355-powered EJ Holden wagon

This sweet EJ has been built in a rorty, but composed cruiser


We’ve worked closely with Mick McCrudden at Brunswick’s Glenlyon Motors for almost ten years now. Mick has helped up out with many of our project cars over the years and it is always a treat to visit the shop and see what is one the go.

One of our favourites in recent years was this stealthy EJ Holden Special wagon. We not only saw the car in the build, but had the chance to take it for a spin and do some photography in the back streets of pre-COVID Fitzroy.

The EJ is powered by a Mick-built Holden 355, which Mick describes as having ‘way too much grunt’ but with the soothing touch of an MSD EFI set up.

Behind the stroker motor is a Trimatic three-speed auto, hooked up to the original Hydramatic column shift. “That took a lot of work to get working smoothly, but the owner really wanted the original look, with the bench seat, factory tiller, factory trim and column shift.

Under the front end is a Castlemaine Rod Shop crossmember with rack and pinion steering and Wilwood disk brakes.

“The Alien Retro Columns guys in Bendigo supplied the collapsable steering column to keep it all legal,” says Mick.

Out the back is a Commodore Borg Warner diff, complete with disc brakes.

The EJ has a thumping stereo system, a full brace of gauges and a decent alarm to keep would-be robbers at bay.

I spent about an hour tooling around in the EJ and can report it was a rorty, well-sorted beast. The column shift worked beautifully and the car stopped and steered better than most modified early Holdens that I’ve driven. Great stuff!