Holden HZ GTS 4 Door Sedan
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 5
The HZ Holden
was released in late 1977
- and was unfortunately the last in the series of four HQ
-based Holdens. This model was most noted as the first full-sized Holden to be fitted with GM-H's acclaimed Radial Tuned Suspension
- a system that would become so successful that the other two members of the "Big Three", Ford and Chrysler, responded with their own revised suspension
made the entire HZ range
a much better drive - but none more so that the best performing Holden then rolling off the production line, the GTS Sedan. The GTS was undoubtedly the flagship of the Holden range - and while it could be argued that the Statesman deserved the title, GM were not promoting that car as a Holden
Despite the lack of a Monaro badge, Holden were unwilling to let the legend lapse, and just like the HX LE Coupe
, the GTS Sedan was, at least to our mind, very much a member of the prestigous Monaro family. The GTS looked the goods too, sporting a mesh grille, subtle body stripes and detailing on optioned-up versions, which revived aspects of the HG Monaro GTS
A four-headlight nose, body colour front and rear spoilers and bumpers and sports wheels also helped to make it more of a stand-alone package in the "Monaro" tradition. The GTS Sports Sedan came standard as a 253 4.2 V8
, but you could add the 5.0 litre, power steering, plaid cloth seats, limited slip diff, electric windows and air-conditioning. Rear disc brakes
were standard, seven inch polycast wheels or spoked wire wheels were optional. In May 1978
the 5.0 litre V8 became standard.
The HZ stayed in production until 1980
at which point GM-H had intended to replace it with a 'WB' Kingswood. Based on the Statesman, this was a bigger car than the HQ-HZ series and was designed to appeal to those for whom the more modern Commodore was too small. After all, sales of big Holden’s had remained strong after the 1978
launch of the Commodore
In a decision they would regret, however, GM-H executives decided to can the WB
. With a fuel crisis in progress, a series of corporate losses and sales graphs showing an overall decline in big car sales they were reluctant to release another big Holden model. It would be 1988
before the Holden
was again able to compete head-on with the 'full-size' Falcon.
Whats In A Name?
Our previous article incorrectly claimed the HZ GTS Sedan was known as a Monaro despite the lack of any Monaro badge. There was some confusion at the time, and anything Holden adorned with a GTS decal was assumed by many, including us, to have been a Monaro. We still consider the car to be very much a member of the Monaro family, and with the addition of RTS it could well be considered to be the best. But for any confusion we have caused, we apologise. Below are some letters to and from GM-H which should put to rest any confusion, and we thank our valued reader for sending the information to us.