Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 40

Thread: Muscle In Disguise, 1967 Holden HR 186S 4-Speed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Townsville
    Posts
    2,295

    Muscle In Disguise, 1967 Holden HR 186S 4-Speed

    This car was in reality the first wolf in sheep's clothing available in Australia.
    Story by Ben Stewart.

    'Not before time' is a common enough saying.And so it was the case when GM-H finally got around to making the option of a four-on-the-floor gearshift available in the Holden.From early May 1967 production,two additional options were included in the HR series line-up-a new motor called the 186S (replacing the previous 186 X2) and an all-syncromesh 4-speed manual transmission featuring a floor-mounted shifter.

    Perhaps unknowingly,Australia's largest car company had created a real rocket in terms of serious performance availiable to the everyday driver-male and female.Of greater interest is the notion that this car was in reality the first 'wolf in sheep's clothing'.If you believe the press release of June 18,the focus of the new 186S version of the 3049cc engine was in smoother running and an automatic choke,while the target customer for the new transmission was the owner who towed a boat trailer or caravan.Come on! That was only a small part of the story.

    The one outward clue to what lurked within this plain-Jane Holden sedan was a small engine emblem in the form of a cross.Was this a case of RIP for anyone who came across one of these cars in a traffic light derby.Ever since Holdens had been availiable with an opitional (and bigger and more powerful) engine,a distinctive badge gave the game away.

    There were no external clues to the transmission fitted.Nor was there any real indication when the engine was started.For many years motoring enthusiasts had been pressuring GM-H to include such a transmission.Rightly so,they felt the car would be improved with a 4-speed.The EH 179 manual had shown the potential of a relatively powerful engine in terms of overall performance,but the car was always limited in terms of appeal to the enthusiast who preferred a four-on-the-floor.The following HD model of 1965 had the option of an all-new 179 X2 engine featuring twin carburetors and other detail enhancements including a very sporty exhaust note,however something was still lacking in terms of making the Holden a true 'driver's car'.

    Even from within the organisation itself,pleas were made to include such a transmission in the specifications.Rally ace Bob Watson,an engineering department employee,pushed for the availability so the company's cars were more competitive against the Ford's.Being a driver,Watson knew first-hand what was needed.

    Whether it was a case of playing catch-up or merely teasing with a glimpse of what was coming in the 1968 HK series,the inclusion of a 4-speed manual on all passanger models in the HR range was well received.So well received,in fact,that the initial build run (believed to be 500-600) was all but gone instantly the announcement was made.Many interested buyers had to wait for subsequent production in order to get behind the wheel of a 4-speed Holden.

    Motoring writers were excited with the claims the HR 186S was the best Holden yet.The SUN'S Peter Livingstone tested such a car and recorded a top speed of just above 100mph and the very rapid acceleration figures (for any 1967 car) of 0-60mph in 9.9 seconds and 0-70mph in 17.1 seconds.The standing quarter-mile time was 17.1 seconds.This is a Holden!?

    "Smoother performance and a gearbox that's a delight to use add refreshing variety to the Holden stable," Livingstone enthused.The combination of the 145hp (108kw) 186S engine and the four-on-the-floor transmission was available in all HR Holdens except commercials.The 186S could be specified in a ute or van,but not the transmission.Deemed a little to fragile for serious duty commercial work,the inherent 'weakness' in the Holden application was known.Although a German Opel division design,the transmission was originally developed for four-cylinder applications.Putting it behind the 186S was perhaps stretching things a little too far,as some owners would learn in time.

    Also available were power disc brakes and a limited slip differential that would ensure all the power to the ground effectively.This was a common build configuration and the best package,as far as performance went,in either Special or Premier sedans.Codes were assigned to be attached to the base model designation to make the task of ordering cars simpler than individually specifying each component from the ordering procedure.

    The 'magic' code for the 186S engine four-speed manual,3.55 LSD axle,and power disc brakes was 1746.When added to either HR225 (special sedan) or HR235 (premier sedan),the desired car was produced.Easy.Many other,build configurations were on offer,including the alternative 3.36;1 rear axle,but 1746 is the one we will focus on here as most of the GM-H road test cars were equipped with this 'go package'.Disc brakes ensured it stopped as well as it went.The overall gearing ensured swift acceleration effortless overtaking,a high cruising speed and reasonable fuel economy.

    The August 1967 issue of MODERN MOTOR noted,"We have no way of forecasting just how well it will go in competition-specifically the Gallaher 500 for which it was designed-but as a road car it is great."

    The all-important figures obtained for the XR GT were;0-60mph in 9.4 seconds and 0-70mph in 13.1. Top speed was 110mph with the standing quarter-mile in 16 seconds.Fast for 1967,but one could have expected more from a V8 with a manufacturers claimed output of 225hp. The same issue of the magazine included a test of the HR Special sedan with the all-important 1746 code."Best Holden Yet" was the bold claim with the added tag line;"Long-awaited four-on-the-floor option,plus single carb replacement for X2 engine,make the 186S a real sizzler".
    It was a 'special' Special sedan,with mention made of the noise level."The exhaust arrangments of the 186S differ from the X2.Twin headers of somewhat different design are retained,but the crisp muffler of the X2 has been replaced by one whose note will not offend anyone."

