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HR X2 Factory 4 speed

Help.I have a HR X2 factory opel 4 speed,Yes it has been on many hoists to confirm factory 4 speed,so many people say they dont exsist,only came out in 186s hr not x2,,,,well they are only repeating what they have been told,,they are WRONG,i bought car from owner who bought it new in 1966 off the show room floor when he was 25,i am holden mechanic for past 45years,yes i have seen 186s 4 speeds,mine is build no;267s,first 2 weeks of production,,,,,its the only x2 4 speed i have seen,everything i read says it doesnt exsist,any positive info would be highly regarded,,any body stating they dont exsist,please put money were mouth is as i would happely put up $5000 for a bet,regards Nev

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Good for you. You sound like you're trying to convince yourself.
If it's what you think it is or believe its unique and special, enjoy it for what it is, an old Holden

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Do you have any photos from the hoist, they would go well in the Holdenpaedia. Putting this in the Holdenpaedia will help getting rarer info from others as people share more if you put more online effort in.
Just upload the photos on to this thread..and become a member here!

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this is sold but on topic. https://www.gumtree....

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Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but, the opel gearbox was introduced into the HR series in May 1967, about 4 weeks before the 186S went into production,around this time holden had built nearly 200,000 HR's. I have a very good friend that has been a HR tragic since they were released and has a yard full of them,as well as original opel boxes, piles of X2 gauges, carbs and the rest of the rarer parts like power steering and electric tailgates. I also know of a couple of original 186S opel 4 speed cars, all after may 1967 models. This is a quote "The opel gear box was available about 4 weeks prior to the 186S option. So you could get a HR X2 Opel four speed factory car. I believe there is only one that survives." I'm sorry but, its well known to HR tragics there are NO 1966 X2 4 speed cars, as I said above, the opel 4 speed only became an option in May 1967... HR boxes had the tin inspection cover & the shift mounted to the rear of the box. HK/T/G had the shifter remote mounted on the floor. In 1969 the tin cover on the opel was changed to cast iron ... There are production codes cast on the right hand side of the Opel gearboxes, that should clear things up. Heres a couple of pics of a HR Opel box..

AttachmentSize
Image icon Opel date code.JPG63.48 KB
Image icon HR opel inspection cover.JPG41.85 KB
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The first HKs had the shifter mounted to the gearbox, when the Monaro was released you could then get what Holden refer to as a console shift. Floor shift, ie mounted on gearbox, remained optional right through to the end of HT.

If there is a 4 week window between 4 speed release and 186S release it would make sense that there are X2 4 speeds. It would also make sense that there would be a number of 161 and 186 4 speeds with engine numbers below the X2/186S break point.

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In the late 1980's at age 24 I got to service a Market Gardener's rusty HD station wagon, grey with a white roof. I wasn't looking forward to it as it was very rusty, full of oil leaks front to back and covered in mud underneath. What caught my attention was that it had an "X2" badge on the grille and tailgate. I thought these were only available on HR sedans at the time. The next interesting item I noticed was that it was a 4 speed floor shift and later discovered it was an Opel gear box. I recall this as it was a small gearbox with an inspection plate. It was fitted with a 2 barrel carby and gold coloured air cleaner. I don't recall engine size or even if it had header exhaust manifolds. This Market Gardner had the car from new. As a kid in the early 1970's I recall him delivering tomatoes to my Aunty and Uncle in Fremantle. Anyway this car had so much mud stuck to the under body and suspension that it was impossible to find any grease nipples. I'm not here to debate when the Opel 4 speed was released. Just sharing what I have worked on - HD X2 station wagon 4 speed floor shift. Make of this what you will. Dr Terry if your out there, maybe you can add to this. Regards Sebastiano.

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Ok!, start er up.

so it was an HD X2 with a 2 barrel not twin carbs?

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Andrew

Correct. Similar to the 2 barrel carby on a 253 V8.

Regards Sebastiano.

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Ok!, start er up.

seen plenty of hr opel x2's wouldnt say there super rare
my old high school teacher even had a HD x2 optioned with the opel box so i think your HR tragic friend has quite seen every optioned x2

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Sorry mate but there were never "plenty" of HR X2 opels, the Opel was only an option for a month or so before the 186s came out. NO HD's had Opel gearboxes, easily proven by looking at the date code on the side of the gearbox. Plenty of people did back yard conversions, I had a mate with a blue HR special that I helped fit an opel out of a LC GTR, that was around 1980...

