15 July 1971 General Motors-Holdens unveil the HQ series, was it just a new Look: or was there more?
The unveiling of GM-H's HQ series on the 15 July 1971 saw the release of an all new; ground up redesigned, bigger range of Holden cars.
This new series of Holden cars introduced an all new body and chassis design, new suspension design and new engine variants. With this new series came major changes and improvements to all Holden model variants.
This completely new design Holden was the first Holden built with a unibody (An automobile construction technique in which the body is integrated into a single unit with the chassis rather than having a separate body-on-frame). This new body type improved rigidity and reduced noise and vibration.
With the HQ, Holden also introduced other new features as standard which included flow through ventilation and four–wheel coil springing on non-commercial vehicles, four-link rear end on passenger models, newer safety equipment and standards, such as slim windscreen pillars; designed to meet projected safety legislation which didn't eventuate. This new HQ series truly represented the most significant redesign of the Holden since the forties.
HQ Unibody's: better handling with greater safety
The HQ unitised body connects to an independent front end chassis partial frame that provides attachment for the front end sheet metal, front suspension components, the engine, etc. The partial frame is rubber mounted along both sides of the underbody to rear of the front door openings.
Another significant development was the inclusion of a perimeter frame chassis for the first time in a Holden. This gave the HQ much greater torsional rigidity than with the previous models, while increasing the passenger protection in the event of a side impact collision.
The perimeter frame chassis is a strong steel frame that starts from just behind the front bumper bar and widens out behind the front wheels to run inside the sills through to the rear wheels.
Improved forward and side visibility were aided by the slim A pillars and the way the bonnet dropped down away from the driver giving a better view of the road. The use of flow-through ventilation increased visibility and permitted a redesign of the doors and front windows – no more quarter windows/vents which produced a cleaner looking body.
Interior changes to this new bodied HQ, saw the handbrake moved to a position beside the driver's seat and the heater controls were shifted to a new spot on the right hand side of the dashboard. More specific interior changes being related to the various models of the new series.
HQ Model range
4-door sedan and 5-door station wagon models formed the mainstream of the passenger car ranges, which were offered in three trim levels.
- Holden Belmont Sedan
- Holden Belmont Station Wagon
- Holden Kingswood Sedan
- Holden Kingswood Station Wagon
- Holden Premier Sedan
- Holden Premier Station Wagon
"Statesman by GMH" was a 4-door long wheelbase luxury model sedan and was available in two trim levels.
- Statesman Deville
August 1972 saw the release of SS Sedan which effectively was a Belmont V8 Sedan fitted with the XV2 option package, although it was marketed as a separate model.
Initially the HQ Monaro range consisted of only two-door coupes.
- Holden Monaro
- Holden Monaro V8
- Holden Monaro GTS
- Holden Monaro GTS 350
- Holden Monaro LS
- Holden Monaro LS V8
Two four-door sedan variants of the Monaro GTS were released in March 1973 as with the SS, these new sports sedans were a special vehicle package optioned on a lesser model, in this case on a V8 Kingswood sedan.
- Option XV4 was the HQ GTS sedan.
- Option XW8 was the HQ GTS350 sedan.
The commercial vehicle range included coupe utility, panel van and cab chassis truck models. A Sandman option, was offered on Utility and Panel Van models from January 1974, and included various "sports" items from the Monaro GTS.
- Holden Belmont Utility
- Holden Belmont Panel Van
- Holden Kingswood Utility
The One Tonner was a cab chassis truck and a new variant introduced during the HQ series.
- Holden One Tonner
With the new body styles came some new, and old power plants
Some re-engineering of established engine variants developed two new engines for the all new HQ series.
The new ones;
The 173 cubic inch displacement inline six cylinder was derived from boring out the old 161 cubic inch displacement engine. Boring out the 161 from 3.375 in. to 3.5 in. produced the 173 engine. The 173 engine proved to be a hard revving and reliable engine, with reasonable torque and economy in its production state.
The new 202 cubic inch displacement engine was a re-stroked 186 cubic inch displacement engine. The bore was left at the original 3.625 in., with the stroke being changed from 3.00 in. to 3.25 in. The new 202 engine had greater torque available than the 173, but returned much lower fuel economy. A hot 6 version – 'S' was not carried over into the HQ series, instead extra "pep" was provided by one of the V8 options offered.
The old ones;
The 253 cubic inch displacement Vee 8, the 308 cubic inch displacement Vee 8 were untouched and carried over from previous variants of the Holden production line. The 350 cubic inch displacement Vee 8 did suffer some power loss from reconfiguration to bring it into line with new emission controls.