CHERRY BOMB

Street Machine Magazine|June 2020

CHERRY BOMB
DESPITE NUMEROUS SETBACKS, SHAUN DUNSTAN IS TRANSFORMING HIS CHERRY-BLACK HJ GTS MONARO INTO A 1000HP STREET-AND-STRIP BURNER
CARLY DALE

LOW-slung, dark-hued, all-steel big-body, white interior, beefy rims. Shaun Dunstan’s HJ GTS Monaro offers all of this, but also packs hefty horsepower to equal the show-pony looks. Built-in WA, the genuine GTS had done a few shows before Shaun took ownership in early 2019. “I was browsing the internet for 1960s to ’85 Holdens and came across this for sale,” he says of the blown LS1powered four-door HJ. “I was keen on that shape but I didn’t want an HQ.

“Having had a lot of work already done meant it was a great starting point for a build,” he continues. “So I bought the HJ sight-unseen, having been told that the car was in perfect condition.”

Money was paid and plans were made as the GTS was shipped across the country. “I was so excited that I didn’t sleep the night before the car arrived and was at the depot by 6am,” Shaun recalls. “As I was finishing up the paperwork and standing only a metre away from the HJ, a worker was in the cabin and bumped the wiper switch. He then opened the bonnet and the now-upright wiper ripped along the reverse cowl. It was a terrible sound.”

Unfortunately for Shaun, this was just the start of his woes with his fresh purchase. “Three days later, I was detailing the HJ and I noticed rust bubbles along the doors and other places – it broke my heart,” he laments. “I really should have taken a trip to WA to look at the car before buying it.”

But instead of spitting chips, Shaun dug deep to find the cash and motivation to get the body and paint fixed so that he could get on with enjoying his new ride. While finding an old-school panel guy wasn’t straightforward, he eventually came across Phil from Lemon Tree Paint & Panel, who stepped up to tackle the issues. “I dropped it to Phil and said do what you need to do,” Shaun says.

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June 2020