HQFORU at Summernats 36

Our famous HQ giveaway car from the 80s was on show at ’Nats 36 under the custodianship of Rod and Judith Menso

Photographers: Shaun Tanner

The HQ Holden that Street Machine built, HQFORU, has long been considered a piece of Aussie automotive history. We built the car up and gave it away as part of a subscription promotion way back in March 1986, and while the car has been through several owners in the years since, it has fallen into great hands with Rod and Judith Menso.

“We’ve had the car since 1996, and we’re about the fourth owner since the car was done up and given away,” Rod explained. “A guy in Brisbane won it, but he moved the car on, and it ended up with my brother-in-law. I purchased it off him, and now my wife and I are its custodians.”

Having made some changes to the car in the 90s to somewhat modernise it, Rodney and Judith made the call to return the Quey to its original look when it was given away. “We’ve put the engine back to orange and the interior back to black and grey; it’s as close as possible to when Street Machine had it.”

With renewed public interest in the car since we splashed an illustration of it across the cover of our 40th-anniversary issue a few years back, HQFORU is arguably more recognisable than ever, and Rod told us that the punters have been stoked to see it cutting laps at Summernats 36.

“The feedback has been very positive and a little humbling,” he said. “Yesterday I was cleaning it and a gentleman came along and told me he got goosebumps because he saw it in the flesh. People love seeing it; they remember it from the magazine and they tried to win it. I wish I had a dollar for everyone who tried to win it! 

“It’s great to be here. It was a hard slog to get here, but we did a couple of laps yesterday afternoon and that’s all been washed away!”