1979 Holden HZ Premier Wagon 350 Chev from Australia and New Zealand


Excellent, very reliable


The starter motor died at 260000km, replaced with gear reduction starter motor. No problems since.

Stitching on drivers seat has come undone.

General Comments:

Very quick in straight line, doesn't like taking corners fast though!

Wagon has all the GTS options you can think of, looks very mean.

Nice colour too : Mirage Blue.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th January, 2006

1977 Holden HZ Premier 253 V8 from Australia and New Zealand


An Undeserving Aussie Icon


Blew a head gasket which is very common for Holden V8s due to poorly spaced head studs.

It has an intake leak somewhere which is impossible to find. I've rebuilt the carburettor, reground all the valves, replaced all the under bonnet hoses, etc... Only thing left to check is the manifold itself, it could possibly be the valley cover.

The thermostat packed it in and was a pain to replace... A bolt holding the thermo housing on snapped off because it was a steel bolt screwed into a alloy manifold and had seized. I tried to get it out with an 'easy out' but THAT snapped off inside the bolt... Last resort was digging the bolt out then getting the hole TIG-welded up and then drilling and tapping a new hole.

General Comments:

I bought it off the original owner for $3,500.

It was in show room condition and without a single modification from stock.

Paint has 'orange peel' which I find extremely frustrating, but lately I have been looking at other cars and EVERY single car I looked at has orange peel... That doesn't excuse manufacturers getting into a sloppy paint habit, but what can you do about that?

Interior is in perfect condition. 2 front buckets and a rear bench. Not a rip or even a scratch in sight.

Dash and instruments are quite possibly the ugliest every created.

Won't do burnouts... It just won't, not even in slippery conditions. Not that I would want to in this car anyway.

Has very poor acceleration (just about anything will beat it off the line) but once off the line is quite comfortable to drive. It has plenty of power, but is a very heavy car.

The 253 engine is very smooth with good torque. I'm very happy with the general condition of the engine, no funny noises or anything like that, it starts easy and there aren't any vibrations or flat spots. Only lately though, that intake leak has made things a little bit more of a nightmare, now it doesn't idle at all (it stalls at anything under 1700rpm) but when you open the throttle up it runs smooth as.

One thing to make tuning a bit more complicated is the WW series Stromberg carburettor on it. This carby doesn't have an idle mixture screw, you adjust this, but changing the float level. If something ain't right you can end up pulling the top off the carburettor quite a few times to fix the problem. It's a minor point I know, but is annoying on a carburettor that does need regular tuning.

The ride is very comfortable and smooth, you can't feel any bumps. But when cornering the body rolls over quite a, but, this is the compromise Holden put on their 'luxury' cars.

Brakes are fine. Again, they aren't working properly at the moment because the booster isn't operating since there ain't no vacuum at the manifold. That SINGLE problem is causing this car to be a real piece of work for the driver.

To sum it all up, it is a nice neat car, but the small problems turn me off, the only reason I'm holding on to it is because it is an unmolested example of an Australian classic and can only increase in value if I can get it sorted properly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th April, 2005

18th Oct 2012, 17:58

ALL WW Strombergs have idle mixture adjustment screws.