Ivan & Suzanne Lynch's 1972 Holden HQ SS

By: Guy Allen, Photography by: Shaun Tanner


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

Ivan Lynch chuckles and shakes his head when he considers the current values on chrome bumper Aussie cars. "Me and my brother had EHs and HRs," he explains, "Had a Monaro back in the day. We had them when we were young and didn’t keep them. We used to buy an HQ for 50 bucks!"

The HQ Holden we’re now eye-balling is worth a fair bit more these days – start by adding a few zeroes. Like many of its contemporaries, it’s had a colourful life. "We’re the third owners," says Ivan. "It was sold by Reg Hunt in Elsternwick in Melbourne, to a policeman in Benalla.

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Timing of the SS debut was spot on

"When we stripped it down it was full of all sorts of things under the back seat – like bullets – and it had definitely been paddock bashed.

"The last owners kept it registered, but it had sat in the backyard for 10 years."

And that’s why the car remains on its original numberplates – a rare thing for a vehicle that’s now over 50 years old.

| Read next: The original Holden SS - HQ

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For Ivan and partner Suzanne, the story started when she decided to buy him a present. "One of Ivan’s old school friends was in need of a little money and I knew they had the car in the backyard. So I came up with a number and I bought it for $8000 seven years ago. I bought it for Ivan. It was a surprise," she reveals.

Ivan grins at the memory. "It was a driver when they bought it, but it was dying," he says.

| Read next: 50 years of Holden HQ

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GM nailed it with the SS

"It was completely rusted out across the plenum, the quarters were gone, it was bashed and crashed and the roof was knocked in. It was in pretty bad shape. Things had fallen on it."

The couple reckons the car took seven years to resurrect, sometimes with breaks so more money could be saved.

It seems Ivan was able to tackle much of the work himself, something that kept the bills down to a dull roar. However, he was happy to hand over specialist jobs to a professional.

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"A former GMH worker, Denis in Berwick, did some bodywork and lead wiping, He did his apprenticeship with Holden in Dandenong and loves a cup of tea and a chat. He actually built a whole new dogleg – just amazing to watch." Garage 12 on the Mornington Peninsula did the paint.

"I put it all back together," says Ivan, "put the windows in, and I did the engine."

| Read next: Andrew Arnott's 1972 Holden HQ SS

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Redline tyres make it

Fortunately, parts availability for the HQ series is pretty good, with a lot of aftermarket repair panels being offered. Items like the dash and steering wheels are in big demand, however, we are seeing reproductions for some components.

Motor trimmers were hired for the door cards and seats – the latter have the right inserts for the second batch of SS, which is a fine chequer pattern.

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253ci V8 was the SS power source

"Most of the car is original and has been rebuilt and replated," says Ivan. "Some nuts and bolts are new, you just can’t go back to 1972, I’m afraid. You have to use what’s available. We went as close as we could to showroom.

"I just fully rebuilt the engine, but it’s stock standard. The crank was linished and we did pistons, rings, cam, pushrods, and lifters. The carburetor is a two-barrel WW Stromberg.

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Second batch Chequer seat inserts

"The M20 gearbox was rebuilt too – we put a whole new kit through it. It used to jump outof fourth. It’s got all the date code stickers and the original 3.36 diff.

"There’s no power steering, so it’s old school. We’re running original front shocks and aftermarket rears"

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Budget performance SS had Monaro dash

So how is it to drive? "It’s floating a bit, everything is new and it may take a while to settle in. There is a question mark over the existing steering box."

Once those issues are attended to, what happens to the car? Evidently, it stays in the family, as a grandson has his eye on the thing.

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Ivan and Suzanne and their Lettuce Alone SS

In the meantime, there’s a VN SS in the front yard that’s in need of a light resto…

 

From Unique Cars #476, March 2023

 

 

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