SUM­MER HOL­I­DAZE

When it came to pack­ing up the kids for the big Kiwi sum­mer hol­i­day in the ’60s, the best way of get­ting to the beach was in a clas­sic Holden sta­tion wagon

New Zealand Classic Car - - Contents - Words: Ash­ley Webb Pho­tos: Adam Croy

WE’RE OFF TO THE BEACH IN THIS GOR­GEOUS HK HOLDEN PREMIER STA­TION WAGON — AND THERE’S PLENTY OF SPACE FOR THE KIDS, PIC­NIC HAM­PER AND, OF COURSE, A BUCKET AND SPADE

It’s hard to be­lieve an­other year has ticked over — hope­fully, by the time you start flick­ing through the pages of this spe­cial Christ­mas is­sue, you’ll be well and truly in wind-down mode and look­ing for­ward to, if not al­ready en­joy­ing, a well-de­served sum­mer break.

To help add to that hol­i­day feel­ing, we de­cided to fea­ture the per­fect ve­hi­cle to help you rem­i­nisce about those won­der­ful trips away in search of new and ex­cit­ing Kiwi hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions, or the favourite spot you and your fam­ily have en­joyed for years. We reckon we came up with the goods when we dis­cov­ered this truly amaz­ing, and very rare, HK Holden Premier Sta­tion Wagon. I imagine most of you will agree that the Holden has been very much a part of the great Kiwi sum­mer­time hol­i­day sea­son for decades — and there­fore is wor­thy of grac­ing the cover of this is­sue.

Holden Through and Through

The HK’S owner, Ian Ginns, is in­deed a Holden fan through and through — es­pe­cially when it comes to ex­am­ples from the late ’60s and early ’70s, the HK, HT and HG mod­els. How­ever, his own pref­er­ence is for the HK above all oth­ers.

Ian’s first ex­pe­ri­ence of rid­ing in a Holden dates right back to 1967, when he ac­com­pa­nied his mate — Barry Melville, who at the time worked for Reo Mo­tors in Taka­puna — to the Barry Point Road rub­bish dump in a light-green HR ute.

Not long af­ter that, Ian’s fa­ther bought a new, green HK Kingswood sedan — the car in which Ian later learned to drive. As you can imagine, Ian’s in­ter­est in Hold­ens was be­gin­ning to grow. A year or so later, his fa­ther traded in the Kingswood for a new HT Kingswood and, at the same time, Ian pur­chased his first car — a 1962 PAX Vaux­hall.

Af­ter leav­ing school in 1969 he fol­lowed in his fa­ther’s foot­steps, be­com­ing a paint­ing con­trac­tor. The PAX proved to be a fairly re­li­able work­horse, though he yearned for a white Holden HK or HG ute, but was un­able to scrape to­gether the de­posit at the time. How­ever, a few years down the track Ian was in a bet­ter fi­nan­cial po­si­tion and, fi­nally, he was able to ac­quire his first Holden — a green 1966 HR Premier with a white roof. This was later pressed into ser­vice as his wed­ding car — with his fa­ther’s HT play­ing the role of the brides­maid’s car.

A cou­ple of years later Ian traded in the Premier for a blue 1972 HQ V8 Premier and, in turn, this was fol­lowed by a gold­coloured 1972 HQ GTS Monaro.

For some time Ian had been keep­ing an eye on a 1970 HT Brougham that he’d spot­ted in Taupo Bay and, af­ter reach­ing the con­clu­sion that he favoured the HK, HT and HG mod­els, he man­aged to ac­quire the HT in 1978.

Ian and his wife, Jenny, hold one very spe­cial mem­ory of that Brougham, as it was the car in which they brought their son, Rob, home from the hos­pi­tal af­ter he was born. As well, that’s prob­a­bly why Rob shares his fa­ther’s in­ter­est in any­thing re­lat­ing to Hold­ens — in­deed, he’s since owned six Hold­ens, and has cur­rently set­tled into a sil­ver 2008 VE SSV, which he has owned since new. Ian and Rob are also work­ing on an­other project — restor­ing a 1969 HK GTS Monaro, a car they dis­cov­ered in Wan­ganui.

