In Our Garage: Rob’s Holden HR Premier

Item 1 of 3

For as long as he can remember, Holdens have always been a big part of Rob Bickmore’s family.

His father had Holdens and it was the make of his first car.

But Rob’s passion for Holden really revved up seven years ago when he saw a rare 186s 4 speed Premier glistening in the sunlight.

He instantly fell in love and purchased the vehicle.

Q. Tell us about your car

A. My car is a 1967 HR Holden Premier. I've had it for about seven years.

It's fairly original.

It's got the original engine, gearbox and all the mechanicals are all originals.

 It's the original paint colour, although it's had a repaint on the outside.

It was a 4-speed gearbox in this one from the factory, which was fairly rare for a HR at the time.

It had a horrible habit of jumping out of top gear on the highway, so I had to drive along holding it most of the time and it wasn't very nice to drive so I ended up getting that rebuilt.

Q. What condition was the vehicle in when you got it and what work have you done to it?

A. The condition was pretty good, it had the paint job and things like that done already.

The brakes didn't work terribly well because it had been sitting, and the clutch, you nearly needed two feet to push the clutch.

I've had to replace all the hoses, belts and things like that and had to rebuild the heater in it because it was leaking.

It didn't have a radio in it when I got it.

Thankfully no one had butchered the dash or tried to put anything fancy in there, so it was quite simple to get a standard radio and put it in.

It had just ordinary tires on when I had it and they were getting a bit old, so I decided to put the white wall tires on to fit the Premier look.

A lot of Premiers had white wall tires in the day.

Q. Why did you purchase the Holden HR Premier?

A. I've always been a Holden person.

I grew up with Holden, my father always had Holdens, so I always thought I'd like to get an old Holden.

My first car was a HR Holden, but not as nice as this one.

It was pretty much sold when I saw that because it actually looked better sitting in the sun than it did in the photos.

Under the bonnet in those days, they used to stencil the car sales yard where it was actually bought. it's fairly faded but it was Coggins Car Sales in Sydney sold the car originally.

My son's partner is actually a Coggins, I think it was her great uncle that was the car dealership.

They actually sold the car all the way back then, what are the odds of that!?

Q. What do you love about restoring cars?

A. They need to be preserved as part of the heritage of Holdens and as part of the history.

There's a lot of reaction when you drive around, you get a lot of waves and when you do put the car on display there's always someone who says their uncle or granddad had one.

It is a good social activity because we meet with different clubs as well and different makes and models.

You generally get to do a lot of chatting about the old Holdens and HRs in particular which I enjoy.

I'll stand there all day talking about it if someone's willing to listen.

Item 1 of 3