> SYDNEY, NSW
AS WELL as a plethora of later-model, big-mumbo cars at Street Machine Drag Challenge, we’ve seen a swing towards later-tech – and of course big-power – engine transplants in the past couple of years. But what we now regard as traditional street machine-y stuff still puts a big grin on many peoples’ faces, too, even if it’s not as fast. So it was great that on the first day of Drag Challenge we saw this: Sydneysider Dave Chapple’s lovely time-war-per HK Monaro complete with a traditional-tech Holden V8!
Where did you find this?
Can you believe my wife Roselyn found it on Gumtree and told me to go and buy it! It was in Coffs Harbour. She’s the best wife. I tell everyone I won the lottery when I ended up with her! I already had a Monaro – a restoration project – but this one was further in front; it got us on the road quicker.
So a lot less hassle?
Yes. I haven’t done too much with it yet. Originally it was a six-cylinder car, but this is the motor that was in it when I got it. I’ve changed the gearbox and diff; the gearbox only went into it two weeks ago. It’s a GM TH350 three-speed auto fronted by 3000-stall converter. When I bought it, it had a Top Loader manual and a Salisbury. Now the diff is a Ford nine-inch with 4.11 cogs and tougher-than-factory Moser axles. I did all that to make it better and more reliable for Drag Challenge. The motor – I don’t know! It was in there when I bought it; it is what it is, but seeing head studs in it means someone has probably done a decent job with it.
Drag Challenge – this was your first, right?
My mate Dave Rogers said he was going in his tough HK Monaro and I said: “Well okay, I’ll go with you!” So I got my HK down there and we cruised the whole thing together. We stayed in motels and had an awesome time.
A great cruise in a great cruiser! Have you done any other racing?
Yeah, but I was there to have a go – no one wants to come last! But just getting to the end of Drag Challenge makes you a winner! I have an LC Torana as well – it’s run 10.8s aspirated down the quarter from a 383 Chev and a Turbo 350. I take it to events like Powercruise. It’s my toy! I’ve had that one 18 years, but right now it’s in pieces.
How did the Monaro go at DC?
It did low 12s all week. The last couple of days it was a little slower. I’m going to put in a better engine. It’s just not right having a 308 in it! These HKS had Chevs, so I want to make it a bit more period-correct and put the correct type of badges and everything on it. I like these Chevs; the Torana has a Chev in it and I have another couple at home – and it’s always good to run the same style of engine. That will be good for low 11s.
My wife Roselyn found it on Gumtree and told me to go and buy it! She’s the best wife