Welcome the new HJ; a fresh face.
General Motors-Holden's improved and facelifted version of the long–running and very successful HQ series was released as the HJ series on 4 October 1974.
Chassis dimensions remained unchanged, but revised front end styling gave the car a larger more dominant look. With the exception of the One Tonner the new look HJ series were easily identified from the HQ having received a squared-off front end treatment with wrap-around indicator lights and a new design front grille.
The rear treatment of the HJ sedan models sported a new bumper and wraparound triangular taillights, the rest of the model range kept the rear styling from the previous HQ's series. Sedan and wagon variants also had revised rear quarter panels. Holden introduced the first factory optioned front and rear spoiler on the HJ GTS models.
The HJ series bumpers were extended out from the body, affording better protection and reducing repair costs in the event of minor collisions. The four-headlight Monaro LS coupe was now the entry level Monaro and the GTS continued as a single headlight coupe or four door sedan. Other body styling changes to the four door GTS featured a prominent, blacked-out grille, bigger wraparound rear lights, more aggressive side vents and decals giving it a more imposing look and stance than its predecessor.
New body-mounted tail-light assembly were incorporated into the rear quarter panels, replacing the HQ's series bumper mounted version. All HJ Monaro coupes retained the HQ's rear styling.
Mechanical improvements included;
- cable-type throttle control on all engines;
- 308 Vee 8's were coupled to the Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 transmission instead of the Tri-Matic.
- Kingswood models were fitted with power assisted front discs and the 3300 (202) engine as standard.
The 350 Chevrolet-engined Monaro Coupe and Sedan was dropped from the range because of de-tuning of the imported Chevrolet 350 to meet US anti-pollution legislation; it no longer made sense as a premium performance option, which meant the HJ also saw the demise of the GTS350, making the Australian produced 308 the largest engine available across the HJ series. To close the performance gap Holden boosted the compression ratio of the locally produced 308 and coupled the automatic 308 with the Turbo-Hydramatic 400 from the previous GTS 350.
Interior improvements on the HJ series included new seats that were made from a full-foam construction rather than the previous models Z-spring design. The revised seats, apart from being more comfortable, were considered safer as the head restraints were now integrated into the seat design.
The interior facelift for the HJ series included a better ventilation system and higher equipment levels, and a new dashboard, which brought back the "swipe" style speedo that was considered by many to immediately date the interior; as it was reminiscent of much earlier previous models.
The HJ series Monaro GTS offered extra comfort and its beefier styling came with a comprehensive sports instrument panel unique to the model which featured multiple ventilation outlets and clear recessed instruments with international symbols. The new style full foam high-backed seats came in a variety of trims, including herringbone with a red centre stripe.
The Holden HJ series extended the upmarket range, with the introduction of the even more luxurious Statesman "Caprice", with the existing "Statesman DeVille" becoming a 2nd tier luxury car, a level above the sedan based Premier.
'Sandman' versions of the panel van and utility were actively marketed to increase Holden's share of the rapidly expanding recreational market and saw the variant being produced in larger volumes with the advent of the HJ series.
As part of an inter-company agreement between General Motors and Mazda, Holden HJ series Premier body shells were exported to Mazda in Japan. The exported body shells were rebadged and fitted with Mazda's 13B Wankel rotary engines. The hybrid was then marketed as the Roadpacer, Mazda's top of the line domestic market model.
HJ Model range;
The mainstream passenger car range consisted of 4-door sedan and 5-door wagon models in three trim levels. The Premier was distinguished from the lower tier models by a four headlight frontal treatment. Wagons have a wheelbase which was three inches (76.2 mm) longer than the sedans.
- Belmont sedan
- Belmont wagon
- Kingswood sedan
- Kingswood wagon
- Premier sedan
- Premier wagon
Holden HJ Monaro GTS Sedan
The base model Monaro Coupe was not carried over from the HQ series and was replaced with the LS as the HJ Monaro series entry level model. The Monaro range included two-door coupe and four-door sedan models:
- Monaro LS Coupe
- Monaro GTS coupe
- Monaro GTS sedan
"Statesman by GMH" was a 4-door long wheelbase luxury model sedan and was available in two trim levels.
- Statesman Deville
Commercial vehicle derivatives included coupe utility, panel van and cab chassis truck models. The base model utility and panel van models did not carry the Belmont name which had been applied to their HQ series equivalents, and they were marketed simply as the Holden utility and Holden panel van respectively.
- Kingswood utility
- Panel van
Sandman variants were equipped with various features from the Monaro GTS models. There were 2 x special vehicle packages available based upon various commercial vehicles:
- Sandman (option code XX7 (and XU3 added late 1975)) - available on Holden Utility (until early 1976) and Panel van and on Kingswood Utility.
- XU3 became the original XX7 late 1975 and from then onwards XX7 vehicles used passenger vehicle tyres.
- Ambulance (option code BO6) - available on Panel van and Cab Chassis.
The cab/chassis model was marketed as the Holden One Tonner, which in base form still used its own unique front treatment introduced with the previous HQ range, and would continue with the model until 1980. If a cab chassis or van was optioned as a BO6 (ambulance) it was fitted with the HJ Premier front and door trims.
- One Tonner (cab chassis)
What powered the HJ - power plants;
2.8 litre (173 cubic inch) and 3.3 litre (202 cubic inch) inline six-cylinder engines were available, as were 4.2-litre (253 cubic inch) and 5.0-litre (308 cubic inch) V8 units. The imported 350 engine was no longer offered as an option due to de-tuning resulting from changes made to it to ensure compliance with US anti-pollution legislation.
The two Monaro GTS models were only offered with the 4.2 or 5.0 litre eight-cylinder engines.