HOLDEN’S HT turned 50 this year, and to celebrate, the HKTG Holden Owners Club of Queensland threw a birthday bash. The second annual HKTG Holden Nationals saw more than 150 Aussie toughies, survivors, and restored and ratted builds cruising the Sunshine Coast between 27 and 30 September. The event brought out drivers from around the country – and across the pond.
Following registration and a meet-and-greet at Aussie World theme park on the Friday night, the event proper kicked off on Saturday with a show ’n’ shine at the Glasshouse Mountains Sports Club. Drivers and spectators then cruised out to Archerfalls Airfield for the Dirt Mayhem driving events. Rain kept the dust settled as panel vans, station wagons, modernised Monaros and classic Kingwoods took on the go-to-whoa, dirt drags and spear-a-spud driving obstacles.
Sunday’s events included a mystery beach cruise and a 1969-themed presentation dinner, while Monday saw the Nationals conclude in appropriate style with some hot laps at Lakeside Raceway.
What do you get when you cross a GQ Patrol chassis, an injected 304 out of a VN Commodore, a 1969 HT and a madman?
Shane Tapscott and his wild four-wheel-drive Monaro! With a three-inch lift, a set off muddies and light bars all ’round, the rig was ready to take on the Telly track: “I’m driving it to Cape York straight from the Nationals,” Tappy said. “I’ve just had bars made for the rooftop tent so I don’t become croc bait.” Good luck, mate!
Ricky Allen’s immaculate ’69 HT Monaro just went through a two-and-a-half-year restoration. The 5.0-litre Commodore donk is made pretty by a Bliss Custom Machining inlet manifold and rocker covers, and is backed up by a T5 manual gearbox and Ford nine-inch.
Wilwood discs up front and F100 drums in the back bring the beast to a stop. Annvid Auto Upholsters took care of the interior, while J’s Customs & Fabrications near Nambour smoothed the steel and worked the bonnet to keep those throttlebodies hidden.
‘Driven, not hidden’ are words Darren Shelton lives by.Not that there’s anything discreet about his blown HT wagon in any case!
The 350 small-block Chev is an impressive bit of gear, with forged pistons, alloy RHS heads, a massive cam, twin 650 vacuum-secondary Holleys, MDS electronic ignition and a nine-inch diff and CalTracs out back.
Tonacia Marshall runs mid-11s in her ’69 Premier. The injected 383-cube Chev has made more than 200 passes, and recently took home the Aussie Muscle class at Willowbank Raceway’s Nostalgia Drags.
The car runs a TH350 reverse-pattern manualised auto and Strange nine-inch with Truetrac and 3.7:1 gears, and Tonacia reckoned it’s a reliable streeter and great track car. “I can run between eight and 20 passes and still drive it home,” she said.
This survivor ’69 Kingswood sat under a mango tree for 20 years before Jeremy Green drove it home.
Jeremy and his uncle, who rebuilt the 186, drove 26 hours from Melbourne to run amok with their mates at the Nationals. “It’s a good birthday party for a 50-year-old car,” he said.
Everyone was talking about the ‘rat HK’, but not because of the patina! “When we first opened the glovebox it was full of rats’ nests,” said owner Rob Watson.
“I saw a tail sitting over the cigarette lighter. So I undid the vent and found him mummified!” The rat’s been riding up front in the 1968 307-powered GTS ever since: “We figured if we’re going to rat-rod the Monaro we may as well leave the original rat in it!”
This super-clean 500-cube LS-powered HT has run 10.75@127mph.
Glenn Wheelehen bought the Monaro for $150 when he was 14, and over the next 30 years he’s given it four overhauls, swapping out the 400ci small-block and tidying the body, boot and interior.
An LQ9 block sits in the smoothed bay, with AFR heads, Super Victor manifold and Comp solid cam, running through a 4L65 auto with a 5800rpm converter and Truetrac nine-inch.
Grant Winchester’s vision came to life when he bolted an SS HG Monaro front end onto his HK Belmont panel van. Grant sourced half the HG from South Africa, and got to work installing the imperial clusters and controls and throwing in a 307-cube Chev and Turbo 350.
“Everything’s been modified to how my wife and I wanted it,” Grant said. “We’ve done three tours around Tassie.”
Karen Fiedler brought out the work ute for a thrash in the dirt. She drove the HK Belmont hard, taking home the title of Fastest Female.
Hubby Des recently swapped out the factory 161 for a tricked 308 for some extra grunt.
Look out for a full feature on the event in Street Machine soon!