2019 HQ Holden Run

The 2019 HQ Holden Run in Brisbane on the weekend was the biggest and best yet

Photographers: Steve Kelly

THE eighth annual HQ Holden Run in Brisbane saw the event’s biggest turn-out to date, with more than 250 cars attending what is shaping up to be the largest gathering in Australia of Holden’s iconic taxi.

Kicking off at Browns Plains on Brisbane’s south side, the procession of chrome-bumper Holdens quickly filled the car park to capacity for the show portion of the day, with all body styles and models of HQ-HZ represented, as well as a few HK-HGs and other chrome-bar hits from the Red Lion back catalogue. The convoy then hit the road for a cruise to the scenic Redland Bay Hotel.

Taking over from previous organisers Mark and Emma Sauer, who started the HQ Run in 2012, lifelong Quey fan Scott Mcalinden was stoked with the attendance this year. “We’ve had people come from Canberra, New South Wales and even guys from Townsville,” he said. “It’s been massive; I mean we sold out our merchandise in an hour.”

HQ HoldenBut the HQ Run is more than just a meet-and-cruise, with proceeds from the event going to Rural Aid. “I used to work in the mines in Central Queensland and saw how hard it was for the farmers out there with the drought, and thought we could do something to help them,” Scott said. “That’s why we made Rural Aid our charity for the event. We managed to raise $3340 on the day, which Rural Aid will use for Queensland farmers.”

With the event rivalling other old Holden shows interstate, Scott sees even more scope for the HQ Run in the future. “It’s a growing show and next year will be bigger for sure,” he said. “We’re looking at doing something massive for the 10th year in 2021 and making it a two-day event so people from further away can come up for the weekend.”

HQ Holden run1. Darryl Hoyle’s HQ Kingswood was sitting in a shed for 15 years before he woke it from its mechanical coma with lifters and a water pump. Being the 81st car off the production line in 1971 and still having the matching-numbers 202ci and Trimatic, it was worth saving. The body needed a lot more work though, but Darryl and son Billy were set on keeping the honesty of the look, with just structural bits like the floorpans added by a panel beater friend.

HQ Holden run2. Shaun Askew’s 350ci manual HQ sedan is one of only 54 made, and it was lucky to make the HQ Run as its seven-year restoration was only finished the day before. The details are perfect, down to the part number-correct exhaust manifold and Rochester Quadrajet carb, and date-coded glass, which took previous owner Greg Thackray’s life after he suffered a heart attack in a wrecking yard finding the glass.

HQ Holden run3. Amanda Pearson’s HJ ute runs a FiTech-injected 308/TH400 combo, with the jade green paint and white interior a real throwback to 90s-era customising. Amanda’s first car was an HQ SS sedan that she bought at the age of 17 and recently passed to her son Matty. The sedan also made the HQ Run wearing its original Lettuce Alone green paint with 40-plus years of patina and family history evident.

HQ Holden run4. Mark Schwarz brought HANFUL along to the show in atmo form, but was nursing a dodgy transmission that was only installed the night before the show. A new power steering set-up has taken Mark’s GTS Monaro from more than five turns lock-to-lock down to just 2.5 grabs of the wheel, making the car a bit less of a, er, handful.

HQ Holden Run5. We featured Mitch Godfrey’s D ENEMY in our August issue, and it was on the HQ Run proving you can have a take-anywhere, streetable 1000hp car, with Mitch doing more than 2500km since finishing the build. Twin Precision 6766 turbos mean the LSX454 can creep around quietly, and like Mitch said, “a fast car doesn’t mean you need to hear it from four blocks away.”

HQ Holden run6. Bruce Woodward’s HQ sedan is pure sleeper, with LS power and nitrous to help it along to low-10sec passes, complete with air con and reliability that’d make a Honda owner weep. Bruce purchased it from a deceased estate a decade ago. The body remaining untouched, but the car’s look changes up now and again thanks to several sets of wheels and other parts when Bruce feels the mood.

HQ Holden run7. Ben and Deb Hall’s One Tonner has been with them for five years, with the original 308 turfed for an E85-fed 400ci small-block topped with a 6/71 blower and 850cfm Holley Double Pumpers, built with help from Colin at Colkye Mechanical. A manualised TH350 and nine-inch Truetrac diff transmit the twist to the rear treads. Deb said the 650hp on tap “keeps them young”, and they take the car for squirts every weekend. Hopefully we’ll see Ben and Deb and their tough Tonner at the next Powercruise.

Holden HQ run8. Shane Bray’s HQ has evolved from atmo to nitrous to ProCharger to the current Garrett 4294 twin-turbo set-up, feeding a 407ci Dart block backed by a Powerglide and Truetrac nine-inch. Shane said it won’t go down the quarter, “because I can’t take my four fat mates and an Esky full of piss with me”, but on the dyno it made 1057hp at the wheels on 20psi of boost, so the combination has plenty more to go. We can’t wait to see what Shane does next with it.