John Pilla and the gang down at Powerhouse Engines in Warragul, Victoria, Australia, are well known for their engine-building prowess, which is on full display during the dyno testing session of this sweet Holden Red straight-six bullet.
When the Red engine originally hit the streets in the ’64 EH, it was originally offered in 149 (2.4-liter), 100-horsepower and 179ci (2.9-liter) 115 horsepower variants. It was subsequently offered in the Holden HR in 186ci form making a maximum of 145 horsepower but this particular owner wanted more — much more, as it turns out.
This particular Red engine has been updated with a crankshaft from a Holden Blue 3.3-liter engine, which bumps the displacement up to 205 cubic inches. The Blue crank is enhanced from the original Red crankshaft as it sports a counterweight for each throw, improving the engine’s balance.
A set of Spool connecting rods and .030-inch oversize Hypatec pistons were selected, and Pilla also chose a custom solid-lifter camshaft from Crow to control valve action.
More mix-and-match between the Holden engine family comes in the form of the Red 161 cylinder head, which allows higher compression — 11.0:1, up from the stock 9.2:1 — when mounted on the 186 block. JCMC Black 1.680-inch intake and 1.432-inch exhaust valves are stuffed in the head, actuated by a set of Crow chromoly pushrods through Crane roller rockers. Crow dual valve springs ensure camshaft opening and closing ramps are followed.
Other goodies include the Yella Terra Ultralight flywheel, Powerbond harmonic balancer, JP oil pump, and ASR race oil pan. Pacemaker Tri-Y headers, along with an electronic ignition and electric fuel pump are also used.
On top, a Redline intake manifold sucks down 98 octane pump fuel through a trio of 45 DCOE Weber carburetors. Power output is 277 horsepower at 6,600 rpm with 248 lb./ft. of torque at 4,600 rpm. How do improvements of 132 horsepower and 64 lb./ft. of torque over stock sound? Impressive, especially when the fact that this engine uses a stock block, crankshaft, and cylinder head casting.
Crank up the speakers, and enjoy the sound of the Webers at full song on the Powerhouse dyno!