It was in the area of optional equipment where the first major imported components were introduced and included in the make-up of a Holden. In the scheme of things, such items only accounted for a small percentage of Holden vehicle sales. The Hydra-Matic automatic transmission in the EK of 1961 was such an example. The Powerglide replaced the Hydra-Matic from HD to HT as the automatic option. However, by the end of the decade GM-H was manufacturing their own automatic transmission – the Trimatic.
When power steering was first made available for fitment to the EJ model in 1963, it was a combination of imported items as well as GM-H manufactured parts. The hydraulic components were all imported, whilst the mounting and other mechanical components were all in-house local manufacture.
A temporary situation where V8 engines were imported from GM in North America occurred from 1967 to 1974. The initial V8 (307) was a stop-gap measure until production of the local 253 and 308 V8s were up and running by 1969. The engines as used in the top-of-the-line model Holden from the HK through HQ series’ were the Chevrolet 327 and 350 V8s.
Brougham and Monaro GTS 327 in HK, and Monaro GTS 350 in HT-Q series were the only Holden models with an imported engine included as part of the standard equipment in those vehicles. All other Holden models had a Holden engine included as standard fitment. To accompany the imported engines were imported transmissions. An imported transmission was also standard equipment in the Monaro GTS model in HK through HG.
Imported manual transmissions were all 4-speed configuration. The Opel was standard fitment in the Monaro GTS model. The Saginaw was fitted in the Monaro GTS 327, and Monaro GTS 350 models in HT and HG. The HQ GTS 350 used the Muncie transmission.
An additional imported transmission was used in HQ in combination with the 350 V8 engine. This was the Turbo Hydramatic 400 (TH400). This same basic transmission was also used with the Holden 308 V8 engine in HJ to HZ. Towards the end of HZ production, the TH400 was replaced by the smaller TH350.
The bewildering array of optional equipment in the HK series saw the local content of some models fall when items such as power windows and air conditioning were added. However, the base model Holden in the range still had close to 99% local content and was still well and truly worthy of the ‘all-Australian’ tag. The Monaro GTS 327 had the lowest local content figures in the range due mainly to the fully imported drive line including the rear axle assembly.