SLEEPERS

CASTLEMAINE ROD SHOP, VICTORIA HJ HOLDEN

STORY BORIS VSKOVIC

THIS MILD-LOOKING HJ HIDES MUCH MORE THAN JUST AN LS SWAP

TO GET the full rundown on what went into this HJ, check out the tech article on page 114 – there’s a lot more to this car than we can three pages, that’s for sure! Basically, this is one of the many development cars that Castlemaine Rod Shop keeps on hand to make sure that any kits the company designs fit and work as intended.

Ideally, the Rod Shop guys like to start with the most unmolested car they can find, but, since people have been hotting up and modifying these cars for more than 40 years, that’s not always that straightforward.

Heath Waddington at the Rod Shop gives us a bit of history on this HJ: “As you see the car – the paint, interior, the carpet – is exactly how we got it. Everything we had, to an extent, we chucked into it: the diff, the suspension, just all the stuff to show guys what goes into it. It just sits in our showroom, and every time someone comes in wanting an HQ-WB LS kit, we can just go: ‘Here’s one sitting here.’ We find if you’ve got the engine just sitting on a stand, it’s not as nice as seeing it in a car. We even put it up on the hoist if people want to have a bit of a bo-peep. There’s nothing to hide that way.”

To really appreciate what’s gone into this car, you need to put it up on a hoist, because apart from a slightly lower stance, this thing really does look bog-stock from the outside – right down to the stock-width wheels and cheese-cutter tyres. Look beyond that, though, and you’ll see an HJ with a suspension system way ahead of what GM-H were offering back in 1974.

Up front are tubular A-arms and rackand-pinion steering combined with Viking double-adjustable coil-over shocks. The rear also has tubular control arms and a set of coil-overs, but the old Salisbury diff has got the flick in favour of a Rod Shop nine-inch. All four corners wear 280mm (11-inch) Wilwood cross-drilled, slotted and ventilated discs with four-spot calipers, and while you can go bigger (much bigger, in fact; up to 355mm with the rotors) CRS wanted to keep the stock 14-inch rims for the full sleeper effect.

Got a car that looks mild, but goes wild? Send pics, car details and contact details to: Sleepers, Street Machine, Locked Bag 12, Oakleigh, Vic 3166.

Or email: streetmachine@ bauer-media.com.au.

CASTLEMAINE ROD SHOP HOLDEN HJ KINGSWOOD SL Paint: Cotillion White

DONK

Type: LS1

Inlet: Stock

Blower: TorqStorm centrifugal

Radiator: eBay special

Exhaust: 4-into-1, /8in primaries, twin system

SHIFT

’Box: Turbo 400

Converter: Stock

Diff: 9in, 3.5:1 gears, tubular control arms

BENEATH

Front end: CRS tubular

Shocks: Viking double-adjustable coil-over (f & r)

Steering: CRS power rack-and-pinion

Brakes: 280mm cross-drilled discs, Wilwood four-spot calipers (f & r)

ROLLING STOCK

Rims: 14x5 steel rims with hubcaps and dress rings

Rubber: Skinny

WITH THE 14S AND THE PIZZA-CUTTERS ON IT, YOU CAN BE DOING 60 OR 80 KAYS AND SPIN THE TYRES RIGHT OFF IT

One major advantage with the suspension set-up is that you can get the in-the-weeds stance without compromising comfort and handling. “With the stock suspension lowered this much you wouldn’t be able to keep it on the road; it would be jumping around,” Heath explains. That’s the advantage of doing the coil-overs all ’round; you can adjust the ride height to where you want it. Because it’s got the standard stub axles but the design of the suspension arm effectively lowers it two inches, you still get full travel on the coil-over.

In regard the car’s straight-line to performance, it’s never been tested on the track, but with 460rwhp thanks to the TorqStorm centrifugal blower kit, you could consider it ample. “With the 14s and the pizza-cutters on it, you can be doing 60 or 80 kays and spin the tyres right off it,” Heath says. “If you put a decent tyre under it and adjust the coil-overs, it would definitely be a 12-second car. We just put a pretty basic Eagle Spares Turbo 400 in it. It doesn’t even have a high-stall in it; it’s really a cruiser.”

IF YOU PUT A DECENT TYRE UNDER IT AND ADJUST THE COILOVERS, IT WOULD DEFINITELY BE A 12-SECOND CAR

It’s an upgrade that you could do in the shed at home, as everything just bolts in. “Everything has already been engineered,” Heath explains. “You just need to get it checked by an engineer to make sure the you’re installation off and has going.” been s done correctly, and ypu'er off and going".