Holden HQ HJ HX and HZ

Carpedia

Feb 05th, 2020

Holden HQ HJ HX and HZ

The Holden family of large or full-size cars is designated by a nameplate and a series code. The first-ever model was released in 1948. This article will be about Holden’s seventh generation of successive series of full-size family cars – the Holden HQ, HJ, HX, and HZ. This generation superseded the HK, HT, and HG generation. The seventh wave of large cars manufactured by Holden Australia spanned thirteen years from 1971 to 1984.

Like the generation before it, the body styles consisted of 2-door coupe utility, 3-door panel van, 4-door sedan, and 5-door station wagon. The Belmont (base), Kingswood (mid-level), and Premier (luxury) models also featured in these series. The first two trims were available in sedan, wagon, and ute body styles, while the Premier was only offered as sedans and wagons. The Holden Commodore replaced the last of this generation. 

The Monaro coupes and sedans and the long-wheelbase Statesman sedans also figured during this period but are covered in separate articles. 

After the HQ series, the Belmont trim was discontinued from the commercial trims, with the ute now only badged as Holden. The commercial lineup included the ute, panel van and, in the second generation, the One Tonner heavy-duty cab chassis.

HQ (1971-1974)

The HQ series stayed longer in the market than any of the series in Holden’s sixth and seventh generations. It is the first model to be redesigned from the ground up since Holden’s first-ever model in 1948. The redesign included an entirely-new bodywork, chassis, and suspension. The HQ was Holden’s first large car to be equipped with a rear coil spring suspension. It was constructed with a perimeter frame and a semi-monocoque structure. 

The engines were upsized for this era of the Holden line, with the smallest engine boasting a capacity of 2.8 litres. Australia had access to this range of engines:

  • 2.8-litre Red inline-6 (88 kW, 228 Nm) paired with 3-speed manual – powered the Belmont commercial, sedan and wagon
  • 3.3-litre Red inline-6 (100 kW, 262 Nm) paired with a 3-speed manual or 3-speed auto – used to power the Belmont commercial and ute, Kingswood and Premier sedans, and Kingswood and Premier wagons
  • 4.1-litre Holden V8 (138 kW, 355 Nm) paired with 3- or 4-speed manual or 3-speed auto – used for the Belmont commercial and ute, Sandman commercial vehicle, and Kingswood sedan, ute, and wagon
  • 5.0-litre Holden V8 petrol engine (179 kW, 425 Nm) paired with 4-speed manual gearbox – used for the Belmont commercial and ute, Sandman commercial vehicle, Kingswood sedan and ute and Premier wagon

The regular passenger offering of the HQ series consisted of the Belmont, Kingwood, and Premier models, all available in sedan and station wagon body styles. Long-wheelbase luxury models were offered as Statesman sedans, while performance-oriented coupes and sedans came out as Monaro models.

The commercial range of vehicles consisted of the Belmont and Kingswood utes, Belmont panel van, and the Holden One Tonner. In the later part of the series, Holden introduced the Sandman ute, which incorporated some of Monaro’s sporty equipment, including the instrumentation, bucket seats, steering wheels, and rally road wheels.

The HQ was Holden’s most popular car selling an all-time high of 485,650 units despite the fact that it was only sold in right-hand drive markets, which caused the decline in sales from the 1973 figure of 41,181 to a measly 7,440 in 1975. 

HJ (1974-1976)

The HJ series replaced the HQ in 1974. These vehicles are easy to distinguish from their older siblings by their 90-degree-angled front end and wraparound indicator lights. The sedans and wagons received a new bumper and echoed the wraparound lights to the taillights. The rest of the models, however, have retained the rear-end styling of the HQ. 

The passenger range included the same models as in the previous series. However, the commercial range now removed the Belmont badge, albeit still marketed in the same trim levels in Australia.

The same engines were offered for this generation – the 2.8L, 3.3L, 4.1L, and 5.0L – with two of these enhanced to generate higher output. 

