Basically a face-lift of the previous model, GM's US
stylists redesigned the somewhat unpopular HD shape and
came up with one much more appealing to the Australian
The redesign included vertical tail-lights, a sharper
nose and moving the front parking lights from under the
bumper to become integral with the grille.
The track was
now wider, and the bodywork featured a new rear window,
a reworked roofline and squared off headlamp surrounds.
Inside, Holden developed a more luxurious trim which included
wood grain for the Premier, the addition of front seat
belts, a shatterproof interior mirror and windscreen washers.
On top of these standard features, the NASCO range of
accessories increased and now included such options as
power steering, front-wheel disc brakes and a limited-slip
Immediately more popular than the outgoing HD, the
resultant sales surge saw many more HR's being sold
The 'HR' was also afforded a longer production
run than the HD, being manufactured between 1966 and
1968, and was the first to offer capacity enlargement
in standard engines since the introduction of the red
motor in the EH.
The 179 became the 186, and the 149
was increased to 161 cubic inches. The factory performance option, the 'X2', was continued
with the HR, now pushing 145 HP thanks to the increase
in cubic inches.
As with the HD, the X2 was optional on
all models, and vehicles fitted with this 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 HR came standard with a three speed manual or with
an optional two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission.
Also, for the first time by Holden, a floor shift 4
speed manual was available as a special order. The
gearbox used was actually an Opel box, and proved unreliable
and not up the power of the six cylinder Holdens, especially
when fitted to the performance motors.