Eddie Khazi’s 1700rwhp HQ GTS streeter

Think building an elite car is tough? Try doing a 1700rwhp HQ Monaro streeter at the same time

Photographers: Ben Hosking

When your ‘other car’ is a twin-turbo big-block HQ Monaro, life’s pretty good. But good things don’t come easily, and this monster Monaro build was hard slog for ‘RIVAL’ XE builder and co-owner Eddie Khazi.

First published in the April 2024 issue of Street Machine

“This HQ wasn’t supposed to exist,” he says. “My brother Younan and I were building our XE, and my cousin Sagz said he wanted to build an HQ. He said he had a vision of a 2000hp street car, so I said if he handled the drivetrain I’d do the rest. If it wasn’t for Sagz, this car wouldn’t have been built; it was a family project and he made it happen.”

Eddie makes it sound so simple, as though we’re all capable of knocking out a full-rotisserie build of a super-neat street car that packs all the engineering needed to run a six-second quarter-mile. When you consider he and Younan were giblets-deep in the five-year build of their elite-level, Barra-powered XE, you get a sense that the brothers work a little differently to most of us – not that we’re complaining!

“It was hard,” Eddie admits. “There were times when my brother was working two weeks straight on the Fairmont and I’d work two weeks on the HQ, and then we’d swap. We just kept rotating between the cars to keep things moving.

“Younan and I were working full-time jobs at the time, so after finishing there we’d come home to work on these cars ’til midnight, then grab some sleep as we’d start work at 5am. On weekends we would just do the cars, from early in the morning.”

The brothers started with a genuine GTS, and not one ready for the scrapheap. Restorers beware – you may get triggered at this point. “We bought the car as a running, registered, complete GTS,” Eddie says. “We got it from Newcastle, and it went on a truck straight to Joe Signorelli at Gas Racing to be stripped for the fab work.”

Joe and the Gas crew added underbody reinforcing, set up the sheet-metal nine-inch and parallel four-link, mini-tubbed the rear, and got the drivetrain mounted before the lads had the shell and chassis media-blasted, and the hanging panels acid-dipped. By that stage it was clear that starting with a neat car had paid dividends.

“The car must have had a very old paint job as all the rust was already repaired, but the welds weren’t the best, so my brother cut them out and redid them,” Eddie says. “The biggest issue was that the panels needed a lot of work, so he spent ages shrinking metal and getting it straight.” Once Younan had the curvy coupe straight, Eddie laid down Glasurit Glacier White for a clean finish.

“I’m pretty sure the original colour is orange, but I’ve always liked white on a Monaro,” Eddie says. “I didn’t know what to do with the stripes, though, so I got them done in vinyl wrap and I can take them off if I get sick of them. I wanted it to look genuine and almost like a sleeper; I didn’t even want to put a reverse-cowl on it!”

The scoop is a necessary evil, with a 540ci big-block Chev and twin Precision 8385 turbos filling the engine bay. The combo is not just for looks, pushing a lazy 1720rwhp at 6800rpm on 38psi, sucking pump E85 corn-sauce.

“We can rev it harder and push it over 40psi, and the car would make close to 2000hp, but we didn’t want to push it on the dyno because it wasn’t painted at that time,” Eddie explains. “We have a close friend, Zoran, who has a turbo 540 in his HQ that Joe [Signorelli] set up, so we knew what to do to ours, and I told Joe we wanted the best of the best in this car.”

Based on a Dart block and Brodix head combo, the rotating assembly uses a billet Callies crank, CP Diamond pistons and Oliver rods, while a custom Bullet solid-roller cam, BAM lifters, billet Melling oil pump, and Moroso sump round out the short motor.

A Plazmaman billet intake tops the angry rat motor, with E85 pushed in by 16 FuelTech injectors, ignited by FuelTech smart coils, and controlled by a FuelTech FT600 ECU.

“The car is still on pump E85 at the moment, but we will eventually tune it and run it on methanol, and we’ll get that six-second pass,” Eddie says. “I think we’ll take it to a few test-and-tune meets and get it working. I’ve never raced a car this fast with this much power, so I’ll have to learn how to drive it; on the street I cruise it and just take it easy.”

Some people may find it hard to believe a car with this much power can be friendly to drive at pedestrian speeds, but Eddie says the huge cubes and fat torque make the combo super docile around town. “On the street it’s only on 6psi, and it cruises like an N/A 540 big-block,” he explains. “I take the HQ out as much as possible; it drives great and you can just hop in and drive. You can definitely hear the turbos, though – it sounds like a jet, so that is where the JET HQ name came from.”

The teak-tough coupe is a stunner and will be brutally quick once it hits the dragstrip, but Eddie says it wouldn’t even be a dusty parts-shelf in the back of a shed if it wasn’t for Younan. “I wouldn’t have been able to do the HQ without him, and vice-versa with the XE,” Eddie says. “We’re a team and we’re very close. What was challenging was explaining the build to my cousin, as he doesn’t understand the car scene, so he doesn’t quite understand the time things can take or the delays you can face.” With The Khazis knocking out two epic cars simultaneously, maybe cousin Sagz just has high expectations!


Paint:Glasurit Glacier White
Brand:540ci Chev big-block
Induction:Plazmaman billet intake, Precision 8385 Sportsman turbochargers
ECU:FuelTech FT600
Crank:Callies billet
Camshaft:Bullet custom-ground
Oil system:Melling billet pump, Moroso sump
Fuel system:FuelTech 2226cc injectors, Kinsler pump
Cooling:Custom Gas Racing radiator
Exhaust:Custom Gas Racing exhaust system, Turbosmart wastegates
Ignition:FuelTech coils
Gearbox:M&M TH400
Converter:M&M 9in
Diff:9in full-floater, Strange centre, 40-spline axles, 3.7 gears
Front:Pedders springs & shocks
Rear:Menscer coil-overs, parallel four-link, anti-roll bar
Brakes:Wilwood discs (f & r)
Master cylinder:Wilwood
Rims:Weld Fuel; 17×4 (f), 15×10 (r)
Rubber:M/T Street Pro; 27x6R17 (f), 275/60R15 (r)

My family; Sagz; Tania and Sandra; Gas Racing; Stephen Mundey; Zoran Gajic; Tully at Mongster Fabrication; Glass 4 Classics; Dents R Us; T&J Smash Repairs; Stitch It Up Car Interiors; Danny’s Moulding Restorations & Polishing; Wetherill Park Towing; Mick & Mark; Rare Spares; Josh and Troy; Cultura; Adept Metal Polishing; DSY Auto; Steve Mandown; above all my brother Younan.