28 September 2011

Holden HZ Overlander

In 1976, Arthur Haywood, a Tasmanian engineer and off-road enthusiast, developed a prototype for a four-wheel drive car based on the H-series Holden Kingswood. His prototype used a Holden Sandman utility chassis, and featured GM’s standard 5-litre V8 engine and auto 'box. While receiving consultative services from GM, the project was funded and developed by Haywood’s Launceston based company, Vehicle Engineering and Modifications.

Based on the normal Holden HJ/HX/HZ models, Haywood completely reconfigured the running gear. A substantial subframe at the front made a chassis frame strong enough to support the new leaf-spring front suspension; the original Holden suspension being double wishbones with coil springs which could of course not be adapted to a live axle. A Dana M20 transfer case was sourced from America, while those axles front and rear are Dana 44 and 60 items respectively.

Over a three-year production period between 1976 and 1980 around 80 Overlanders were produced, despite the capacity to turn out many more. Ill health forced Haywood to close down operations for some time, but  production restarted in 1982, concentrating on Overlander station wagons. The last of these was built in 1989. During the 14 year production run the they produced 120 Overlander 4WDs.

This particularly example is for sale; the actual press car from 1978, has the 5-litre V8 attached to a Turbo 400 transmission and the Dana axles; yours for AUD $48,000 (approx. £32k). Only problem is that its in Australia...
You could drive it back; there not much that will stop it...
More Overlander history here.

For when normal 4WD is not enough; this completely mental snowmobile conversion. Great for the school run in December.

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