  • 2.8-litre Red inline-6 (88 kW, 228 Nm) paired with a 3-speed manual or 3-speed automatic – powered the Belmont commercial and sedan
  • 3.3-litre Red inline-6 (101 kW, 263 Nm) paired with 3- or 4-speed manual or 3-speed auto – used to power the Belmont commercial van and sedan, Kingswood ute, sedan and wagon, Kingswood Deluxe sedan, and Premier sedan and wagon 
  • 4.1-litre Holden V8 (138 kW, 355 Nm) paired with 3- or 4-speed manual or 3-speed auto – used for the Sandman commercial vehicle, Belmont sedan and wagon, Kingswood sedan, ute, and wagon, Premier sedan and wagon, and One Tonner cab chassis
  • 5.0-litre Holden V8 petrol engine (186 kW, 434 Nm) paired with a 4-speed manual gearbox or 3-speed automatic – used for the Sandman commercial vehicle, Belmont sedan, Kingswood sedan, ute, and wagon, and Premier sedan

The Kingswood Deluxe model added floor carpeting, radial tyres, and two-tone body colours to the standard equipment. The Premier model featured twin headlamps.

HX (1976-1977)

The HX series of 1976 introduced minor exterior changes to the HJ models. All models except the base commercial and coupe utility received a redesigned grille and badge, while Kingswood models received front bucket seats as standard. The Sandman utility coupe and panel van featured some Monaro GTS equipment, stripes on the side, and a Sandman badge on the rear. The commercial panel vans now were available in Kingswood trim. 

This generation was released at a time when Australian emission laws have become more stringent. As a result, the HX received a streamlined range of engines minus the 2.8L and with down-rated output.  

  • 3.3-litre Red inline-6 (88 kW, 228 Nm) paired with 3- or 4-speed manual or 3-speed auto – used to power the Belmont commercial panel van, sedan, and wagon, Kingswood commercial, sedans, utes, and wagons, and Premier sedans and wagons 
  • 4.1-litre Holden Red V8 (120 kW, 325 Nm) paired with 3- or 4-speed manual or 3-speed auto – used for the Belmont commercial panel van, sedan and wagon, Kingswood commercial, sedan, ute, and wagon, Kingswood Deluxe sedan and wagon, and Premier sedan and wagon
  • 5.0-litre Holden Red V8 petrol engine (161 kW, 398 Nm) paired with a 4-speed manual gearbox or 3-speed automatic – used for the Sandman commercial panel van, Belmont sedan, ute, and wagon, Kingswood sedan and ute, and Premier sedan and wagon

As in the previous generation, the HX also included the Monaro and Statesman models.

HZ (1977-1980)

Back in the early ‘70s, motoring journalists have since criticised Holden for the HQ’s poor handling. It took several years and three more series for Holden to reengineer the models’ suspension. This series welcomed the Radial Tuned Suspension or RTS, which improved handling and maintained ride quality. 

A rationalised passenger model range removed the Belmont base trim and replaced it with a new Kingswood SL, while the commercial lineup remained the same. The series used the same engines from the HX series.

  • 3.3-litre Red inline-6 (88 kW, 228 Nm) paired with 3- or 4-speed manual or 3-speed auto – used to power the base commercial panel van, Kingswood commercial, Kingswood SL sedan and wagon, Kingswood commercial and utes 
  • 4.1-litre Holden Red V8 (120 kW, 325 Nm) paired with a 4-speed manual or 3-speed auto – used for the base commercial panel van, Kingswood commercial, One Tonner cab chassis, and Kingswood SL sedan and wagon
  • 5.0-litre Holden Red V8 petrol engine (161 kW, 398 Nm) paired with 4-speed manual gearbox or 3-speed automatic – used for the Sandman commercial panel van, Belmont sedan, ute, and wagon, Kingswood sedan and ute, and Premier sedan and wagon

The HZ received an upgrade in 1978 to make it more competitive against the Ford Falcon. The range of passenger cars, however, was set to end two years later with the launching of the Holden Commodore. The Kingswood survived another series – the WB series – via the coupe utility. The WB Kingswood utility, WB Statesman, and the un-badged ute, panel van, and cab chassis continued to be sold in the market until 1984. 

If you have one of these stately models stowed away somewhere and are planning to sell it, feel free to advertise with us! Our high-traffic website is visited by potential buyers every day, thus improving your chance of getting the best deal for your old car. Give it a try today! 

-JMSL