Holden HX Statesman Review

By: Guy Allen, Cliff Chambers

Presented by

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You can easily imagine the internal struggle someone might go through when presented with the choice between Fairlane and Statesman.

Both were popular with business owners, commercial travellers and anyone who had (or wanted) to rack up long miles in a big comfortable car that wasn’t going to let them down. So Holden and Ford made sure the choice wasn’t easy.

Of course this was much less of a drama is if you had some sort of sentimental allegiance to a particular model. For Con Raphael, it was all about buying back something he regretted selling. There had been a gold Statesman parked in his driveway many years ago and he eventually traded it. That turned out to be a mistake so, about a decade ago, he went hunting and bought the closest thing he could find to his first.

It’s a 1977 HX, with a 308 V8 running a Quadrajet and Turbo 400 transmission. A mechanic by trade, Con reckons the red 308 is ultra-tough and easy to look after. Keep up the oil changes and you’ll be right. The blue version of this engine runs a single instead of a double-row timing chain, which flogs out sooner. If that’s the case with yours, he suggests doing the (easy) conversion.

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Emission regulations were taking effect by 1977, which had an impact on power output.

As for the transmission, the T400 is tough though it does suck up more power than the later T350.

| Related: Holden HX LE review

This model was built just before the introduction of GMH’s radial tuned suspension, which did a lot to tidy up the handling of this and the Kingswood series. However the HX, with some fresh bushes and dampers, can be made to behave respectably.

Something that caught our attention was the unusual ‘sports’ dash and steering wheel, plus a few other little cosmetic upgrades. Had someone been getting creative in their shed? Apparently not. Con reckons the car was ordered by a Holden staffer, who specified the Monaro dash and wheel, along with a few extras normally reserved for the more upmarket DeVille.

Holden -hx -interiorThat dash and wheel are thought to be a special order from a Holden staffer

The basic shape of this car went back as far as the HQ Statesman, which in turn enjoyed some strong Cadillac influences. In HQ form it sold over 18,000 units – a respectable number. It subsequently went through HJ, HX, HZ and WB variants, the first two of which were largely cosmetic updates.

If you’re in the market for one, there is a pretty substantial fleet still running around and, as with all of the luxo bombers, the devil will be in the state of the body and how much of the original trim survives. With some judicious buying you can do very well.

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VALUE RANGE: Holden Statesman

FAIR: $4500
GOOD: $13,000
EXCELLENT: $22,500

(Note: exceptional cars will demand more)

 

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