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Last hurrah for Holden

Humpy hurrah: Holden’s iconic 48/215 will lead the Holden Dream Cruise in Elizabeth, South Australia, to mark the end of Holden production.

Dream Parade to pay homage to Holden heritage ahead of factory closure

16 Aug 2017

GM HOLDEN will bring the curtain down on almost 70 years of Australian car manufacturing with a celebration of its products down the years in a street parade through the Adelaide suburb of Elizabeth – home to Holden car production for much of the company’s history.

Rather than simply allow its manufacturing heritage to fade to black, Holden has asked enthusiasts, employees and customers to register Holden cars for the parade on Sunday October 15 – just five days before the last Commodore rolls from the production line.

Dubbed the Holden Dream Cruise, the parade is modelled on Detroit’s biennial Woodward Dream Cruise which showcases classic cars. Memorably, the Woodward event once featured Holden’s FJ-inspired Efijy concept car driven by its Australian designer, Richard Ferlazzo.

Like the Detroit parade, Holden is hoping for thousands of car fans from across Australia to line the route to pay homage to some of the nation’s most iconic cars.

The Holden parade will start in central Elizabeth – a suburb built around the Holden factory in the 1950s – and wend its way on a 10km route past the Holden plant to end at home ground of the Central District Football Club in Elizabeth South.

Symbolically, the parade will be led by the first and last models to wear Holden badges – a 1948 48/215 and a 2017 VFII Commodore.

Following the parade, the cars will compete in a show ‘n’ shine competition as part of a family fun day at the oval.

Holden manufacturing executive director Richard Phillips said the Holden Dream Cruise would not just be for owners of classic Holdens, but also regular Holden owners.

“We want to hold an event that recognises the large community of people who care about the brand, its manufacturing heritage and its future,” he said.

“This includes not only customers and enthusiasts but people for whom employment at Holden has been an important part of their family, in some cases for decades.”

Like Ford when its closed its factories at Geelong and Broadmeadows in Victoria last year, Holden will keep its last production day – October 20 – a private affair for its workers.

“That last day is for our people – there will be nothing public happening on 20 October,” he said.

“The best way to help celebrate Holden the brand and your personal association with it is to join in or come along and line the route of the Holden Dream Cruise – this is the opportunity for Australia to show that pride and support for our people.”

Holden chairman and managing director Mark Bernhard said the Holden Dream Cruise was about honouring the company’s heritage and “paying our respect to it by reinforcing our future”.

“Holden is one of Australia’s most iconic brands,” he said. “We built the auto industry in this country and Australia grew up with Holden.

“We’re incredibly proud of that heritage and committed to building a future that honours our past. We may not be building cars locally but the retention of our engineering team, our international design studios and our vehicle testing facility are just a few examples of Holden’s ongoing commitment to Australia and our customers.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the turnout, to see what special and restored vehicles take part and talking about all-things Holden with our loyal supporters.”

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