Melbourne’s Peter Milasiewicz is doing his best to ensure The General’s FC Holden doesn’t simply fade away into the pages of motoring history.
First published in the September 1986 issue of Street Machine
Between 1958 and 1960 (when the FB arrived to replace it), Holden produced some 155,161 FCs. Too few of those cars survive today, but Peter has managed to get his mitts on a couple of rarities – two first-class examples of the good ol’ FC.
One example is undergoing faithful restoration to original showroom nick, and it’s due to be ready in time for its 30th birthday. The other is the highly modified blown street rocket on these pages.
With this motor car, Mr Alphabet of the Polish ancestry took a bit of gear that was already pretty good and made it an even classier act.
He’s owned the Chev-engined 1958 FC Holden Special for just over a year. “It was a safe buy – I knew the car’s last two owners and what they’d done to it and the quality of their workmanship.” That work has continued non-stop since the Craigieburn motor mechanic put his name on the ownership papers.
“Since then I’ve done plenty to it, cosmetically and mechanically,” says Pete. Most of the good gear was already there – it’s just been a case of tidying up a few areas. And Pete has certainly been responsible for some of the clever visual touches.
While he was rebuilding the Turbo 400 transmission, he decided to go the whole hog and transform it from serviceable yet boring plain black to highly polished alloy.
He’s also opted for a shorter tailshaft by using a Turbo 375 extension housing, which is about four inches longer.
While he was busy underneath, Pete went the rat with braided hose in all the logical areas. And the floorpan and fuel tank have copped the steady brushwork of pinstriper Bob Conway…red on black.
The paint and body are the handiwork of Clive Robertson of Final Finish. Only recently the car made a return visit to the paint and panel shop after an intended journey to Dandenong for the Banzai Rodders’ Show went horribly wrong. The left front wheel liberated itself from the hub, badly mauling the guard. Replacement fenders for the ’58 FC are not available in massive quantities (except in glass-fibre) so Peter had to order a repair. The Final Finish boys did a top job.
The engine bay is sprayed in the same colour as the exterior – Red Pepper. Scrollwork on the firewall behind the supercharger catches the eye. And there’s plenty of dazzling chrome, or polished alloy, by way of contrast. Linkages have been brass-plated and the old hosing is now braided. The almost-compulsory mirror-finish Moroso rocker covers are there too. Chevy grunt is doled out by the truckload; this early girl’s old grey motor departed long ago.
A Bob Fisher 6/71 supercharger is fed from a sensational brace of chrome and brass-plated 750 double-pumper Holleys. The 350 has a steel crank, TRW blower pistons and the obligatory Sig Erson Hi-Flow camshaft. Pete doesn’t have a clue as to the small-block’s output but reckons it all happens in a helluva hurry when the hammer goes down.
P. Alphabet Esquire runs his blown FC without a bonnet. It’s a fair-weather machine although he does drive it a few kilometres to work most days. And the roomy FC makes comfortable if swift family motoring for the family Alphabet, which includes Debra and the four-year-old sprog. The missus is up for the whole street-machining thing, while the young bloke is happy to climb under and do his bit with a polishing rag. Debra doesn’t go that far. But then not too many women are into giving it a damned good polish …
And what does the fuzz say about his outrageous street machine? “Not very much at all. You won’t get any criticism of police from me. They’ve had the occasional close look, but more out of interest than malice. I’m hoping it stays that way…”
Contrasting with black carpet are red velour buckets from a Datsun and matching door trims that dominate the interior, which is steadily moving back towards standard issue ’58 Holden.
The Smith’s gauges, bar the tacho, are getting the flick and the original centre dash grille is to be resurrected. And the Alphabet pride and joy, a 28-year-old radio, is also being revived and bolted in. Built before transistorisation, the genuine valve wireless is the only way to listen to Crash Craddock and Don and Phil. Remember them? No, perhaps not.
Suspension is pretty straightforward: HR front end, with LH Torana calipers and discs (polished). Rear end is the Ford nine-inch with 31-spline axles. Firmer Monroe-Wylie dampers are about the only other handling mods. So far.
The slightly flared guards house 60-series BFG Comp T/As on Dragway CenterLines … 13x7s on the front, 14x8s on the back. The work hasn’t stopped yet. That’s on account of Pete is keen to try his beast on the drag strip and there are a few handling mods to go on before he runs down the quarter.
“I’ve gotta set up the back end with ladder bars. Right now the engine is too good for the chassis and it doesn’t behave too well under savage acceleration.”
Slicks will also be on the shopping list. He may also swing over to fuel injection before the FC is introduced to the Christmas tree.
It’s been a hard slog getting the FC right, and it’s not over for Peter Milasiewicz. But it couldn’t have been any tougher than it was for us learning to spell his name!
1958 FC HOLDEN SEDAN
|MAKIN’ IT MOVE
|Twin 750 Holleys
|Shocks & springs:
|Dragway CenterLine, 13×7 (f), 14×8 (r)
|60-series Comp T/A