HOLDEN HZ STATESMAN
Holden HZ Statesman was an automotive marque created in 1971 by Holden and sold in Australasia. Statesman vehicles were sold through Holden dealerships, and were initially based on the mainstream Holden HQ station wagon platform, thereby providing more interior room and generally more luxurious features than their Holden sedan siblings. Production ceased with the last of the WB series cars in 1984.
GM Holden re-introduced the range in 1990 with two long-wheelbase sedans; however, the cars were no longer marketed as Statesman by brand name, but instead as the Holden Statesman and the Holden Caprice. In September 2010 with the “Series II” updating of the WM series, use of the long-serving Statesman name was discontinued. Holden’s long wheelbase contenders are now branded as Holden Caprice and Holden Caprice V.
In 1977, General Motors-Holden’s introduced the Statesman HZ, which involved a minor cosmetic facelift. However, it had a significant engineering upgrade, along with the rest of the GMH range, involving the adoption of Radial Tuned Suspension, giving the Statesman better handling. 4-wheel disc brakes were now fitted to all Statesman models.
The previous Director of GMH Engineering, George Roberts had insisted that the Statesman have a high standard of ride comfort (at the expense of ultimate roadholding). (Roberts previously had been the Chief Engineer of the GM Cadillac Division). Prior to HZ, the Statesman’s Cadillac style of ride was not to everyone’s taste.
The Statesman de Ville and Caprice were supplemented in 1979 by an intermediate model – the SL/E, which was launched with a different “egg-crate” grille.