Classic 1964 EH Holden Ute – flashback

It's hard to believe Barry's EH ute began life as wreck in Surfers Paradise. Now it looks like a million bucks thanks to the skills of Ken Austin and eight deep layers of vintage Bordeaux Red paint.

Photographers: Mark Bean

This article on Barry and Anthony Wicks EH ute was originally published in the January/February 1992 issue of Street Machine.

Anthony Wicks has to be one of the luckiest eight-year-olds around. His dad, Barry, owns the best EH ute in the northern NSW town of Glen Innes and young Anthony has been promised the utes keys as soon as he drives. But as Barry sees it, handing down to his son the ute he calls ‘his toy’ is as natural as any father passing on the family business, or having a chat about the meaning of life. Or sitting down and having a natter about girls. It’s a birthright – life’s natural progression – the way things are done.

And so it will be in about 10 years’ time. But even now, Anthony appreciates the responsibility that’ll be on his shoulders. Before Barry can even get close to the garage door to take the ute out for a spin, his son is waiting for him – polishing cloth in hand, ready to give his dad’s EH a quick wipe over. You bet Anthony’s one keen kid.

But, then again, his dad’s car is brilliant. Nicely conceived and beautifully finished, the Wicks ‘ EH sounds good and looks great – so much so it’s already won more than its share of trophies since Barry picked it up as a wreck in Surfers Paradise. There it’d sat quiet as a church mouse in a container for hell knows how long – awaiting a good Samaritan like Barry to come along and give it new life.

Six years on, the first thing that strikes you is the paint. Applied by master craftsman, Ken Austin from Brisbane (the same guy who painted Robbie Beauchamp’s Summernats-winning Calais), Barry’s EH features six coats of Dulux grey undercoat, eight coats of vintage Bordeaux Red (a 1968 Holden commercial vehicle colour) and six coats of clear. But that was only after Ken had his way with the body- work, first hitting the rebuilt rear tray and smoothed over tailgate. A full bumper bar from a sedan and a rear drop tank were also added for effect.

Barry was also lucky enough to drag another ace Brisbanite, Wolf Scorman, out of retirement to stitch his interior. And the old German didn’t let him down. Using only the best grey velour and vinyl, the EH Premier seats were re-trimmed, along with the hoodlining, floor carpet and door trims. Barry added the Sportline steering wheel, a few Smiths gauges and a polished half-cage, as well as the Sharp sound system.

Underneath, the utes as clean as you can get, painted in beige Acran and featuring lots of chrome. Like the entire braking system, the lowered front suspension’s been lifted straight out of an HR, although it has been teamed with Koni shocks. Lovells springs and chromed competition sway bars. The rear’s copped basically the same treatment, with Koni and Lovells again providing most of the gear. Running outside of the axles are 13×6 and 13×7 Dragways, surrounded with substantial 215 and 235/50 HR13 Bridgestone Eagers.

Under the bonnet is a bit of a mystery, with most of the work on the healthy 192 cube Holden six carried out before Barry bought the car. Why fix it if it ain’t broke? Barry does know, however, that the top end is basically to XU-1 spec, with a stage III Vella Terra Bathurst head, XU-1 pistons, a Mallory high volume oil pump and ‘Camp Pump’ electric fuel pump, and an offset Warneford manifold carrying triple 175 Strombergs. Other specials include aluminium sprayed headers, Mallory dual point ignition, Gilmer belt driven alternator and water pump and a single thermo fan to help the stock EH radiator in its cooling chores. Tony Hadley from Brisbane did all the wiring, concealing most of it beneath the front guards.

Behind the strong Red six operates a strong driveline. The Holden clutch operates an M20 four speed box via a One Tonner shifter. This then transmits the torque to a Ford nine inch rear, with the Henry’s axles shortened and redrilled to suit the Holden bolt pattern. Just about as you’d expect of a show car of this quality, the diff housing and hubs have also been chromed.

Of course, you can’t blame Barry for wanting to thank a few people who’ve helped create his masterpiece. People like Wolf Scorman, Ken Austin, pal Sharma, his Ford pit crew Greg Burgess and his wife and kids. But as he’ll appreciate when he finally gets his hands on one of Glen Innes’ prized possessions, young Anthony Wicks will have the most reason to be grateful.


Type: Holden
Capacity: 192 ci
Induction: Triple Stromberg
Intake man: Offset Warneford
Heads: Yella Terra
Cam: Bathurst XU-1
Pistons: XU-1
Crank: Stock
Ignition: Mallory
Exhaust: Twin set-up

Trans: M20
Diff: Ford 9 inch

Springs: Lovells
Shocks: Koni
Front brakes: HR discs
Rear brakes: HR drums

Front tyres: Bridgestone Eager
Front wheels: Dragway 13×6
Rear tyres: Bridgestone Eager
Rear wheels: Dragway 13×7