Over the years, I have owned and restored a few different cars, the bulk of them being EH Holdens.
I'm not sure why this particular model appeals to me so much, but they have classic lines which don't really date. They were produced from 1963 to 1965, and boasted a number of breakthroughs for their time.
My Pride and Joy at the moment is an EH Premier sedan.
The Premier was the up market / luxury version of the EH, boasting leather interiors with bucket seats, metallic paint and the like. I bought this car a number of years ago off the original elderly owner who 'drove it to church on Sundays'. Actually, not to church, but shopping every Friday. It was a one owner with all the records / registrations etc. back to when it was new.
The cars' condition was generally good, but not particularly a low mileage example. The paint was definitely in need of repair (due to the previous owners 'expert painter' nephew!), and the interior needed a retrim.
Here are some pics of what the Prem looked like when I first picked it up. Yep, the only accessories were original mudflaps (which were worn), the sunvisor and the gear lever lock on the column. It also had some 'custom' panelwork, care of a touch parking incident I'd imagine!
It also came with an inoperative centre rear brake light, ugly tow bar and plug arrangement and good 'ol cross ply tyres! It also had a loose but effective HQ mirror on the driver's door, which had to stay for a while just to fill the screw holes that held it on. All of these items had to go!
Still, for a car of that age, it was in pretty good order. There was signs that a little water had been getting in around the rear window, so the first thing to do was remove the front and rear screens and reseal them with new rubbers. Well, one thing leads to another, and we ended up with a full respray of the roof and sunvisor, as well as the resealed windows. At least there was no rust!
|The next thing to do was dress the ol' girl up with some original accesories. The venetians
came from my other EH, a set of whitewalls was added, a set of door handle scratch plates and a few
original interior accessories such as an original clock, visor vanity mirror and parcel shelf was added.
At this stage, a brake booster was also added to the standard four wheel drum brake system.
|Also, a picnic radio went in and a chrome bonnet strip was sourced. A fairly rough pair of wheel spats sourced at
a swap meet were repaired and fitted, but they were never a very good set.
A set of original number plate frames went on, as did a much neater towbar, and I've hidden the tow plug up underneath so that it's not visible when viewing the car from behind.
A few new bumper sections replaced those that were damaged.
The interior needed a retrim, as the leather seat facings were cracked and generally worn. The seats were retrimmed with original seat material I'd found some time before, but unfortunately it was brown, so had to be recoloured. Most of the seat sides and backs are original, although are now starting to show their age. New carpet went in at the same time as the seats were retrimmed.
A few other period accessories have been added for the'Kool' factor, including blue dots in the rear lights, and very recently, a set of Moon half headlight shrouds.
I have also sourced pair of external mirrors that are all but identical to the original Nasco mirrors. After years of searching for a good pair of Nasco originals, I've settled for these. It's amazing how many different types of mirrors were available - I must have about a dozen, but none of them make up a pair! ;-)
The car was taken off the road for a "quick" rebuild, but as anyone who is involved in this hobby will tell you, there is no such thing!
The rebuild has incorporated a number of safety / reliability options, including 4 wheel Disc Brakes and a later model Tri-matic transmission. Ride height has also been reduced, using Pedders suspension components, and reset wagon rear springs. This was mainly done to facilitate better handling, but it also looks cool!
If you are interested in the restoration of these cars, or you may be rebuilding an early Holden yourself (Aussie readers most likely!) I have created a page with information on some of the more popular modifications / alterations / additions that can be made to these cars and the right way to do them. Go to my Holden Garage page and see what's there. Let me know what you think. Any suggestions etc. are welcome.
A fairly sophisticated anti theft system has also been included, using components from a number of high end manufacturers.
Here are some updated details of where the Prem is currently at.
|The wheel spats have gone for now, as they are too close to the tyres with the rear wheel discs.
I'm also unsure as to whether I really like them or not, so for now, they're off!
As the car has now been lowered, the ugly gap between the front tyre and the guard has gone. Overall the front has been dropped around three inches, due to a combination of the HR crossmember and lowered springs.
I am toying with the idea of a set of Hadfield's dropped spindles, to try and improve the handling a bit more.
|The rear has gone down around 2 inches, through re-setting the wagon
rear springs, but needs to go down about another 3/4 inch to sit flat with the front.
Oh well, close enough for now!
The ride now is firm, without being harsh.
Here is a before and after comparison of the engine bay.
|It was pretty average looking, with a few 'enhancements', such as an aftermarket washer bottle,
and a chrome breather cap.
As an aside, do you know how hard it is to find an original breather cap in good condition? That is, not dented, broken or otherwise stuffed? I turned one up eventually....
Anyway, the front of the car was totally stripped, and the subframe removed. I have some more photos somewhere of this whole procedure, but of course, can't find them at the moment!
New gaskets were put through the engine, and as it was running fine, that was all that was required. A carby kit and general tune up, and she's running like new.
A nice coat of fresh red paint and a bunch or reproduction stickers make a big difference in the vision stakes. A repro original battery from Arial batteries, and removing the previously mentioned 'enhancements' finished it off as per the General intended.
The subframe, front end and engine bay were painted in a semi-gloss black acrylic. It may not be exactly original, but it's neat and tidy.
Out cruising with other EH Car Club members - Year 2000 style
|My other project car at the moment is another EH Holden. This car is currently off the road, as I cannot afford two hobby cars, as well as the family truckster. Registration and insurance sure adds up quick! I bought this car when I first got my drivers license and rebuilt it, to the stage where I entered it in a number of car shows.|
|Running gear consists of a worked 192 cubic inch Holden six cylinder. Modifications include balancing, lots of head work, steel crank, Wade 240 solid cam and lifters, and of course the triple 45 mm Weber carbs. Electronic ignition from a Commodore Blue motor is also used. Exhaust is via tuned headers and twin 2 inch system. Next in the driveline is an Aussie 4 speed gearbox, 1 tonne clutch and 3.08 rear end. The front and rear ends are both HR Holden; the front includes LH Torana discs and calipers.|
|Other modifications include 14 inch chrome rims; 5" and 8", polished 4 point roll cage and many other bits and pieces. The missus is hassling me to get this car back on the road, so when the rebuild on the Prem is complete, it may happen!|
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