Home-brewed L67-powered EH wagon

Monique O’Garr’s EH wagon was three decades coming, but an elite hall debut made it all worthwhile


Scoring top brass at Street Machine Summernats on a modest budget is a rare feat, but Monique and Rob O’Garr did just that with this gorgeous, home-built EH wagon. Even more impressive? They reckon it cost them less than $50,000 to build.

First published in the April 2024 issue of Street Machine

“It just shows you don’t need to spend hundreds of thousands, or millions of dollars on cars like this, which I think is something people really need to hear during these difficult times,” owner Monique says. “People loved it at Summernats because they found it quite relatable – something they could actually achieve themselves.”

Monique’s husband Rob has built plenty of custom cars in his time, starting in Western Australia before the pair relocated to Portland, on Victoria’s southwest coast. Rob still churns out the odd car under the Pro Street Performance banner, the EH being an after-hours job.

Monique’s love affair with her wagon started decades ago, buying it as a cheap runaround car for just $200. Then a young mother and aspiring hot rodder, she couldn’t resist fiddling with the thing, so before long it had a hot 186S and Celica four-speed ’box. “Then I met Rob in the early 90s, and we decided to do what was meant to be a quick respray,” Monique says. “That turned into pulling the whole car apart, and once life got in the way it took 30 years to get it finished!”

The build went through several iterations, changing course repeatedly over the process. “At first it had a 283 V8 and four-speed, with an HR front,” Rob says. “Then everyone was going supercharged, so we thought we’d better jump on that, and bought a [donor] VX with an L67.”

After experimenting with a Jag front, Rob eventually settled on front and rear kits from his good mate, Ray Hunt at WA’s Left Nut Hot Rods. The IFS has Commodore rack-and-pinion steering, while the rear is a polished stainless four-link, and Rod-Tech dampers feature all-’round.

Work under the EH’s skin goes much further than that, but from looking at the final product on the deck, you may not know it. “I also made a chassis for it, from the front to the rear leaf hangers,” Rob says. “We wanted a twin exhaust system out of the V6, but the EH tunnel isn’t symmetrical, so I cut that up and made a new floor and tunnel.”

The engine itself is standard L67 fare, dressed to the nines in polished bling. “Most of that is polished stainless and aluminium, and we chromed all the remaining bits because it just pops so well against the high-gloss green,” Rob says. “The blower just has a slightly smaller pulley on it, and in all honesty, we really only did that because it was shiny!”

Behind the blown V6 is a BorgWarner T5 five-speed manual ’box, and a matching Borgy diff in the arse-end. “I wanted the manual because that’s what a fun car should have,” Monique says. “I can drive an 18-speed truck, so shifting gears doesn’t faze me.”

We should note this thing is fully engineered and legal in Victoria, which is another reason the L67 was chosen. “We’re good friends with Rod Hadfield, who pioneered this swap back in the day,” Rob says. “Our engineer was super-happy with the outcome, so it was easy to get ticked off.”

The interior is one of the few parts Rob outsourced; Dantrim in Bendigo reupholstered it in tan leather. All four bucket seats started as fronts from ’92 Honda Preludes. “They’re just so comfy,” Monique says. “I love them; they’re perfect for a little cruiser like this.” The armrests on the door trims are pieces of a surfboard repurposed by Rob, and he also integrated power windows into all four doors.

Longtime friend Owen Webb encouraged Monique to pull the wagon’s covers off at Summernats 36. “Rob was actually a bit apprehensive about doing it, but I convinced him because it’s always been a dream of mine,” Monique says. “We had the car done about six months before, and we had all the family come over from Perth for the big unveil.”

The ’Nats unveil was well worth it, the EH earning Top Wagon in the Elite category. “That was surreal; I was so overwhelmed,” Monique enthuses. “It was truly brilliant, and I can’t thank Rob enough – without him this car would never be what it is.” Rob says his reaction was much the same. “I didn’t expect to win anything, so to get a top elite award was very surreal for us.”

The SM photoshoot at Portland’s South Coast Raceway was the car’s first proper drive, with more to come shortly. “We’re doing MotorEx with it, and then I plan to drive it to a bunch of local car shows,” Monique says. “I’ve also got a picture in my head of driving this thing along the coast with some picnic food and just enjoying it. That’s all I want to do with it now – get it out and use it!”


Paint:Custom Avocado Green Metallic
Brand:3.8l GM L67
Induction:M90 blower, 8-10psi pulley
Cooling:Aussie Desert Cooler radiator
Exhaust:Twin 2in stainless system
Gearbox:BorgWarner T5
Clutch:Clutch Industries
Diff:BorgWarner LSD, 3.08 gears
Front:Left Nut Hot Rods IFS, Rod-Tech shocks
Rear:Left Nut Hot Rods four-link, Rod-Tech shocks
Brakes:WB Holden
Master cylinder:HQ Holden
Rims:Billet Specialties Dagger; 17×7 (f), 17×8 (r)
Rubber:Falken; 225/35R17 (f), 235/35R17 (r)

Adrian at Dantrim; Brent Murray; Gary Higginson at HMC; Steve at Ultrachrome; my Mum, Mona; my family; my husband, Rob O’Garr for his tireless efforts over the last 30 years to get this car where it is today.