Holden HD

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HD Holden

1965 - 1966
6 cyl.
95-140bhp, 105kW (X2)
3 spd. man / 2 spd. Powerglide
Top Speed:
Number Built:
3 star
Dubbed 'Holden's Disaster', this model was considered the ugly duckling after the public's acceptance of the EH's shape. The new look, while thoroughly modern, proved to be contentious.

There were, however, a number of significant engineering upgrades to this model. The HD had been engineered entirely in Australia and used a completely new body to that of the EH, and perhaps most importantly for Holden it was the first model to be manufactured at their new Elizabeth (SA) facility. Wider and longer, it enjoyed initial success with sales figures outstripping the record breaking EH.

Many believe this initial success was not the result of the new styling, but rather the significant upgrade to equipment levels, which featured such improvements as self adjusting brakes and the use of a ball joint suspension system up front rather than the previous King Pins.

Also, the HD was the first model Holden to offer disk brakes as standard on the Premier, and optional on all other models. Owners of a Premier also enjoyed as standard fare "Morrokide" trim, front bucket seats, a radio and heater.

The HD also offered the first factory performance option, being designated 'X2'. The X2 motor was a 179 cubic inch fitted with twin carbs, factory headers, a higher lift camshaft and aluminum alloy main bearings for reliability.

It was good for 140 HP, which was 25 HP more than the standard 179. Vehicles fitted with the 'X2' motor also received a special instrument cluster with proper gauges for monitoring engine temp, oil pressure, amps and volts instead of the usual tell tale lights.

The HD was also the first offered with an alternator as standard, as all previous models used a generator. Owners of the new HD Holden had the choice of either a three speed manual or the new two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission.

The biggest criticism was reserved for the leading front guard design, a design that saw the front edge of the fender extend past the front headlights. Debate grew concerning pedestrian safety and even headlight effectiveness. Certainly they proved susceptible to car park damage.

At a time when most Aussie families made a choice between either Holden or Ford, it is understandable that there was a sales rush when the new HD model was released. Then there were those that took note of the technical innovation. Inevitably the car had to sell on its own merits, most particularly in its style. While the HD had been engineered in Australia, like its predecessors the HD's design was penned in Detroit.

Dealers around the country became increasingly concerned as numbers to their showrooms started to dwindle, and so Holden took the unprecedented action of quickly re-designing a replacement at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne. Much maligned through the 70's and 80's, the number of HD's has fallen, particularly in contrast with the ever popular EH. Scarcity is always helpful in making a particular car collectable, and while we give the HD 3 stars for collectability we consider this model one to watch in the future.

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Also see:

Holden HD Specifications
Holden Red Motor
Holden History
HoldenCar Commercials
Nasco Holden Accessories Commercials
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