NEWCASTLE’S United Speed Shop has been busy tearing up a neat HR Holden to create a factory-style pillarless coupe for Melbourne’s Andy Billiet.
USS’s bossman, Ryan Carter, first drew up a pillarless two-door HR coupe for Street Machine’s Expression Session some 10 years ago, though he continued to refine the design over subsequent years. “Andy wanted to make a car that was a phantom, as if Holden had built an HR coupe as a design study back in 1967, but with updated wheels and suspension,” explains Ryan.
“To make a proper coupe you can’t just cut the pillar out, move it back and stick it back together; that is a two-door sedan. We dropped the roof height very subtly and re-profiled the C-pillars and rear deck section, to extend the lines out in a sleek, 1960s factory style. “We’ve also put an 8mm hipline into the rear quarters, curving out and up in a subtle Coke-bottle shape like other GM cars of the era. However, this new hipline has to be subtle, as the rest of the HR’s body is so straight and flat, so it has to blend in a factory-style way with the original Holden design.”
To work with the new roofline, the USS crew had to pull the front wheelarches forward 10mm and lift them 20mm to help draw the length of the car out. The rear of the front arches will also be re-profiled to suit. “The rear of the stock HR guard wraps back around the wheel, whereas we will draw it back into the sill for a more flowing line that draws the eye along the car and helps make it look longer,” Ryan says.
Ryan and the team have sweated over ensuring that not only are the HR’s proportions nailed, but the radical custom also includes design cues from other 1960s GM coupes. “When we first cut and extended the doors 300mm I was concerned how long they were, but they are proportionally the same size as the doors on the HT Monaro we have in the shop at the moment,” Ryan says.
“I actually measured all the proportions of the HR as it sits and compared it to the HT Monaro, and they work out the same, so that tells me we’re on the right path.”