1977-79 HZ GTS
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.