1971 Holden Kingswood HG 161 Red Straight Six from Australia and New Zealand


Cheap to run, reliable, and distinctive


Carbie jet blocked once in 2001.

Rubber suspension parts fail every 8 years.

Shock absorber fail every 5 to 8 years.

Wheel alignment goes out every 6-12 months.

Fuel gauge stopped working in 2006.

Speedo stopped working in 2000, replaced.

Rubber window trim mostly perished - expected at this age.

A CV joint wore out in 2006.

Brake light switch wore out in 2007.

Horn switch intermittent in 2008.

Master Brake Cylinder leaking in 2007, replaced.

Lime grows on fuses sometimes.

Can jam between gears if changing gears in a strange manner, rare and easy to fix.

Front Wheel bearings noisy in Oct 08, replaced.

Front seat upholstery cracked - re-upholstered in 2008.

General Comments:

This car is now 37 years old, so it's only fair that it should have little issues like those above.

It also does about 90km per week day, and is quite reliable.

It's biggest failing is lack of acceleration power relative to modern vehicles - probably takes 20 seconds to get to 100k/h if pushed, longer when driven in a relaxed fashion.

It is comfortable to drive - a bit like a flying couch.

Motor noise is minimal. Transmission in low gears sounds like an old tram.

Fuel consumption is 10 litres per 100 km, which matches a 95 Commodore!

Have added central locking.

Have an evaporative air conditioner and inverter for hot days - sits on passenger seat.

Wheel alignment issues are common on this model - it can be better to put up with one less year of tyre life rather than paying for regular alignments.

If you drive it with respect, change gears in a relaxed fashion (column shift), and change the oil every 5,000K, fixing little things as they happen, it will go for ages!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th October, 2008

1971 Holden Kingswood HQ 253 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


All the sexiness of the seventies!


Ties rods wear quickly.

Transmission requires servicing (weak)

Flooding is a problem in hot weather.

Cold start-up and idle is always difficult.

Headlights are weak.

Heater/ demister is slow.

Flow through Vents are a joke except with the window down.

Bearings in the steering shaft are wearing and making the power steering iffish'

Dash cracked.

Windscreen seals continue to leak after 'fixing'

Rust around windscreen and in lower doors.

Plastic grille cracks/ breaks with collisions with birds. They are hard to get now.

General Comments:

Despite the problems this old thing is amazing for the build date (1973).

The HQ is a comfortable cruiser and the suspension upgrade to make it handle is fairly cheap comparative to other vehicles.

People who complain about the HQ are not looking after their own. The car is very reliable with a minimum amount of good car-care.

The HQ is big inside. Sits 6 with ease and a heap of load space. The wagon is a true tank and you can move your house with one that has roof-racks.

The look and style of the car is still cool. It has good bodyline flow and looks tough compared to the plastic oddisies around.

The car is solid and takes a pounding.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th November, 2003

16th Mar 2004, 14:05

My fav car, car of my childhood dreams, but now I can afford one never brought one, still love reading about them and seeing them on the road.

23rd May 2005, 23:28

This is a car of ultimate greatness and pure grunt, if only I could find one!

26th Feb 2006, 14:16

Very robust and sits great on gravel roads. You seriously can't hurt these things if youre not worried about a few scratches. I've taken it across some pretty rugged terrain and it loves it, I don't think it'll ever wear out. they're just built so strong.

And so quiet to cruise at speed with the windows down- least wind noise in any car I've ever driven, I love that- most modern cars are so noisy with the windows down.

Too bad nz fuel prices are getting up there.