In Our Garage: Rick Lang's 1973 HQ Monaro

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In 1973 Rick Lang purchased a new Holden HQ Monaro and nearly 50 years later he is still behind the wheel of the same vehicle.

Rick shares with us his passion and the history of this iconic car.

Q. Tell us about your Holden HQ Monaro

I purchased this Holden HQ 4 door Monaro GTS in Bundaberg in 1973 from what was then known as AL Stewarts Holden.

That was just after they had built the new dealership out near the cemetery, which is now Ross Gray.

It's got extractors, 350 holley carby, which pretty much everyone does, but it's never been restored, just well-maintained.

This one has a 253, which is a very economical motor for a V8 with the 3-speed.

I've since changed it over in the last five years to put a 5-speed Toyota gearbox in it, which is better for cruising on the highway.

It's kind of typical Holden V8 sound but it's not a noisy car as it does run the dual system.

I don't have any exceptionally loud mufflers on it because as I get older, I tend to like the quieter cars.

The car was built in Brisbane at Acacia Ridge, so it's always lived in Queensland and it’s probably never going to leave Queensland as far as I'm concerned.

Q. Why did you purchase the HQ Monaro?

When I bought it, it was obviously not an old vehicle.

I just fell in love with the colour and have always loved owning it.

The colour is called orchid which is a difficult colour to describe, and people call it pink, but it's nothing like pink.

General Motors did bring out a pink car called Strike Me Pink and when you see the two together, they're nothing like each other.

I was an apprentice on around $20 a week and the car was on hire-purchase at about $100 a month, so paying it off was a bit of a struggle.

It's probably the best thing I ever did because it served us as a family car and we've raised our three girls, driving them to school in it.

The kids, of course, hated going to school in it because it was an old car, but now they realise the error of their ways and they wish they could get to ride it again!

I did get to a stage where I decided we would like to upgrade to get something with air-conditioning and automatic but with a young family, we couldn't afford both.

It was sad to see it go when I sold it, but eventually the opportunity came up to buy it back and it was quite exciting, almost like I was buying it new again.

Q. What do you love about old cars?

A. Keeping old cars restored and running on the road is a part of Australian heritage, it's what we do as Australians.

It's a good thing for younger generations to see these cars on the road.

It always got a lot of attention back in the day and still does because of its age now.

I like taking it to car shows or just showing the car because I love talking to people about cars, I find that part of it very interesting.

You must have that love for them and want to have to tinker with them, because they need to be tinkered with regularly.

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