Preview: HQ Holden Run

The 10th HQ Run is on this weekend in Brisbane

Photographers: Ash Wilson

Holden fans! Brisbane’s HQ Run is on this Saturday and it is the 10th edition.

The event is open to all chrome bumper cars, with the HQs to lead the cruise. Meet from 7.30am at Rocklea Showgrounds, the event kicks off with a mystery cruise that begins at 10am and will finish up at Harrigan’s at Jacob’s Well.

Note, you’ll need to visit all the checkpoints along the way and be sporting an entry armband for your car to be admitted into Harrigans.

The first 200 cars to enter will score a Rare Spares goodies bag and the organisers are promising prizes galore.

Entry is $20 per car, with all proceeds going to the Dolly’s Dream charity. Check out their Facebook page for more info and read on for all the action from last year’ event:


The ninth HQ Run brought the thunder to Brisbane on Saturday, 14 August, with more than 250 of the chrome-bumpered stunners brought out to play after last year’s cruise got COVID-canned.

Timed perfectly to commemorate 50 years of the humble HQ, the cavalcade gathered at Rocklea Showgrounds before cruising the backroads of South Brisbane. Organisers Skye Wallace and Scott McAlinden put together an epic route, which was kept secret until the day to prevent stragglers joining the tough pack of Holdens.

“How good is it!” Skye said as cars filled the showgrounds and sunshine pushed aside the early morning fog. “We told them not to get here ’til half-past seven, but they all packed in from six!”

Each year the HQ Run donates all proceeds to charity. This year’s recipient was TeamFMR, a community support network built around helping those struggling to get by.

“We donate 100 per cent of the money, so we don’t make a cent,” said Skye. “It’s about getting the car community together and making a difference.”

Here’s 10 of our favourite Queys and the legends who brought them out! Keep an eye out in the mag for the full event story.

1. Mark and Emma Sauer came down in their Mad Max inspired ’74 HQ Monaro, now royalty at the event seeing as they initially founded the thing!

“About 12 years ago I was flicking through the magazine and there was this HQ run down south, so I went home and said to the missus, ‘I’m going to start a HQ run!’” Mark said. “We got about 70 cars the first year and that was 10 years ago and it’s just grown since.”

The factory 308 in this particular HQ of Mark’s was promptly sidelined for the current E85-sippin’ 454ci big-block, with about 700hp to play with.

“I did Drag Challenge Weekend last year in it with the old engine combo, but it kept doing a roller lifter, so the best I could do was a 10.90,” Mark said.

“I can’t wait to go do it again with this combo. I reckon it’ll go a low 10!” Mark is known within the HQ community as the man to go to if you need fresh paint.

“I’ve got seven HQs now, but I reckon I’ve painted more than 100 over the years,” he said. “I’d just buy them, do them up and then another one would come along!”

2. Steve Carkeet’s off-its-head HQ GTS bumped in early, capturing the eyes and ears of just about everybody at the showgrounds.

With a beasty 565ci V8 putting 1100hp down with a bit of gas to help it along, this was easily one of the angriest HQs on the day.

Cheekily named CUMN4U, we’ve seen this weapon take runner up in Pacemaker Radial Aspirated at Drag Challenge Weekend 2019, so we know it can eat up the kays. As it turns out, the Monaro chugged through 160 litres of QM25 race fuel across the cruise, about five grand worth of the stuff!

Was it worth it? “Absolutely, it went great!” Steve said.

3. Leigh Darke rolled in with one of the only big horsepower turbocharged HQs on the run, though it’s actually a mate’s car he’s done all the work on.

“It’s a mate’s car but he’s in Canada, so I’ve been driving it!” Leigh said. “I built the motor and ’box in it. It’s a Merlin-block 540-cube V8 with a 106mm Garrett GT60 hanging off it.”

On just nine pounds of boost, the big-cube monster makes just north of 1000hp at the treads, but it’s built for a lot more.

“We built it to handle 25 pounds of boost, but it’s just stupid fast now as it is!”

It’s never been down the strip and was built purely as a mental cruiser, ’caged and all, but Leigh says he’ll develop it further if he ends up buying it.

