HOLDEN HX STATESMAN
You can easily imagine t he interna l struggle someone might go through when presented with the choice bet ween Fairlane and Statesman. Both were popular with business owners, commercial travellers and anyone who had (or wanted) to rack up long miles in a big comfortable car t hat wasn’t going to let them down. So Holden and Ford made sure the choice wasn’t easy.
Of course this was much less of a drama is if you had some sort of sentimenta l a llegiance to a particular model. For Con Raphael, it was a ll about buying back something he regretted selling. There had been a gold Statesman parked in his driveway many years ago and he eventua lly traded it. That turned out to be a mista ke so, about a decade ago, he went hunting and bought the closest thing he could f ind to his f irst.
It’s a 1977 HX, with a 308 V8 running a Quadrajet and Turbo 400 transmission. A mechanic by trade, Con reckons the red 308 is ultra-tough and easy to look after. Keep up t he oil changes and you’ll be right. The blue version of t his engine runs a single instead of a double-row timing chain, which f logs out sooner. If t hat’s t he case wit h yours, he suggests doing t he (easy) conversion.
Emission reg ulations were ta k ing effect by 1977, which had an impact on power output.
As for t he transmission, t he T400 is tough though it does suck up more power than the later T350.
This model was built just before t he introduction of GMH’s radia l tuned suspension, which did a lot to tidy up t he handling of t his and the Kingswood series. However the HX, with some fresh bushes and dampers, can be made to behave respectably.
Something that caught our attention was t he unusual ‘sports’ dash and steering wheel, plus a few ot her litt le cosmetic upgrades. Had someone been getting creative in t heir shed? Apparently not. Con reckons the car was ordered by a Holden staffer, who specified the Monaro dash and wheel, along with a few extras normally reser ved for the more upmarket DeVille.
The basic shape of t his car went back as far as the HQ Statesman, which in turn enjoyed some strong Cadillac inf luences. In HQ form it sold over 18,000 units – a respectable number. It subsequently went through HJ, HX, HZ and WB variants, t he f irst t wo of which were largely cosmetic updates.
If you’re in t he market for one, t here is a prett y substantia l f leet still r unning around and, as wit h a ll of t he lu xo bombers, t he dev il will be in the state of the body and how much of t he original trim sur v ives. With some judicious buying you can do ver y well.
ABOVE RIGHT That dash and wheel are thought to be a special order from a Holden staffer. CENTRE RIGHT Owner Con Raphael.