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About the HZ Holden
GM-H released the HZ series in October 1977. It was the forth version of the HQ body style and the big news was RTS (Radial Tuned Suspension). RTS was already utilised in the LX Torana and Sunbird range. For HZ however, changes for RTS made an even larger impact on improving the car as a whole. Springs and shock absorbers were up rated and standard road wheels widened. Anti-roll bars were fitted to the rear suspension on all models and front bars uprated.
Another addition to the HZ was the availability of rear disc brakes. These were standard for the GTS, Statesman DeVille and Statesman Caprice and optional for all other V8 sedans and wagons. They were also optional for 6-cylinder sedans and wagons, if the Salisbury rear axle (P.O. G73) was fitted.
Engines and transmissions remained essentially the same as the HX series, including XT4 anti-pollution equipment. Bodywise, the HZ was a minor facelift of the HX series, which was a minor facelift of HJ. The model line-up was changed yet again. The new Kingswood SL models were introduced as the base model. A more basic Kingswood sedan and wagon replaced Belmont models for fleet buyers only.
With the coupe body deleted in late 1976, the only sports model was the 4-door sedan badged as the Holden GTS. A 4-headlamp Premier style nosecone distinguished the new GTS.
External styling changes for HZ were an egg-crate style grille (except One-Tonner and Statesman models), revised badging, mouldings and wheel covers. Kingswood SL sported full stainless steel wheel covers. Body sheetmetal remained the same as the HJ/HX series with one exception. Kingswood, Kingswood SL and Premier sedans had the Statesman boot lid, giving the rear a squarer, more distinctive look.
The old HQ/HJ/ HX boot lid panel was retained for GTS to allow for the rear air dam. Standard equipment for Kingswood SL included reclining front bucket seats with seat separator, full carpeting, push-button AM radio and quartz-halogen headlight inserts, making the SL models better equipped than many earlier Premiers.
In June 1978 the HZ received a mid-model upgrade with revised equipment levels for most models. The Kingswood SL received an electric clock, remote exterior mirror, heated rear screen and tinted laminated windscreen as standard. The Premier gained the 4.2-litre V8 and T-bar Tri-Matic auto as standard. The GTS was fitted with the 5.0-litre V8 engine, inertia rear seatbelts and tinted side glass as standard equipment. All models fitted with V8 engines had power steering.
The Statesman DeVille came from the factory with air conditioning, central locking and AM/FM radio. The 1978 Vacationer models, based on the Kingswood SL wagon featured a 4.2-litre V8, T -bar Tri-Matic, power steering, electric tailgate window lift, dual sports mirrors (GTS style), chromed roof rack, exclusive two-tone paint combinations and other minor additions.
The limited release Statesman SL/E was introduced in July 1979, positioned between the DeVille and Caprice. It could be identified externally by the widely spaced grille and Sunbird/ Gemini SL/E style 14 x 6 alloy wheels. Statesman SL/E was based on the Caprice and carried Caprice model coding on the body ID plate. Another limited production Statesman was the Champagne Edition DeVille. Painted in Champagne metallic, it featured imported Dunlop chrome spoked wire wheels.