Speed and Custom

People with Passion - John Murray's LS6 & W30

Posted by Speed & Custom

Where are you from? Auckland (born in Waihi)
Most importantly, what is your local BurgerFuel Store? Lincoln Rd, Henderson
Favourite burger on the menu? Bio Fuel (but I really do miss the Ring Burner)

A bit about yourself: I have been into American cars since I was a young kid in the sixties when I would write away to the ‘big three’, General Motors, Chrysler and Ford in the USA for the latest sales brochures on their new models. They would always oblige and send me lots of these brochures and information on their new models, it was always a very exciting time when the postie would arrive at the letterbox with a big envelope chokka full of the latest machinery from Detroit. I would spend hours studying and drooling and soaking up all of this information in these brochures. I would also buy the American magazines of the day to keep up with what was happening with the car scene over there (I still have many of those magazines). It was really something quite rare and exciting to see American cars, especially LHD ones, around the streets of Auckland back in those days, and, if I found out where a cool American car was, I would cycle for hours to go and look at it. 

We have a fantastic car culture here in NZ whether it be Japanese, British, American or whatever, it is important that we encourage more people into the hobby to keep this fantastic car culture that we have here alive. Events such as Beach Hop and monthly get togethers such as Caffeine & Classics have got a lot more people interested in the hobby and have changed the old way of having annual car shows.

This passion I have for American cars, particularly muscle cars, has stayed with me all this time and it is as strong as ever.

Make/Model: 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS LS6
Engine: 454 cubic inch (7.5 litre) 450 hp @ 5600rpm 500 ft/lbs @3600rpm
Driveline:  M22 4 speed 4:10 ratio 12 bolt diff
Interior: Black vinyl bench seat
Exterior: Cranberry red
Suspension: F41 (heavy duty)
Wheels/tyres: Factory 15 x 7 with Firestone Wide Oval tires.

What's unique or interesting about the car or how did you become to own it? The 1970 Chevelle LS6 was the highest factory rated horsepower car of the muscle car era with 450 hp. We have owned the Chevelle for over 24 years now and it has done a lot of miles, and a fair bit of drag racing. It was built at the Lakewood, Atlanta plant in the 3rd week of February 1970, it cost $4,402.82 and it was sold new at Lyle Chevrolet in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio in March 1970.  It was restored by my good friend Dave Loose with help from myself and his sons Dane and Kyle. The body was taken off the frame and it received a nut and bolt restoration, that was about 24 years ago and it still shows pretty well today which is testament Dave’s outstanding workmanship and skill.

Another car I have:

It is a 1972 Oldsmobile 442 W30 and was built on the 23rd March 1972 at the Lansing, Michigan plant. It is Radiant Green with a black vinyl bench seat and has the original 455 cubic inch engine that makes 453hp and 513 ft/lbs of torque and it has a 4 speed. It is quite rare with only 289 W30 4 speeds built that year, it was $4642.00 when sold new. It is a blast to drive, especially on the open road. I have had this car for about 12 years now and drag raced it a bit and it is quite a quick car having done a 13.0 second @ 108mph ¼ mile with traction issues.