This article on Jonas's HR Special was originally published in the April 2017 issue of Street Machine
“I REMEMBER wandering into the shed back when I was four or five years old, and seeing Dad working on the motor of his FE Holden sedan. I watched him for a bit before trying to do anything that I could to help out – and I’ve constantly been bugging him to work on cars ever since!. My favourite memory is Dad taking me for drives in the FE; it was the best feeling being a little kid and sinking back into the cushy old bench seat.
“Fast-forward to about two or three years ago, and my uncle came over and offered the HR to Dad. So I slipped in and said that I’d take it, as I knew Dad had plenty of other projects – he’s got FEs, FCs, an LC Torana and Mum has an Austin Healey.
“When I got the keys to the HR it had been sitting in my uncle’s shed for a decade. Before that, his son had pulled it off the road for a four-speed conversion. And it was the dodgiest job; he’d used cold chisels and hacksaws to get the crossmember out.
“So Dad and I spent quite a while tidying it up and getting it back to original before slotting in the stock three-on-the-tree. Once that was done we went right through the car, checking over the 186ci, the cooling system, the fluids, adding new brakes and clutch, basically everything to get it up and running.
“Now that she’s driving, I’m currently preparing to do rust repairs in an effort to get the body back to factory condition. I plan to learn on my cars – I also have an ’81 KE38 Corolla that I’m doing a motor swap and planned turbo for – so that when I give Dad a hand on his projects I’ll do a much better job. He has much nicer cars than I do!
“I’ve also just started an apprenticeship as a heavy vehicle mechanic. Because I love working on cars, I thought I’d further my knowledge and experience by going into the heavy vehicle side. That way I could keep working on cars as my hobby, not my work.
“My plan for the HR is to keep it as a cruiser. A few people have suggested dropping a V8 in and bolting Center Lines to it, but everyone does that. I just want to leave it as a nice old driver; it’s not going to be a show pony or anything. Yet if the Conditional Rego scheme gets through I’d like to slowly do simple stuff like add some proper seatbelts and disc brakes, borrow Dad’s Dragway Splatts with a set of white-lines, maybe hot up the motor a little with a cam and twin carbs."