Forget your 427s and 502s; this HQ Premier thumps to the tune of 632ci of the General’s finest
PATRICK Langdon has refined his HQ Premier from a dead stock nanna-mobile to the 1000hp, 632ci monster you see here. The car’s vintage pro street vibes are no accident, as Patrick’s custodianship of the more-door Quey goes back nearly 40 years to the era of big ’n’ littles, tunnel rams, sump-scraping stance, and hair metal.
“I bought it in 1985 as my first car,” Patrick begins. “I’m the second owner, and it was in awesome condition at the time. It had been owned by an elderly couple who must not have driven it over 100km/h, as it had a real good flat spot there. It was a high-compression 202 and it was dead stock. All my friends were driving HXs and HZs, which were the newest Kingswood models to have been released, and I had this old HQ. It’s funny how that’s turned around now, as everyone wants the HQ!”
Pat’s factory Prem is resplendent in the now-rare factory Nutmeg Metallic brown, with a contrasting vinyl roof. “I kept the vinyl roof, despite half my mates telling me to get rid of it,” Pat laughs. “It works with the original Nutmeg Metallic colour, and I didn’t modify that, as I wanted an original-looking cruiser.”
While the paint has remained brown through the years, one thing that has changed is the powertrain. Originally red six-powered, Pat’s HQ has thumped to the tune of a 308 iron lion and two different small-block Chevs. But nothing compares to the tower-of-power big-block that’s now sitting between the front wheels.
“I was in the process of building my third small-block and it was going to be a monster motor, but I was waiting for a set of these killer heads from the USA, and it just got too much,” Pat explains. So, I decided to go big-block, and my engine builder mate, John Holzer from Prostar Motorsport, said, ‘If we’re going big-block, let’s go big big-block!’”
The core of the powerplant is a Chevy 632ci block and Brodix Big Brodie heads, with CP Bullet slugs, Lunati H-beam rods and a Lunati Sledgehammer crank making up the rotating assembly. A solid-roller cam, high-volume oil pump and Moroso oil pan round out the bottom end, and the tall-deck monster is topped by a Prostar Motorsport sheet-metal tunnel ram wearing a pair of 1050cfm Quick Fuel QFX carbs.
“I wanted 800hp, which was more than what I needed,” says Pat. “It went over 1000 on the engine dyno on pump 98, and even though I had all the race fuel ready to go if we turned it up, we just didn’t need to go there. It would have made over 1100hp with more sorting, but this is already so much more than what I ever thought I’d get.”
We’re used to seeing big-blocks in HQ-HZ Holdens, but Patrick says fitting the 10.2in-deck-height monster took a bit more work than simply bolting mounts on while eating pizza. “My engine builder did everything custom-made,” he says. “We got the engine set on plates as far back as we could go without touching the firewall, but we had to modify the tunnel and do a bit of trimming to get the engine down in the bay properly, as it’s so tall.”
Behind the 4.60in-bore, 4.750in-stroke behemoth is a TCE 3200rpm converter and manualised TH400 ’box, with a beefy braced nine-inch third member passing the grunt to the blacktop. The diff has been filled with all the good gear needed to handle over 1000hp, including full-floater axles, a Mark Williams aluminium centre section, Truetrac LSD and 35-spline axles.
The narrowed diff swings off QA1 coil-over struts, with a Competition Engineering four-link and anti-roll bar replacing the stock pressed-tin hardware. Up front, the handling has been dragged out of the disco era with double-adjustable Viking coil-overs, a Flaming River power steering rack and a remote-mount TS Astra electric pump.
While he has run 11s down the strip in the Prem’s former guise, Pat hasn’t had it on the quarter-mile in its current form just yet. He simply isn’t in a rush to see what it will do after all this hard work. “It’s probably been six years in the build,” he sighs.
Thankfully, Pat is reminded that all this was worth it every time he takes the 10.7-litre monster out for a run. Hopefully he’ll get another 38 years of enjoyment out of it.
Story: Iain Kelly
Photos: Chris Thorogood