Home » Wild Things From Opposite Sides Of The World: 1979 Holden HZ vs 3/4 Scale ’32 Ford Hot Rod

Wild Things From Opposite Sides Of The World: 1979 Holden HZ vs 3/4 Scale ’32 Ford Hot Rod

Sbsd 4 12 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Happy Friday, Autopians! Today is gonna be a weird one. I got a recommendation from a reader down under about a really wild Holden, and I tried to find something equally as crazy stateside. Did I succeed? That’s for you to decide.

Yesterday’s convertibles ended up being closer than I thought, actually. The Dodge held its ground pretty well against that retro-Bird. And I guess it’s no surprise which one I would pick. As a card-carrying member of Gen X (who am I kidding? We can’t be bothered to make cards), I’d rather have real 1980s nostalgia than fake 1950s nostalgia any day. I hated Grease, I hated Happy Days, and I hate the eleventh-generation Thunderbird.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

But the majority of you preferred it, and that’s fine. And the “no K-cars no way no how” brigade was out in force in the comments, and that’s fine too. Use your freedom of choice, as the song says.

Screenshot From 2024 04 11 16 12 14

I got a suggestion for a matchup from reader Tinibone on our Discord server, who wanted to see a matchup between this crazy six-wheeled Holden ute and a Daihatsu Midget II. But I’ve already featured a Midget, so I wanted to see what else I could find here in the US that would be as ridiculous a matchup. Craigslist came through for me again – here’s the ute, and what I found.

ADVERTISEMENT

1979 Holden HZ 2-Tonner – $15,000 Australian

429577336 411231711441070 4355791113827326937 N

Engine/drivetrain: 4.2 liter overhead valve V8, five-speed manual, RWD

Location: Tawonga, Victoria, Australia

Odometer reading: 257,000 kilometers

Operational status: Runs and drives well

ADVERTISEMENT

All right, bear with me: I had to do some research on this beast, and hopefully I got it right enough to be in the ballpark. Australia’s two-letter model codes are a little weird, but as far as I can tell, they coincide with typical US one-letter chassis codes, but also change from generation to generation. The Holden HZ roughly equates to our General Motors A-body, later renamed the G-body: rear-wheel-drive, body-on-frame, and powered by a variety of six and eight cylinder engines. The HZ came in all the usual bodystyles, as well as a ute (equivalent to an El Camino) and a cab/chassis, which could be fitted with a flatbed or anything else that’s required, much like pickup trucks can be here.

429576477 411231784774396 3936463877140451072 N

This Holden left the factory as a one-ton cab/chassis, with a single rear axle. The additional rear axle was added aftermarket, and isn’t powered; it’s just there to increase the weight-carrying ability. Spread the load out over more contact patches, and you can carry heavier loads. It’s powered by a 253 cubic inch Holden V8, which is similar to, but not related to, the Chevy small-block V8. This one is backed by a T5 five-speed manual transmission and is said to run and drive well.

429585722 411231908107717 6743818637274118107 N

It’s funny how familiar this engine bay looks, and yet how unfamiliar. It’s obviously a slightly hot-rodded small V8, and I feel like I’d have no trouble finding my way around it. And yet, the brake master cylinder is on the “wrong” side, and the valve covers are closer in shape to a Ford Windsor than any American GM V8. Still, an engine is an engine, and the rumble of a V8 through tube headers sounds the same everywhere.

ADVERTISEMENT

429587192 411231724774402 6301232670435576167 N

It obviously needs a little work; the interior is all right, though I see that cheap seat covers are a universal constant as well. Outside, it mainly needs paint, or you could just drive it as-is.

“1932 Ford” 3/4 Scale Kit Car – $6,500

00505 Kwebfcddqae 0ci0t2 1200x900

Engine/drivetrain: 1.1 liter dual overhead cam V4, six-speed manual, RWD

Location: Blaine, WA

ADVERTISEMENT

Odometer reading: unknown

Operational status: Runs and drives well

The 1932 Ford is the quintessential American hot rod. It was the first Ford to come with a flathead V8 engine, and ever since then, larger and more powerful V8s of all descriptions have ended up between its frame rails – after the fenders have been discarded, of course. It’s such a popular body style that many companies have made replicas of it over the years, including Chupp’s Hot Rods of Oregon City, which chose to recreate the ’32 Ford’s famous lines in 3/4 scale.

00t0t 37phn9vmmdd 0ci0t2 1200x900

The Chupp’s kit seems to have been designed to be built using Datsun truck drivetrain parts, but the builder of this one went a different way, and installed a 1098cc V4 engine and six-speed gearbox from a Honda Magna V65 motorcycle. This little wonder puts out 116 horsepower through a six-speed gearbox – without reverse, of course, since it’s a motorcycle drivetrain. The seller says it’s “scary fast.” I don’t doubt it.

