TUB THUMPIN’

Street Machine - - Contents -

An HK Bel­mont ute with Procharged Holden V8 power and much more

IN A world of Convo Pros, re­verse-cowl scoops and LS con­ver­sions, Ja­son Poustie’s HK Bel­mont ute is a breath of minty-fresh, Pyr­mont Green air. Not only does it rock to Procharged 383 Holden power, putting out 650hp at those fat rear treads, but all the mumbo is tucked neatly un­der the bon­net.

“I bought the ute in 2011 from an old dear who had ad­ver­tised it in The War­rnam­bool

Stan­dard,” Ja­son says. “I think I gave her $1000 for it. I didn’t know that her late hus­band was a lawn­mower man; the tub floor was all rot­ted out un­der the wood!”

For­tu­nately Ja­son is handy with a welder and gets loads of prac­tice through run­ning his own agri­cul­tural con­tract­ing busi­ness. He was able to re­place the grass clip­pings and iron ox­ide with fresh metal.

“Once I saw how much rust it had, I de­cided to go full rails and a four-link,” he says.

So are th­ese mini-tubs or what? “Nah, I think they’re just tub-tubs. They’re big! I wanted the big­gest wheels I could fit un­der there.”

The rear rub­ber is so fat that the arches had to be stretched to suit; a rel­a­tively com­mon mod on a tough streeter, but made com­pli­cated by Ja­son’s de­sire to keep the ute look­ing stock-ish.

“HK whee­larches are pretty com­plex,” he says. “You see a lot that are trimmed or folded on the in­side edge to give more space for the wheels, but mine re­tains the orig­i­nal pro­file.”

Ja­son took this on him­self, along with all the ma­jor surgery, while draw­ing on the tal­ents of mate Mark Bedg­good to help neaten things up.

“I did all the pre-work and weld­ing, while Mark gave it a tap here and there, a lick of body filler to smooth it over and four coats of Pyr­mont Green two-pack,” Ja­son says.

A Holden red-pow­ered, three-on-the-tree Bel­mont was never go­ing to stay as such with stretched guards and 15x12s down the

ONCE I SAW HOW MUCH RUST IT HAD, I DE­CIDED TO GO FULL RAILS AND A FOUR-LINK

back, but Ja­son es­chewed the cur­rent norm of in­stalling an LS from a busted Club­sport. In­stead, he con­tacted COME Rac­ing for his go-fast bits, with Sam Blu­men­stein happy to hop up a VQ States­man mo­tor into a force-fed thing of beauty. Which wasn’t al­ways in Ja­son’s plans.

“The mo­tor was just go­ing to be the Stato 304; then I thought I may as well go 383,” he says. “Sud­denly I’d bought the Procharger off Face­book.”

Ja­son and Sam ex­changed emails and phone calls over a few weeks, dis­cussing cam pro­files, fuel types and the best rear-end ra­tio. The end re­sult is a COME Rac­ing mas­ter­piece: A grout-filled Holden block with Di­a­mond pis­tons, H-beam rods, a steel crank and solid cam. It’s topped by a pair of COME al­loy heads ei­ther side of a trick twin-throt­tle­body set-up and dom­i­nated by the pol­ished Procharger off­set to the pas­sen­ger side.

A bil­let ser­pen­tine kit splits ro­tat­ing du­ties across two belts: one to run the VZ Com­modore al­ter­na­tor and power steer­ing pump, the other straight off the crank to drag the blower around. Ja­son has had it dy­noed at 650 horses at the treads on a fat tune.

The en­gine is as much a piece of Aussie au­to­mo­tive art as it is a pow­er­house, but Ja­son didn’t build it to look at. With plans for the Bel­mont to even­tu­ally see track duty, he con­sid­ered a rollcage a must, with his dad Gavin of GP Con­struc­tions bend­ing up a six-point ’cage. John at Rix Uphol­ster­ers trimmed it with zip-on cov­ers so Ja­son doesn’t bonk his head too hard get­ting out.

John and his team also cre­ated the unique door trims that evoke a clas­sic feel. The choice of a pair of Camry seats for the in­te­rior was an easy one.

