Unique Cars - - LUXO LAND YACHTS -

took Holden as close as was fea­si­bly pos­si­ble to making a Cadil­lac for Aus­tralia. Of course, the big V8’s per­for­mance, brakes and gen­eral road man­ners would have left Cad­dys of the era wal­low­ing, which is prob­a­bly why when WB pro­duc­tion ceased we didn’t get a Seville or Ci­mar­ron in its place.

With the com­pact Com­modore im­mi­nent and fuel econ­omy a top-of-mind con­sid­er­a­tion for buy­ers, the days of long-wheel­base Hold­ens are num­bered. Dur­ing the mid-70s when de­vel­op­ing the last-ever States­man, GMH could have skimped on de­sign ad­vance­ment but to their credit they didn’t and en­sured that the WB would be much more than an HZ in a Hughie Boss suit.

Then and now, the version to track down is a Caprice. Given the cost of get­ting a bad car back to pris­tine, you also need to grab the ab­so­lute best ex­am­ple you can af­ford. When new, the top-spec States­man cost a third more than the base-model De Ville but was packed with gear in­clud­ing power win­dows, air-con­di­tion­ing, plasti-wood dash trim and the first cruise con­trol fit­ted to an Aus­tralian car. That all needs to be work­ing or be re­placed.

Caprice wheels were 7 x 15 inch al­loys with 60 Se­ries rubber in place of the De Ville’s steel rims with tall and squirmy 78s. That change alone made a world of dif­fer­ence to the way a WB Caprice held the road. An­other fea­ture that made the Amer­i­cans look ne­an­derthal were all-disc brakes and their mas­sive con­tri­bu­tion to dy­namic safety.

If you’re con­cerned about how much fuel that 5.0-litre V8 might gulp, WBs are sometimes sold with op­er­a­tional LPG equip­ment. How­ever the vast ma­jor­ity of to­day’s own­ers are go­ing to use their WB to cruise, en­joy and im­press passers-by, rather than as reg­u­lar trans­port.

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