Holden HR Premier 186 (1967): Our Shed

By: Nathan Ponchard

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1967 Holden HR Premier 186 1967 Holden HR Premier 186 1967 Holden HR Premier 186
1967 Holden HR Premier 186 1967 Holden HR Premier 186 1967 Holden HR Premier 186
1967 Holden HR Premier 186 1967 Holden HR Premier 186 1967 Holden HR Premier 186
1967 Holden HR Premier 186 1967 Holden HR Premier 186 1967 Holden HR Premier 186

Our shed: Ponch's HR Premier. Be it ever so humble, there's no place like an HR

Holden HR Premier 186 (1967): Our Shed
1967 Holden HR Premier 186

 

1967 Holden HR Premier 186

Even when he was just out of nappies, Ponch always preferred old cars to current models. There was something about the chrome overkill, the smell of vinyl, and the style and attitude of ageing autos that rang his bell.

"All my cars are older than me," Ponch says proudly. "When I was a kid, friends in Albury had an HR Special exactly the same colour scheme as mine and I was so jealous that they had an old car and we always had new ones. I hated new cars.

"Anything after the mid-70s was out as far as I was concerned. It had to be '50s or '60s - it was about the coolness. My HR belonged to a friend of my mum's. It wasn't what I was looking for - I wanted a Peugeot 404 - but I couldn't find the right one and the HR was in great nick. It became my daily driver for 18 months."

By this time he was working for Hot 4s magazine - driving the HR! - though he ended up buying George Fury's Subaru Liberty RS to fit in with the 'tuner' crowd. But the HR was never forgotten.

"The engine and transmission have been rebuilt. It's got a Holley 350, Redline manifold, Yella Terra head, mild cam, electronic ignition, five-core radiator, Genie headers, Lukey muffler, straight-through exhaust, 3.08 diff, and the suspension's been re-done. But all that stuff needed to be done. And it's had one coat of paint. I've spent more than $5000 on the engine but that's fine."

With his Galaxie now taking up almost as much space as his Beetle and HR combined, Ponch admits he has thought about selling the Holden.

"I've still got it because I haven't got around to selling it," he shrugs.

"It's not perfect - there a few things that I'd still like to do to it and sometimes I love it and sometimes I don't. At the moment the engine is not quite tuned and I'm not as in love with it, but when the engine was done last year it was awesome.

"I just like driving it. I'm so used to it, it's so part of my fabric, I feel good in it. I'm more relaxed when I drive it because I know it doesn't have the power and the braking of a modern car and it definitely requires technique to drive.

"It's really well-balanced and at only 1170kg, it handles really well - providing you're not turning and braking hard on an uneven surface at the same time!

"You never see other HRs in the condition mine is in. Even though Holden made 252,000 of them, you just don't see many any more. But I love my car. It makes me feel proud."

 

1967 Holden HR Premier 186

Purchased: 1997

Mileage 114,000 miles

+     "it's honest and it handles"

-      "no synchro on first, quarter vents are taped up, details need fixing"

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