augKDpNR 2005 Holden Efijy concept
2005 Holden Efijy concept
2005 Holden Efijy concept

Commodore — Ferlazzo kept the best to last

Riley Riley

It’s perhaps fitting that Holden’s last design director has the last say in the Shannons seven-part series Design to Driveway.

The last episode goes to air today and is available to watch on line along with other episodes in the series.

It has been said that more men have walked on the Moon than held the role of Holden Design Director.

Richard Ferlazzo is one of them.

As a schoolboy, Richard could never choose between drawing Italian sports cars or Aussie muscle cars.

He filled the pages of his school books with drawings of Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Ferrari classics, together with his versions of the Monaro, Falcon and Charger coupes.

As Director of Design at Holden, Richard Ferlazzo lost none of his early schoolboy passion for designing cars.

He joined the Holden design studio working on the VN Commodore and then for over 30 years, helped shape designs for Commodore, Statesman and many smaller Holden models.

Who will ever forget Ferlazzo’s fabulous tribute to the FJ Holden – the Efijy concept car — which received accolades around the world.

In this episode, he explains how, following the export success of Holden’s VT platform, Detroit bosses finally granted Holden a blank canvas to build the first ever all-Australian designed and built Commodore — Holden’s Billion Dollar Baby, the VE Commodore.

In fact, it was Holden’s first all new model since the HQ.

Shannons Design To Driveway Richard Ferlazzo
Shannons Design To Driveway with Richard Ferlazzo.


Ferlazzo was the last man ever to lead Holden design and was literally the last guy to switch off the lights on GM’s Australian Design Studio, ending nearly 100 years of local design history.

His Sportwagon (designed with fellow designer Tony Stolfo) transformed how Australian families could re-imagine the modern station wagon in a world dominated by SUVs and here, he draws his designs for our cameras.

Ferlazzo is a firm believer the design team kept the best to last – the VF Commodore.

He re-sketches the VF SS-V and the last ever Holden logo which he also designed, now a permanent reminder of what we once had and one of his proudest designs.

Shannons Design to Driveway series is an unprecedented look behind the scenes of Australian car design, told by the men and women who shaped and styled some of the most iconic and loved cars ever built.

This original series from Shannons celebrates the men and women who have designed our local cars for nearly a century. It is the one piece of our motoring history, that has remained largely untold.

For the first time, seven of Australia’s most influential car designers over the past seven decades come together to take motor enthusiasts on an exclusive walk into the archives of Australian car design.

There’s Leo Pruneau (Holden Chief Designer), David Ford (Ford Australia Product Planner), Dennis Nicolle (Chrysler Australia/Mitsubishi Australia Designer), Phil Zmood (Holden Chief Designer), David Hardy (Leyland Australia Designer), Graham Wadsworth (Ford Australia Designer) and finally Richard Ferlazzo (Holden Chief Designer).

Each of the featured designers, reveal exclusive images, designs and the original clay models from the ‘big four’ Australian car companies.

Each episode is hosted by motoring journalist and artist Warren Brown who retraces the careers of each designer, while motor historian David Burrell provides viewers with context during each episode.

You can catch all episodes, including the story of Richard Ferlazzo here as they go to air.


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