Ad Radar
Popular Hot Rodding
Click here to find out more!

Holley 1974 Chevelle Wagon

Popular Hot Rodding
Item Posts    Sort Order

Holley 1974 Chevelle Wagon

IslandGasser IslandGasser
New User | Posts: 4 | Joined: 09/08
Posted: 08/19/11
06:19 PM

First, my congrats on such a great magazine.  Of the half-dozen plus car mags I subscribe to, PHR is the one I always look forward to the most due to the mix of cars, (totally appreciated Project Talladega as I own two 73-77 A-bodies), the tech, and the overall layout.  Well done.

If my memory serves me right, PHR was going to have coverage of Holley's 74 Chevelle wagon project car in the April (!!!) issue.  As of the October issue, ... nuthin'!  I really hope coverage of this cool wagon is still in the pipeline.  I am particularly interested in the LS 6.0L swap as that is exactly what I have planned for my 77 Lemans Safari wagon.  Don't make me beg over here!

Thanks again for such a great read each month, and I look forward to your "positive" response in regard to the Holley Project Wagon!


3836bbl 3836bbl
Enthusiast | Posts: 407 | Joined: 11/10
Posted: 08/20/11
01:53 PM

Good to have you back, lets get active & post some more on this fine forum..  
"Fill Your Library Before Your Fill Your Garage"  3836bbl alias Budnicks

IslandGasser IslandGasser
New User | Posts: 4 | Joined: 09/08
Posted: 08/26/11
11:05 AM

Thanks for the kind "welcome back"!  I'll do my best to drop in more often.  So back to my question. Are we still good for that feature on Holley's Chevelle Wagon? Johnny H. what do ya say?  

gtomustang gtomustang
Enthusiast | Posts: 457 | Joined: 06/09
Posted: 08/27/11
06:53 AM

Aw man, a Chevy in a Pontiac?  Can't convince you to put a 4" crank in a Pontiac 350 for 383 cid, can I ? Wink  14 degree heads, enough crankcase for chevy bb connecting rods, no need for a torque plate b/c the heads screw into the block rather than the deck, and an ability to take Pontiac BB heads...yum yum Smile

Seriously, at least you're saving these tanks. Jim Hand had a 455 in his station wagon w/the factory GTO nose option. beats heck outa an SUV or minivan to tote the rugrats around. gonna try to squeeze a cam am or grand am nose on that draggin' wagon?

now you got me remembering this hot dishwater blonde back in college named Crystal...hairmetal chick, had maybe a 1974 Malibu wagon with the woodgrain down the side, that weird gray/green factory color. she had to get rid of it b/c the only thing left to the brakes was the rivets holding the pads on...sure would love to have gotten either ride  Grin bore the factory 350 .06 over and stroke the crank to pre-68 connecting rods for 370cid...that woulda moved those 4000lbs down the the next gas station  Shocked

her boyfriend meanwhile, had a banana yellow Mustang II coupe and I think a '74 Charger with a 360 and hood bubble scoop...didn't grab those either when I had the chance (but not the $$, isn't that the way it goes?)  
Just because you can't do it...doesn't mean its impossible

IslandGasser IslandGasser
New User | Posts: 4 | Joined: 09/08
Posted: 08/28/11
11:00 AM

Now THAT'S a colorful response gtomustang! LOL! I like your style!

Don't despair about the "Chevy in a Pontiac" thing.  I think I've earned the right to try something different after working on Ponchos almost exclusively for over 30 years. I've toyed with the idea of a Can Am hood on the wagon but I dig the sleepy flat hood look too.  The Grand Am stuff won't fit, at least not without a huge effort.

The plan is to drop a 6.0L into the wagon backed by a fresh turbo 400 I had slotted for another project that sold. Considered stepping up to a 4L60 or 80E trans but the gearing in the wag is very highway friendly already so for now I'm passing on the added expense of one extra gear. Once the combination is sorted out my long term goal is to put a turbo on it. (A side note to this: my buddy has a 600 hp, (dyno'd), Pontiac with Kauffman heads, etc., and FAST EFI system in his ultra-sweet 72 Firebird. He recently pulled down 20 mpg on the highway!  While that is spectacular and a tribute to his tuning and that EFI, he probably has more invested in that induction system alone than I will have into the entire 6.0L.). The goal of this project is to create something fun, different and fast, all on a relatively tight budget.

My one indulgent upgrade already installed is a Detroit Speed 700lb drop front springs and 1 3/8" tubular anti-sway bar package plus KYB gas shocks and poly bushings.  The improvement to the handling of the car is amazing! Thank you DSE!

Finally, just to balance the "engine swapping ledger", I also have a 55 Chevy, ex-California straight axle gasser that was campaigned in the 70's. It's a long term project with no drivetrain. I have a strong Pontiac .030 over, solid cam 455 that I am swapping into that backed by a fresh M21 with a Dana 60 rear! So there.

Now my rant. My observation is that back in the 50's, 60's, and 70's car builders were much more open to swapping different brand engines back and forth into different brand cars without suffering this ridiculous present day tight azz, suffocating, constraining attitude of keeping an "X" engine in an "X" car.

