearances. The stock oil pump was re-tained after checking, and found to be pump ng 35 lbs. per square inch pressure. which was considered adequate.

After balancing. the crankshaft was "Tultrided" to ensure long life and withstand the stress of racing. A moderately lightened flywheel was used as dependability was sought as well as horsepower. The peculiar design of the Repco head allowed six ram tube inlet manifold to be used carrying three twin choke sidedraught. 40 mm. Solex carbs. Correct jetting was achieved on the dyno as again there were no guides to work to. The original exhaust manifolds (headers) were used as they were designed by Phil Irving. They offered good Indy/ chassis clearance. Tailpipes 40" long and 21" diameter exit the gas from the headers.

Final step then was to fabricate a special distributor to complement the power curve, another undertaking by Eddie Thomas, and the fabrication of a distributor cap to fit under the inlet manifold. Would you believe its impossible to remove the distributor cap without first removing the inlet manifold! The engine was then finally assembled and Norm Gown drove to the dyno with fingers crossed.

After four hours running-in. the testing began.  The final result was a whopping 200 b.h.p. with 185 foot lbs. of torque. While the engine work was carried cut. Ray Colley. proprietor of Col-ley's Body Works in Box Hill, re-painted the car in its original red, black and gold colour scheme in preparation for the next drag race meeting at Calder.

It would be nice to say that first time out after the mods, the car beat all records, but no such luck. There was lots of extra power but the poor tyres just couldn't take it. Another ratio diff was fitted during the day. along with new rubber. but it was the same result. More fiddling with eiff ratios. etc.. and a large pair of M and H super-sticky compound slicks now on order may cure this problem. Problems 'rise in all jobs like this. and the Repco heading of Ferrari's Holden was no exception. Headaches including removing a section of the fire wall to fit the rear carbie in, and fabrication of a new firewall, re-shaping inner guards to clear other carbies, moving of accelerator pedal and making up new throttle linkages.

A more detailed look at the Repco head shows up some interesting facts. Secret of the product is, of course, the hemispherical combustion chamber and the crossflow porting. An interesting modification took place on the inlet side of the head. In its original farm, the Rena) head has two long chambers which feed the fuel mixture into the cylinders — one chamber for each three cylinders. By carefully dividing each of the two chambers up into three equal sections. a six inlet port system results — a very practical and important development. To make the most of this improvement. Ian Heather. the mechanic responsible for much of the work, carefully matched each combustion chamber for volumes.
The first dyno tuning was carried out using standard pump gas, an "ordinary" set of racing plugs and the one-off camshaft. Experiments over the next few months with methanol fuel, different types of plug., and perhaps a "super" cam may sec even higher power output. 

Article from Hot Holdens and Customs #2

December 09, 2014

The Rojin Australias Top D/A Altered - Holden Grey motor

08:42 Posted by GreyFC No comments

AS WITH MANY other tooline cars from Calder, the Holden mill in Jim Veale's Willys Altered was prepared by Norm Gown Engine Developments.

Big Jim and his lovely wife, Cheryl, are the most devoted couple I have seen for many moons and they are also one of the keenest draggin' families round.

Their life centers around the Rojin. Neither would have it any other way. Best lime to date was the 1230 set at Sydney in November last year. At Calder recently driver Ron Fisher clocked 14.02 and covered more than 600 yards while doing it. He wiped out the timing lights at the finish and covered the last 100 yards backwards —what a way to go!

The car has cost them more than $4000, but both Jim and Cheryl agree that it's worth it.

Cheryl will drive the car one day. Jim recalls with a smirk that on several occasions when Cheryl would have been allowed to drive, nature stepped in, and she was forced to postpone her trip down the strip.

 Cheryl has several grievances about the sport of dragging. Her main bitch is the damage methanol does to a girl's nail polish.

Her other grouch is that the only time she's recognized as a part owner of the car is at showtime. Jim is adamant that Cheryl is The Only Owner at shows.

Despite the good humoured banter at the Veale homestead, all duties are shared in the enormous amount of work done to the car. Jim Veale does not drive the car for two reasons. Firstly, he's scared stiff—it goes too bloody fast. The second reason is that Jim is a giant of a man at 6 feet 3 inches and 14 to 16 stone—which is just wo heavy for a drag racer.

