HOMEBREWED

JA­SON PELLETT’S CLEAN HT KINGSWOOD PROVES THAT LESS CAN BE WAY MORE WHEN IT COMES TO BUILD­ING A COOL CRUISER

Street Machine - - CONTENTS - STORY IAIN KELLY PHO­TOS BEN HOSK­ING

This HT Kinger is a les­son in screw­ing to­gether a neat and tidy cruisier at home, and on a budget

BUILD­ING a clas­sic car, whether mod­i­fied or stock, takes a huge commitment of time and money, and Ja­son Pellett knows this all too well af­ter build­ing his su­per-smooth HT Kingswood. An eight-year odyssey, Ja­son did the whole lot, start to fin­ish, in his sub­ur­ban dou­ble garage af­ter buy­ing the HT al­ready blown apart.

“My wife Ash­ley and I bought the HT from Al­bion Park eight years ago,” says Ja­son. “It

was just a six-pot, col­umn-auto car that had been sand­blasted and com­pletely pulled apart be­fore it was go­ing to be done up. But then they re­alised how much it would cost to do up, so they off­loaded it to me.

“It took three trips to get all the parts home! The HT was orig­i­nally go­ing to be Ash­ley’s project car, un­til we de­cided to add twin boys to our fam­ily and the Kingswood sat around for two years af­ter they were born.”

A panel beater by trade, Ja­son had the shell pin-straight and clean, be­fore smooth­ing out a bunch of OE body fea­tures like the spare wheel well, an­tenna and body moulds. He also tubbed the rear wheel wells to the rails, smoothed the en­gine bay, fire­wall and chas­sis rails, blended the cowl panel into the fire­wall, and made a smooth ra­di­a­tor sup­port panel.

“There are a lot of mod­i­fi­ca­tions that peo­ple will never see un­less they know these cars and they’re having a close look,” Ja­son says. “I even welded up the holes in the bon­net frame and smoothed them out. Then, af­ter I in­stalled the fi­bre­glass re­verse-cowl scoop, I didn’t like see­ing the fi­bre­glass from un­der­neath, so I cov­ered all that, too.”

Once he was happy with the tin­work, Ja­son got a cus­tom-mixed batch of bright white De­beer 2K paint and laid down the ice cream-fresh paint. “I painted the car at home,” he says. “With Ash­ley and the boys be­hind me, we fin­ished it in the back­yard. The first time the HT left the shed it was 100 per cent com­plete and it never left our back­yard in eight years.”

Res­ur­rec­tion Trim re-cov­ered the fac­tory bench seats and door cards in fresh black vinyl trim, while Ja­son added hot rod gauges to the cus­tom sheet-metal dash he made. The be­spoke dash fas­cia works in with the

THE HT IS A TRIB­UTE TO MY LATE BROTHER MICHAEL, AS HE NEVER HAD A CHANCE TO BUILD A CAR BE­FORE HE PASSED AWAY AT AGE 16

cus­tom-made metal glove­box and con­sole he whipped up at the same time, while a bil­let tiller and col­umn shifter keep a clas­sic fin­ish.

Pow­er­ing the more-door is a warmed-over red 308 iron lion that Ja­son had ly­ing around.

“I had the 308 from a pre­vi­ous ute I had, so I got my father-in-law Todd Ducker to re­build it with some flat-top pis­tons and a lumpy Crow 286/290 cam,” Ja­son says. “I

wanted it drive­able, as my wife drives it and we nor­mally have baby seats in the back. It prob­a­bly cost me a bit more go­ing with the Holden en­gine than putting an LS in it, but it is sim­ple and gives me the right ex­haust note.”

Be­hind the five-litre is a 2200rpm con­verter and three-speed Tri­matic auto still op­er­ated off the col­umn, while power runs down a cus­tom tail­shaft to a dis­cbraked Dana live-axle diff from a Volvo.

“The Volvo diff is 170mm shorter than a stock Kingswood diff, but they have the right stud pat­tern plus 28-spline axles and disc brakes, so they’re a tough unit,” Ja­son says.

“The HT took many late nights and ev­ery bit of free time with the boys, and that got me think­ing about my late brother Michael. I de­cided to do the Kingswood as a trib­ute to him, as he never had a chance to build a car be­fore he passed away at the age of 16.”

Be­ing able to build a car from start to fin­ish at home, with the help of your fam­ily, is some­thing many street ma­chin­ers wish for, and Ja­son isn’t con­tent with only having one sweet ride at his dis­posal. He’s un­der­way

THE FIRST TIME THE HT LEFT THE SHED IT WAS 100 PER CENT COM­PLETE. IT NEVER LEFT OUR BACK­YARD IN EIGHT YEARS

with a tubbed HR Holden, en­joy­ing help from his lads Kye and Kayde. It’s great to know the next gen­er­a­tion of street ma­chin­ers have good role models like Ja­son!

TOP RIGHT: “Kye (left) re­ally loves the car,” says Ja­son. Both Kye and Kayde (mid­dle) were out in the garage helping Dad build his HT, and are back on the tools with Ja­son’s new HR project

ROLLING: Showwheels Streeters mea­sur­ing 20x8.5 up front and 20x10 out back match the blacked-out trim and bumpers, and sit per­fectly in the whee­larches thanks to 3in-lower coil springs from Lovells up front and 4in-lower reset leaves in the rear, with Gabriel shocks con­trol­ling bo­ings

EN­GINE: The 308 is a per­fect cammy cruiser, topped by a 650 four­bar­rel Hol­ley carb, with a fat cop­per ra­di­a­tor and twin thermo fans keep­ing the red 5.0L cool. A twin 3in ex­haust blasts dul­cet tones out the back, while an MSD ignition keeps sparks in the right places

“I’ve built a cou­ple of cars in the past, and my wife’s pink 5.0L VS Com­modore was an Iron Maiden in Street Ma­chine a few years ago,” says Ja­son. “She loves cars, and she loves the HT”

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