Matt Nazzari’s LS1-powered 1968 Holden HK Premier

Matt Nazzari bought his HK Premier 14 years ago, but at the time he was actually on the hunt for a Monaro

Photographers: Ben Hosking

“IN 2006 I was on the hunt for an HK-T-G Monaro when this rust-free 1968 HK Prem popped up for sale, with a fresh 350 Chev, TH350 ’box and a 10-bolt Salisbury diff.

When I bought the car it was running on straight LPG, which wasn’t going to cut it for me, so it was converted back to run 98-octane. I drove it for a while like that, before giving it a respray in 2009 to its original hue of Hacienda Blue with a white roof.

A high-rise manifold was fitted to the 350 Chev to get that air filter out in the breeze, and the interior was stitched in teal vinyl with fresh carpet – just in time for our wedding in October 2010. A couple of years later, a trip to Sydney Dragway saw the old girl run a 15-second quarter. That’s when I decided to do an LS swap.

A VZ LS1 was sourced from a written-off SS, and thanks to a Rod Shop conversion kit, it fit better in the bay than the old Chev did. The TH350 was beefed up to handle some abuse, and a nine-inch diff was sourced from an HQ Tonner I previously owned, shortened and put under the rear end with a limited-slip centre and 3.08:1 gears. I also bought some new wheels: 17x7s up front and 17x9s on the rear.

After being tuned, the car made 300hp at VPR Auto in Rutherford, and another trip to Sydney Dragway saw a 12.7@108mph pass in street trim. All the mechanical work was completed at home in my garage; it only left to get tuned. I still have some mods I’d really love to do, such as a cam package and a blower, but we’ll see how that pans out down the track. I’d love it to run 10s.” Photos: Ben Hosking