Holden 355-powered 1970 HG sleeper

Paul Little's HG boogies to 355 Holden power but looks stock as a rock - roof rack and all

Holden Hg 2 Jpg

PAUL Little’s affair with his Rally Red Kingswood dates back well before the 16 years he’s called it his own. Bought new by a co-worker’s mother and passed on to her daughter, the car held his eye for several years. Eventually, illness and the 253’s thirst led the daughter to bequeath the car to Paul – provided that the HG’s originality and history were respected. “She wanted it to go to someone that would look after it and not hack it to pieces,” says Paul, a mechanic, and the fact that he did maintenance work on the car probably helped seal the deal.

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

Holden HG sleeper

As promised, Paul kept the HG’s stock look, and worked in a way that all his internal changes could be reverted back to original. The thongslapper was soon done away with in favour of a mild 308, which was then sacrificed to finance the 355 that now lies within. Paul built this motor himself, overcoming some oil pressure issues in the process. “The engine came in and out about six times to sort out problems; it nearly broke me,” he says. “But that’s how you learn.”

Holden HG rear

It wears VN-type heads and is fed by a Holley 750 carb, with forged pistons and rods in the bottom end. The whole assembly sits in a repainted engine bay, where Paul tucked away as much wiring as possible. Power is fed through a Trimatic into a 10-bolt Salisbury diff. Exhaust is handled by a twin 2.5-inch system – one of the very few things Paul didn’t manage himself. This means the HG should be making somewhere between 260 and 280 horses.

Holden HG roof rack

As stated, Paul did the bulk of the work himself, electrics included, which has probably saved him some trouble with his wife Narelle, who is fine with things as long as he doesn’t spend the national budget.

Holden HG engine bay

Paul has gone all-out to preserve the stocker look. The car is rolling on steel wheels all ’round, with the 15-inch rears brought out to a humble seven inches wide, retaining the car’s modesty with more than enough tuck to keep the lion in the bag. Tyres tell a similar story, with 185 front-runners and 225 ET Radials out back. Springs are stock in the front, while the reset rears feature an extra leaf to stiffen things up. Brakes are a carry-over from the turn of 1970, though Holden sensibly put discs up front to rein in the little V8. Rounding things off is an abundance of ridgey-didge Buckskin vinyl and carpet in the cabin.

Holden HG interior

Paul has no plans to move the HG on. He loves the fact that the car has visibly lived a life, and sees himself as a custodian. The most he sees himself doing is swapping the HG’s heart and running gear back to original and finding a ute or Torana to drop the hot stuff into. “Maybe,” he muses.

Holden HG dash

To prove his dedication to the Cult of Sleeper, Paul says he looks forward to seeing how his roof rack will affect his quarter-mile times!

Paul Little


Paint: Rally Red

Brand: Holden 355ci
Induction: COME single-plane, Holley 750 Ultra HP
Cam: Solid flat-tappet, .580in lift
Heads: VN
Rods: Scat forged I-beam
Pistons: SRP forged

Gearbox: Trimatic
Converter: Converter Shop 4200rpm
Diff: 10-bolt, LSD, 28-spline billet axles

Front: Stock springs, Pedders 90/10 shocks
Rear: Reset leaf springs, Monroe gas shocks

Wheels: Stock (f), custom 15x7 steelies (r)
Tyres: 185/75/14 (f), Mickey Thompson ET Street 225/50/15 (r)


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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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