1970 Holden HT Belmont Panel Van
|Engine||In-line 6-cylinder, 186-cid|
|Body Work||Panel Van|
The HT series Holden was launched in May 1969 as a facelift of the successful ‘new generation’ HK model, featuring a revised front grille and different rear sheet metal, together with a more squared-off appearance and stacked tail lights. New seats and door trims were fitted, along with a more conventional round speedo and instrument layout. The powertrain options were basically carried over from the HK range, consisting of the 161, 186 and 186S six-cylinders plus the new Aussie-made 253 and 308 V8s, while the imported 350 V8 was still available to order. There was also a small-capacity 130-cid six used on some export models and all manual transmissions were now full-synchromesh units. One notable improvement was the adoption of neoprene rubber front suspension bushes replacing the old steel bushings on the HK, resulting in a much more comfortable, quieter ride. Holden’s commercial range consisted of the usual utility and panel van variants, the former available as the base Belmont or more upmarket Kingswood. According to Holden’s advertising pitch for the commercials, they now had the “toughest in the business Double Life construction” and tougher suspension (including the option of ‘Superlift’ rear shocks and a limited-slip diff). These days, it’s rare to find a good, original HT panel van that hasn’t been driven into the ground or heavily customised and surviving examples will only continue to appreciate in value as time goes by.