Street Machine - - People Like Us -

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

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