    MODERN MOTOR covered 0-60mph in 11.3 seconds and 0-70 in 15.2.Top speed (one way) was 98mph with a standing quarter mile covered in 17.5 seconds,just 1.5 seconds behind the XR GT, which sported 80hp more."They make a Holden in this guise a very rapid motor car," the story explained. "Sure it doesn't have the towering performance of the Falcon GT,but its certainly no slouch......

    I think this Holden deserves to be mentioned as a 'Muscle car' as it was one of the fastest Australian cars on the road in 1967,but that's just my thoughts how about you blokes?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Canberra Australia
    Posts
    14,260
    Quote Originally Posted by disco man View Post
    I think this Holden deserves to be mentioned as a 'Muscle car' as it was one of the fastest Australian cars on the road in 1967,but that's just my thoughts how about you blokes?
    Except that the plain jane AP6 and VE Valiant in normal family guise could match it and then they also had a V8 that went better again - not sports models here just normal cars.

    The Valiants of the mid 60s really did show how crap Holdens and Falcons were.

    Garry

    Oh as kids we used to prise off the Holden X2 and 186S badges to mount on our belt buckles.
    REMLR 243

    2007 Range Rover Sport TDV6
    1977 FC 101
    1973 Haflinger AP700
    1971 Jaguar V12 E-Type Series 3 Roadster
    1957 Series 1 88"
    1957 Series 1 88" Station Wagon

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Brisbane West
    Posts
    18,017
    Disco Man, does the source of your information offer anything about the EH S4? That was the original performance option by GM-H and from the 'Big Three'.
    If you don't like trucks, stop buying stuff.
    http://www.aulro.com/afvb/signaturepics/sigpic20865_1.gif

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    4,217

    Thumbs up

    yes, the HR 186S was special.
    If you had a 186S HR Premier, you had "THE CAR" in those days, & it didn't take much to get them going hard, REALLY hard.
    Dave Bennett of Perfectune fame, simply put a Perfectune head on his 186S 4 speed Premier, which then became quicker to 100MPH than an XR GT. He actually bought the car back a few years ago from the person he sold it to, although He's probably onsold it now.
    The weak point of the car was the Opel 4 speed which did not take kindly to hard useage.
    Pickles.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    South Yundreup,WA. Bludging
    Posts
    7,328
    The HR was a good car and favoured by many in the late 70s and early 80s to do up. With a gearbox change and a little work to the engine they were quite a formidable car.
    The Valiant slant 6 was better, The old man had one when I was a kid I dont think it was the AP6 but maybe slightly later. My Uncle had an XY with a 302 at the time (around 1977/78 I think) and the Valiant would blow the Falcon away easily.
    2000 Defender Extreme: Shrek
    2009 DRZ400E Suzuki
    1956 P4 90 Rover (project)
    1961 P4 100 Rover (project)
    1976 SS Torana (project)
    2003 WK Holden Statesman
    Departed
    84 RR (Gone) 97 Tdi Disco (Gone)
    98 Ducati 900SS Gone & Missed

    Facta Non Verba

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Townsville
    Posts
    2,295
    Quote Originally Posted by V8Ian View Post
    Disco Man, does the source of your information offer anything about the EH S4? That was the original performance option by GM-H and from the 'Big Three'.
    G'day Ian,Sorry mate there was no info on the EH S4.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Brisbane, Inner East.
    Posts
    9,251
    A mate has a HR 186S 4 speed bought new when he came out of his apprenticeship as a plumber and drainer. He rarely drives it now and even keeps it locked up at another address, an investment property rented to his sister, as security against thieves who may be able to get his address from TMR. The car is fairly low mileage for something nearly 50 years old and as clean as the proverbial whistle always having been garaged.
    URSUSMAJOR

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    4,217

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by CraigE View Post
    The HR was a good car and favoured by many in the late 70s and early 80s to do up. With a gearbox change and a little work to the engine they were quite a formidable car.
    The Valiant slant 6 was better, The old man had one when I was a kid I dont think it was the AP6 but maybe slightly later. My Uncle had an XY with a 302 at the time (around 1977/78 I think) and the Valiant would blow the Falcon away easily.
    I have to disagree.
    I'm old, & was "around" in those days.
    Stock?, yes the Valiant, in a staight line was quicker, but, driving one around a corner?
    However to get the Valiant engine "going", especially the slant six 225, was not easy, or cheap to modify, and there wasn't really alot of stuff around.
    However, with the 186 engine, there was heaps of stuff, as there was for suspension, transmission, diff etc etc, whatever you wanted, you could find it.
    There were huge numbers of hot Holden's around in those days,...can't ever remember seeing a modified 225.
    Pickles.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Brisbane West
    Posts
    18,017
    EH Holden Specifications
    Attached Images Attached Images
    If you don't like trucks, stop buying stuff.
    http://www.aulro.com/afvb/signaturepics/sigpic20865_1.gif

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    7,029
    Quote Originally Posted by garrycol View Post

    Oh as kids we used to prise off the Holden X2 and 186S badges to mount on our belt buckles.
    They still do it today,the HSV badges still disappear from a mates pride and joy
    paul

    D4 MY12 white,2.7(with a few more killer wasps) rear air,e diff,xenons,arb bar,7 seat ,18" bfg KO2

    2009 Defender 110 (son's)ARB
    bar,snorkle,rocksliders,rack,KM2's,BAS chip, always needs a wash

    '56 S1,been in the family since...'56

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Search AULRO.com ONLY!
Search All the Web!