IT’S tough at the top of the burnout world. The days when a seven-cylinder 253 wedged into a beaten-up Gemini could wow a crowd are long gone. The masters of the sport know that. These guys coolly roll the dice, placing mega-dollar machinery on the line every time they compete.
This article was first published in the May 2012 issue of Street Machine
West Aussie Steve Sines is one such competitor and his prodigiously tough HZ Kingswood, known affectionately as KINGER, has evolved over the years in line with the elite skid pigs, sporting show car visual impact, monster horsepower, a rock-solid driveline and attitude in spades.
Of course, being an all-time Aussie favourite doesn’t do KINGER’s appeal any harm, either.
Steve bought the HZ in ’01, when its stock red 202 was wrapped in factory Sage Green duco.
Despite the humble beginnings, Steve always intended to transform it into a tyre-trashing terror.
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“I bought it because I always wanted a four-door and a car that was different to everything else on the skid scene at the time,” he says. “I picked it up about an hour from home, and when I told the seller that I was going to turn it into a blown 383ci skid car, he laughed at me. Now when I see him, he can’t believe what it is.”
After serving as a faithful daily hack for some time, a full rebuild ensued and with the promised blown 383ci Chev on board, Steve was soon smashing tyres with the best of them. You know you’ve made it when you get a guernsey at the Summernats Burnout Masters, and it was his Masters skid at Summernats 24 — earning a podium finish — that also provided the catalyst for a fresh build.
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“For whatever reason, when the car blew a tyre, it ripped the guard to shreds. It had been the same green for seven years, and I was keen to revamp it a bit and tidy it up at the same time.”
It’s a long tow home from Summernats — 3895km — which gave Steve plenty of time alone with his thoughts. When he arrived, he sat down with his missus, Tammy, to break the news to her.
With the mechanical side more or less in order, the plan was to give the car a bit of a birthday with new paint, reconditioned bright-work, and just a freshen-up for the engine.
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With the green light from Tammy (and her two cents on what the new colour should be), Steve visited Tony at Yunderup Panel & Paint to spend some quality time with the PPG colour charts.
Four hours and several beers passed before he was confident that he’d nailed his selection — a Fiat colour by the name of KLM Blue. Tammy agreed that the bright-than-bright hue was spot-on for the build, so KINGER was stripped of its vital organs and sent for paint.
In the meantime, the proven 6/71-blown 383-cube small-block was given the once-over by Chris at Pure Grunt Performance.
With Diamond blower pistons, Scat crank and rods and a quality valvetrain and oiling system, it’s built to withstand the rigours of sustained high-rev torture, and with respiration duties catered for by Pro Action Iron Lightning heads, a 0.631in lift Crane roller cam, the aforementioned blower and a pair of 650 Demon carbs, it’s proven capable of an impressive 550rwhp.
It’s no secret that most top-shelf skid cars keep their cool in the heat of battle with methanol. That’s great but KINGER’s supercharged small-block runs on avgas, so Steve had to develop a less conventional means of keeping its head gaskets intact. It’s simple in principle yet innovative, and like so many other beaut Aussie innovations, it was concocted over a quiet beer.
KINGER’s cooling system now sports a 25-litre external fluid reservoir, and the extra volume means it takes far longer to reach boiling point. Even after Steve rips a three-minute burnout in competition, shuts the car down, clambers atop the shotgun scoop for his trademark post-skid celebration, then jumps back in and kicks it in the guts, the needle’s only ever pointing at around 180 degrees.
“You let an engine like this get to around 220 degrees and you’re going to hurt it,” Steve says. “The tank works really well. I took Jake Myers out for a couple of laps at Summernats 25 and the temp gauge didn’t budge — he couldn’t believe it.”
Another difference between KINGER and the competition is the exhaust — it has one. You’d never go so far as to call this blown skid car quiet but Steve prefers the note through the twin three-inch system with Pacemaker resonators as it makes the car sound a little more refined than open pipes.
“It runs all the way to the rear bumper so if I do get a flame, it’s not underneath the car. As much as it makes for cool photos, when your car catches fire it costs a lot of money to fix!”
With bulk prize money attracting fierce competition all over the country, you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s all about getting on the podium. Not so, Steve says.
“The car always finishes well at skid comps but for me it’s about the mateship of it all. I reckon that if you keep it that way it stays fun, and that if you were to go out there to win every time and put too much emphasis on results it would take all the fun out of it.
“It’s won me a lot of dust-collectors over the years but for me it’s all about good times killing tyres with your mates — if you go home with a trophy it’s a bonus.”
1978 HOLDEN HZ KINGSWOOD
Colour: PPG KLM Blue
Brand: Chev 383ci
Induction: Demon 650 blower carbs x2, strengthened 6/71 Weiand blower, port-matched Weiand blower manifold
Heads: Pro Action Iron Lightning, 220cc runners, Ferrea valves, Isky springs
Camshaft: Crane roller, 0.631in lift
Crank: Scat steel
Oil pump: High volume
Sump: High Energy
Preferred fuel: Avgas
Fuel pump: Holley Blue x2
Cooling: Aussie Desert Cooler Burnout King, EL Falcon thermo fans, CVR electric water pump, 25l water tank
Exhaust: Pacemaker 1¾in four-into-one headers, twin three-inch system, Pacemaker resonators
Ignition: MSD 7AL, MSD dizzy, MSD Blaster 2 coil, MSD leads
Gearbox: Turbo 400, manual valvebody, shift kit, 4000rpm converter
Diff: Nine-inch, 3.25:1 gears, 31-spline billet axles
SUSPENSION & BRAKES
Springs: Kings Super Low (f&r)
Shocks: Monroe (f&r)
Brakes: RDA slotted rotors, PBR calipers (f), drums (r)
Wheel: Billet Specialties
Trim: White vinyl
Instruments: Auto Meter tacho & boost, oil pressure, fuel pressure and water temp
Shifter: B&M Quicksilver
Stereo: Kenwood head unit, Pioneer front splits, Pioneer 6x9 rear speakers
WHEELS & TYRES
Rims: Billet Specialties GTP53 18x7 (f) 18x8 (r)
Rubber: Austyre 215/40 (f) 235/40 (r)
Pure Grunt Performance, Yunderup Panel & Paint, Koorda Motor Museum, Transfix, Finaldrive Engineering, Sound Exhaust, Aussie Desert Cooler, Fuelworx, Tyre Power Port Kennedy, Derek Paulik Heads, my wife Tammy and daughter Lacey, and all my mates and family for their support