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1973 Chevrolet Constantia

I thought my 1973 Chevrolet Constantia Six may be of interest to your club members as a little known South African chapter of Chevy history.

North American sourced Chevy and Pontiac sedans ceased South African production (built in Port Elizabeth) in 1969. The C10 continued in production to around 1978 as the only genuine US sourced Chevy. As 1970s sedan replacements, Chevrolet introduced Opel Record/Commodores and the Vauxhall Viva/Firenza derived cars, many re-engined with 2.5L,3.8L and 4.1L Chevrolet motors as lower to mid-end models. Reason behind the engine choice - we already had the tooling in place, and the ‘’Stovebolt’’ particularly, was well suited and respected locally.

The upper mid to upper range cars were Australian GM-Holden based, introduced in reconfigured local specification and given South African names. My car is a Holden Statesman Custom HQ (1971-74) rebadged as a Constantia or Deville depending on spec, available in Six or V8 options. They were cosmetically redesigned regards grille and used Nova/Malibu hubcaps (I also owned a Canadian derived ‘69 Pontiac Grande Parisienne with same ‘’caps as standard issue.) This particular car is the base line of the "senior" range, has no frills except P/S, auto box, and P/B. Drivetrain is a 4.1L 250 cubic inch L6 (which is unique to SA on this model car- Holden had a 3.3L L6), some (this one) are coupled to Turbo 350 transmissions not the standard Australian Trimatic usually so associated, due to a late 1973/ early 74 supply hiccup on the Trimatic.

I bought this car a few years ago from its original very aged owner with full documentation, even the original advertising brochure, sales doc’s and "supported" 167,000km on the clock. He stated it was his "Church and Special Occasion car" which seems true as what needed doing gave testimony to the fact of a much pampered vehicle with long periods of idleness between use.

As a matter of historical footnote, Holdens ( Commodores) were reintroduced into South Africa as a Chevrolet Lumina and Lumina SS from 2002-2011.

Karl Furrutter
Johannesburg South Africa

1973 Chevrolet Constantia of Karl Furrutter of South Africa 1973 Chevrolet Constantia of Karl Furrutter of South Africa




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