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The original HQ Statesman long-wheelbase sedans were released on 22 July 1971 as a replacement for the HG series Holden Brougham, although drawings exist of an HQ Brougham, albeit in short-wheelbase guise. The first Statesmans were based on these short-wheelbase Holden HQ variants. Statesman was initially offered in two specifications, an upmarket Statesman de Ville and a basic Statesman Custom. Engines ranged from a 202-cubic-inch (3.3 L) Red six-cylinder, a 253-cubic-inch (4.1 L) V8, a 308-cubic-inch (5.0 L) V8 and a 350-cubic-inch (5.7 L) Chevrolet small-block V8, but the de Ville featured the 308 engine as standard equipment. Compared to the short-wheelbase Holden HQ models, the Statesman featured a wheelbase extended by 3 inches (76 mm), totalling 114 inches (2,900 mm), in common with the HQ range of Holden station wagons. The extra length was incorporated behind the rear doors to allow for additional rear seat legroom.

The Statesman was intended as a rival for Ford Australia’s successful Fairlane which had debuted in Australian-designed form as the ZA series in March 1967. The Fairlane had created a new and exclusive category of Australian-made prestige cars. It was derived from the Falcon, with an extended wheelbase and unique front-end and rear-end styling to differentiate the car’s appearance. At the time, this category of vehicle proved to be very profitable, in that the sale price was significantly higher than the base car from which the prestige model was derived, and the additional costs of production were only moderate. GM-H went to some length to set the new luxury Statesman marque apart from the Holden equivalent in their sales literature.

Statesman HQ models were marketed in South Africa as the Chevrolet Constantia and the Chevrolet de Ville The Constantia was fitted with a locally assembled five-litre V8 or 4.1-litre inline-six and was considered locally built.


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