GM Australia’s Holden heritage collection of production and concept vehicles is going on display in Australia, with the entire collection of more than 80 vehicles and 30 engines available to car museums around the country for public display.
“There has been considerable speculation with regards to what was going to happen to these iconic pieces of automotive heritage, and I’m pleased to reveal we are displaying our vehicle collection in Australia. We have never thought about sending it overseas,” said Managing Director for GM Australia and New Zealand, Marc Ebolo.
“The vehicles which make up this multi-million-dollar collection have been loaned to a variety of museums and will go on display in the very near future. This will be the first time the entire collection of Holden production and concept vehicles has been released simultaneously for public viewing.”
Over the past five years, Holden has been working on its substantial heritage collection of cars, engines, manufacturing items, print material, photos, and memorabilia with the help of a dedicated group of Holden retirees in Victoria and South Australia.
The retiree group has spent countless hours helping Holden to preserve and catalogue the collection, which contains items nearly a century old and tells the story of Holden from its origins in 1859, through to becoming a cornerstone manufacturer of Australian industry and the heyday of when half the vehicles on Australian roads were Holdens.
“GM is sincerely grateful for the work our Holden Heritage Group of retiree volunteers has done to sort, digitise and safely store many thousands of items relating to Holden’s rich manufacturing and iconic brand history,” said Ebolo.
“We are planning to launch a Holden Heritage Collection website next year which will provide enthusiasts with information about the collection, as well as details of where to view the vehicles.”
Over the past year, Holden has also sought advice from the National Museum of Australia (NMA), the Commonwealth Office for the Arts, the History Trust of South Australia and Museums Victoria, as well as other interest groups and museums in South Australia and Victoria, to help plan the long term preservation of the collection with a purpose to make as much of it accessible to the public as possible.
This planning process included the formation of an advisory committee which was announced by Federal Minister for the Arts, the Paul Fletcher, and is chaired by the Director of the NMA, Dr Mathew Trinca. Holden says it has participated with the committee and is very grateful for Fletcher’s interest in the collection and the work and advice that Trinca, members of the committee and the Commonwealth Office for the Arts have provided throughout the year to examine long term options for the collection.
“We, more than anybody, recognise how important this collection is to Australia and particularly to the people who have worked at Holden and owned Holden cars,” said Ebolo.
“We greatly appreciate Minister Fletcher’s interest in the Holden collection and the work and valuable advice of Dr Mathew Trinca, the National, Victorian and South Australian museums and interest groups and the Commonwealth Office for the Arts, on how to best preserve our heritage collection in Australia.
“We hope that with the opening of state borders and as Australians go on holidays, they will visit the various museums where these wonderful Holden cars will be displayed.”
A special grouping of these iconic Holden cars will be exhibited from mid-December at the History Trust of SA’s National Motor Museum in Birdwood, South Australia, the state in which Holden began as a saddlery in 1859.
The special exhibition includes iconic cars such as Holden No 1 launched by Prime Minister Ben Chifley in 1948, Holden’s first concept car Hurricane from 1969, the 1,000,000th Holden (EJ), the 4,000,000th Holden (VC Commodore), the Coupe 60 concept and former Holden Design Director Richard Ferlazzo’s global masterpiece concept car, EFIJY.