Blown 1968 Holden HK Premier

With a 978hp blown small-block and the toughest stance this side of a rugby front row, this HK Premier is primed for street action

Photographers: Chris Thorogood

There has been plenty of doom and gloom in the mass media of late, with predictions that petrol-powered cars are done and soon we’ll all be forced to drink tofu lattes in our electric vehicles on the way to jazzercise appointments. But don’t despair, because rad cats like Justin Hunt are out there dutifully turning out righteously stout streeters like this ’68 HK Premier.

First published in the January 2022 issue of Street Machine

Supercharged and super-clean, the car was put together based on solid old-school principles. “I love the 80s pro street look,” Justin says. “I’m a fan of stock colours on cars, tubbed rear ends with big rear tyres, and skinny fronts.”

As you might have guessed, Justin is a guy who doesn’t like to throw the baby out with the bath water. As such, his process for attaining such an immaculate finish on his HK was a gradual one of improvement and enhancement.

“I bought it as a running car with a 396ci small-block Chev,” he explains. “It was an original car, except it had been mini-tubbed and the previous owner had it resprayed to tidy it up. My first stop was to have the paint corrected and ceramic-coated at Picarsso Australia in Geelong to get it up to scratch.”

With his white-over-Inca Gold HK now looking spiffy on the outside, Justin’s next stop was the supercharger shop en route to the drag strip.

“I ordered an SBC 6/71 blower kit and installed it with the help of Darren at Geelong Carbs,” he recalls. “It pumped out a nice 400-plus kilowatts, so I took it to Heathcote for a run down the quarter, and that’s where the 396 ended. A pinched fuel line in the rear from too much traction caused it to lean out and melt four pistons. It still ran an 11.2 with a blown-up engine, though!”

Seeing this mishap as an opportunity to refine the beaut recipe the car was already cooking, Justin decided to tweak a few things. The dead little-block was ripped out and the HK sent to Jason at Domaschenz Racing in Geelong to have some rot in the subframe fixed before the bay was smoothed and colour-coded. While it was off the road, Jason also redid the front suspension and steering.

The car was coming along, but it was still missing something to make pleasing womp noises. Thankfully, Justin knew just who to call (no, not the Ghostbusters).

“I rang Bill Kaglatzis from BK Race Engines in Sydney for a new small-block and I gave him free rein with the engine build,” Justin explains. “I got it back 14 weeks later with a totally new 400ci SBC and a billet supercharger! The engine got the full BK treatment, and all the best internals were picked with the thought of maybe down the track installing an injector hat and some methanol for some fun.”

Starting with a Dart Little M race block, the tough mouse motor uses custom Diamond pistons, Oliver I-beam rods and a Callies Magnum crank, while a custom Bullet solid-roller bumpstick swings 264/272 at 0.50 with a hefty .700 lift! Up top are Trick Flow 230cc heads, plus that Blower Shop billet 6/71 and a pair of 950cfm APD Billet Enforcer carbs.

All up, the blown 400-cube combo made 978hp on the engine dyno, which gets passed through a custom SDE 3800rpm torque converter before hitting the Powerglide auto. Down the back is a narrowed nine-inch packing 3.7 gears and full-floater, 35-spline axles, sitting in a leaf-sprung rear end carefully set up by Shannon Reeves.

“Following the bay tidy-up, the car was sent to Shannon for the Gazzard Brothers Racing treatment,” says Justin. “This included fitting adjustable shocks and mono-leaf rear springs and traction bars. Shannon also fabricated the spring mounts, reset the pinion angles and sorted the shock mounting.”

Once the fat stance was set, the car was rewired and it was ready to be taken back to the track for some redemption.

“I took the car for a hit-out at Heathcote, where I ran into traction issues but still clocked a 10.2@101mph, even lifting off three-quarter track,” says Justin with a laugh. “The issues have been fixed and it is ready for a run again when time permits. Hopefully I get into the low nines in street trim, with a few tweaks.

“Once I have run my number, I will probably only take it back to the track for fun when my mates go, as it’s a pure street car. We take it out three times a week, even though fuel consumption has taken a hit.”

While internet engineers argue over “what makes a street car” and EV fanboys bang on about their 0-100 times on social media, Justin is out enjoying his hard work. And if the sight of his low-slung, nicely finished, near-1000hp streeter isn’t inspiration to turn off the TV and get into the shed, then we’re not sure what is!


Paint: Glasurit Inca Gold
Brand: Dart SBC 400ci
Induction: Twin 950cfm APD Billet Enforcer carbs, The Blower Shop manifold
Blower: The Blower Shop billet 6/71
Heads: Trick Flow 230cc alloy
Camshaft: Bullet solid-roller 264/272
Conrods: Oliver I-beam
Pistons: Diamond custom
Crank: Callies Magnum
Oil system: Custom ASR sump, billet shark-tooth oil pump
Fuel system: Aeromotive 3.5gph brushless pump
Cooling: Aussie Desert Cooler radiator
Exhaust: Geelong Motorsport Fabrication custom system
Ignition: ICE 7 Amp Street Series 
Gearbox: Powerglide 
Converter: SDE custom 3800rpm 
Diff: 9in, full-floating 35-spline axles, Truetrac LSD, 3.7 final drive 
Front: King springs, Koni shocks 
Rear: Gazzard Brothers mono-leaf springs & traction bars, Competition
Engineering adjustable shocks, mini-tubbed 
Brakes: Wilwood discs (f & r) 
Master cylinder: Wilwood 
Rims: Center Line Pro Stock; 15x4in (f), 15x10in (r) 
Rubber: BFGoodrich;155/80R15 (f), 295/50R15 (r) 

Darren at Geelong Carbs for the use of the workshop and annoying him with a million questions; Jason Domaschenz; Shannon Reeves for the rear end and the laughs; Ron at Picarsso; last but not least, my wife Sian for letting me have a free run with the car