Holden HZ ute – 2017 Drag Challenge contender Stephen Molson

Street Machine Drag Challenge contender Stephen Molson and his turbo LS-powered Holden HZ ute


STEVE Molson bought his HZ ute to use as a work hack for his S&E Automotives business, but instead, as he puts it: “It turned into a bit of a silly idea.”

A delivery vehicle running nines with a single-turbo LS combo? Now that sounds like our kind of silly!

The car has run a best of 9.69@140mph, although that was with a pinched ring in one of the cylinders that caused a loss of compression and prompted Steve to make a few upgrades.

Fortunately, the LY6 block didn’t suffer any damage. It still measures up at six litres and has a Scat crank and H-beam rods topped with JE forged pistons. The heads have been ported by Luigi’s Head Shop and get fed the boosted charge through a Holley Hi-Ram intake fitted with a matching 105mm throttlebody.

The 83mm BorgWarner S400 turbo has been upgraded to a T6 rear housing, as Steve found that the previous T4 housing was creating a bit of a choke point and causing the exhaust plumbing to glow red hot. The E85 gets pumped through 1000cc injectors, while a Link G4+ Thunder ECU handles all of the smarts.

The previous combination made 760hp at the wheels, but Steve is hoping for closer to 900 with the new combo. With that in mind, he’s beefed up the transmission to a Turbo 400 from Race Transmissions Australia. Phil Purser from Final Drive Engineering supplied the nine-inch that’s been fitted with 31-spline Moser axles and a set of relatively highway-friendly 3.25 gears.

To get the 275/60/15 Radial Pros under the back, Steve has tubbed the car to the rails. To help the HZ hook up, there are Gazzard Brothers single leaf springs and shocks out back, and a set of Competition Engineering 90/10 shocks up front.

With its VZ Quicksilver paint and Sandman-inspired striping, this HZ will cut a pretty mean sight down the track and on the highway during Drag Challenge.