WIND the clock back a few decades and the notion of a brown Kingswood being considered anything more than grandpa’s bingo runner would have been laughable. Yet while it’s not as if brown has made a fashionable comeback for 2020, Tim Harrison’s stunning HG Kingswood is a prime example of how you can make just about any colour look good with the right recipe.
This article was first published in the December 2020 issue of Street Machine
One of the key reasons Tim nabbed the HG was that it came with this killer set of satin Center Line spinners, measuring 15x5.5 in the front and 15x10 in the rear. “You can’t get wheels like this anymore, and they’re part of what makes the car for me,” he says
It should come as no surprise that Tim’s HG looks as stunning as it does, given he’s been in the panel-beating trade since he was 18. But an extreme makeover definitely wasn’t on the cards initially.
“I got it from a mate with the intention of flipping it for a quick profit,” says Tim. “But then I decided to change the colour, wound up going in too deep and it blew out into a four-year build!”
Being the owner of a panel shop means Tim is always making sure the HG’s exterior is in tip-top condition, but the paint colour is a secret. “People can guess all they want about what colour it is, but no one has got it right yet,” he laughs
When Tim got the car off his mate it was an unfinished project, but all the important foundations for a seriously gnarly street cruiser had already been laid down. “It already had the engine and the tubs were mostly done, so we hooked into it pretty much as soon as I got it,” he says.
Read next: LS3-powered 1969 Holden HK Kingswood
Speaking of the donk, this is no run-of-the-mill LS lurking under the bonnet. It’s a 408ci LSX built by Tim Holmyard from TJH Performance, and he knows a thing or two about killer LS packages. The mill has been equipped with Callies Compstar crank and rods, Wiseco pistons and a custom-grind stick. Cathedral-port Dart Pro1 heads, ported by Nathan Higgins, seal in the goodness, topped off with an Edelbrock Victor intake manifold. In the previous owner’s hands, it stomped an impressive 712hp and 604lb-ft on the engine dyno using a Quick Fuel 950cfm carby and E85, but Tim has since converted to Holley Sniper EFI and PULP 98 for convenience. “Where I am in Geelong, there’s only one servo that sells E85, so going with 98 makes it much easier for me,” he says.
The rest of the driveline is taken care of with a Powerglide from DTM Transmissions, housing a TCE 5200rpm converter, which helps send the power to the nine-inch rear end from Geelong Diffs.
Read next: LS1-powered 1970 Holden HT Kingswood sleeper
The paint and panel were taken care of in-house at Tim’s business, Breakwater Panels in Geelong, which is also where the car was assembled. He originally toyed with the idea of going with a pastel orange to replace the cream-over-white paint the car came with, but eventually settled on the brown – the specific recipe for which he keeps a closely guarded secret. “A lot of people like to guess what the colour is or what it’s based on,” he muses. “They often say it’s based on Burnished Bronze, which is the colour these originally came in. But that’s not really the case, and I won’t say much more than that!”
During the car’s first renovation, Tim painted the engine bay black, but once he opted to change the exterior colour his hand was forced. He redid the bay to a standard that just makes you want to stick your head in there and lick the front wheel tubs – and the 700-odd horses inside the angry aspirated LS help the cause as well
You may have noticed a theme developing at this point, with just about every aspect of this build being sourced from the Greater Geelong area. The engine, transmission, paintwork, diff, interior trim, boot fit-out and even the wiring have all been taken care of by Geelong businesses, and as Tim puts it: “It doesn’t get much more Geelong than a build like this.” As owner of not only Breakwater Panels but also the co-founder of the fast-growing Boss Burger Co. restaurants, supporting local businesses has always been important to Tim. “It’s cool I could source just about everything locally; it goes to show how capable we are here in Geelong of building super-tough cars,” he says.
One aspect of the car Tim is really proud of is this custom boot fit-out, which was taken care of by Rynx Customs. “I haven’t seen another one done like this; it’s a pretty distinctive part of the car,” he says
Being the busy owner of two businesses means Tim hasn’t had a huge amount of time to enjoy the HG on the road since it was finished, but when he does, there’s never a dull moment. “It’s an animal; it twists and feels like a boat – to be honest it scares me to drive it,” he laughs. “I tend to just cruise it; otherwise it’s too hard to control.”
Tim had the interior re-trimmed by KJF Custom Trim, opting to stay true to the Kingswood’s roots by maintaining the original bench-seat layout, with the tan colour nicely complementing the custom brown exterior paint
Tim even had a whoopsie he labels the “Toretto moment” (see more below), so there’s no doubting the stonk this HG possesses, but that isn’t the part of the car he cares about the most. “I just love the way it looks,” he says. “The stance and the colour were just as important to me as the power, and I love the way it turned out.”
And it’s safe to say that the rear hand-holds are required when Tim really opens up the loud pedal on this beast
As for future plans for the Kingswood, Tim still hasn’t ruled out the possibility of selling it. “I’ve got 10 blokes lined up ready to buy it, and I’ve got a bunch of other projects on the go as well – it’s like a disease, I just can’t stop!” he says. He also flags the possibility that the car could end up with a blower, but for now he will spend most of his spare time cruising between burger restaurants in one of the baddest Kingswoods in Geelong.
FAST & FURIOUS
WE’VE all had our moments in overpowered cars, and Tim had a scary one in his freshly complete HG that he’s since dubbed the “Toretto moment”.
“The car was freshly finished and didn’t have any seatbelts,” he begins. “I took it for a spin and it ended up bitch-kicking me to the passenger side of the car across the bench seat, before I went through someone’s front fence!”
Thankfully the car only had minor front-end damage, but he’s left some scars behind as a reminder. “When I went flying to the passenger side, I left a dent on the inside of the door, which is still there as a reminder to never go ‘full Toretto’ ever again!”
HOLDEN HG KINGSWOOD
Paint: DNA custom-mix candy
Brand: 408ci LSX
Induction: Edelbrock Victor
ECU: Holley Sniper
Heads: Dart Pro1 cathedral-port
Conrods: Callies Compstar
Crank: Callies Compstar
Oil pump: GM high-volume
Fuel system: MagnaFuel fuel pump
Cooling: Custom alloy radiator with Spal fans
Exhaust: Di Filippo 17/8in extractors, 3.5in mild-steel system
Ignition: LS1 coils, custom leads
Converter: TCE, 5200rpm
Diff: 9in, 31-spline, 3.9:1 gears
SUSPENSION & BRAKES
Springs & shocks: Pedders (f & r)
Brakes: Wilwood (f & r)
Master cylinder: Wilwood
WHEELS & TYRES
Rims: Center Line satin-finish; 15x5.5 (f), 15x10 (r)
Rubber: Hankook 165/60R15 (f), Sumitomo 295/60R15 (r)
Timmy Holmyard at TJH Performance for the engine; Strop at Moolap Mufflers for the exhaust; Matty at Geelong Diffs; DTM Transmissions; Rynx Customs for the boot fit-out and wiring the whole car; Deejays Auto Glass; KJF Custom Trim for the interior re-trim; Mighty Tow; Scotty at Geelong Tyre & Wheels; Veggie at TDR Engines; Race Parts for the tuning
Photos: Chris Thorogood