Glenn Munday’s 400-cube HQ SS survivor

Having retained both the same owner and much of its period character for nearly 35 years, Glenn Munday’s HQ SS is a true 80s survivor

Photographers: Ellen Dewar

Ever wondered which car was the first to ever rip a skid on the Summernats burnout pad? Well, it was the HQ SS you see here. This Quey and its owner, Glenn Munday, were right in the thick of it at the very first ’Nats in 1988.

First published in the September 2022 issue of Street Machine

Happily, Glenn’s HQ has somehow survived the subsequent 34 years essentially as-is, so we thought it high time we got the full story on the car from the man himself.

Your HQ christened the Summernats burnout pad. How did that come about?

I remember it like it was yesterday. [Car-crafting legend] Peter Fitzpatrick and I were really good friends with [Summernats promoter] Chic Henry, and we helped him out when he ran the last Street Machine Nationals at Canberra for the Australian Street Machine Federation, after which Chic broke away to put on his own show.

In the lead-up to Summernats 1, Chic had a promotional day for the opening of the new burnout track and needed a couple of cars. He called Fitzy and me, and we were like, “Hell yeah.” Fitzy brought his ‘Broomstick’ Brougham and Chic also had his Chev there. Near the end of proceedings, Chic came up to us: “The TV cameras want one of us to do a burnout.”

I told Fitzy to go for it, but he said, “Nah, you do it.” I had the virgin asphalt all to myself, not a single mark on it. I went from the startline down to the pad, did a doughnut and kept into it all the way back to the startline. Fitzy and I still grin about it.

How do you know Fitzy and Chic?

Fitzy and I have been mates for a long time; we started the ACT Street Machine Association, which is where we both met Chic. I’m particularly proud of our long friendship.

I was invited to display the SS as part of the Summernats 30 celebrations, and then I was even more proud to have the SS lead the hearse at Chic’s memorial [in May this year]. He was such a generous person; he was still driving the bus to and from the hospital the year he died.

Tell us about the history of your HQ.

I bought it in about ’82. It was fairly original – 253 and Aussie four-speed. Being only 10 years old, it was pretty tidy. I was an apprentice machinist back then, and I used it to drive to work, to tech – it was my daily driver. Around 1985, I pulled it off the road, stripped it back to bare metal and gave it a full two-year rebuild.

It was at this point the flares were added to cover 15×10 American Racing wheels. It got a 307 Chev out of an HK and we cut the bonnet for the tunnel ram. Charlie Nordouse did the bodywork, while Phil Davis looked after the paint – both mates of mine.

What other mods were done?

There was the Statesman nosecone, the bumper overriders and the P6 LTD tail-lights – we cut the bumper, made them fit and had the bar re-chromed. I also redid the original Houndstooth interior in lime green.

You wouldn’t do those kinds of mods today, but that’s what we did back then. I call them ‘the sins of the 80s’.

Looks like the car has hardly changed in 30-plus years?

Yep, it’s still almost exactly the same as it was at Summernats 1. The 307 didn’t last long; some mates worked at an engine reco shop and had this 400 Chev, and they said, “How about we build it up and put it in Glenn’s car!” It’s got fuellie heads and lots of other good bits, but cost me stuff-all.

That engine and the Super T10 are both still in the car today. About five years ago, I thought the car needed a change and decided to give it a bit of a birthday. A mate had these Center Line wheels and offered ’em to me at the right price.

A few changes inside as well?

The lime green interior was one 80s sin I was happy to undo. Tony from AllTrim redid the whole lot, including the new Houndstooth inserts and factory-style door trims.

I also replaced the gauge fascia to accommodate a factory AM radio, and added some billet pedals. However, I kept the alloy rollcage, Mr Gasket bang-shifter and mesh headrests – all of which will never date.

How have you managed to keep the car in such good condition?

It’s done a lot of sitting in the shed with the cover over it. Being painted in 1985, there’s almost no paint left on it now from having the buff run over it so many times. Sure, I’ve had to brush-touch a few spots here and there, but when I give it a good wax, I reckon it still holds its own.

Are you getting the car out and about a bit more these days?

It’s done numerous weddings and funerals, but over the past three or four years it’s definitely been getting out a lot more. My son Jake is 25 now, and he drives it as much as I do. He also takes my ’97 Silverado and ’07 Harley out as well, because he knows how to look after things and not screw shit up. He actually entered the SS under his name at Summernats 31 – he’s basically taken over from where I left off.

We’ll never sell it; it will become his when I die. It’ll be in the family for a long, long time. Yeah, it might be a bit 80s, but its iconic – just the way I like it.


Colour: Lettuce Alone
Brand: 400ci small-block Chev
Intake: Weiand tunnel ram
Carbies: Twin Holley 600cfm
Heads: Chevrolet double-hump fuellies
Cam: Comp Thumpr
Ignition: MSD
Exhaust: Hurricane extractors, 2.5in Hooker mufflers
Gearbox: Super T10
Diff: 10-bolt Salisbury
Suspension: Lowered springs, Monroe Gas shocks (f & r)
Brakes: Factory discs (f), factory drums (r)
Wheels (then): American Racing; 14×8 (f), 15×10 (r)
Wheels (now): Center Line Qualifier; 15×7 (f), 15×10 (r)
Tyres (then): BF Goodrich T/A; 245/50R14 (f), 265/50R15 (r)
Tyres (now): Yokohama 225/60R15 (f), Hankook 265/50R15 (r)