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Those pics are from Gumtree, box for sale in Perth!!

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Yes they are, I posted them to show the date code, nothing else.

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There is a member of this site called Dr Terry, he is the author of the book "50 years of Holden" and is currently working on the "60 years of Holden". Some of the information I posted is directly quoted from his posts on various forums, hopefully he'll chime in and clear up a few things here..

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Could have been a development hack?

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Cheers
David

aka hq308belmont

www.hq308.com

My Shed

dr terry is not the holden god therefore he can not possibly know ever car from the factorys
dealers swapped out interiors to to suit customers orders and even repaint cars to suit customers orders don loffler explained this is why some ID plate don't match the cars

dealers did this sort of thing
i have no reason to doubt don loffler as he has done the research

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Exactly, it is not possible for any one person to have knowledge of every Holden ever produced. Also I've never promoted myself as a Holden 'God'.

Don Loffler is a good friend of mine & being an ex-schoolteacher he writes is a very clear & easy-to-read manner, unlike my books which are a little more technical, more like a workshop manual. We both published our first books around 20 years, 1998 from memory, for the Holden 50th anniversary.

Don's writing was more about the people who managed the company, built the cars, the factories & prototypes etc. mainly in the 48-FJ era, where his research is centred. I've been working on Holdens since the mid-60s & have run my own automotive business since the mid-70s & still do, in fact. So my interest lies as much with 1950s Holdens as it does with 2000 onwards Commodores.

I have a huge Holden technical library, which Don often utilises, so my writing is more about the cars themselves, the engines, gearboxes, options etc. plus lessons & info learned from hands-on experience.

Getting back on-topic, X2 HRs with Opel 4-speeds are known to exist, I've verified a few myself. As mentioned above, the 4-sp box appeared on the production line a few weeks before the 186S, so a few X2s got thru with 4-sp fitted. The few I have identified have all been in the narrow engine number prefix band just prior to 186K162701 (the first production 186S engine no.) This all occurred in July 1967, so any 4-sp (regardless of engine size) fitted to a Holden prior to July 1967 would be a prototype or test mule. In those days these cars were often sold to the public after GM-H finished with them, so there may still be a few around.

On that subject, there was someone who had a thing about the last few EJs having Red motors fitted on the production line. Absolute hogwash. But that's a discussion for another day.

Dr Terry

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Thanks for popping in Terry, I'm far from an expert either but know guys that have wrecked,sold and built these cars since the 1960's, I have only seen 1 HR X2 with an opel, a white station wagon from the Melbourne plant, It had the 442 in the insert section on the tags, the guy that had it specialises in HR's only and said he'd seen other X2's from the same plant with the 442 stamping, do you know anything about that ?. As far as HD X2's, none had 4 speeds, nada, zilch. Interesting you mention the EJ and the red six, I was also recently told the last of the ej's had a red six, he said it was 138 as well and had the same carb used in the X2 carbs, more urban myths I see...!!

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There is no such code in Holden Black book, it has 400 and 417 but no driveline code after it. Are the X2 4 speeds the 4## codes according to your research?

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I haven't done any research, just asking a question about something I've both seen and been told about, these cars came from the same plant In Melbourne...

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What is the insert code on yours, or is it not a Melbourne car?

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I have a HD ute with nothing in the insert code, The car I saw with that code was a white X2 wagon with documents, I think it now resides in Canberra...

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this debate could go on forever
clearly people will argue the toss over whats factory etc etc
just because its not documented doesn't mean it can't be so

as for the EJ red motor myth if you look in the workshop manual there is a pic showing a red motor being fitted to a EJ clearly has the 2 wiper grills visible in the pic
also i recall someone on here stating they knew of a Factory fitted red motor with paperwork to back it up as DR terry states they did test mules quite possibly holden tested red
s in the EJ prior to the EH release

also in some HR bodies i;ve seen the the 4 speed marking for the hole in the tunnel yet on most they don't have it ?

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yes you are right re documentation...but if you are trying to demonstrate authenticity you need objective quality evidence and that's usually in the form of a document or record..a plate, a build sheet, an invoice/sale record, letter of authenticity from a person of authority from the actual company, a statutory declaration from an individual with similar credibility/authority etc...otherwise just having the actual product, and some bloke down the pub said this or junkhead from Old Holden reckons that just won't cut it...If the person you bought the car off was the original owner then he may have the sales invoice describing what he ordered/bought...or Holden could write a letter stating that it was in fact produced...or the design engineer who put it together and tested it could state that in writing...otherwise it doesn't have any "bonafides"...