“If my mate doesn’t come back from Canada soon, I’ll keep trying to buy it because he’s already calling it ‘our car’ now!”

4. One of Australia’s most iconic tyre turners, Mark Schwarz’s blown big-block HANFUL HQ Monaro, made an appearance at the final stop of the run.

Sadly, HANFUL lunched a transmission the day before so couldn’t run with the other HQs, but Mark will no doubt be back butchering rubber in no time.

5. Corey Hanlon flew the panno flag high with his windowless HQ van, one of the two HQs he has in the garage.

“I’ve got a black HQ sedan, but I thought I’d give a panel van a go when this came up for the right price!” Corey said.

Corey bought the car 18 months ago as a wreck and built it back to greatness.

“I did all the paint and panel myself,” he said. “I put a 502ci big-block in it, only mild, but it makes about 650hp. I only finished the car two days ago, it’s only done 100 kays. It runs great, the fuel gauge just goes down a bit quick!”

6. It wouldn’t be a HQ Run without some tough utes turning up, and Dale Hull’s ’72 big-block work horse was a standout.

“It’s got a 434 in it at the moment, making 725hp with a Powerglide and a six grand converter,” Dale said.

While Dale tells us he hasn’t had it down the strip yet, it’s high on his list of things to do.

“I haven’t put it out there yet but it’s the next thing for me, so I think we can shoot for low 10s hopefully.”

Like most at the HQ Run, Dale’s got a soft spot for the old Holdens.

“I’ve got three HQs – two utes and one Monaro – but this is the toughest one. I’m so happy with it. It seems to be reliable and it’s a car I can just do everything with; I’ve even drifted it!”

7. Three generations came along with Greg and Sunny Beevers, in their two HQs that’ve been in the family for yonks.

Greg’s ’71 GTS HQ 350 has been his pride and joy for 17 years. He bought it as it is now, although the running gear has seen some changes.

“I’ve done three motor rebuilds, two gearbox rebuilds and one diff in that time,” Greg said. “Now it’s got a 383 stroker with around 600hp, naturally aspirated and a bit ‘NASCAR-y’.”

The paintwork draws inspiration from Street Machine’s iconic HQFORU, and it’s held up perfectly since being slathered on all the way back in ’91!

“It’s a forever car, for me and then the kids.”

8. Chris Hutshinson brought the whole family out, including his son’s car-loving mate, for the cruise in his honest 350 Chev-equipped HQ.

“I bought it 20 years ago after it had been in a fire,” Chris said. “I’d had HJs so this was my first HQ and I restored it back to what it is now.”

The tried-and-tested 350 swap, with Turbo 400, gets the job done and according to Chris it’s as reliable as they come.

“It’s a family cruiser and it’s been a really good car,” he said. “I daily drove it to work for years, it’s that good.”

9. Wade Briese had wife Angela and son Dexter out for the day, doing what they love most, cruising in the Q!

The ’72 HQ coupe has a carbied LS1 and Turbo 400, with just a cam and bit of jetting for the carb, but making a tidy 360hp at the tyres.

“The LS is really reliable; we’ve just come down from Toowoomba and it’s done well!” Wade said.

For Wade, HQs are just a part of life. “I’ve owned it for 10 years now, but I’ve had three HQs in my life and this one’s the one I’ll keep,” he said. “I have always liked the shape since I was a kid, so I bought my first one when I was 18!”

10. Warren Carr bought his ’72 HQ four-door with a 308 in fairly stock form, before pulling it down and “watching the bank account go down”.

“I bought it off an old panel beater so the body was good, but I pulled it apart in the shed and built it back up myself,” Warren said. “I put a 434 stroker in it, Turbo 400 and a nine-inch, so it’s pretty cranky and makes plenty of low-down power being a big-cube small-block.”

Warren wanted an all-rounder with plenty of cubes and the reliability to jump in and drive without anything breaking.

“It gets used for a bit of everything now,” he said. “I just get in and drive and enjoy it every week or two. It’s really reliable, apart from the fuel gauge!”

Last time Warren came to a HQ Run, the four-door had a “dirty old 308 in it”, so he was stoked to be out with the new set-up.

Photographers: Ash Wilson