1974 HQ Holden: Reader Ride

By: Colin Smith, Photography by: Colin Smith

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Colin Smith's 1974 HQ Holden Colin Smith's 1974 HQ Holden Colin Smith's 1974 HQ Holden
Colin Smith's 1974 HQ Holden Colin Smith's 1974 HQ Holden Colin Smith's 1974 HQ Holden
Colin Smith's 1974 HQ Holden Colin Smith's 1974 HQ Holden Colin Smith's 1974 HQ Holden
Colin Smith's 1974 HQ Holden Colin Smith's 1974 HQ Holden Colin Smith's 1974 HQ Holden
Colin Smith's 1974 HQ Holden Colin Smith's 1974 HQ Holden Colin Smith's 1974 HQ Holden

Colin Smith's first sat in his 1974 HQ Holden the day it was brought home – but it took years to get hold of the keys

I remember the day my elderly neighbour brought this car home from the dealership. We were farming at the time and I happened to be fencing when he drove past. I wandered over for a look and he invited me to sit in it and I thought, "Oh wow, wouldn’t it be groovy to have one of these!"

At the time I had a more humble Holden HR 186 wagon and an HJ45 Landcruiser for the farm.

The neighbour actually had another car on order, but this one came up for sale and he decided to take it.

It’s actually pretty special. From what I found out through GM there were only 15 ordered in this specification: Which is a 1974 HQ Premier, with 253 V8 engine and a four-speed floor shift. They were a special order by GM and were used as touring showroom display cars. This one went to half a dozen dealers before it found a home.

I think my neighbour found it a bit of a challenge on the dirt roads. The V8 could be a bit touchy with the throttle and tended to fishtail. He eventually got a bit of a scare and put the car up on blocks. It stayed there for years though he did go out and start it regularly.

Eventually he wandered across and said, "You like the car so much, Smithy, would you like to buy it?" Farming wasn’t too good then and I was a bit wary and asked how much. He said $1000, which sounded alright to me.

I eventually sent it off to Skipdon Motors in Kyneton – they restored it whenever they had a spare hour or two, which was cheaper than doing it full-time and took about four years.

It was built in January 1974 and only has a little over 32,000km on it from new.

What do I love about it? It’s unique, it’s a Holden, it’s lovely to drive and you have to wind the window down to listen to the V8. It takes me back a bit.

 

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