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Andrew

Hi Andrew, I have been having a conversation with a guy with a HR ute recently, he thinks he's got a special X2 model because some guy in a club told him so, the HR ute has a HP block179 in it with all the X2 extra's attached, No amount of logic will convince this guy his Ute has an M stamped EH holden HP block, even after I showed him the HP block in my sons EH. Some people will always believe what ever they want to...

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I have heard don't quote me on it this but didn't the S4 EH have a four speed ?

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Life is too brief to build ya own time machine
With out old Aussie products an a few blurbombs 🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃.

...with disc brakes and a 3 gauge cluster in the dash?
No, it didn't.
The S4 introduced the wider bell housing bolt pattern 3 speed, which was carried through to to the HK.
David

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Old is good.

...with disc brakes and a 3 gauge cluster in the dash?
No, it didn't.
The S4 introduced the wider bell housing bolt pattern 3 speed, which was carried through to to the HK.
David

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Old is good.

No, still 3 speed. Trans serial number is suffixed by s4. A steel backed Babbitt lined bush was installed in the front of the prop shaft housing. The prop shaft (painted red) is the same as fitted to 225m model except that it's diameter has been increased by 1/4". No 4 speed yet. The same as EJ but larger bolt pattern.

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Id be inclined to wright a letter to HOLDEN'S themselves and get it from the horses mouth, so to speak.
Holden's did do "dealer options"
My Dear old dads HJ Prem, was ordered with a GTS dash, as dad said, he wanted all the gauges for the 253 auto for when he was towing a caravan. Was factory with 253,auto,308 diff,
Dealer fitted, air con,tow ball,lower grill,mesh windscreen proctor,sun visor, hood rack,tow ball and beleave it or not a GTS dash.
the pics were in my shed :-(
There are all sorts of myths and story's of what went on at Holden's and what was fitted first as proto types.
Hell I once heard that the HR, at the end of production was fitted with a 307 V8 ?

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"just my 2cents worth"

"were going to need a bigger shed"

WE BUY THEM,WE REBUILD THEM,WE LOVE THEM,
WELL I DO !!!
regards Triple D
trippled75@yahoo.com.au
https://web.archive....

I guess it was only a matter of time and who knows what kind of experimentation was undertaken re HR v8...the original 51 Holden Ute was based on some 1930s Opels that Holden imported and pulled apart because of their monocoque design...seems they copped a fair bit of flack at the time because the non believers thought you had to have a separate chassis for a commercial vehicle ..but Holden had undertaken market research and figured out what people actually wanted and used...in the day farmers used their trucks for carrying heavy loads and not the utes...if you have something special or different and you want it's value to be recognised accordingly you need some documentation to verify it's authenticity..otherwise how can anyone tell it's genuine...?
https://www.carsguid...

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Andrew

"Id be inclined to wright a letter to HOLDEN'S themselves and get it from the horses mouth, so to speak."

I'm not too sure if you read all the comments but I'm pretty sure Dr Terry, the guy that wrote the 50 years of holden book would have already done this. From what has been said, there are virtually no records kept going back that far... The best information is on the original documentation that came with the car, its a shame more people didn't keep theirs. I would like the original poster to have a look at the production date on his Opel gearbox and post a picture of it, that should tell the story....

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If you really no your Holden history you wil no the the HD/HR was designed for the Holden V8, it just took to long in development.

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I didn't know that...multiple sources such as this street machine article on the history have stated that it was intended for the HK but run behind schedule so appeared in the HT...so the HK got the Chev as a stop gap...anyway and interesting article...retro autos often has some good articles about historical developments as well...it's often good because they interview the actual people who were part of the programs which is better than the urban myths that often get perpetuated...https://www.whichcar...

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Andrew

I recall reading a book back in the early 1980's that a HR station wagon with a V8 253 and Opal 4 speed gear box was available in South Africa, exported from Australia. This was the test mule for future V8 developments in Australia. Perhaps Dr Terry can shed some light on this?

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Ok!, start er up.

This is great stuff guys. I love reading about these one-offs and alleged prototypes. I've no idea who's right and who's wrong, but such a good subject..

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