Bare-metal, blown Noonan Hemi-powered HT Monaro build

Slammed, tubbed and dressed in its birthday suit, this in-the-build, blown Noonan Hemi-powered HT Monaro has attitude for days

Photographers: Charlie Sant

Holden’s first-generation Monaro occupies a fascinating place in Australian automotive culture, as it is loved by enthusiasts who often have opposing viewpoints. There are those who want to see every example restored to pristine original condition, while others prefer to see them kept as survivors, battle scars and all. Then there are people like Martin Pecotich, who just want to watch the world burn. Martin has a very clear idea of how a Monaro should sit, look and go, and he doesn’t care who it might upset. That’s where this killer HT comes in.

First published in the March 2024 issue of Street Machine

“Since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted a Monaro, and I’ve always loved that ProFlo Performance look,” he says. “I really like some of the cars they’ve built, like FATG and FUCKIT, and I wanted that flavour for my car.”

ProFlo Performance is renowned as a purveyor of super-slammed, attitude-laden pro streeters that send the rivet-counters into a frothy tizz as they grapple to understand how someone could take a gas-axe to such a sought-after classic.

“I was looking for something to build, as I’ve already got a tough HT Monaro, but I wanted more,” says Martin. “I met Paul Sant from ProFlo because he’d built a healthy motor for my other Monaro, but I wanted a bad-arse street car with great presence and for it to be elegant as well.”

Martin’s HT wasn’t always so glorious, however. Given his goal of a heavily modified ride, it didn’t make sense to start with a glamour, so Martin found a renovator’s delight.

“I found the car through a friend in Western Australia, and it was just a shell,” he says. “There wasn’t much rust, although there were a few sections that had been repaired, but that didn’t matter. The car was torn down and it was all done again; the only part of the car that hasn’t been touched is the roof skin.”

After it arrived at ProFlo, the Monaro scored a bespoke chassis from the firewall back, with the front rails left as modified standard items retaining the bolt-on subframe. The sills have been extended 20mm, and the rear guards were stretched to clear the 24-inch rear wheels. The inner guards and tubs are all ProFlo-fabricated, as are the narrowed independent front end, custom four-link and wishbone locator out back, raised floor and tunnels, smoothed firewall and more.

“The challenge is you have to try to make everything fit,” laughs ProFlo’s Paul Sant. “So, we chop out what’s in the way and build around it. We wanted to leave a pretty standard-looking engine bay, but the other side of that battle was the front wheels. The inner guards have been reworked to fit the custom 22×7 wheels and allow them to turn, and keep the car’s stance low. Form and function is all-important here, because the HT is being built as a street car.”

You may be trying to work out what that gigantic engine is under the billet BDS 14/71 blower and PFP EFI hat. Forget your LS, mouse and rat motors, or iron lions – the sparkplug bores in the centre of those billet rocker covers should tell you this thing’s got a hemi, but it isn’t from Mother Mopar!

With its background in building methanol-burning hemis for drag cars, Noonan Race Engineering has released a new line of plus-sized, hemi-pattern billet engines designed for street cars (see more below), and the engine bay of Martin’s HT is chock full of one.

“This car was going to get a big-block Chev originally, but how do you build a car that’s different when everything has been done before?” Paul muses. “We were toying around with ideas, as boys do, and we landed on the hemi. If you’re going to go for one of them, you may as well go for the best, and that is the Noonan engine.”

The 540ci mill isn’t built yet, but Paul says it will be full of good gear like a Callies crank, Oliver rods and forged JE pistons, with the bottom end rounded out by a custom solid-roller cam and Jesel roller lifters. The top end is all billet Noonan hotness, with the billet BDS pump and PFP injector hat crowning the monster combo.

“We bought all the billet engine components, and we are building it here in Australia,” Paul explains. “It won’t be making 3500hp, as it has to be a street engine, but I don’t know how I’ll make any less than 1500hp. It will be on E85 and low boost so it can be driven, and I’ll keep the comp down to 10:1.”

Sharp eyes may have picked that the Monaro isn’t quite ready for its roadworthy inspection just yet, but you won’t have to wait long to see the finished product.

If you’re going to go for A HEMI, you may as well go for the best, and that is the Noonan engine

“Since these photos were done, the car has been stripped for final welding, had the panels gapped, and the bodywork has started,” says Paul. “Some of the trim has been dummied up, and we’re in a massive push to get it done for Summernats 37.”

This will be one to check out at the Elite Hall next January – it’ll certainly be hard to miss!


Originally based in Queensland, Noonan Race Engineering has been providing billet engine solutions for the big dogs of drag racing across multiple platforms for years. Along with upgraded GM LS and LT blocks and heads, the engineering maestros offer a range of billet blocks and heads to suit Honda K-series, Porsche 911 and even Audi/Lamborghini V10 platforms.

However, Noonan’s biggest and baddest engines are the race-spec hemis used in Pro Mods, Doorslammers and Top Alcohol drag cars. Eight years ago, the company brought that same King Kong power to street cars.

Launched at the PRI Show in 2016, Noonan’s H2O product line features the company’s big-inch hemi-pattern V8, but with water jackets in the blocks and heads as opposed to the race-only dry set-ups. Available in a 10.75in deck height and 4.8in bore spacing, they can be specified with 4.46in or 4.5in bore sizing, a 1in or 1.06in lifter bore, and to suit a 60mm or 65mm roller cam core.

“We have taken our championship-winning Top Alcohol hemi engine architecture and built the water around it to ensure maximum performance,” said Noonan at the engine’s launch. “The H20 cylinder heads use the same USA-made beryllium seat material as our race-specific cylinder heads and also offer the same 2.480in/1.950in intake and exhaust port configuration as our Top Alcohol Funny Car Noonan Blackhawk heads. Water pockets are positioned around the exhaust face, the end walls, and above the combustion chamber of the heads – which means each pocket has an in and out flow to avoid stagnant water.”

While they will never be a volume-seller or a low-buck option, these engines showcase top-of-the-pops engineering and provide a pathway for legends to build ridiculously overpowered street cars for years to come.


Paint:None yet
Brand:Noonan H2O billet hemi
Induction:Noonan billet inlet manifold, billet BDS 14/71 supercharger, PFP billet injector hat
ECU:FuelTech FT600
Pistons:JE forged
Heads:Noonan billet hemi
Camshaft:Custom ProFlo solid-roller
Oil system:DMP billet oil pump, alloy dry sump
Fuel system:1500cc injectors, Aeromotive pumps
Cooling:Custom billet alloy radiator, four Spal thermo fans
Exhaust:Custom 2.5in primaries, custom twin 3.5in stainless system
Ignition:MSD crank trigger, LS3 coils
Gearbox:Reid-cased TH400, manualised
Converter:Shotgun 4500rpm
Diff:Sheet-metal 9in, Wavetrac LSD, 40-spline axles, 3.25:1 gears
Front:Strange Engineering coil-overs, Rod-Tech IFS, Billet Works rack
Rear:Strange Engineering coil-overs, custom four-link and track locator
Brakes:400mm discs with AP Racing six-piston calipers (f & r)
Master cylinder:Hydroboost
Rims:Custom billet; 22×7 (f), 24×13 (r)
Rubber:225/25R22 (f), 355/25R24 (r)

My family for their support; Paul Sant and team at Proflo Performance for the build; Mark Sant at Ontrak Auto Electrical for the electrics; Mick Carter at Raw Hide Interiors; Claude and James at C&J Custom Paint; OAC Engineering; All Aluminium Welding.