SMOTY 2016 #1: BRAD PIZZI'S HOLDEN EH PANELVAN

BRAD PIZZI

1964 EH HOLDEN PANELVAN

MARCH 2016

BRAD Pizzi succeeded in cracking the Summernats Top 60 with his glorious EH, as well as taking out Top Van; not bad for a young bloke with nothing but skills, a shed and an EH-mad family behind him!

The EH van was bought sight unseen off eBay and looked fairly tidy in the photos, but as usual, the pics didn’t match the reality! “The bog was up to an inch think in spots,” Brad explains with a hint of exasperation. “It’s easier to list which panels didn’t need replacing: the right rear quarter and the bonnet.” That’s it; even the plenum was swapped out and the complete turret peeled open and replaced.

Some thought Brad insane for persevering, but he is quick to point out that the pickings are slim for decent projects based on half-century-old commercial vehicles, especially windowless vans.

Given their great style even in factory form, Brad refused to mess with the EH van’s lines too much. “The spare wheel door was blended to the rear pan and the B- and C-pillars were filled and smoothed on their inner surfaces,” he says.

With the bodywork completed, Brad chose to slather the old van in Martini Metallic, a 2003 Calais/Statesman colour. “I wanted something different that still looked era-correct and wouldn’t date.” Amazingly, the two-pack Martini hue also covers every square inch of chassis and most of the suspension: “I hate stone guard!” Brad laughs.

A Rod-Tech coil-over front end brings a modern touch to the van and includes a rack-and-pinion system to help her turn strong and true, while an L34-spec 308 running triple Demon carbs and a T350 with column shifter keep it decidedly old-school.

“I was keen to try something different in the engine bay to add a ‘hot rod’ feel to the build,” Brad says, and while the old 308 certainly looks the goods, the fully detailed underbody and Brad’s allergy to stone guard is surely what helped him take home the tinware.

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