I imagine most of you will agree that the Holden has been very much a part of the great Kiwi sum­mer­time hol­i­day sea­son for decades — and there­fore is wor­thy of grac­ing the cover of this is­sue

Af­ter sell­ing the Brougham, Ian’s next car was a 1975 HJ Kingswood. He kept this car for sev­eral years, dur­ing which time he also pur­chased a 1972 To­rana GT-R. The To­rana was sold, un­for­tu­nately, due to its lack of prac­ti­cal­ity — a twodoor prov­ing too dif­fi­cult with a young child. A rather nice HJ States­man Chevro­let Caprice was the next car parked in the Ginns’ fam­ily garage, be­fore it was sold to help fund the pur­chase of a prop­erty north of Auck­land.

Wagon Wheels

Three or four years later, while driv­ing through Hamil­ton, Ian and Jenny spot­ted a blue HK Premier wagon driv­ing along the road. As they fol­lowed the Holden, it turned into a car dealer’s yard, and the cou­ple spec­u­lated that the wagon might be up for sale. As they stopped and waited, the Holden’s owner emerged, giv­ing Ian the chance to ask if he wanted to sell the Premier. The car wasn’t for sale at that stage, but tele­phone num­bers were ex­changed and, as luck would have it, a few months later Ian re­ceived a call from the owner. He was no longer us­ing the orig­i­nal, three-owner Premier and wanted to sell it to some­one who would look af­ter it. Af­ter tak­ing his mate, Barry, to Hamil­ton to check the car out, a deal was done and Ian owned the wagon. That all hap­pened back in 1987.

A spot of re­search by Ian con­firmed that the Aussie-built Premier wagon had been orig­i­nally shipped to New Zealand on the boat Karepo, ar­riv­ing at Terry Mo­tors in Blen­heim (now Wad­sco Mo­tors) on April 8, 1969.

A Few Words on the HK

The 1968 HK ranks among the most im­por­tant mod­els in Holden’s his­tory, and at the time un­doubt­edly rep­re­sented the man­u­fac­turer’s most am­bi­tious se­ries to date, bring­ing a large ar­ray of ad­di­tional mod­els that were sleeker, looked more mus­cu­lar and of­fered bet­ter safety fea­tures.

Prior to the re­lease of the HK, Holden’s po­si­tion on the Aus­tralian and New Zealand mar­kets had looked unas­sail­able, but the ar­rival of Ford’s V8-op­tional XR Fal­con cre­ated a new set of buyer ex­pec­ta­tions, which left Holden with no other op­tion than to in­tro­duce a se­ri­ously mod­ern­ized full-sized ve­hi­cle lineup — one with the po­ten­tial to dras­ti­cally out­shine the pre­vi­ous HD–HR mod­els.

Whilst six-cylin­der engines still pow­ered the ma­jor­ity of Hold­ens sold, the in­tro­duc­tion of a sin­gle, Chevro­let 5.0-litre V8-pow­ered HK model — usu­ally equipped with two-speed Pow­er­glide trans­mis­sion — saw around 15 per cent of buy­ers opt­ing for the bent eight. With pres­sure on Aus­tralian car

man­u­fac­tur­ers to con­tain costs and max­i­mize Aus­tralian con­tent, the sub­se­quent mod­els, the HT (half­way through the model run) and HG, re­ceived 4.2-litre and 5.0-litre ver­sions of an al­lAus­tralian V8.

The HK was also the first Holden to wear the soon-to-be fa­mous Kingswood name for the vol­ume-sell­ing model, re­plac­ing the name Spe­cial, whilst the base-model sedan was called Bel­mont. The lux­ury, flag­ship model, the Premier, might seem sparsely-fur­nished when com­pared to the most ba­sic of today’s Hold­ens, but it was noth­ing less than pres­ti­gious trans­port when new. This model re­mained in Holden’s line-up and, to­gether with its less lux­u­ri­ously ap­pointed sta­ble­mates, of­fered a larger choice of engines, trans­mis­sions and op­tions than had pre­vi­ously been seen in a mass-pro­duced Aus­tralian car.

