Project HQ GTS tribute: Own the ultimate HQ!

By: Dave Morley

Presented by

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Ever wanted to own the ultimate HQ? Car tragic Dave Morley walks us round the latest monster to escape the Unique Cars magazine workshop...

Project HQ GTS tribute: Own the ultimate HQ!
Project HQ GTS

 

Project HQ GTS tribute

BLACK MAGIC

I grew up on the back seat of my dad’s HQ Kingswood. I’ve owned three HQs myself. One I even raced back in the early 90s. So, yeah, I’m a tiny bit familiar with HQ Holdens.

But nothing had prepared me for my first glimpse at Unique Cars’ latest giveaway car. Nothing. This thing is straighter than an Amish limerick. Which is lucky, `cos it’s also blacker than the crust on a coal-miner’s sandwich. It is gorgeous. Better than factory. The best I’ve ever seen. That’s all.

I walk around it. Then around it again. Hell, I even do a third lap; each time soaking up more of the detail that makes this car so unbelievable. The better-than-factory finish on the brightwork; the just-ironed look to those sculpted, creased flanks that looked so good in the sales brochure but drove the salesmen to despair under the flickering fluoro lights of 1971 Holden dealerships. And I haven’t even looked inside yet. Or opened the bonnet. My God, where do I even start with this?

If you’ve been following this project in the pages of Unique Cars, you’ll know the specification we finally decided on. You’ll also probably have an idea of the countless hours of work – not to mention the dollars – that have gone into turning a HQ with a pretty patchwork past into this show-stopper. But now that it has all come together as well as it has, it’s interesting to talk to the two blokes that were largely behind the whole deal; race car builder and driver Gary O’Brien, and UC’s own Uncle Phil.

For Bendigo-based O’Brien, the car had been a long-term racer, competing in two distinct categories with a full rebuild in between. And for Uncle Phil, it was a chance to take a piece of Aussie muscle magic and polish it into a car that has been conservatively valued at between $120,000 and $150,000. Oh, and then give it away to one of you lot.

Gary O’Brien is clearly fond of the old girl and the thousands of hours he’s put into the build is matched only by the thousands of laps he’s put in behind the wheel of the HQ at various circuits around Australia. Yep, this vision in black was once a race-car, and pretty handy one at that.

"But you know what? I reckon we’ve nailed it." And when you see the car for yourself in the metal, you’ll also know that that’s possibly the understatement of the century.

See issue 371 of Unique Cars magazine – out now – for the full story. Look for the black HQ on the cover.

 

 

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Links:

Visit the website: www.bendigoretro.com.au/
Rare Spares: Looking to restore, repair or rebuild a HQ? Contact your nearest Rare Spares store for parts, advice and service. Visit the website: www.rarespares.net.au

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