BACK in the late 90s, Justin Gardner came into possession of this 1964 EH Holden on his 16th birthday, setting his parents back $4000. And although he copped a bit of schoolyard mockery, considering the car was 32 years old at the time, Justin kept the faith, knowing he and his dad would someday turn it into something truly special.
The 179 and column-shift three-speed were soon turfed in favour of a 192 with triples and a shot of nitrous, plus a four-speed M21.
Fast-forward a few more years to Summernats 17, and Justin decided it was time to go big. The Canberra family’s detailing shop became the venue for some major sheet-metal surgery, which involved cutting the inner guards, installing tubs, and even tweaking the chassis itself. Most importantly, a new firewall was built to accommodate the EH’s replacement heart: a force-fed 355ci donk.
The injected Holden V8 wears a Vortech V7 blower and currently puts down a healthy 600hp from a conservative tune on pump juice. A 4500-stall Powerglide feeds down into a Truetrac nine-inch diff, suspended from a four-link rear. Justin says it’s plenty of power for the street, though the whole set-up should be good for 800hp if he sees fit.
Stopping duties are handled by big Wilwood six-pots all ’round, paired with DBA rotors. Justin managed to hide the brake booster and master cylinder behind the smooth firewall, directing all eyes to the stout powerplant.
Just as much work has gone into the EH’s presentation. Justin debadged the car and removed the fuel flap, while JD’s Panelbeating & Custom Restos poured 600 hours into straightening the body. Finally, Dandenong’s Trevor Davis laid down some House Of Kolor Brandywine over a custom basecoat.
The car debuted at MotorEx 2011 in the Street Elite category, pulling a strong positive response.
After a period of dormancy thanks to family life, Justin is now keen to get the car out to more shows, and hit the road as much as he can. He says the EH was built out of love, and he has a great time driving it.