From Tidy-up to Restora­tion

Ian and Jenny used the Premier for week­end trav­els to Wark­worth for around the fol­low­ing 10 years. Af­ter that, apart from the odd run, the Holden was ef­fec­tively laid up for about 12 years.

Ian put the Premier back on the road in 2013, with the help of his friend, Brian Thurston, who also used to work at Reo Mo­tors in Taka­puna, and Mike Parr of Mike Parr Au­to­mo­tive in Glen­field. Both Brian and Mike are as pas­sion­ate about Hold­ens as Ian.

The ini­tial work in­cluded re­plac­ing all wheel cylin­ders and brake lin­ings, as noth­ing much else had been done to the car, ex­cept for a new clutch and ex­haust sys­tem in­stalled back in 1986.

With that work com­plete, the wagon was back on the road, but only a few months later, Ian de­cided it was time to treat the Premier to a tidy-up. With that in mind the wagon was taken to Dave at Auto Blast in Po­rana Road, Glen­field. There, the Holden’s un­der­side was sand­blasted and re­painted with Re­sene Dure­pox. The car was then taken to Ian Hack­ett, of Carpro in Mil­ford, for a small tidy-up, but things soon grew be­yond that point.

Ian and Jenny were orig­i­nally only go­ing to strip and re­spray the Holden’s roof, but ended up re­spray­ing the whole car af­ter at­tend­ing to a few mi­nor rust re­pairs.

The in­te­rior was com­pletely stripped of all pan­els, seats and car­pet be­fore the body work com­menced. The mo­tor was also re­moved and checked. While it was out of the car, Michael Parr Au­to­mo­tive re­placed the front tim­ing gear and frost plugs, and in­stalled a full gas­ket set.

The body was then taken back to Carpro where the front guards were re­moved, and all rust re­pairs com­pleted. All the doors were re­moved, old car-park dings and dents were re­paired, and the roof was fully stripped and painted in its orig­i­nal shade of Er­mine White. The body was then re­painted, us­ing Gla­surit paint, once again to the orig­i­nal colour — in this case, Ha­cienda Blue. To com­plete the wagon’s ex­te­rior, the bumpers and wheel trims were re-chromed.

Once the Holden had been re­turned to Ian’s home garage, he de­cided to in­stall a more sporty HK GTS dash­board, one that in­cluded in­stru­ment gauges rather than warn­ing lights — with the ‘new’ speedome­ter be­ing re­cal­i­brated to re­flect the wagon’s orig­i­nal 94,000 miles (151,278km). Ian also in­stalled the orig­i­nal seats, pan­els and car­pets, while Brian Thurston at­tended to any fi­nal me­chan­i­cal work. As a nice pe­riod fin­ish­ing touch, Ian also fit­ted a set of blinds for the rear side win­dows, these hav­ing been pur­chased from Aus­tralia.

The car was quite lit­er­ally fin­ished just days be­fore our photo shoot, and while there are still a few mi­nor jobs that need at­tend­ing to, it’s abun­dantly clear that Ian and Jenny will have a great time over the Christ­mas break en­joy­ing their gor­geous, freshly re­fur­bished Premier wagon.

But wait, as they say on the TV ad­ver­tise­ments, there’s more … Ian is still on the look­out for ei­ther an HK, HT or HG Holden util­ity, prefer­ably an HK — nat­u­rally — or HR Premier, so if you can help be sure to let us know, and we’ll pass on the in­for­ma­tion.

It’s abun­dantly clear that Ian and Jenny will have a great time over the Christ­mas break en­joy­ing their gor­geous, freshly re­fur­bished Premier wagon

1972 HQ V8 Premier 1972 HQ GTS Monaro 1970 HT Brougham

1962 PAX Vaux­hall 1966 HR Premier

1972 To­rana GT-R HJ States­man Chevro­let Caprice

1970 HT Brougham and new­born son 1975 HJ Kingswood

The HK Premier wagon in the early days be­fore restora­tion This Thishk­monaroHK Monaro is­cur­rently­beingis cur­rently be­ing re­stored by Ian and his son Rob

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