With the looming end of the iconic Holden brand, we thought we would take a look back at the history of all things Holden, and highlight our top 5 favourite Holden models ever produced.
1. Holden Statesman
Nothing says elegance more than the 1970s or 1990s Holden Statesman. Created in 1971, the Holden Statesman was initially based on the Holden HQ Station wagon platform. It offered more interior room for passengers, and other luxurious features compared to the rest of the Holden range. The original Statesman HQ long wheelbase was released in July 1971, and stopped in 1974. The Statesman De Vile was retained, and Holden created a new flagship model in the Caprice. This continued with the HX in 1976, HZ in 1977, through to the WB in 1980, with series production stopped in 1984. It was re-introduced in 1990, and then again in 2010 as a Caprice.
2- Holden Commodore
Originally produced to replace the long-serving Kingswood and Premier, the Commodore was based on the popular European Opel model of smaller sedan. Released in 1978, the Commodore was a result of Aussies and Kiwis starting to downsize their vehicles due to the oil crisis of the 1970s. The Commodore was touted as a smaller, more economical alternative. Production of the Commodore commenced at the Pagewood (Sydney) and Dandenong (Victoria) plants in Australia in 1978, finally ending in October 2017. New Zealand also produced the model from 1979 through to 1990. Easily one of the most iconic vehicles from the 1980s through to the 2010s, the Commodore’s popularity was also fuelled by the popular Australian V8 Super Cars series.
3- Holden Colorado
One of the shining lights in Holden’s range over the last decade has been the Colorado. Utes have been a popular ride from the original Holden Kingswoods of the 1970s to the 1990s Maloos. But with the rise of Utes and SUVS in the 2010s, Holden took a while to get a viable product into the market. The Holden Colorado utility, and the Holden Colorado 7 SUV were introduced in 2008 to replace the Holden Rodeo model. The current model, introduced in 2017, is a right-hand-drive version of the Brazilian, third-generation
Chevrolet S10 dual cab. Originally a mild run-about, the Colorado has grown in stature, with the release of the LTZ model and then the sports model, the SportsCat. Both gained rave reviews, and are some of the better ute models on the landscape.
4- Holden Kingswood
The original Holden Icon was released with the HK series in 1968, and Aussies and Kiwis have been in love since. Since the HK, the Kingswood has had many more series, from the first generation HT and HG, and second generation HQ, HJ, HX, HZ, through to the WB in the 1980s. A third-generation was proposed, but the 1970s oil crisis brought a halt to the project. Production came to an end with the rise of the Commodore, with the last Kingswood badged product being manufactured in 1980. Notably, the Kingswood and its various model made it around the world, with the Kingswood being assembled for sale in countries including South Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago.
5- Holden Monaro
America has the Mustang and Chevy, and Europe Ferraris and Bugattis, but in Australasia, we had the Holden Monaro. Flat out muscle cars, Monaros were one-of-a-kind vehicles to grace our landscapes. The first Monaro was an HK released in 1968, followed by the HT and HG, and a second-generation released in 1971 with the HQ. The release of the V2 in 2001 and the VZ in 2004 brought the Monaro back into the limelight again. Known for their saloon two-door style, the Monaro was a very stylish rear-wheel-drive car coupe,
housing the first-ever Australian-developed V8 motor. The Monaro body was used by several different brands around the world, including during the 2000s as the Pontiac GTO in the United States, and the Vauxhall Monaro in the UK.
While not all Holden fans and fanatics will approve of the models we've chosen, one thing we think all Holden enthusiasts and motoring aficionados will agree on is that the sun setting on this iconic era is a sad day for motoring indeed.