ADVERTISEMENT

00h0h 54afsb45rij 0ci0t2 1200x900

There’s not much to the interior, just a bench seat, a steering wheel, a cheap stereo, and a gear lever that I imagine only moves forward and back, selecting gears sequentially like the foot-operated shifter on a bike. Something I don’t see are seat belts of any description. Somehow, the seller got this thing titled and registered as a 1932 Ford, which took some creative DMV paperwork, I bet. But because of that, it’s exempt from any sort of safety regulations.

00n0n Glhlmazh4kz 0ci0t2 1200x900

I’m glad that the seller included this photo of it parked next to a Toyota Prius, to show just how tiny this thing is. You wear this thing more than ride in it, it looks like. I can’t imagine driving this thing on any public road, let alone on a highway that would allow it to reach the speeds I have a feeling it’s capable of. And yet, somehow, it’s street-legal. And people worry about Japanese kei vehicles being unsafe.

So there they are: an Australian uber-ute with six wheels and a mini-me version of an American hot-rod icon. Car folks are the same no matter where you go, it seems; if it can be made faster or weirder or more dangerous, someone will do it, then think better of it and try to sell it. Which one of these bad ideas speaks to you?

ADVERTISEMENT

(Image credits: Craigslist sellers)

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
57 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
No Kids, Just Bikes
No Kids, Just Bikes
1 month ago

This was tough. Six-wheel anything should win, but a motorcycle-powered street-legal death kart is pushing the right buttons. Those v65s were quite the gems.

Geoff Buchholz
Geoff Buchholz
1 month ago

Holden is always the answer. I’ll take the extendo-clip Monaro.

Industrial_design_guy
Industrial_design_guy
1 month ago

Impossible not to pick the 6 wheel option

SirRaoulDuke
SirRaoulDuke
1 month ago

Devo. Hell yeah.

Zelda Bumperthumper
Zelda Bumperthumper
1 month ago

If I buy the toy Deuce, I’m gonna crash and die. If I buy the Holden, whoever I crash into is gonna die. In the interest of self preservation, the Mad Max thing wins.

Morgan Thomas
Morgan Thomas
1 month ago

I’m only a few hours away from the Holden – MUST RESIST TEMPTATION!

Some clarification – the HZ Holden (and its predecessors the HQ and HX, and successor WB) used a separate front subframe including front chassis rails that ran back under and bolted to the otherwise unibody car and ended before the differential. Only the ‘commercial’ (ute/van/One Tonner tray) variants had a full length chassis and leaf sprung rear end. The V8 in question is the ‘small’ 253cu in version, which isn’t a particularly well loved engine, but a 308 could easily be dropped in.

The chassis lengthening was done by Hayman Reese, who were better known for production of towbars and towing accessories. Some custom builds have used these extended dual-axle chassis to good effect, including a lengthened panel van, and a 6 wheel ute based on an HQ Monaro coupe body. And over the years there has been at least one 6×4 conversion done, with a second complete axle including differential replacing the rear ‘trailer style’ lazy axle, driven by a short shaft driven by an extra pinion gear fitted to the back of the front diff.

It has some nice bits, including the HQ LS or Premier quad headlight front end, GTS grille badge, and period correct wheels, but anyone looking to buy it would need to take a good look at all the painted spots where repairs have been done – these do have a reputation for the cabs rusting badly.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

I’ll pass on today’s ugly bad choices

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
1 month ago

Definitely the HZ- it’s pretty awesome and I’ve always liked Holden. What’s w/ the ratchet strap over the battery on the Ford? Obviously that needs something better to hold it

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
1 month ago

Need a both button! I bet that “Ford” would fit nicely on the Ute.

Clear_prop
Clear_prop
1 month ago

A ’32 Ford is a small car to start with. Why make one 3/4 scale?

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 month ago

Death machine for me!

Tinibone
Tinibone
1 month ago

Thanks for featuring Mark!!

And yeah I’m still super super tempted to actually buy that tonner, so that’s getting my vote today!

Hangover Grenade
Hangover Grenade
1 month ago

I would daily that ute in a heartbeat if it were over here.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
1 month ago

“…titled and registered as a 1932 Ford, which took some creative DMV paperwork, I bet.”

Washington has a street rod category which applies not only to altered pre-’49 vehicles but also to anything newer that was manufactured “to resemble” an altered pre-’49 vehicle. I believe any newer qualifying vehicle is titled and registered as the vehicle being emulated, so it’s mostly a matter of convincing the Department of Licensing and the State Patrol that the fundamental concept of resemblance transcends any merely objective considerations of scale.

Personally I’d still rather have the Holden.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 month ago

It may not be Geronimo’s Cowboy Cadillac, but Furiosa’s Flatbed is still intriguing. Going down under today.

57
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x