In March 2002, I found a 1973
HQ LS 350 Monaro with virtually every worthwhile factory fitted option
included. Purchase price was $4,000. My plan was to part it out and transplant the 350 - Turbo 400 drive train along with its electric windows, into my Nutmeg Metallic GTS coupe.
Before wrecking the car, some research indicated that only 216 HQ LS 350s (81237 - L30) were built between 1971 and 1974. This car was completed on 19 October 1973 at the Pagewood NSW plant, being the 205th LS 350 HQ produced and the last LS 350 manufactured in 1973.
It was in its original configuration with all numbers matching for motor,
chassis, transmission and rear axle. I then came to my senses and decided to restore the car.
The vehicle was delivered new on 31 October 1973 from Suttons Motors Arncliffe NSW to Mr Wally Gregory whose address is recorded as The Breakers, Toowoon Bay New South Wales. He owned the car until approximately 1976 when it was sold to a family friend. The car was driven by the second owner - a lady for the next 18 years. Apparently the car "never missed a beat", was regularly serviced and never had the engine, TH 400 or the diff opened up for repairs.
It was then taken off the road in the early 90's and stored for 7 years in absolutely original form before being sold. The 3rd owner had the car for approx. 2 years. The Doeskin vinyl roof was removed and the car roughly repainted in its original Gunmetal Metallic colour. The 3rd owner seemed to have little regard for the originality of the car, replacing the Corvette rocker covers and chrome 350 air cleaner with chromed pressed metal alternatives. The motor was also repainted in situ and over the grease in red and yellow colours. Fortunately, the Corvette rocker covers and 350 air cleaner were in the boot when I purchased the car !!
I began its restoration in 2002, spending most weekends working on the car over the next 6 years. I did most of the restoration myself; engine reconditioning, suspension, air conditioning, power steering, brakes, electricals. Specialists painted the car, installed the vinyl roof, produced new door trim panels and made some minor repairs to the front seats.
The car has now been fully restored to factory original condition and driven regularly. It was award 1st place in the "HQ Factory Original" class at the 2008 Monaro Nationals.