YOUNG GUN

KANE CLAASSEN > 20, CHRISTCHURCH, NZ

PHOTOS NATHAN JACOBS

IíM A fitter and turner engineer just coming to the end of my apprenticeship. Iíve always liked old-school cars; Iíd had a few Ford Escorts, but once I got my first HQ Holden when I was 17 I just fell in love with them.

Iíve had this í74 HQ Belmont for about two months now; itís the seventh Quey Iíve owned.

When it came along it was like no other HQ Iíd ever seen, so I had to get it! It has only done 86,000km and is completely original.

The guy I bought it off found it in a barn a few years ago and it was kept in really good condition. Only the paint had deteriorated, so he got it resprayed in the original colour. The first owner had it for 30 years and mustíve barely driven the thing, then locked it away on a farm.

The interior especially has held up well; it almost looks like a new car! It even still has the spare wheel, and I donít think it has ever been used.

In terms of the running gear itís just a standard Belmont, so it has a Holden 202 six-cylinder in it with a three-speed column-shift manual.

I havenít done anything with the engine because it runs fine and I want to keep it in original condition, which is going to be hard to do because Iíve modified every car Iíve ever owned! The only thing Iíve done is stick some Statesman hubcaps on it, but Iíve still got the originals sitting in the boot.

Being a Belmont it shouldnít have any features on it, but it has a cigarette lighter, ashtray and door mirrors on either side. I think it was originally supposed to be a police car but it ended up being sold to a private owner here in New Zealand.

I donít have any other cars anymore; this HQ is my one love now. I recently sold my other Quey and my old CJ Valiant limo project car (pictured left). Iíll probably end up with another HQ down the road though; Iím always on the lookout for a good buy! But I wonít be getting rid of this one any time soon. s

I WANT TO KEEP IT IN ORIGINAL CONDITION, WHICH IS GOING TO BE HARD TO DO BECAUSE IíVE MODIFIED EVERY CAR IíVE EVER OWNED!