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.

November 16, 2015

The JigSaw Fj - Custom Crazy

08:43 Posted by GreyFC No comments
Custom Crazy
You wont find a JigSaw like this Super FJ in any ol' toy shop.

Courtesy of Street Machine "Hot Holdens"  Oct/Nov '87 Author Michael Stahl and photos by Warwick Kent
 ( front cover pic posted down below ) -

What is the limit to a customer's desires? Seems Dave Johnson and his Jigsaw FJ Holden reckon it's somewhere up in the clouds. From a brilliantly blended mix 'n' match interior to a beautifully crafted rocker cover, this FJ's all class. Covering all the minor miracles Dave performed won't be easy ...

D.J. and FJ Holdens go back a long way. When Dave sold the last one, withdrawal symptons were overbearing. Working at Perfection Bodyworks in Brisbane, Dave saw plenty of modern — and no-so-modern — cars pass before his eyes. The temptation to build a streeter and making the best of both worlds grew. This car was soon on the drawing boards.

Jigsaw pulls you in with its body, a distinctive shape which you could confuse with no other. There's a reason for that — many, as it turns out. The chassis rails were snatched from an FJ ute and welded in. All seams were joined and welded, for greater strength and a cleaner finish.

The rear wheel arches were dropped six inches to accommodate chrome trims from . . . Dave won't say. An imported car, we're told. The rear quarter panels were puffed up to take Laser tail lights. And speaking of lights, take a gander at the JD Camira items up front. Matter of fact, the whole nose section was redesigned by Dave, including a hand-made grille, sculptured from brass. Artwork folks, pure artwork . . .

FJ fans will recognise that the windscreen's definitely not original. Matter of fact, it's from an ACCO truck and has been flush bonded! Flush bonding is also used on the rear window. Side glass is — wait for it —armour plated! The raised ridge between body and turret is gone, replaced by a smoothed, rounded curve. And you've gotta see what's inside, so to do that, swing on Toyota Camry doorhandles.

Front 'n' rear bumpers are from an LH Torana, colour coded and blessed with new bump strips. We aren't surprised that the rear deck spoiler is a hand-crafted, Dave Johnson special. Or that the inner guards run stainless steel protector plates. Or that there's a 10 gallon Galant fuel tank under the rear end, incorporating a spare wheel recess. With Dave and the Jigsaw, nothing surprises you after a while .. .

All that took 18 months of solid —and we mean rock solid — work. If you've ever attempted any sort of body mod, you'll understand that taking 18 months reveals the owner to be a quick worker. Jigsaw's a real head-swiveller underneath, too. Dave took all fuel and brake lines, arranged 'em down the tranny tunnel and kept everything nice and tidy. Then made a full belly pan to protect all that hard work — both underneath and in the engine bay. The pan makes life a lot easier come cleaning time.

Being protected is a 138 side-plate mill from a '63 EJ. Supercharged. Fully detailed. And, of course, customised. Not many neat street cars run a 138 up front, but for Dave the reason was quite logical. Queensland rego laws are pretty strict, and the 138 was the only powerplant recognised by the authorities. Being hassled wasn't the type of weekend pastime Dave had in mind .. .

Work was performed inside and out. The block was linished, with all cast marks polished away to produce a brilliant finish. It was then painted in the brilliant magenta before your eyes. Inside is where it all counts and here Dave had the moving mass balanced — stock crank, rods, rings and pistons. A 453 GN blower isn't outrageous and in this instance probably adds to Jigsaw's appeal.

It's fed induction mixture by a 48mm Weber, which sits on a Johnson-made base plate and is topped by a trick air box. Big valves, double springs, a Cornish blower camshaft and chrome moly pushrods ... it's all there. Assembled by Dave's dad, who just happens to be a motor mechanic. Custom Exhausts — and Graham Bevis in particular — are responsible for the headers and exhaust system. You couldn't miss spotting that braided line, because it's all Earl's best.

Neat underbonnet touches abound. Hidden wiring, of course. Special water pump pulley and breathers on a tricked rocker cover. If you want a rocker cover like Dave's, ask him for it, because Dad 'n' Dave designed and built this one. The painting and general detailing in the engine bay is to true show car standard. Dream stuff.

Engine power's fine, but you've got to make it work. That responsibility fell to a TriMatic transmission from a Commodore. To make that operate correctly, Dave installed a Starfire convertor and B&M shifter. An LH Torana came in handy once again, donating its 3.55 ratio limited slip diff and drum brakes. EH drums snapped into the front end and the whole system is given a kick in the shoes by an HR brake booster.

Jigsaw is driven and on occasions it isn't spared, so Dave didn't build a show car that'd fall on its ear at the first corner. That's why the FJ runs a suspension set-up devised by the pros at Fulcrum Suspension. Lovell's Springs and Monroe Wylie shocks made sure this is a sensible street car. Wheels were important for dynamics and looks, so Dave opted for polished Dragway Indys. Dunlop Le Mans rubber surrounds the rims, which are 14 x 7 up front and 14x 8 at the power end.

Take a look inside, and you'll see another chapter in the Johnson Book of Car Crafting. There's so much clever work here, we'll let you pick the parts from our pictures and give you the highlights instead. Front seats and steering column are from a Datsun 200B — did you pick 'em? LH Torana window winders, interior door handles by TF Gemini and . . . the list is endless. Play pick the part yourself. Of course, all interior components have been co-ordinated to match the superb Cherry Red Pearl finish on the exterior metal.

What do you say about a car like this? S'pose all you can report is that it's the world's finest mix and match operation. How anyone will top it is a puzzle to us ... ❑


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