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Matt Nazzari's LS1-powered 1968 Holden HK Premier

22 Nov 2020 Features

Matt Nazzari's LS1-powered 1968 Holden HK Premier

Matt Nazzari bought his HK Premier 14 years ago, but at the time he was actually on the hunt for a Monaro

“IN 2006 I was on the hunt for an HK-T-G Monaro when this rust-free 1968 HK Prem popped up for sale, with a fresh 350 Chev, TH350 ’box and a 10-bolt Salisbury diff.

Holden HK Premier rear

When I bought the car it was running on straight LPG, which wasn’t going to cut it for me, so it was converted back to run 98-octane. I drove it for a while like that, before giving it a respray in 2009 to its original hue of Hacienda Blue with a white roof.

Holden Hk Premier wheel

A high-rise manifold was fitted to the 350 Chev to get that air filter out in the breeze, and the interior was stitched in teal vinyl with fresh carpet – just in time for our wedding in October 2010. A couple of years later, a trip to Sydney Dragway saw the old girl run a 15-second quarter. That’s when I decided to do an LS swap.

Holden HK Premier engine bay

A VZ LS1 was sourced from a written-off SS, and thanks to a Rod Shop conversion kit, it fit better in the bay than the old Chev did. The TH350 was beefed up to handle some abuse, and a nine-inch diff was sourced from an HQ Tonner I previously owned, shortened and put under the rear end with a limited-slip centre and 3.08:1 gears. I also bought some new wheels: 17x7s up front and 17x9s on the rear.

Holden HK Premier interior

After being tuned, the car made 300hp at VPR Auto in Rutherford, and another trip to Sydney Dragway saw a 12.7@108mph pass in street trim. All the mechanical work was completed at home in my garage; it only left to get tuned. I still have some mods I’d really love to do, such as a cam package and a blower, but we’ll see how that pans out down the track. I’d love it to run 10s.” Photos: Ben Hosking