Todd Dicker’s HK Holden ute

We caught up with Todd and his Chev small-block-powered HK ute at Motorvation 36

Photographers: Jordan Leist

Todd Dicker had whale of a time at Motorvation 36 in his party car, this awesome HK ute with genuine patina and small-block Chev power.

First published in the April 2022 issue of Street Machine

How did your love of cars start?

My father was always into cars and motorsport while I was growing up. He used to race speedway back in the day, and it was the good old days when HKs and EHs were everywhere. My brothers – in particular Chris – were always playing with cars when I was growing up as well, so I was surrounded by it.

Have you always had Holdens?

Yeah, they’ve basically been all I’ve had since I was 15. We actually grew up in the back of Dad’s V8 Falcon 500 XY, which my brother now owns. But my first car was an HJ One Tonner that I got when I was 15, and I spent two years fixing it up with the help of my brother and Dad. It had a 308, Trimatic and 10-bolt diff; it was an awesome car on my P-plates!

I went through a few more classic Holdens over the years before I ended up with the small collection I have now.

Tell us a bit about this ute.

It’s an old HK Belmont we pulled out of a paddock on a farm east of Perth in Cunderdin, and it looked just like it does now. I just fixed the rust in the hanging panels and the roof, and then used some techniques to blend it into the real patina.

Originally it was a budget thing to keep this look, but I don’t think I could change it now. The driveline is out of my HK Monaro: a 505rwhp, 434ci Shafiroff small-block Chev; a Turbo 400; and a nine-inch diff. We did that swap around four years ago, and so far it’s run a best of 10.59. It’s one of the most reliable pump-gas combos I’ve ever owned, and I have to thank George at Blown Motorsports for the work on the motor and dyno tune.

Any other projects on the go?

The Monaro that donated the driveline that’s in the ute needs a decent amount of bodywork to bring it back to its glory days. I’ve also got an HK Premier that’s a genuine 307 car, and, like the ute, it’s a full farm-spec find.

The Monaro will eventually get restored to a factory look with a tough small-block in it, but I’m torn with what to do with the Premier. Part of me wants to restore it similar to the Monaro, and the other part of me wants to put something like a wild aspirated big-block or an LS in it with a ’cage, and take it to things like Drag Challenge.

Seems like you’ve got a bit of a thing for HKs, then?

Yeah, there’s just something about them. I love the steel grilles and the fact that they were the first Holdens with small-block Chev V8s. I’ve actually got a fourth HK, a Kingswood wagon, running a 307 and Turbo 350.

While the wife and kids enjoy the modern luxuries of our Land Cruiser, I prefer to use the wagon as much as I can. There’s something about the feeling of driving an old-school car as a daily that I just love!

How was Motorvation?

It was awesome! I built the ute as a bit of a party car – something to go beat up on and not worry so much about the paint and panel. We killed tyres on Skid Row, had a couple of beers with mates and just had a really fun time.

Any future plans for the ute?

I’m just happy with how it is for now. I don’t use it as much as I probably should with everything going on in life these days, but Motorvation gave me some inspiration to get the other cars done. I really need to give a shout-out to my wife and kids for putting up with my habit, and my brother Chris from Dicker’s Speed Shoppe for helping me with parts and advice throughout all my builds.