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
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
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
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.
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