The ad above is for the 1982 Statesman by Holden, its interesting to note that the Statesman brand was a luxury marque created by Holden but most Aussies still just refered to it as a Holden Statesman even though Holden went out of their way to drop the Holden name from marketing material. We like the WB as it shows how a company (who had very little money at the time) could take an outdated model and do some clever design changes to make it into an all new model. one example is the huge rubber strip down the side that is almost hollow in some parts in order to hide the huge bulge above the guards left over from the 1970’s Kingswood.
Situated in the beautiful wine country of South Australia lies the National Motor Museum at Birdswood. This incredible collection of vehicles traces the importance of transportation in Australia over the last 100 years. Opening in 1965 the centre is not only a museum but a research centre, a place of preservation and an important education tool for the young. The new Holden Pavilion of Australian Motoring offers 3700 square metres of some of Australia’s most important motoring icons including a 45 metre long road train and some very impressive fire engines and commercial vehicles. The centre has traveling exhibitions and some of very interesting examples of important Australian automotive milestones including the a prototype Mitsubishi Magna, a prototype VN series Holden Monaro and the Torana GTR-X developed for the Sydney Motor Show a few years ago.
Any full blooded Aussie can tell you that the Holden Commodore of the 80’s was based on an European Opel, they will also tell you how much of a legend the late Peter Brock was and how much he loved Holden’s. In about 1984 Brocky saw the potential in the Opel Monza, a two door hatch based on the same car the Aussie Commodore sedan was based on, Compared to the Aussie version it had a few good bits like a independent rear end that Brocky liked the idea of so he come up with a plan to import them down under and whack a decent V8 under the bonnet. At the time the concept got a lot of publicity, but it was never to happen. Brock did import one over for evaluation and kitted it out with an array of hot bits including his infamous Energy Polarizer, today the car is in the hands of a collector who has decided to part company with it. So if you got an endless bank balance and want a piece of Brock history check out the full story. The video above is of a Opel Monza from a similar era, if you are from down under would have you bought one back in 1984? let us know in the comments field.
Back in the 1950’s Holden produced the FJ Holden which has gone on to become one of Australia’s iconic classic cars. So what better car to base a show car off some 50 years later than to create a new interpretation of the vehicle using many of the classic and loved design cues. Using a Chevrolet Corvette underbody, a 5.2 metre radical custom coupe was produced boasting a thumping 480-kilowatt, supercharged six-litre V8 engine under the bonnet and every imaginable gizmo and gadget including LCD and LED technology, all packaged with magnificence retro styling. The paintwork was breathtaking with a rich dark purple called Soprano Purple highlighted by chrome badging and features. The car has since toured the world and been the toast of many auto shows and won quiet a few prestigious awards from Hot Rod magazines and other media.
Back in 1925 Ford started their Australian production in Geelong Australia and today the city is still home to their Stamping facilities and Research and Development centre. Within a few metres of their original works near Geelong’s waterfront the Ford Discovery Centre now stands. Offering visitors an extensive showcase of vehicles that the Marquee has become famous for from the Model T to the latest model Falcon. The centre is much more than a car museum it is a hand’s on technology centre where people especially the young can come face to face with production robots, vehicle cutaways and visit a mock up of Ford Australia’s top secret design studio where full size real clay model vehicles are on display. The center fun and education and is a very popular learning centre for many of the states primary schools. The center has many one off concept vehicles and show cars, historic vehicles including the world’s first utility vehicle the 1932 Ford Ute and some of the latest iconic vehicles in it’s ever changing display.
This year’s Melbourne Motorshow in Australia premiered the Chevrolet Camaro Coupe show car which is a glimpse of great things to come from the huge US automaker. The vehicle was actually designed in Melbourne by Holden who have the task of designing the new rear wheel drive muscle car. The final product is expected to have many of the design cues that the show car proudly possesses when it rolls of the production lines in Canada some time in 2009. The car will feature some of the underbody and mechanicals used in Australia’s Holden Commodore which is the country’s biggest selling car and exported to world markets including the Middle East, Asia and to the USA as a Pontiac GTO.
Ford Performance Vehicles in Australia has just released the 30th Anniversary GT Cobra Falcon. Only 400 sedans and 100 utes of this special model have been produced and were sold out on first day of sale. The vehicle brings back memories of the 1977 Falcon Cobra muscle car which has become one of Ford Australia’s most iconic vehicles. Priced to sell at only AU$65110 this all new Cobra is based on the BF Falcon and is built for performance and comfort featuring a huge Boss 5.4 litre 32 valve, quad cam V8 engine which produced 302 kW of power. The car features either a 6 speed ZF automatic with sequential sports shift or 6 speed close ratio manual transmission with high torque clutch. There are 19″ five spoke wheels and the legendary white body with blue stripes and of course the cobra logo. Inside the vehicle is fitted with leather sports seats, sports instrumentation, and all the trimmings you would expect and quite a few little surprises.