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General Motors–Holden’s updated the range in 1974 to create the Statesman HJ, retaining the Statesman de Ville whilst creating a new flagship in the Statesman Caprice, replete with standard luxury features such as air-conditioning and leather seating. Statesman Custom was discontinued with the HJ series and engine availability was restricted to the 308-cubic-inch (5.0 L) V8 engine. Statesman Caprice was the most luxurious car offered by General Motors in Australia at that point, with air conditioning, leather seats, electric locking, power windows, and no fewer than 13 interior lamps all featuring on the standard equipment list.

The Caprice was visually distinctive with a specific radiator grille, Cadillac-style front bumper overriders, lavish fluted hubcaps, whitewall tyres, and a bonnet ornament borrowed from the Chevrolet Caprice.

Once again, the Caprice was General Motors−Holden’s response to a new Ford car. In 1973, Ford upped the ante in the Australian prestige car stakes when they unveiled the LTD. This was a Fairlane which had the wheelbase extended again – to 121 inches (3,100 mm) – making it the only Australian car which fitted into the US full-size category. The LTD was a significant success for Ford, both in terms of sales and profits, as well as making a statement regarding their prowess as a manufacturer.

From March 1976, late in the HJ series, an electromechanical rear drum anti-lock braking system (ABS) was made available on the Caprice. This system, a Delco-Moraine unit, carried over to the subsequent Statesman HX models, but after the introduction of rear disc brakes on the Statesman HZ series, ABS was not seen on another Statesman or Holden model until the Holden Calibra coupe and Holden VQ Caprice in 1991. This new ABS system was the electronic Bosch patent system operating on all four-wheel discs.

HJ Statesman de Ville and the HJ Statesman Caprices were sold in South Africa as the AJ series Chevrolet Constantia sedan and the Chevrolet Caprice Classic, respectively.


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