The last time I helped host the All Holden Day at the Bendigo Showgrounds, I took quite a few pictures of every car I came close to (you can see a lot of them right here. ) This time around due to my announcing commitments I only had the time to happy snap a couple of them. But what fun cars they turned out to be, especially the FJ Holden rotting away quietly outside…
Firstly, a disclaimer. I didn’t come from a Holden family and instead was brought up on a steady diet of occasional Ford sedans and the occasional Japanese creation including Mazdas, a Subaru and a long time ago a Datsun 260z. So my knowledge of all things Holden is pretty limited (my running joke for the All Holden Day was that my favorite one was the Holden H-I Hi!). However I did notice a little clue on one of the number plates that told me there was more to this particular FJ than met the eye.
Surely not – a 1UZ-FE block from a Toyota Soarer in an FJ Holden? How can th-
Course it can. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Someone found both and the rest is pretty cool:
That’s a 8 cylinder IUZ minus the air con and power steering, mated with a Toyota four speed in an FJ shell. And unless you picked up on the number plates like I did (or noticed the second exhaust at the back) you’d have no idea because it blended in so well will with the other FJ’s and FX’s using their factory motors. But if you think that’s pretty impressive, allow me to introduce you to Johnny’s creation…
Here’s Johnny! (And his FJ Holden)
Words simply cannot describe all the hilarity that there was to find in this Frankenstein creation, nor the wonderment of the crowds that gravitated towards it throughout the day. After a couple of chats with John the owner/builder/mad man behind this bastard, here’s a bit of back story:
-Yes it works. And this FJ Holden drives. John trailered the beast in and then drove it onto the grass. If anyone told him ‘I don’t believe you’ he would just shake his head, turn the key and watch jaws just smash into the grass in disbelief. However it is a show piece/talking piece and he hasn’t driven it faster than walking pace for the fear of it attempting to kill him.
-He bought the FJ shell for $490 and that’s the total cost of this magnificent creation. The block, wheels, turbo, everything else he had on hand or were donated by mates.
-A total build time of just 6 weeks was involved here. If there was a trophy for fastest build, John would have romped it in.
Wisely, the nos tank is just for show. John is as mad as a cut snake but he doesn’t have a death wish.
Yes, that’s a garden bench seat. I have a very similar one at the back of my house currently. However when restoring it last year it never occured to me to install it in the Stagea..
John currently has another FJ shell in similar condition (nowhere near as many speed holes though) that he plans to use for his next creation, one that looks as rough as guts (he plans to seal up the rust and patina) but will be registered and roadworthy. Knowing his work ethic, he’ll probably have that one done in record time too!