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Car reviews - Holden - Statesman - V6 sedan


9 Apr 1990

HOLDEN just couldn't get the local prestige car thing right. Its first effort was the Brougham, a 1968 HK Premier with a stretched boot and stretched credibility. Few were fooled and Holden couldn't match the sales of the genre's instigator, the 1967 ZA Fairlane. That car's secret was that it was built on the 1966 XR Falcon wagon's longer wheelbase. Holden tried again with the first Statesman, the 1971 HQ, but by then Ford had gained a loyal Fairlane following, so GMH had to settle for playing second fiddle. Its 1980 WB Statesman, built on a significantly modified HQ-HZ body and platform, felt outdated and outmoded, so Holden ditched the model during 1985. But there was a real market for a prestige long-wheelbase Holden, and the WB Statesman somehow gained a mythical status once it was laid to rest, so Holden worked very hard to make the VQ model highlighted here something special. Besides its lengthened wheelbase, it also had a visibly altered cabin to its donor VN Commodore, a fuel-injected V8 engine and - most significantly for keen drivers - independent rear suspension. This time the Statesman hit a right chord with buyers, and began its long journey to toppling the Fairlane. By the time the VT Commodore-based WH arrived in mid-'99, the big Ford was faltering badly, while Statesman sales went into overdrive. And it all began here with the not-so-humble VQ...

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Model release date: 1 March 1990 to 1 February 1994

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