Lila Thompson’s Holden HQ SS

Lila Thompson has been an HQ SS tragic for 25 years and her passion for cars is also shared with her 15-year-old daughter Grace

Photographers: Greg Forster

Lila Thompson has been an HQ SS tragic for 25 years, ever since she met her hubby Matt and nabbed his HQ SS as her daily. When he sold it a few years later to acquire money for their house deposit, Lila was left with an HQ SS-sized hole in her life. But as you can see, that void has since been well and truly filled!

First published in the April 2022 issue of Street Machine

Her daughters grew up hearing of their mother’s fondness for the Queys, and her eldest, 15-year-old Grace (pictured with Lila, top, alongside her own bitchin’ LC Torana), has since become a keen revhead in her own right. We chatted with Lila to find out about her green machine and her daughter’s growing Torry madness.

Tell us about your HQ SS.

My husband sold our old HQ SS and I always wanted another, but there weren’t many genuine ones around. After looking for many years, I found one five years ago with fresh paint and a mint interior. After I heard it fire up, I knew I’d be taking it home.

Have you done much to it?

The HQ is running a 305, which will soon be upgraded to a 350 putting out 450-500hp. The new engine has a decent cam and head work – I’ve gone nuts. It should be ready to go in the next few weeks. Behind that is a TH700 that has been rebuilt. Then we’ll tidy the engine bay a bit more than we already have, hiding more of the wiring and so on.

What do you get up to in it?

It has full rego, so we’ll go on picnics, I’ll do the school runs, even take it to the supermarket. Our youngest isn’t interested in cars, but Grace loves it, and my hubby has a genuine matching-numbers four-door GTS Monaro that he takes cruising, too. Usually we’ll head out in both cars with a daughter in each.

Tell us about Grace’s own journey with cars.

When she first sat in my HQ five years ago and heard the rumbling V8, she said to me, “Now I know why you like these cars.” She was 10 at the time and has since become obsessed with Toranas. Her bedroom walls are full of Street Machine posters!

And now she’s got a Torry of her own!

Yes, I found it for her online four years ago. It was a cheap LC with faded paint and all of the original factory fitments, including a 202 and M20 manual. Grace didn’t know we’d bought the LC until we picked her up from school in it. You should have seen her face; she loved it!

Although we bought it, she is paying us back. We also bought a project LC that she’s doing up herself as a bit of a show car. It’ll run a 202 with triple SUs. Grace loves to get her hands dirty and has the brain to work it all out. Eventually she wants to be a mechanical engineer.

Girls — wanna be famous? Send pics, car details and contact details to: Iron Maiden, Street Machine, Locked Bag 12, Oakleigh, Vic 3166. Or email: [email protected].