21 August, 2021
With NANA Q, its just one big family affair
by RUSSEL SOPER I HAVE owned this car, Nana, since July 1991 (30 years last month). I bought it as an original single-owner Balmoral Green Belmont with a 173 and three speed from my Grandma Geeta after she handed her license in.
I had wanted the car since I was 13, borrowed it a lot when I first had my license going to the Stardust Drive In near Ayr on a regular basis. Eventually Grandma rang me one day and gave me first option to buy it, which I jumped at. I caught a bus from Mackay to Home Hill, bought the car off Grandma for $2000 and drove it straight home after stopping at Bowen to unscrew the sunvisor.
At the time I thought that sunvisor was pretty horrendous, but now I want really badly again. Derek Clapson from Clapson Automotive did the original roadworthy for me and that was that. I owned the car I had wanted since I was 13.
After buying the car I drove it as a daily driver for many years, just lowered with 14 x 7 hot wire wheels and a 3” exhaust. That did me right up until I got a company car for work and pulled the HQ off the road for the first of many rebuilds over the years I have owned it. This car has seen a huge amount of street driving, including a 4680km round trip to Cobar for the 2018 Running on Empty Festival.
This festival was a pilgrimage which saw people from all over Australia come to the tiny mining town in Western New South Wales where a big portion of the 1982 classic Australian movie Running on Empty was filmed. I have drive it twice from Mackay to Brisbane and back for the HQ Holden Run in both 2018 and 2019, with a round trip from Mackay to Dalby for the new bonnet in between.
In February of this year NANA was one of the seven old-school cars that featured on the Channel 10 TV Show Amazing Race Australia. It’s a journey being the second owner of the family HQ. I love it and will never sell it. I have plans to eventually go back to the original green colour with a few tricks to get that colour to pop.