Andrew Dale’s Holden EH panel van

Andrew Dale’s love affair with his EH panel van hasn’t been without problems

Photographers: Ben Hosking

“WE BOUGHT the pano nearly five years ago, because the lease was up on our VE SS-V wagon. I originally looked at getting a ClubSport wagon, but then I saw this EH and sat back in my chair and went: ‘Wow!’

“We were told it was freshly rebuilt with only 1000km on it, but since then it’s had 15 trips on the back of an ambulance to the hospital! My wife said we should call it Cider, because it’s always on the ‘cider’ the road! Funniest thing she’s ever said, and it stuck. We’ve replaced just about everything in the car except for the diff.

“The car came with the 350ci small-block Chev it has now, but it failed and had to be rebuilt by Johnno from D&H Automotive in Mitchell, and it now makes 300hp. People told me to stroke it and this and that when it was getting it rebuilt, but I wanted to drive the thing all the time, so I resisted. My son also wanted to me to LS-swap it, but I wanted the old-school V8.

“Behind the engine is a TH350 trans and a Truetrac diff centre.

“It’s done 20,000km since the engine was rebuilt, and I use it at least five days a week. All I’ve had to do is change the oil and basic stuff, and I haven’t even considered putting it on club plates, because 60 days wouldn’t even be close to enough.

“I love the car, but it’s the memories you get to keep that are priceless, whether it was from fixing the car or just the people you meet who love and appreciate the same things as you – that’s the part I enjoy the most. Sunday cruisy lunches are the best time of the week, hands down.

“As for future plans, the car will eventually get the full rotisserie job it deserves, and I’ll probably keep it in the same Mini Cooper S Pepper White colour it’s painted now. For now though, I’m planning on changing the wheels to something a bit tougher, and if the 350 goes bang again I’ll listen to my son and put an LS in it.”