News - Holden

Holden does homework on history

Back in time: Some of Holden’s most iconic cars – like the first-ever Commodore – will be housed in a collection that will eventually be opened up to the public.

Significant cars in Holden’s history set to be collated in huge collection

Holden logo12 Oct 2015


HOLDEN has engaged former employees to begin assembling a definitive heritage fleet of rare and desirable models, from the Australian car-maker's rich 67 year local history.

While the company already holds many pieces of interest at its Fishermans Bend headquarters in Melbourne – including the Hurricane sports car prototype from 1969, Holden sales director Peter Keley, told GoAuto that vehicles of a different significance would be sought for the new project.

“We really haven't so far invested in getting a complement of cars together that accurately reflects our history,” he told GoAuto at the launch of the Commodore VFII in South Australia. “It's not about grabbing XU1s and A9X Toranas it's about the regular Holdens that have made up our history.”

Several private museums around the country - including the Holden-sanctioned museum at Echuca in Victoria – house many of the company’s more important cars from its seven million-plus vehicle build history.

Mr Keley said that the project is in the planning stages at present, with discussions about facilities and the collection’s goals in train.

“We've currently actually got a group of our retirees going through a lot of our archival type records and trying to sort through those which was of interest and which one is just stuff we'll leave in the box, said Mr Keley.

“Certainly with the closure of manufacturing, it's focused us on the legacy that we've created, and that we want to continue to celebrate as we move forward.”

The company currently holds vehicles like the millionth car ever built (a gold EH Premier) and the four-millionth (a two-tone gold VC Commodore SL/E), but Mr Keley says there are no specific acquisitions in mind.

“Obviously we've got the existing vehicles that we had that earmarked. They'll be always special to us as our show cars,” he said. “It's filling in the gaps beyond that.”

Discussions around a permanent facility are ongoing, but Mr Keley indicated that the collection would eventually be open to the public.

“Certainly we would like to have something that public can access on what terms we haven't decided yet,” he said. “We don't have a specific time frame to be honest at the moment, (but) it's sooner than later.

“We want to make sure that we're celebrating our past and then building a bridge to our future.” The company’s local build lineage can be traced back to October 1948, where the first locally built car – a cream-coloured 418-25 equipped with Holden’s first engine – was completed in Melbourne. At one stage, Holden had production facilities in almost every state in Australia except for Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

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