That open attitude of years ago was what made that period of hot rodding so exciting, and frankly, what makes car guys wax on so poetically about that time in the hobby!  Anything was possible! I think that spirit of ingenuity and inventiveness was what filled car magazines with content, brought readers to those magazines, and what translated into those readers running out to their garages to work on projects that REALLY showcased creativity and individuality.  In turn there was greater variety at the track, which was then covered in the magazines, which..., well, you get the point. It was the perfect circle!  My attitude is that I want to honor that great spirit in all of my projects.

So to that I say, don't be afraid of doing a project that really connects with you, (regardless of whatever engine you choose into whatever car you choose), but is one you may be avoiding because you think others might criticize you for it. To put it politely: screw the critics. Go to almost any car-guy internet forum and observe that 99.9% of the negative feedback on any topic is from profoundly insecure "individuals" who don't have the balls to put their own projects on display for criticism.  When I see some of the vitriolic, stupidly mean-spirited crap commentary out there I simply ask, "do I respect this persons opinion, and would I want them as a friend?". If the answer is "no" to either question, then turn the other cheek, as the saying goes, and continue to follow your heart!

Now get out there and work on your freakin' cars and fearlessly create something cool!

Now about that Holley Wagon feature... ;-)  

gtomustang gtomustang
Enthusiast | Posts: 457 | Joined: 06/09
Posted: 04/08/12
10:45 AM

I figure so long as you don't hurt others--like killing some rare classic so future generations won't know what type of hotrods Detroit offered--it doesn't matter what you do with property you paid for.

So, just for the sake of discussion...back in the 1950's, where the replacements for the gasping flathead were few--the Cad 331, the Olds 303, the 1st gen Hemi, all of which were luxury car engines and thus expensive--the high revving 283 deserved to be the choice of many.  As the solid lifter rats (the L78 and L72 or even L71) came around in the 1960's, I can see how they too became the LS1 of the good ol' days...tho there were plenty who knew how to hop up a MaxWedge or FE ford and dump them into lighter, earlier, cheaper cars near the end of the '60's.  Think of how many show cars from the Barris brothers were running 289 "Cobra" fords, tho it did help they were getting them free Smile

If you aren't a major engine rebuilder, then there's nothing wrong with a $4000 crate engine that has a warantee under the hood (but I can't say anything is possible and people are using ingenuity when they are all doing the same thing). But, interchangeable parts aside, the other reason you see so many people go straight for the Chevy bent eight is b/c you see it so often chosen in the magazines.  Ask someone why they didn't bore the stock 350 in their Olds out to a 425 piston, stroke the crank a quarter inch to a Chevy 6 inch small block connecting rod and get 380 cid, and you get the, "huh? didn't know that was possible" look.

Yes, its expensive if you want to get exotic. I have a post elsewhere here about articles in PHR and HotRod Magazine that show when you compare a carb'd engine and the same engine with port injection on the same single plane intake, the difference is...1 hp. yep, that's right.  EFI is great when you design an intake for it--maybe you want your 427cid windsor to have Crower calliope-style individual runners, ok, get a ford A9L computer with TwEECker assistance and enjoy that the 351W and 5.0 HO have the same firing order--but for most people not taking their 10mpg car far enough to experience an elevation change or using their toy as a daily driver in a place that sees water on the pavement, it may not be worth the $2500 entry fee. Most of this magazine's project cars are carb'd, even when they got the engine for free. you get more out of running a coil pack, distributor-less ignition (I think its around 40hp, due to the lack of missfires a cam-driven distrib creates), and its probably the same price on an oddball car as it may be on a chevy.

there's a lot of power to be found with proper machinework, lengthening the con rods, managing oil flow, etc...and the costs are close, say with a Pontiac (use Chevy BB connecting rods, there's already an intake design like Edelbrocks raised RPM intake). the cost of playing inside a chevy versus other block...isn't far apart.

i'm not saying running to the Chevy camp is wrong...but there are other options. people used to say Fords were too expensive, until the Fox 5.0 got popular. then people bought the parts, costs came down, more parts were researched and created.  Demand fuels lower prices (except in the case of gas--we export it now, we make so much more than we use. that should lower the price, and yet it hasn't).

Here in CT, I go to a car show every monday night ( that on a bad night, has 200 cars, and a good one, 900. guess how many chevies I see at that one show, every week? Laugh  the guy with a 400hp 355 wishes he had gotten a 383 with 500hp...and that guy regrets he doesn't have a blower with 600hp...and that guy lament he isn't like the other cool guy with the LS1.

its possible to have what others have not...and not pay an arm and a leg for it. it does require knowledge, but if fanbois read about how to do something, and realize, "hey, I can do that!" and spend the money they save living w/ mom and pops to do it, and the price for parts goes down as a result...well...what's so bad about that? Grin

Finally, just for the interested, that EFI setup your buddy runs that so do know they don't make any more HP, right?  PHR proved it when they ran a 281 SOHC ford mod v8, and August 2011 StreetRodder magazine found it out again, when they added FAST EZ EFI to a crate Ford 302.  Page 74, bottom left corner, they said back to back tests show only a 1hp difference, and that prior experience has proven that to always happen.

for driveability, its great, tho MegaSquirt can be cheaper.  But its not necessary for making more power than a carb, unless you get into fabricated manifolds, cam tuning, etc.  
Just because you can't do it...doesn't mean its impossible