There was a time when the sight of Holden’s iconic logo would make an Aussie feel warm and fuzzy with pride.
Often with regard to a monster V8 engine, someone other than a Ford cuddling fanboy would call it an Aussie icon and a setting in most homes over the centuries.
These were the cars that our fathers rode. Our father’s fathers rode.
King of the Mountain: Peter Brock will forever be linked to the iconic brand. He is pictured here in 1983 after winning the race at a Holden Commodore. Prime Minister Bob Hawke can be seen in the background
A spectator holds onto a car that burns out on Tuff Street during the Summernats auto festival in Canberra in 2012. Holdens is becoming increasingly rare in the young street scene with its planned demise
Peter Brock’s A9X Torana from 1978 on the Gold Coast in 2009. Similar versions are nowadays worth bucket loads and are probably worth even more with the collapse of the Holden brand
My grandfather walked around in a yellow Gemini until the day he died.
He was said to have rolled into his grave the day I blew the car’s engine. And again when I ruined it the second time.
Undoubtedly, he is now rolling back into his grave, saying that the Holden brand will die as well.
How could it happen? This is a brand as Australian as Foster’s Lager, Vegemite and Barbecue Shapes.
That Gemini was my first car and in the years since I adore the Holden Lion and Stone and some of the classic vehicles on which it has stood.
I was told today that children can’t care.
The gasoline heads that have hit their precious Australian engines over the years have gone so far as to resemble an American car.
This includes – God forbid – damaging the Holden badge and replacing it with a Chevrolet badge.
You would be right if you thought this type of action was non-Australian.
It is the kind of behavior that the brand almost disappears from Australian roads.
General Motors will not only take the name Holden ax, but also stop selling cars all the way in Australia.
The dumping of the Holden nameplate will put an end to a car tradition that began in November 1948 when the first 48-215 rolled off the production line at the Fisherman’s Bend factory in Port Melbourne.
The Night Rider: That’s his name. Think of him when you look at the night sky. He died with his ‘floozy’ while driving an HQ Monaro in the film Mad Max
The HQ Monaro on its last ride along the rubber road to freedom. It was picked up for the Mad Max film, but remains a very popular vehicle among Holden fans
I wonder if the birds with Chev insignia that have profaned their actual Holdens will feel a bit stupid if thousands of them cruise around next year?
I know, I will start the engine of my 5.0 liter, VL Calais just a little louder with the lights on his next trip to the bottle shop.
I got that VL from a partner in 2007 when he unfortunately (for him) had to release it while he went through a messy break.
I told him that I would take care of him and I certainly do.
The VL used to be the car that went to the car for the hell of the young people who were out to go fast and make fun of themselves.
The Turbo in particular was modified, cut and often wrapped around a tree.
In the west of Melbourne, where I call home, driving around in the VL heads turns like a Ferrari does.
Many people my age, who are in their mid 40s, remember those cars as a sign of better, simpler times.
Older and not wiser: Wayne Flower on a trip to Barmah on the Murray River. He stuck his VL in a ditch and had to be rescued by a Barmah Hotel worker. He repaid the favor with a record from Crown Lagers
Wayne Flower points to the 5.0 on his VL Calais. He only started in high school when the car was released, but plans to be buried in it
The VL Calais as powered by Wayne Flower. The car remains a head turner in the western suburbs of Melbourne
The VL itself is comically linked to a man who has made the Holden brand a legend in this country.
He was known as the king of the mountain – Peter Brock.
“Brocky” had run Holden’s factory-approved tuning company HDT in the 1980s when his idea of jamming crystals saw him dumped.
Brock won the Australian Touring Car Championship three times, the debilitating Bathurst 1000 endurance race an incredible nine times, an achievement to be matched, won the Sandown 500 touring car race nine times, and did some open-wheel racing and European touring car racing too.
He was at the top of his game when he wanted to block an ‘Energy Polarizer’ in the VL.
It’s a long story, but Brock believed that the crystals could make the car better.
“It’s a magic cure. It makes up for a car, “he said.
That did not work and Brock was sent in packaging by Holden.
He unfortunately died in the 2006 Targa West rally at the age of 61. But remains a Holden legend.
Holden is ingrained in Australian history. A history that unfortunately now may be forgotten by a younger generation that will probably only ever drive electric cars.
The maker of popular models, including the Kingswood and Torana, was Australia’s most popular car brand for decades and launched itself in the 1970s as: “Football, meat patties, kangaroos and Holden cars.”
Market share has gradually eroded since Bob Hawke’s labor government began to settle Australia’s 57 percent import duties from 1988 onwards.
The finish of the James Hardie 1000 in Bathurst in 1984 was won by Peter Brock in a UK Holden. Brocky started designing special vehicles with crystals in them. The idea never got off the ground
A classic Holden V8 Monaro from the 1970s that was scammed by a Holden-loving thief. Holden owners have long been targets of brand lovers that will no longer exist
Holden started his life in 1856 as a saddlery and assembled GM cars from the United States that were sent to Australia as a package.
General Motors Holden was born in 1931 and during the Second World War helped support the army among the Allied countries.
In 1953 the FJ Holden went on sale for about $ 2046 new.
Ten years later, the iconic Holden EH went into production, with 256,959 built in less than two years.
The Kingswood went on sale in 1968 and was later immortalized in television by Kingswood Country and his character Ted Bullpit.
The V8 Monaro came out that same year and would later be seen in the classic Australian film Mad Max.
The axing of the Holden nameplate will put an end to a car tradition that began in November 1948 when the first 48-215 rolled off the production line at the Fisherman’s Bend factory in Melbourne. Depicted then is Labor Prime Minister Ben Chifley with the very first model
In that film, the head office of Monaro was driven by a crazy job of the Ford driving lawmen.
I must have remembered every word of the rage of the Night Rider in the years I wrote that Gemini off.
“I am a suicide machine with fuel injection! I am a rocker, I am a roller, I have no control anymore! “.
While Holden released some stinkers during the trip, his downfall points to a sad, sad situation in a country that now thinks building dodgy submarines is better than investing in Aussie car manufacturing.
Maybe our old Holdens are worth more now?
Who knows. Mine is stolen before I ever dream of selling it.
So when I dropped off my hat for the Night Rider after he died in that fiery devastated Monaro, I also take off my hat for Holden.
On Valhalla proud lion. Cheers and thanks for the ride.