900hp, nine-second turbo HQ Kingswood wagon at Drag Challenge 2018

Andrew McQualter turned granddad’s HQ into a nine-second turbocharged monster

Photographers: Chris Thorogood, Michelle Porobic

YOU don’t need to have joined Mensa to know that Holden’s HQ Kingswood is one of the most iconic Aussie cars you can poke a servo pie at, and – resplendent in factory Barbados Green – Andrew McQualter’s longroof is a slice of 70s Australian motoring royalty. However, this family-hauler hides a 909rwhp sting in the tail courtesy of an iron-block LS and BorgWarner snail hanging off the heads.

Holden HQ wagonRunning in Haltech Radial Blown, Andy’s HQ has been a picture of reliability at Drag Challenge 2018, except for a torched plug lead and boot at Swan Hill on Day Two. This comes from a well-sorted combo that has seen plenty of testing.

“It is an LY6 iron-block LS with CP Bullet pistons, Lunati H-beam rods, Camtech 233/244 cam and LS3 heads,” says Andy. Holley HP EFI runs the E85-swilling unit, while up to 26psi boost is provided by a big S488 BorgWarner snail.

Holden HQ wagonThis combo came after his original budget turbo LS1 threw a leg out of bed on its first drive, leading Andy to bin the lot and start again. “I bought the car off an 83-year-old gentleman from Sunbury who said it had never been in a road accident, and the dent on the front quarter was from him hitting the letterbox,” says Andy. “My goal has been to compete in Drag Challenge and run a low nine, or a high eight if I’m lucky!”

Working on a plan to get his passes done and hit the road early, Andy knocked out a 9.11@149mph on Day Two at Swan Hill before hitting the highway to Mildura. “I’m stoked!” he said afterwards. “That was awesome, so hopefully we can get back here and go even quicker on Thursday.”


Class: Haltech Radial Blown

Engine: Chev LY6
Turbo: BorgWarner S488
Transmission: Powerglide
Converter: Pro Converters 3600rpm
Diff: 9in, 3.55:1 gears
Power: 909rwhp
Previous PB: 9.43@147mph