“This old Camry got towed into our yard one day; it was de­fected and one of the boys said they’d give it a home,” Ja­son says. “We frigged around with it for a bit, pulled the seats out and took the rest to the tip.”

Rix Uphol­ster­ers also re­trimmed the pews and fit­ted cus­tom car­pet and head­lin­ing, but it’s the cen­tre con­sole that draws the eye. Built from a spare HK bon­net, it’s been flipped, cut and welded.

“While ev­ery­one else is go­ing re­verse-cowl, I’m go­ing re­verse cen­tre con­sole,” laughs Ja­son, who only has one re­gret about the cus­tom-made piece. “I didn’t put cup hold­ers in there; that’s the only stuff-up!”

Builds like this rarely come to­gether in a timely fash­ion, and Ja­son’s was no ex­cep­tion. He was still screw­ing bits to the Bel­mont the night be­fore its first out­ing at the 2016 Co­lac Cus­tom Car & Bike Show.

“I said I wanted to get it done by then and I did,” he says, beam­ing like a proud dad. The ef­fort was worth­while, with the HK tak­ing out Best Cus­tom/mod­i­fied upon de­but.

Tro­phies have flowed like wa­ter since, with a Best HK-T-G Mod­i­fied at the Gee­long All Holden Day and a Best Mod­i­fied at the Guz­zlers Car Club show, tes­ta­ment to not only Ja­son’s skills but the team he en­gaged to con­trib­ute along the way.

“I’ve got plenty of other projects lined up,” he says. “I’ve got an HK Brougham down the back and an HK panel van bas­ket case. I’ve also got an HK Monaro I’ve owned for 25 years.”

Whichever Ja­son chooses to do next, you can be sure it’ll be a beau­ti­ful combo of taste­ful orig­i­nal­ity mixed with unique engi­neer­ing, mon­ster horse­power and fat rub­ber.

“Per­haps I should do the Monaro; chop it up and make some peo­ple an­gry!”

If it’s gonna be as well done as the Bel­mont, it’s a Pyr­mont Green light from us, Ja­son!

You might think that Ja­son’s gone with Pyr­mont Green in hon­our of the Bel­mont and its el­derly pre­vi­ous own­ers; how­ever, the car started out white. “I just like those clas­sic old pas­tels; this is an orig­i­nal Holden colour. I didn’t want to give too much away” COME Rac­ing cooked up an epic Holden stro­ker on Ja­son’s say-so, with black de­tails con­trast­ing nicely against pol­ished bil­let. “Black is the new chrome,” Ja­son laughs. “Sam reck­ons the en­gine is good for 580hp nat­u­rally as­pi­rated. It’s got 650 now; we should get a bit more when it gets its next tune” The tray fea­tures a false floor that hides the four-link rear, fuel cell, bat­tery, a stor­age box and space for three jerry cans. Ex­plain­ing the hid­den fuel stash, Ja­son says: “E85 isn’t avail­able any­where around here, and Gee­long is 150 clicks away”

The more-is-more theme res­onates through­out the car. For ex­am­ple, once Ja­son found the rust down the back, he went tubs. Up front, a mon­ster COME Rac­ing mo­tor meant he’d have to bring the en­gine bay up to match. “We put in a flat fire­wall, smoothed off every­thing and re­lo­cated the wiper mo­tor up un­der the dash­board” A shagged in­te­rior saw Ja­son fash­ion a cus­tom cen­tre con­sole from a spare bon­net, while his dad Gavin knocked up the six-point rollcage. John at Rix Uphol­ster­ers added pad­ding to the ’cage, trimmed the door cards and Camry seats, and fit­ted new car­pet and head­lin­ing

Ja­son has noth­ing but good things to say about Mark Bedg­good’s fab work on the ute. “It’s hard to pin down ex­actly what it is; he’s just good at what he does and won’t let up un­til it’s done.” Mark’s look­ing pretty busy go­ing for­ward, too: “I’ve booked a chunk of his time each year for the rest of his life!” Ja­son laughs. Although Ja­son’s keen to move on to his HK Monaro, he’s got some­thing else lined up for Mark first. “I’ve got a 1987 Ken­worth W900 we’re go­ing to re­store, then I’ll put it to work”

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