The totally new HQ Belmont and Kingswood Utes were built on the longer (114 inch) wagon and Statesman
wheelbase and were the first to have a full length chassis frame and steel load floor. They delivered
lower-profile styling, more load capacity and the full raft of HQ engineering innovations, while retaining
rugged leaf spring rear suspension. Among new features were upper level flow-through ventilation, an anti-theft
ignition lock, improved seating and floor-mounted handbrake. A Sandman Ute, with mainly SS-derived interior and
exterior features, was introduced in January 1974.
Named for its payload capacity, the ‘tradesman’s favourite’ one ton cab-chassis model was the first of its
type to be fully designed and developed in Australia. More a truck or pickup than the traditional sedan-based
ute with an integral load area, the one-tonner had a sedan-derived front half and a 120 inch wheelbase. It took
a wide range of rear body styles to suit all kinds of factory and after-market specialist applications from tray
model and taxi truck through to baker’s van and camper van bodies.
The HJ range – Holden Ute, Sandman Ute, Kingswood Ute and Kingswood Sandman Ute (the Belmont name was dropped)
– represented a major refinement of the long-running HQ series. Front end styling was totally new, the grille
(with new Holden lion logo) more pronounced, bumpers more protruding. Rear styling was carried over.
Upgraded interiors featured full foam seating, a new dash with revised two-outlet ventilation system
and strip-style speedo. All engines now had cable-type throttle control and 10cwt passenger ride suspension was
available as an option.
A major change to this series was the introduction of low-emission versions of each Holden engine to meet
the government’s new Australian Design Rule 27A. For the first time, drivers had the advantage of fingertip
control of wipers, washers, indicators and headlight beam via a stalk mounted on the steering column. The
Sandman ‘recreational’ Ute and its panel van variant, well promoted and with plenty of appeal for younger
Holden buyers, sold very well.
The fourth revision of the body style that began with HQ, this range was distinguished mainly by
its ‘egg crate’ grille with headlights separate, new badging and hubcaps. The HZ introduced an important
advancement in Holden suspension development, Radial Tuned Suspension (RTS), which brought advancements in
handling safety and better brakes. These combined with other modifications – such as uprated springs and shock
absorbers, rear anti-rollbars and upgraded front bars – to give it a sportier feel. The Sandman Ute was
equipped with a 4.2 litre V8, power steering and trip meter as standard.
The last of this line, the WB series Holden Ute and Kingswood Ute featured new front panels, grille, headlight
treatment and distinctive large tail light clusters. The one-tonner shared the same front grille and sheetmetal.
Initially, the Kingswood had a unique grille and headlamps, but later in 1980 all commercials shared it.
Dash fascias were black, GTS-type instruments were optional following the Sandman discontinuance; new-style
bucket seats were standard on the Kingswood. The Utes were powered by the standard 3.3 litre six and optional
4.2 litre V8 ‘Blue’ engines introduced earlier with the VB Commodore, with specific sumps and accessory mountings. The WB Utes were phased out of production late in 1984.