Home' Open Road Sydney North and North West : OR1117 Contents What stands out in this comparison
is just how little separates the four
Last issue’s tribute to Holden stirred up fond
reminiscences among our readers
YOUR MEMORIES OF HOLDEN
HOLDEN OWNER FOR 60 YEARS
Open Road reader Mal Owen was
inspired to share these two photos of
his 1957 FE Holden. Mal bought it
brand new and has owned it ever
since. It has been restored once –
Mal did the work himself – and it’s
now a regular sight at car shows.
RELIABLE OLD FRIENDS
I have driven Holden vehicles since
buying our first, a ute, back in 1954. We
drove them in outback NSW, where dirt
roads were the norm and not once did
our Holdens let us down.
We also towed caravans from Broken
Hill where we lived. The only negative was
we had to carry extra fuel, as there were
no fuel outlets on many of the roads,
especially between Broken Hill and
Mildura. The drive to Sydney was also a
nightmare due to the terrible road and
petrol stations not being open on Sundays.
Broken Hill residents back then would
have preferred to be part of South
Australia, as NSW governments ripped
money out of the town and gave little in
return. Not much has changed in the 50
years since we left. The roads are still not
up to standard, and will always remain so
while the government spends most of its
money in Sydney.
Thelma Dennis, Bundanoon
HOLDEN ROAD TRIP
The Holden entered the market in 1948
and, in 1949, my mother was able to
purchase one of the scarce new cars. It
had to be picked up in Melbourne so she
invited my husband and I to go pick up
the car and drive it back to Sydney.
What an exciting journey that was. To
turn the trip into an adventure, we
travelled through the Snowy Mountains,
passing through Kiandra, where the
countryside and the unsealed roads were
covered in snow, then through Adaminaby
and Cooma. Everywhere we stopped,
people came over to view the car.
I enjoyed being reminded of that epic
journey. There was no heating in the car,
dirt roads had to be taken carefully and
we shared the driving over the long
distances. On return to Sydney, we
delivered the car to my mother, a proud
owner of the first-model Holden.
Jenny Simons, Burradoo
AN EARLY ADOPTER
The decision to stop building Holdens in
Australia does indeed end an important
chapter in our history. My father bought
one of the first Holdens in late 1948. It
was stamped ‘No. 2423’ but he found out
that the numbering started at 1000, so it
was the 1423rd Holden made.
In those early vehicles, not all parts
were Australian. I remember the wheels
were marked as being from Canada and
I think some engine components also
came from North America.
When I obtained my driving licence
in 1958, he gave the Holden to me and
bought himself another car. I sold it (for
a very small sum) in 1966 when I went to
live overseas. I wonder where it is now?
Neil Radford, Balmain East
A WONDERFUL TRIBUTE
It was a sad day indeed when the
production of this fine Australian
motor car ceased in October, with
the loss of so many jobs.
My father worked on the Holden
project. He had worked for General
Motors Holden Ltd. in Pagewood during
the war when they produced the
famous 25 pounder guns, munitions,
and aircraft parts. The Holden project
was all hush-hush, and he had many
flights to visit Salmon Street,
Fishermans Bend [Holden’s Melbourne
plant] in the 1940s. A proud day came in
1948 when the photo of the prime
minister, Mr Chifley, and the first Holden
to roll off the production line was on the
front page of The Evening Sun.
I worked for GM for five years and
well remember preparing
documentation for the export of
Holdens to Fiji, New Zealand and South
Africa. How sad it is that we will now
have to import Holdens to Australia.
Although a large company, Holden
was very family-orientated, with picnic
days, Christmas parties and sporting
events. The various dealerships would
donate fantastic prizes for the winners.
Charmain Williams, Forster
PM Ben Chifley and the
first Holden off the
production line in 1948.
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