So next-door neighbour, plumber Ron Fisher joined the pit crew of The Rojin and eventually took over all of the driving duties. They have nearly reached the limit with their present set-up. so they are ser.ously considering big slicks and a low ratio diff. This will give big smokies and Jim visualizes II seconds—soon.

He bases this statement on the fact that their car comes out of the hole quicker than all others in its class (D/A). If the race was over r of a mile, they would have many more wins.

Jim recalled the day that the Bounty Hunter went past the Rojin nearly 40 m.p.h. faster when they reached the tower. At one stage of their racing they did not suffer a loss in their class for more than 14 months.

Cheryl was a dressmaker before her marriage, and she and several friend; made driving suits for the four man pit crew. All members were lined up at the house to make certain that even socks and shoes were all the same colour, before heading off for Calder.

Cheryl goes to all meets and the Thunderbird Club meetings, as Jim insists she is an integral part of the crew. Cheryl claims that the secret.,. of the Wales' success is the addition of a chrome-plated dip-stick to the motor.

Four years ago work was started on the Altered in a small shed. But when it was finished it was too big. The crew either had to strip pans of the car off to get it out of the door—or pull the shed down.

They bought a Holden sideplate six from Norm Beechey which was handed to Gown for re-development and a stage four head. In the past three years the head has been off the motor only eight times.

Veale has not run the motor on a Dyno for two reasons: a driver is inclined to get greedy on the Dyno and the outcome could be a blown motor, and the $50 charge for a Dyno run would be enough to make another eight slack suits for the pit crew.

The motor was bored to 31 inches with 12:1 pistons. They had problems with head gaskets, but these have been overcome.

The oil tracts and ways were opened up, giving 60 p.s.i. on starting which settles down to a steady 40 p.s.i. when the engine is warm. A bigger spring in the oil pump was the only modification made to the set-up.

As they haven't concentrated on shows, they have only one third placing to their credit. This was in the Melbourne showing in 1969 when they scored in the competition class.

The Rojin runs in D/ A class because of its 980lb weight. At 26 driver Ron Fisher is a top driver and a top class welder.

Double valve springs gave a 40% increase in tension. Jim also fitted spacers to the rocker gear to stop side travel which can cause the rocker to move right off the valve. The Wade cam was never successful, so it was replaced with a special Thomas drag cam.

The three 36 m.m. Del'orto carbs are fitted with S.U. float bowls. The FJ fuel pump maintains a steady five pounds pressure in the small fuel tank mounted up front. A small Japanese motorcycle 12-volt battery is fixed to the chassis near the firewall.

The standard F.1 distributor has been fitted with keeper plates to fix the spark at a permanent 38° advance. Jim estimates that the mill pumps 185 b.h.p., peaking at 7500 r.p.m. A block full of aquapura is the only cooling used in the quick Altered. Norm Gown fabricated a special flywheel from billet steel. It is only 1" thick and will be left as is. An X2 pressure plate and a solid centre clutch with competition linings are mounted next to an EJ box.

Although only second and top gears are used, the box was not modified. The tailshaft is only 12" long and has Holden universals on both ends. The L50 diff is from an FC ute with an HD centre. It has a 3.89:1 ratio. Front axle of he altered is of 2", 10 gauge stainless steel tubing fitted with Ford Prefect stubs.

An Austin A30 steering box and Volkswagen torsion bar suspension set-up com-plete the front end. The rear and front radius rods are all home-made from IS gauge stain-less tubing. The big hand-operated brake lever is coupled up to FC Holden rear brakes. Competition linings were used while the drums were left as is. There hasn't been any trouble stop-ping yet. The narrow front wheels are Dragaway-built while the rears are 10" Holdens.

Tyres for the rear wheel's were brOught from the Jack Brabham stable following the 1963 Grand Prix in Victoria. The big blue stripe specials were not used and ended up on the Rojin. The paint work is a Spartan Star-burst in Wildcat Green with a stripe of Starburst Purple around the top of the '35 Willys body.