The Station Wagon You Have Never Heard Of: Holden HR

Apr 4, 2019 2 min read
1966 Holden Premier Wagon

This Australian designed and built Holden has some interesting development factoids to share

Whilst America was cruising around in Ford Country Squires and Plymouth Belvederes, Australia was trying to prove themselves worthy in the car industry with Holden. Despite a legacy dating back to the late nineteenth century, Holden joined forced with General Motors in 1931 when the acronym GMH was first established.

By the 1960’s their successes lay in the hands of patriots who demanded Australian made goods, and the humble Holden HD was in need of replacement. The HD was a midsize family car produced for just over a year until the HR took over for just under two years.

1966 Holden HR Premier Wagon

Despite the models lack of longevity, Holden was proud of its research and development involved with the production of these models. The HR was created in their state of the art $10million research and development department along with a combined 1.5 million hours of labour per year including testing.

To spice things up for the upcoming model, Holden made a bold move which was unheard of at the time and made an engine option available with a twin carburetor setup. This subtle but fascinating addition at the time allowed the HD to breach the 100 mile per hour barrier and was dubbed the X2 option.

1966 Holden Premier Wagon

With a top of the line 3.0 liter straight six 145 horsepower was dropped across the country onto the Australian Outback. Design had changed in subtle ways, yet the neutral styling largely remained. In a move to attract more attention, marketing campaigns focused more on the twin carburetor technology as well as the plethora of dealer fit options, made by Nasco, that were officially endorsed by GMH.

Examples of such dealer options included various radio options, wind deflectors as well as a heating and defogging system to tackle the colder months of the year. Things that today are laughable for use as talking points in a sales pitch, but back in the sixties were ways of making your car an exceptionally improved place to spend time.

1966 Holden Premier Wagon

The example featured here is a 186 cubic inch model, so the 3.0 liter straight six. Information regarding the X2 option package is omitted, thus one can expect to find a single carburettor as opposed to the twin option.

The car is advertised as what assumes a rolling restoration with some light metal work required and a whole host of parts being replaced already. With just 45,000 miles under its belt this would make for a fantastic project.

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