Holden HZ GTS Sedan

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Holden HZ GTS Sedan

Holden HZ GTS 4 Door Sedan

1977 - 1979
253/308 V8
180kW (308)
4 spd man; 3 spd Trimatic & Turbohydramatic 400
Top Speed:
Number Built:
5 star
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 systems.

RTS 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.
HZ GTS Sedan Question
HZ GTS Sedan Fishermans Bend Reply
Small Window Click picture for close up view
HZ Holden GTS Sedan Identification
Engine Number:
Top left side of block
Body/Chassis Numbers(located to right hand side of frame):
GTS Sedan
Engine Identification:
QR 253 HC (high compression) 4.2 litre V8
QT 308 HC (high compression) 5.0 litre V8
Model Year:
Assembly Plant:
H1 - H4
H5 - H9
J1 - J9
L1 - L5
5 Digit Serial Number:
The remaining numbers in the sequence are used as a serial number, based on the plant where it was manufactured, and each in numerical sequence. The final letter is "Z", identifying the model as a HZ GTS Sedan.

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Also see:

Holden HZ Specifications
Holden Red Motor
Holden History
Holden Car Commercials
Nasco Holden Accessories Commercials
Reader Reviews page 1 of 1
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John Zadde
Posted Recently
Lorne who really cares ? HX smog motor with suspension wallow of a boat ? Truly pride of the range .
Posted Recently
I was in my late twenties when the Monaro came to our roads, what a car! I have great erommies about mine, driving to Lake Eildon for the weekends for some water skiing and relaxing on the house boat.
Posted Recently
I have owned my 1973 HQ GTS Monaro now for over 30 years. Lorne, the GTHO phase IV was in fact killed of by Ford following a Wheels magazine article by Mel Nicholes. His account of his "road test" of the GTHO Phase 3 on a trip on the Hume Hwy from Melbourne to Albury, where he openly describes holding at speeds of 200km/h for kilometre after kilometre and passing cars safely, created a political firestorm. The Sunday papers got wind of leaked top speeds of 165mph for the Phase 4 and published parts of the wheels article. The pollies were of course outraged at such "dangerous weapons" and leaned on Ford, who feared the bad press and so promptly killed off the phase IV. Sorry mate it wasn't really about fuel resources running dry. The Wheels magazine story is a great read Lorne, look for it on the net. Cheers
Lorne Thurgar
Posted Recently
As some of the other guys suggest, the LE Coupe was not a Monaro nor was the HZ. The spare parts manual and the broshures for the HZ in particular were printed in error as the assmption was that it would be called a Monaro. I have a letter from Holden confirming the same. There was a panic around the world that the world would run out of fuel. This belief is also thought to have been behind the killing off of the GTHO and Chargers. For some reason some people cant get over the fact that the people who owned the names and designs opted to drop the name Monaro. I have a genuine 1976 HX 5.0ltr 4 door MONARO. It is indeed the last Monaro model prior to the new ones. There are even people out there now that dont beleive the new Monaro's should be called Monaro's. Well sorry but its not your call either. rgds Lorne
Posted Recently
It certainly turns heads. Mine is off the road atm and needs some cancer treatment. The style and sound of these beasts makes everybody look. I was never pulled over in mine either. Great car
Posted Recently
Rob is right...I am in the process of a ground up rebuild and recall it through books and guides simply being reffered to as the GTS. But still great classic car. When mine was running it had more presence than the late model monaro's of today. Don't get me wrong they're beautiful as well.
Posted Recently
Having owned a 78 version in the green and 4spd 5lt , that car was a head turner . I drove it everyday for 3 years and had paid $12,000 in 2006(people said is ripped off) sold it for $17,000 . No car every sounded better and in 3 years never pulled over never got a ticket .
Still drive a V8 tho anything less is too lame after a GTS .
Posted Recently
Both Rob & Shane are correct. GMH never marketed the HZ GTS as a Monaro, nor does the 6 page brochure even mention the word. UC&P should update their information accordingly.
Posted Recently
hi there , Rob is right sorry to say... i own a 1977 HZ GTS that has been in the family since new and just looked at the original owners manual which still lives in the glovebox and i cant find monaro in it anywhere.
Posted Recently
Hi guys,
You state that "the HZ GTS 4-door did not wear a Monaro badge, but the brochure produced for it certainly did” but I don't believe that this is correct. Having checked in the Holden HZ Collection in the State Library of South Australia I can tell you that the six page HZ GTS brochure H666 (issued Sep 77) does not mention the name Monaro at all. What’s more General Motors Holdens Limited Transmittal Letter No ZH009 of October 27, 1977 advises that “The Monaro designation is removed”.
Reference to Page 2 of the Holden HZ Colour Chart on your site shows the GTS listed simply as “GTS Sedan”. I believe that this page should be titled “Holden HZ GTS” rather than “Holden HZ Monaro”.
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