760hp 450-cube 1976 Holden HJ GTS

Laki Tsutsulis bought his HJ GTS as a rolling shell for a project car

Holden Hj Gts 1 Jpg

“I BOUGHT my HJ as a rolling shell back in 2005 as my first project, with the intention of just tidying up the paint and building a 355 stroker for it.

This article was first published in the May 2019 issue of Street Machine

Holden HJ GTS rear

However, as time went on I ended up giving the car a full respray in and out, courtesy of Tony Surace. From there Johnny Polites helped me build the HJ into what it is now.

Holden HJ GTS wheel

Carmen and Dino from CDS helped out with the tubs and nine-inch diff with 35-spline billet Moser axles. CK Racing Developments provided the chassis connectors and the removable chrome-moly rollcage. It’s currently running 15x10 Weld AlumaStar double beadlock rims on the back, and 15x3.5s on the front.

Holden HJ GTS engine bay

I decided the little 355 stroker just wasn’t cutting it anymore, and went looking for a tough street/strip engine. We ended up building a 450ci tall-deck Dart small-block with Racer Pro 13-degree alloy heads, high-rise manifold and a Dominator 1150cfm Bob Book carby. Big thanks to Dino Cecere, who fine-tuned it to get it pumping out 760hp.

Holden HJ GTS

Behind it sits a two-speed Powerglide and an eight-inch TCE 5600rpm stall converter with a transbrake. So far I have run a best of 9.6@139mph; I was happy with that.

Thanks to my mate Sotiri for always helping me out with the car; I couldn’t have done it without him.”


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Laki Tsutsulis
Troy Barker

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