1977-79 HZ GTS

Unique Cars - - MONARO 50 YEARS -

The last hur­rah of the Monaro name (for a cou­ple of decades, at least…) was the HZ. We have a copy of Holden’s own con­tem­po­rary pub­lic­ity ma­te­rial list­ing it as a Monaro GTS, but there wasn’t a Monaro logo to be seen any where on the car or the brochures. This has been the cause of con­sid­er­able con­tro­versy over the years, over whether or not the HZ GTS is a Monaro.

It was per­haps ironic (or sad) that this last car was the pick of the han­dling pack­ages thanks largely to the in­tro­duc­tion of Ra­dial Tuned Sus­pen­sion with the HZ range. With GM’s usual coil springs all round, it was set up to make the sedan’s point re­spectably and was clearly a cut above its pre­de­ces­sors in that de­part­ment. A con­tem­po­rary Mod­ern Mo­tor mag­a­zine cover summed up the gen­eral feel­ing with the head­line, “At last! The Holden han­dles.”

Vis­ually it scored some of the pre­mium gear: spoil­ers were now stan­dard, as were the hooded rear view mir­rors. Un­der­neath, you got disc brakes all round.

The pow­er­train of­fer­ings were es­sen­tially as be­fore. The 253 V8 was the base of­fer­ing, with an M20 four-speed. You could op­tion that with the sportier M21 man­ual or the Tri­matic auto. Splash the cash a lit­tle and you could go with the 308 plus M21 or the Hy­dra­matic 400 auto.

Quite late in the day, May 1978, the big en­gine be­came the stan­dard of­fer­ing.

Pric­ing started at $8482 and the op­tions list re­mained long. For ex­am­ple, you could add air­con­di­tion­ing, power win­dows, cassette player (re­mem­ber them?), power steer­ing and even wire wheels.

By now the GTS had be­come hand­some rather than el­e­gant and was seen as the f lag­ship of the HZ range. Sadly it was to die out, as plans to de­velop a new line of big cars based on the WB plat­form fell over.

Pro­duc­tion came to an end in early 1979, with 1438 cars.

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