Budget-built twin-turbo 1969 Holden HT Kingswood

Darren Nielson saved this HT Kingswood from the scrap heap and brought it back to life on a shoestring budget

Holden Ht Kingswood Jpg

I GOT HULKKK in 2007 off my mate Nigel’s [AAA Towing Geelong] scrap metal truck — I swapped him a couple of old car bodies. I built the car for my eldest son, Graydon, who’s eight. He’ll have fun when he turns 18!

This article was first published in the June 2011 issue of Street Machine

Holden HT KIngswood rear

It’s an Oasis Green 1969 HT Holden Kingswood. It was pretty straight — I’ve only had to replace the spare wheel well and rear beaver panel. The rest was surface rust, so I just sanded it back and resprayed it. The interior is standard Isis Green and I’ve left it as-is, except for a racing harness.

Holden HT KIngswood

I went with a 253 because it cost me nothing. The engine is 60thou over, with pre-pollution L34-spec heads from an HZ ute I bought for $300, twin TO4/E Garrett copy turbos and a 600 Holley on top of an Edelbrock Performer manifold. It also runs a 30hp wet shot of nitrous.

Holden HT Kingswood engine bay

We kept the column-shift Trimatic auto and fitted a twin-ring stainless steel servo piston and shift kit. Underneath there’s a UC Torana diff with 3.9 gears which lets the 225x15s fit under the rear guards nicely. I did all the work at home in the garage and I was able to stay at home and be Dad for the whole build, to my wife’s delight — not!

Holden HT KIngswood boot

At the start I had some difficulties with it blowing out the head gaskets when I had it on 15lb boost so I put head studs and multi-layer gaskets on it and now it runs 10lb boost.

Holden HT Kingswood interior

The most expensive parts of the whole build were the exhaust manifolds, which cost $800, but most other parts came from scrapped cars. It cost me $300 to paint the car as I got the paint from a mate at Endurance Paints at cost price and I sprayed it myself.

Darren Nielson


Costs (in 2011)
Car: Free swap
Engine $500
Trimatic: $300
Paint: $300
NOS kit: $200
Turbos & exhaust manifolds: $1300
Wheels & tyres: $500
UC Torana diff: $100
Parts cars: $2000
Hours: It'll never be finished
TOTAL: $5200

Selling bits off parts cars: $2000



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Street Machine is the bible of Aussie modified auto culture, celebrating wild muscle cars, customs and hot rods – and the incredible humans who create them.




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