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A Brief History of the HR Holden
This page is dedicated to the history of the HR Holden, which was basically a face-lift of the previous HD model. General Motor's US stylists redesigned the somewhat unpopular HD shape and came up with one much more appealing to the Australian public. This was reflected in sales, with many more HR's being sold than HD's. 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 'HR' was produced between 1966 and 1968, a longer run than the HD.
The HR also offered the first 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.
Part way through the production cycle of the HR, the X2 motor was replaced by the 186'S' motor, which replace the two single barrell Stromberg carbies with a single, 2 barrel carby.
|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.|
|As usual, HR was offered in four body styles. The two passenger models were offered in three levels of refinement;|
|Standard - The basic car, with no additional trimming or fittings. The body of this model was painted in a single colour.|
|Special - The most popular model, with Special badges back on the front quarter panels, a return to two-tone vinyl interiors, as well as a better choice of exterior colours and a white roof.|
|Premier - The luxury model, with the same features carried over from the HD range. The interior trim pattern now included lots of buttons, and for the first time, artificial wood trimming on the top of the door trims, covering the console and on the dash and steering wheel. The Premier also featured optional metallic paint, an optional vinyl roof in black or white, and stainless steel trims around the wheel arches. Also fitted were stainless steel trim plates between the tail lights on both sedan and wagon.|
|Utility and Panel Van - The HR was also offered as two commercial vehicles. These were the Utility and the Panel Van|
|HR Holden Sales Brochures, magazine articles, advertisements and Nasco Accessory guides||
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