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Ivan and Suzenna Lynch’s 1972 Holden HQ SS

For Ivan and Suzanne, the story of their 1972 Holden HQ SS started when she decided to buy him a present


Ivan Lynch chuckles and shakes his head when he considers the current values on chrome bumper Aussie cars. “Me and my brother had EHs and HRs,” he explains, “Had a Monaro back in the day. We had them when we were young and didn’t keep them. We used to buy a HQ for 50 bucks!”


The HQ Holden we’re now eyeballing is worth a fair bit more these days – start by adding a few zeroes. Like many of its contemporaries, it’s had a colourful life. “We’re the third owners,” says Ivan. “It was sold by Reg Hunt in Elsternwick in Melbourne, to a policeman in Benalla. 


“When we stripped it down it was full of all sorts of things under the back seat – like bullets –  and it had definitely been paddock bashed.


“The last owners kept it registered, but it had sat in the back yard for 10 years.” And that’s why the car remains on its original number plates – a rare thing for a vehicle that’s now over 50 years old.


For Ivan and partner Suzanne, the story started when she decided to buy him a present. “One of Ivan’s old school friends was in need of a little money and I knew they had the car in the back yard. So I came up with a number and I bought it for $8000 seven years ago. I bought it for Ivan. It was a surprise,” she reveals. 


Ivan grins at the memory. “It was a driver when they bought it, but it was dying,” he says. 

“It was completely rusted out across the plenum, the quarters were gone, it was bashed and crashed, and the roof was knocked in. It was in pretty bad shape. Things had fallen on it.”

The couple reckons the car took seven years to resurrect, sometimes with breaks so more money could be saved.

It seems Ivan was able to tackle much of the work himself, something that kept the bills down to a dull roar. However, he was happy to hand over specialist jobs to a professional.


“A former GMH worker, Denis in Berwick, did some bodywork and lead wiping, He did his apprenticeship with Holden in Dandenong and loves a cup of tea and a chat. He actually built a whole new dogleg – just amazing to watch.” Garage 12 on the Mornington Peninsula did the paint.


“I put it all back together,” says Ivan, “put the windows in, and I did the engine.”

Fortunately parts availability for HQ series is pretty good, with a lot of aftermarket repair panels being offered. Items like genuine GTS dash and steering wheel are in big demand, however we are seeing reproductions for some components.


Motor trimmers were hired for the door cards and seats – the latter have the right inserts for the second batch of SS, which is a fine chequer pattern.

“Most of the car is original and has been rebuilt and replated,” says Ivan. “Some nuts and bolts are new, you just can’t go back to 1972, I’m afraid. You have to use what’s available. We went as close as we could to showroom.


“I just fully rebuilt the engine, but it’s stock standard. The crank was linished and we did pistons, rings, cam, pushrods, lifters. The carburetor is a two-barrel WW Stromberg.

“The M20 gearbox was rebuilt too – we put a whole new kit through it. It used to jump out of fourth. It’s got all the date code stickers, and original 3.36 diff. 


“There’s no power steering, so it’s old school. We’re running original front shocks and aftermarket rears”


So how is it to drive? “It’s floating a bit, everything is new and it may take a while to settle in. There is a question mark over the existing steering box.”


Once those issues are attended to, what happens to the car? Evidently it stays in the family, as a grandson has his eye on the thing.


In the meantime, there’s a VN SS in the front yard that’s in need of a light resto…

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