Curbside Outtake: 1958 Holden Ute

This Holden ute is 60 years old this year, and beyond its age there are some pretty interesting things about this ute, having a mix of period accessories and a couple of modifications that make me wonder what the story is…

The canopy (aka cap or topper) looks like one that would have been offered commercially in period; you sometimes see examples that are clearly home-made.  Roof racks like this would have also been typical for a vehicle used by a tradesman or similar.

The side flash is not typical for a ute, and further not typical for any Holden.  The upper chrome strip is from the higher trim Special, but the other pieces are custom.  The blue-dot accessory lamps aren’t unusual, but having them for headlights is!  Cragar chrome wheels are a 1960-70s custom staple of course.

Red motor with triple Weber carbs from a 1964 EH Holden race car

But I wonder why there are ‘slapper’ bars on the rear axle, which are used to improve traction for drag racing or similar – so presumably this ute is running something much more potent than the 1930’s-tech 138 ci Grey motor!  A ‘red’ motor (the Holden 6-cyl used from 1963-81) can be modified to make up to 400 hp or so (although it would not be very nice on the street by that point!), or it could have a V8 dropped in there.

Certainly something a little out of the ordinary, and a real mix of styles or influences.