1978 Holden HZ Kingswood 253 V8 Utility
Holden’s fourth and final revision of the original HQ series was announced in October 1977 and the HZ proved to be the last full-size model prior to the introduction of the downsized Commodore range. Exterior changes were kept to a minimum, with only a new grille, badges and hubcaps distinguishing the HZ but more significantly, Holden adopted the Radial Tuned Suspension technology first seen on the Torana. With reworked suspension, anti-roll bars front and rear plus changes to the power steering, the HZ offered vastly improved roadholding, while rear disc brakes were optional for the first time on certain models and standard on the GTS or Statesman. Further changes saw an electric clock, remote side rear-view mirror and tinted laminated windscreen all fitted as standard to the Kingswood SL. The commercial range continued largely unchanged, with the ute and panel van once again the popular choice for tradies across the country. Both could also be ordered with the iconic Sandman pack that included a 4.2-litre V8 and GTS trim as standard. Although the ‘big’ Holden was soon to be a thing of the past, the commercial lived on as the WB well into the next decade. For many, pundits the Commodore could never quite recapture the magic of the old Kingswoods (something reflected by Ford’s dominance thanks to its larger XD/XF Falcons) and good examples still make for a reliable daily driver with a big dose of classic style.