HOLDEN HQ LS COUPE
The Holden HQ series is a range of automobiles that was produced by Holden in Australia from 1971 to 1974. The HQ was released on 15 July 1971, replacing the Holden HG series. It was the first ground up redesign of the Holden line since its original release in 1948, and included an all-new body, chassis, and suspension. The HQ was later developed into a series of successor models, finally ending production when the WB series was discontinued in 1984.
A completely new generation body design emerged with the HQ series in July 1971, including the new Monaro ‘LS’ (commonly believed to mean “Luxury Sports”) model which featured four headlights and chrome trim rings taken from the Holden Premier sedan. There were no longer any six-cylinder versions of the Monaro GTS, just the locally manufactured 4.2 L (253 cu in) or optional 5.0 L (308 cu in) V8s or the top level GTS350 coupé, equipped with an imported 5.7 L (350 cu in) Chevrolet motor.
The base model Monaro standard engine was enlarged to 173 in3 (2,830 cc) whilst the Monaro LS had a broad spectrum of engine options from a 202 in3 (3,310 cc) six to the 350 in3 (5,700 cc) V8. The new coupé design had a much larger rear window and a squarer rear quarter window; it was somehow seen as not as sporty looking compared to the earlier HK-HT-HG series, but is often now considered one of the best looking body designs to come from an Australian producer.
Up until 1973, the HQ Monaro GTS did not wear any body stripe ornamentation and the 5.7 L (350 cu in) Chev V8 engine was a little less potent than in previous HT/HG versions, especially with the optional Turbo-hydramatic 3-speed automatic transmission. This, and the fact that the same 350 engine was also available as on option in the large Statesman luxury sedan, probably contributed to a downgrade of the Monaro GTS range in muscular image terms, as did the replacement of the bigger coupés with the six-cylinder Holden Torana GTR XU-1 as the chosen GM car for Australian touring car racing. The introduction of bonnet and bootlid paint-outs in 1973 coincided with the release of the HQ Monaro GTS in four-door-sedan configuration. It is generally considered that Holden created the bold contrasting paint-outs in order that the new Monaro GTS sedan would not be mistaken for the humble Kingswood sedan upon which it was based.
The continued erosion of the GTS350 cachet was compounded by the deletion of specific “350” decals on the post-1973 cars, with all Monaro GTS coupés and sedans now being externally labelled with the generic HQ series ‘V8’ bootlid badge. In the final year of HQ production, i.e. 1974, the manual transmission version of the GTS350 was discontinued and sales of the automatic version were minimal prior to the engine option being quietly and unceremoniously deleted.
HOLDEN HQ LS COUPE