No “Holden” back on horsepower

Holden enthusiast, Will Boehm has added yet another trophy to his collection and together with son, Lee have maxed out on horsepower in their first Adelaide Rally experience.

The apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree when it comes to the need for speed.

Will Boehm and his son, Lee are still buzzing with excitement after participating in the Adelaide Rally last year, a long-awaited first for both rev-heads, especially Will.

“It was one of my bucket list wishes – it was adrenalin overload!” Will said.

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“Racing through on roads that are closed, you can use up the whole road and put the foot down. It was full on.”

Will drove his 2010 model Holden VE SSV, the one he bought 10 years ago with 12,000 kilometres on the clock.

But this luxury sedan isn’t the same as it was when it first came off the assembly line. Vehicle enhancements including extra grunt under the bonnet, new disk brakes and clutch were all done especially for the Adelaide Rally.

“It’s not stock standard,” smiles Will.

“Standard kilowatts is about 270, this is 418. In old terms it’s a good 500 horsepower…there’s no Shetland ponies here!

“I had the motor done up by KPM Motorsport and they basically sent me an invitation to be part of their group in the Adelaide Rally…There were nine cars in the KPM Motorsport team.”

Will was behind the wheel for the first two days in the main tour category of the event with his partner, Rosie Drever as navigator.

“She did a really good job…I probably scared the pants off her, but she hung in there!” said Will.

“Then on Saturday, Lee did six stages and I was navigating which scared the pants off of me! I thought I was driving fast, he took it to another level!”

They drove throughout the Adelaide Hills with stages on Gorge Road, Norton Summit, Mount Lofty, Basket Range, Eagle on the Hill and more.

“We put the car through its paces and it went well and handled well.”

With 340 cars participating, there were only two Holden SSVs entered, keeping pace with everything from Aston Martins, Ferraris, Porsches and McLarens down to Geminis and Minis.

Big names also joined the action, including V8 Supercar drivers Tim Slade, James Courtney and Todd Hazelwood.

“We rubbed shoulders with Alan Jones,  and Glen Ridge from Sale of the Century was in the car behind us.

“We really enjoyed the whole three days.”

Lee couldn’t agree more. With experience in drifting and motocross racing, he revelled in the experience.

“I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes to go fast in a safe, controlled environment with the roads closed off,” Lee said.

Both are keen to do it again but in a different car. After all, they have 10 vehicles to choose from between them.

“Next year we’ll drive one of his – it’s his turn,” laughed Will.

“I’m not sure which one yet,” added Lee.

“I think I’ll make one out of two I’ve got and use that…a turbo charged R32 Nissan Skyline.”

Will’s HQ takes top gong

Will’s Adelaide Rally experience comes after a major national title win for another love in his life – his Holden HQ.

The car won the Greg Thackray Memorial Award for Top HQ at the inaugural Holden Nationals for series HQ to WB models held in Mildura.

The award is the latest in a long series of trophies for the father of two who bought his 1972 red beauty when he was 18 years old.

“This is probably the top accolade I’ve won – it’s the epitome. Probably the highlight of the ownership of the car which I’ve had for 47 years now,” said Will.

“It was six months old when I bought it from Hage’s. It was a local car, the reason the gentleman sold it was because he used to do some runs to Adelaide for business and he got sick of manually changing the gears so he traded it in for an automatic.

“I came along and bang! I bought it.”

Will admits his parents were not impressed at his choice at the time.

“They knew I was getting a car but they didn’t know it was a V8. When they found out they were a bit… you know. But they learned to live with it!

“It was a lads car for about 6 years. Then the young kids came along but it was never used as a family car. It was put in the shed and I slowly did it up. It had a new paint job and I did a few things to the motor, chromed things up.”

The interior was also trimmed with velour inserts “not that it needed it” and it’s now on its third set of mags and second engine.

The speedo, once in miles, is now updated to kilometres and there is a different engine too.

“It had a 253 in it and I put a 308 in,” said Will.

“The other motor needed reconditioning at the time so I thought I’d go a size up!”

Will has never contemplated selling the car that captured his heart back in the show room all those years ago.

“It’s part of me I guess. I’ve owned it for the best part of my life and now it’s become a collector’s item. It’s good just to have a classic car – that’s what it’s all about,” said Will.

“It takes you back to the seventies where it’s noisy and it feels big and cumbersome – nothing like the cars of today!”