Holden HQ SS - a star is born

By: Unique Cars magazine

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holden hq ss rear seat holden hq ss rear seat

The SS started life as a low volume edition in the HQ and proved so popular it became a mainstream model

Holden’s first SS was one of those cars that hit a nerve in the market and was beautifully timed.

GMH released the HQ SS in 1972 with the ad line "A super sporty heart starter". Based on the humble HQ Belmont it was intended as a low-volume edition no frills variant with everything a young enthusiast could possibly need and a little more. Specified with a 253 (4.2lt) V8 the SS ran an M20 four-speed manual and a 3.36 Monaro diff. The interior had buckets seats finished with hounds-tooth inserts in the first batch, a Monaro dash and a sports steering wheel. That lot sat on rally wheels.


Released in three raucous colours unique to the SS, Infra Red, Ultra Violet and, Lettuce Alone, the SS proved to be a hit with young and old looking for all the fun of a V8 HQ at a reasonable price. How reasonable? The HQ SS was released at $3295 plus on roads, a modest sum in comparison to the 253, manual, HQ GTS Monaro at $3815 plus on roads. If you wanted something fancy like an interior light or cigarette lighter for your SS you could order these as a factory option, along with armrests, air-conditioning and power steering if you were so inclined.

Holden initially produced 1500 SS HQs, but the dealer order books filled up faster than expected, so GMH ran a second batch of 1300 to satisfy demand. Batch two varied a little in the pattern of the seat inserts, but was otherwise the same.


Demand at one point was so great that while you might ask for your preferred colour, there was no guarantee that was what
you got.

Done on a tiny budget, the SS was styled by the legendary Leo Pruneau and survived as a nameplate all the way to the last of the locally-built Holdens some 45 years later.



For Ivan and Suzanne, the story of their 1972 Holden HQ SS started when she decided to buy him a present.

Read the full story here...




Decades after the HQ SS release, Andrew Arnott, finally got the SS he always wanted and in the right colour too.

Read the full story here...


From Unique Cars #476, March 2023




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