Holden HQ

The Holden HQ series is a range of automobiles that was produced by Holden in Australia from 1971 to 1974. The HQ was released on 15 July 1971, replacing the Holden HG series.[1] It was the first ground up redesign of the Holden line since its original release in 1948,[2] and included an all-new body, chassis, and suspension.[1] The HQ was later developed into a series of successor models, finally ending production when the WB series was discontinued in 1984.

Holden HQ
1971-74 HQ Kingswood Patina Gold==.JPG
Holden Kingswood sedan
ManufacturerHolden (General Motors)
Also called
ProductionJuly 1971 – October 1974
Body and chassis
Body style4-door sedan
5-door wagon
2-door coupé
2-door coupé utility
2-door panel van
2-door cab chassis
LayoutFR layout
RelatedStatesman HQ
Engine173 cu in (2.8 L) I6
202 cu in (3.3 L) I6
253 cu in (4.1 L) V8
308 cu in (5.0 L) V8
350 cu in (5.7 L) V8
Transmission3-speed manual
4-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Wheelbase111 in (2,800 mm)
114 in (2,900 mm) (wagon)
Length187.5 in (4,760 mm)
190 in (4,800 mm) (wagon)
Width74.0 in (1,880 mm)
73.9 in (1,880 mm) (wagon)
Height54.0 in (1,370 mm)
54.8 in (1,390 mm) (wagons)
53.1 in (1,350 mm) (Monaro)
Curb weight2,950 lb (1,340 kg) (Kingswood sedan)
PredecessorHolden HG
SuccessorHolden HJ

Model rangeEdit

The mainstream HQ passenger car range consisted of four-door sedan and five-door station wagon models in three trim levels.[1]

The long wheelbase luxury model, "Statesman by GMH" consisted of one body style (four-door sedan) and was available in two trim levels.

  • Statesman
  • Statesman Deville

A Holden SS sedan was released in August 1972.[2] Although marketed as a separate model in reality it was a Belmont V8 sedan fitted with the XV2 option package.[3][4]

The Monaro range initially consisted only of two-door coupes.[5]

  • Holden Monaro
  • Holden Monaro GTS
  • Holden Monaro GTS 350
  • Holden Monaro LS

Two four-door sedan variants of the Monaro GTS were released in March 1973[2] and similarly to the SS the 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.

  • Holden Belmont utility
  • Holden Kingswood utility
  • Holden Belmont panel van
  • Holden One Tonner

The One Tonner, which was new for the HQ series, was a cab chassis truck.[2] A Sandman option, which was offered on utility and panel van models from January 1974,[6] included various "sports" items from the Monaro GTS.[4]


The two inline six cylinder engines from the HG range were carried over to the HQ, but were enlarged[2] to 173 cu in (2.8 L) and 202 cu in (3.3 L).[7] The 253 cu in (4.1 L) - marketed later as 4.2 liters, 308 cu in (5.0 L) and 350 cu in (5.7 L) V8's were also carried over.[7]

HQ power-trains
Engine Displacement Compression Power Torque Transmission
bhp kW ft·lb N·m
2.83 L Red I6 173 cu in Low 112 84 160 220
High 118 88 168 228
3.3 L Red I6 202 cu in Low 129 96 190 260
High 135 101 194 263
4.2 L Holden V8 253 cu in Low 174 130 247 335
High 185 138 262 355
5.0 L Holden V8 308 cu in 240 180 315 427
5.7 L Chevrolet V8 350 cu in 275 205 360 490


Production of the HQ range totalled 485,650 vehicles[6] prior to its replacement by the Holden HJ series in October 1974.[8] Holden HQ series cars were produced at GMH plants in Adelaide (Elizabeth, South Australia), Melbourne (Dandenong, Victoria), Sydney (Pagewood, New South Wales) and in Brisbane (Acacia Ridge, Queensland).

Engines, transmissions, and final drive assemblies were produced at the engine casting plant at Fishermens Bend in Melbourne, although 350 cu in (5.7 L) engines and its drivetrain components were fully imported from the United States.

Many local automotive component businesses in all these states across Australia supplied the main plants with many other parts, such as wiper arms, glass, carpets, electrical systems, fasteners, and the like.

South AfricaEdit

For the South African market, the Holden HQ sedan was marketed as the Chevrolet Kommando, and the HQ utility as the Chevrolet El Camino.[9] The Kommando received only the Chevrolet 4.1-litre six while the Constantia was also offered with the Holden 5.0-litre V8 coupled to an automatic transmission. The El Camino received both of these options as well as a new (to South Africa) 3.3-litre six, only in conjunction with a manual transmission.[10] The HQ One Tonner was sold as the Chevrolet El Toro.


The "Group 3H" Holden (HQ) of Sarah Mitchell

From the late 1980s, the Holden HQ was used in Australia as the basis of a one-make motor racing category with an emphasis on cost. The category began in Tasmania but very quickly expanded to every state and New Zealand to become the entry-level motor racing category nationwide. The cars are built to comply with CAMS Group 3H Technical Regulations.[11]

The HQ motor racing category also had an effect on spare parts in wrecking yards around Australia, with parts and body panels becoming scarce as many of the teams would 'raid' the yards for cheap spares. This led to a shortage of spares for the HQ model for anyone who owned a road-going version.

Statesman HQEdit

Statesman de Ville (HQ)

The Statesman HQ range of long wheelbase luxury sedans, based on the Holden HQ series,[12] was also released in July 1971.[13] The Statesman models replaced the Holden Brougham from the HG range[13] however they were marketed as Statesmans rather than as Holdens.[14] The Statesman HQ was offered in two models, the base "Statesman Custom" and the premium "Statesman de Ville".[14]


  1. ^ a b c Darwin, Norm (2002), 100 Years of GM in Australia, Ballarat, Victoria: H@ND Publishing, p. 260, ISBN 9780646414768
  2. ^ a b c d e Davis, Tony (1987), Aussie Cars, p. 120
  3. ^ Holden SS V8 sales brochure, July 1972
  4. ^ a b Darwin, p. 260
  5. ^ Darwin, p. 258
  6. ^ a b Holden HQ Technical Specifications Retrieved from www.uniquecarsandparts.com.au on 24 February 2010
  7. ^ a b Holden HQ sales brochure, January 1972
  8. ^ Davis, p. 156
  9. ^ Holden abroad, Restored Cars No. 220, Sep-Oct 2013, pp. 45-47
  10. ^ Wright, Cedric, ed. (November 1972). "Chevrolet (HQ) Camino". CAR. Vol. 16 no. 10. Cape Town, South Africa: Ramsay, Son & Parker (Pty) Ltd. p. 9.
  11. ^ "How to get involved in HQ Racing". HQ Racing Australia. Retrieved 2 June 2010.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Davis, p. 121
  13. ^ a b Darwin, p. 259
  14. ^ a b Statesman (HQ) sales brochure, BD101, issued July 1971