The story behind Dunc's 1966 Holden HR


I bought my HR back in 2011 off a bloke in Whangarei. Paid about 5k for it.

That summer we decided to drive it from Auckland down to Queenstown and back. Off we went with Dixie, my mate Mexican Mike and his girlfriend at the time. Other mates were skeptical the old girl was going to make it but I wasn’t ha ha.

We stayed at a mates farm near Lake Brunner on the way down and on the morning we were leaving the window on the tailgate shattered into a million pieces when I was trying to wind it up... we were like cool no window for the rest of the trip.. bruuutal. 

I ended up ringing a few wreckers in Greymouth and one of them pointed me towards this place just over the river north of the town... we pulled up to this joint and it was like something out of a movie.

Sitting out front on a fold out deck chair was this greasy looking battler smoking a rollie ciggy and he yells out “Spose yahs are looking for the rear window for an HR are yah?” I was like ahhhh yup and he says “over there”  and points towards a pile of rusty cars that had been sitting at this seaside wreckers for decades.

I walked over and sure enough old mate was right, there sitting on top of another car was a rusted out HR wagon. 40 minutes later we had hit the jackpot and had the new window in my car.

The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful until we were just outside the town of Ward just south of Blenheim going up a hill & the old girl shat it’s pants. It lost all power and we had to get a tow truck to take us into Blenheim. 

Having worked in radio in Blenheim for a bit I knew the go to guy for anything Holden was local mega bogan called Tricky.

I called him and he said "I'll take it to my mate Jase’s house." So that’s where it ended up... 30 hours later with no sleep we managed to pull the engine out replace the timing gear and get the thing back together. 

Looking back the most fun we had on the trip was the adventures that came from the HR being barely road legal and clinging on to life ha ha she had had a tough one.

The next W.O.F it went for it failed and I thought “that’s it she’s coming off the road and she’s getting a birthday”.  So off the road she came for what i thought was going to be a quick turnaround…. I stripped it and the bloody thing was of rust it wasn’t it.

Turns out it had spent 10 years of its life at Mangawhai by the beach...FU#K!

I managed to source a new body from a legend called Koby also from Whangarei and got the thing in for a round of rust repairs.

Funds dried up she went into storage..

Anyone doing up a car I recommend doing it before kids and buying a house cause that will put the anchors on it big time. A house and 2 kids has meant a 6 year break from the project but now she’s finally going in for the treatment she deserves.

The poor old girl has had a bit of rust in it’s time... Like a lot of old cars the HR wagons had some design flaws that meant she was pretty susceptible to rust. She’s getting close to 60 years old and it shows not to mention some shoddy repairs over the years. 

Anyway, I had been following a bloke called Chopper from Choppers Auto Body Shop for quite a few years and knew he was the guy I wanted to trust with my car.

The guy is an absolute wizard and does some freakish things with cars and no surprises there was a bit of a wait to get her in. 

Whats the end goal? Pretty much a factory HR but lowered, a little rumble from the exhaust and factory light blue paint with a white roof.

The following is a blog covering the Journey - Dunc.

How gooood! Chopper heard about an old 80 year old dude out the back of New Lynn, Auckland who had quite a few Holden parts under his house. So Chopper went out there and hit the bloody jackpot.

Found not one, not two, not three but 4 decent doors! To give you an idea of how rare the wagon rear doors are it took me four years to find one half decent one! On top of that mega find the old boy wouldn't accept money for them he was just happy to know they would make back on an HR. Absolute legend.