Kath McKenzie’s EH Holden

Kath McKenzie’s love for classic Holdens began at a young age and was inherited from her father

Photographers: Chris Thorogood

This article on Kath’s EH Holden was originally published in the October 2018 issue of Street Machine

Ever since Kath’s dad brought home an EH Holden when she was a kid, Kath has had an EH build on the mind. Now she shares with us the process of building her dream ride.

Kath McKenzie

How did you first get into cars?

I definitely got my love for classic cars and bikes off my dad, but the EH was my dream car. When I was 17 my dad went out one Saturday morning and came home with a maroon EH 186-powered hottie. I saw him drive down the driveway and was like: “What!?” I ran outside and asked whose it was and he said he bought it for himself. I was pretty devastated, so he asked if I wanted it and I said: “Hell yeah!” So that’s where it all started. I put the L-plates up and off I went. As soon as I got my licence I was always the designated driver; everyone loved cruising around in it. Lots of fun was had.

Holden EH wheel

How did you come to own this green EH?

Later on I decided to get a newer-model car, but shortly afterwards I missed having an old car. So in 2002 I found another EH in Saturday’s paper that needed a full resto, so I started again. I played designer for the build and did some stripping down of the car. My dad Macca and his mates did most of the work; it took around 12 months to complete. When I first finished the car in 2003 it still had the original 179 and column-shift auto, and I had it as an everyday driver for two years before I turned it into a weekender. My dad changed the engine over in 2013 to the original out of my first EH, which was a 186 bored out to a 192.

Holden EH engine bay

Do you get stuck in with the spanners yourself?

During the past 18 months I have started getting my hands dirty; my good mate Domo has done quite a bit of work on the car and I’ve been his apprentice. We lowered it, shortened the diff and added new leaf springs. I did heaps of sandblasting and we put the new chrome smoothies and whitewalls on. We also changed the engine over a month ago as I was having overheating issues; now I run a stroked 186S with a Yella Terra head, Weber carby and a 202 crank.

Tell us about the theme for the build.

I went to pick the colour and had a bright sky blue in my mind, but when I saw the metallic Kawasaki candy lime green I was hooked! There weren’t many cars around back then that were bright, and I definitely wanted it to stand out. I had some bodywork and a full respray done around two years ago by another mate, Adam Drever – the same green but I added the Xirallic pearl to the roof. For the interior I stuck with black and white, adding some green piping on the seats to tie it all in.

How do people react when they see you driving around in it?

When I first drove it I would constantly get asked if it was my dad’s or my boyfriend’s car; there weren’t many chicks back then that drove cars like that!

Do you get it out for a cruise often?

I love taking it out on sunny days, taking it to car shows and taking my two young boys out in it. They call it Mummy’s cool car. I also really enjoy cruising solo; it’s the best way to clear my head and instantly changes my mood to carefree; I get an overwhelming feeling of happiness. I think all car lovers can relate to this feeling.

Any other projects on the go?

I’ve been wanting my dad to build me a custom Harley Trike; that’s his specialty and what he’s known for, and honestly I’d feel safer on three wheels rather than two. That’s in the pipeline now. So next I will need a bigger shed!