Our giveaway HQ has been wowing the crowds at car shows across the country. Here’s a brief rundown on the build


OUR giveaway HQ has been wowing the crowds at car shows across the country. Here’s a brief rundown on the build.

The HQ began life as an SS in Lettuce Alone green. The SS was a Belmont-based special that pre-dated the GTS sedan, with only one engine and trans combo; the 253 and Aussie four-speed.

Bendigo-based racer and car builder Gary O’Brien bought a third share in the car in 2003. By that time, it was already decked out as a Group Nc historic race car and had taken on a GTS, rather than SS, identity. He later upgraded it to run in the Touring Car Masters series, before retiring it to build a new Torana for TCM duties. From there, it was chosen to be the new Street Machine/Unique Cars project car, with Gary in charge of the build at his Bendigo Retro Muscle Cars business.

Gary and his team stripped the car of its race car accoutrements, including the rollcage and fuel cell, filling the resulting holes and repairing all the rust, including the floorpans and doors. They put hundreds of hours into the body, lead-filling the seams and metal-finishing until we had a car that is significantly better than new – and far less likely to rust! Ensuring that the rest of the HQ matches the shiny panels is a heap of repro items from project partner, Rare Spares. The paint is an impossibly shiny PPG black.

The driveline is stout, but not over the top – unlike a certain Project Swinger! The engine is a 355ci Holden stroker, built by Top Torque and filled with goodies from the folks at Precision International. You know the drill: CP forged pistons, Lunati cam, Scat crank and rods, VN heads, a DiFilippo exhaust, an Aussie Desert Cooler and lots more. The gearbox is a tough TKO600 five-speed from Mal Wood, while the diff was put together by McDonald Brothers Racing, using a Harrop centre.

Throw in a set of new Konis from Top Performance, RTS-spec suspension, four-wheel discs and a set of brand-new 17-inch B45 Simmons rims and you have a pretty tidy package! Of course, there is also a brand-new interior in black, with tasty houndstooth inserts.


Rare Spares
Precision International
Top Performance
Mal Wood Auto
Bendigo Retro
Darren Di Filippo
McDonald Bros Racing
Aussie Desert Cooler