IN 1968 DAN MCAULEY’S GRANDPA BOUGHT A BRAND NEW HK WAGON STRAIGHT OFF THE SHOWROOM FLOOR. ALMOST 50 YEARS LATER, DAN HAS BREATHED NEW LIFE INTO IT
Sadie the HK Holden wagon has been in the Mcauley family since new
CAN you imagine how good it would be if your grandparents had kept their chrome-bumper purchases from the 60s and 70s? For a lucky few, this dream is a reality, and Dan Mcauley is among them. “Mum vividly remembers their family going to Adelaide’s John H Ellers Holden in 1968 to buy a brand-new HK Kingswood wagon; a 186S with a three-on-the-tree,” Dan says of his grandparents Bill and Nevis Newbury’s purchase. It was Nevis who most often steered the family truckster, which she promptly named Sadie. “If you mentioned Sadie everyone knew that you were talking about the wagon,” Dan says.
Sadie diligently became a useful hauler shared amongst the family, creating her own history in the process. This included heading to Leigh Creek in remote SA, where the HK became a bush-basher with lifted suspension, bigger tyres and driving lights. Later, she was stolen and then recovered. “Uncle Wayne then took ownership to fix her up, yet it never happened,” Dan explains. “I was after a project and really wanted Sadie, so I pestered him until he finally gave in at Christmas ’06.”
After ingesting a bunch of episodes of Chip Foose’s Overhaulin’ show, Dan had the inspiration he needed. “I love the stock look with modern features and big wheels, like it could’ve rolled off the factory floor like that,” he says.
While the emotional ties were still there, Dan had to admit the wagon really wasn’t in the best shape after the years of mistreatment. “Let’s just say I needed to fix a few holes in the car. I think Dad and Uncle Wayne had come at it with a cold chisel!”
Between tinworm and dents, Dan ended up replacing all of the doors, tailgate, parts of the front and rear guards, and most of the floor. “I think the bonnet and roof were the best bits of the car,” he laughs.
One redeeming feature was that the motor and ’box were long gone, providing a clean slate for what was next. “I wanted a Chev, and as HKS had a V8 option it wasn’t too hard to slot in,” Dan says. “Also the dollar was at 98 cents US, so I bought a crate engine [from the States].” D&J Machine/ Tuff Dawg Engines in Arizona bolted together the 383-cube package topped with an 850cfm Quick Fuel Street-q carb on an Edelbrock RPM Air-gap manifold. Below are Procomp heads, a COMP Cam, and Scat rods and crank.
“I was really nervous on its first dyno run at Specialty Tuning Marion, as I’d seen horror stories on Facebook of crate engines having huge failures,” Dan says. Thankfully, he wasn’t inflicted with that pain, instead getting a
I LOVE THE STOCK LOOK WITH MODERN FEATURES AND BIG WHEELS, LIKE IT COULD’VE ROLLED OFF THE FACTORY FLOOR LIKE THAT
04 05 “The custom 70L fuel tank was built by Rob of RMF Fabrication to allow access to the 8in diff,” Dan says Dan and his dad Philip are suitably chuffed with the new-look Sadie At first glance the rear compartment is all factory, with its original...