Holden EH wagon

Heritage Collection still looking for home

Riley Riley

As Holden prepares to turn off the power, empty the fridge and lock the door, comes news the Holden Heritage Collection will go on the road.

The entire collection of more than 80 vehicles and 30 engines will be made available to car museums around the country for public display.   

GM revealed previously it was looking for a permanent home for the collection of concept, production vehicles, engines, transmissions and other memorabilia.

But reading between the lines it’s still looking (or no one wants it)?

Managing Director for GM Australia and New Zealand, Marc Ebolo said there had been considerable speculation about what was going to happen to these iconic pieces of automotive heritage.

“I’m pleased to reveal we are displaying our vehicle collection in Australia,” he said.

“We have never thought about sending it overseas.”  

Phew . . . That was close.

She’s a beauty . . . Prime Minister Ben Chifley at the launch of the first Holden in 1948, the 48-215 (commonly called the FX).

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 retired Holden employees in Victoria and South Australia.        

The group has spent countless hours helping to preserve and catalogue the collection, which contains items nearly a century old.

It tells the story of Holden from its origins in 1859, through to becoming a cornerstone manufacturer of Australian industry and its heyday when half the vehicles on Australian roads were Holdens.    

There are plans to launch a Holden Heritage Collection website next year that will provide enthusiasts with information about the collection, as well as details of where to view vehicles.

Over the past 12 months, 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 long term preservation of the collection while ensuring it remains as 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, Paul Fletcher and is chaired by the Director of the NMA, Dr Mathew Trinca.      

“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,” Ebolo said.         

“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 iconic Holden cars will be exhibited from mid-December at SA’s National Motor Museum in Birdwood, the state in which Holden began as a saddlery in 1859.        

It includes iconic cars such as Holden #1 launched by Prime Minister Ben Chifley in 1948, Holden’s first concept car ‘Hurricane’ from 1969, the 1 millionth EJ Holden, the 4,000,000th VC Commodore, the Coupe 60 concept and former Holden Design Director Richard Ferlazzo’s global masterpiece concept car, ‘EFIJY.’


National Motor Museum of Australia, Birdwood, SA

Concept cars: Hurricane, Torana GTR-X, Monaro, Monaro Convertible, Monaro 427 HRT, Sandman Van, Utester, SS-X, Torana TT36, EFIJY, Coupe-60

Production cars: 48/215 (Holden’s first), EJ Premier Sedan (1 millionth), HK Brougham (2 millionth), VC Commodore SL/E (4 millionth), VX Commodore SS (6 millionth), VE Commodore Sedan (7 millionth), VF Commodore SS Redline (last Australian-made Holden)

Engines: 2004 V6 3.6L Alloytec First, 2016 V6 3.6L Alloytec Last

National Holden Motor Museum, Echuca, Vic

Cars/concepts: HJ Statesman Concept, EJ Ute, VB Commodore SL/E Sedan, VF Caprice V (last Caprice), VF Ute SS Redline (last Ute), VF Chevrolet SS Sedan, WB Caprice (last WB Statesman)

Trafalgar Holden Museum, Trafalgar, Vic

Cars/concepts: Sandman Ute Concept, FC Sedan, EK Special Sedan, HR Premier Sedan, VL Commodore Convertible, VZ Monaro CV8Z, VF Commodore Ute ‘McQueen’, VF Commodore SSV Sedan (pilot)

Engines: 1948 L6 2.15L Grey, 1963 L6 2.8L Red, 1984 L6 3.3L Black, 1980 L6 3.3L Blue, V6 Stop Start (experimental), GM Rotary (experimental), V8 5.0L OHC (experimental), V8 5.0L Orbital INJ (experimental), 1999 V8 5.7L (sectioned)

Shepparton Museum of Vehicle Evolution, Shepparton, Vic

Cars/concepts: Colorado Xtreme Concept, VE Sportwagon Concept, Chevrolet Cruze Concept, Chevrolet Adra Concept, Chevrolet YGM Concept, ZB Commodore (cutaway clay), Chevrolet Camaro (LHD), EcoCommodore, VF Magnum Ute (pilot), EV-1, Volt EV, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Buick Avenir (scale)

Engines: 1988 V6 3.8L Buick, 1995 V6 3.8L Ecotec, 1996 V6 3.8L Ecotec, 1997 V6 3.8L Supercharged, 2004 V6 3.6L, 2010 V6 3.0L (sectioned)

Holden Manufacturing Heritage Association, Lionsgate Business Park, Elizabeth, SA

Cars/concepts: Cruze CDX Sedan (first Cruze), VX Pontiac GTO 2 Door Coupe, Cruze SRI Hatch, VY One Tonner Ute, Adventra Wagon, VF Chevrolet SS, VF Calais V Wagon, Cruise SRI, VF Chevrolet SS, VE Commodore SS Ute, VE Commodore SSV Sportwagon

Engines: 1995 V6 3.8L (sectioned), 2016 V6 3.6L (sectioned), Opel L4 2.0L DOHC (sectioned), Holden L4 2.0L SOHC (sectioned), Holden L4 2.0L SOHC (last)

Winton Motor Raceway, Winton, Vic

Cars/concepts: VF Commodore SS Design, LX Torana Hatchback, VX Pontiac GTO 2 Door Coupe, VE Pontiac GXP Sedan, VE SSV Redline Ute, VF Chevrolet SS Sedan (pilot), Camaro (LHD pilot)

Engines: 1968 V8 5.0L Red, 1969 V8 5.0L (sectioned), 1988 V8 5.0L PFI, 1999 V8 5.7L (last), 2007 V8 5.7L and transmission

National Motor Racing Museum, Bathurst, NSW

Cars/concepts: VB Commodore Sedan Brock, RB Gemini SL/X, 1988 V8 5.0L Group A Engine

WA Motor Museum, Whiteman Park, WA

Cars/concepts: EH Special Sedan

Ridley’s GM Motor Museum, Bertram, WA

Cars/concepts: WN Caprice Police Pursuit

Mildura Holden Motor Museum, Buronga, NSW

Cars/concepts: Cross 8 Crewman Design, VK Commodore Berlina, VR Commodore Equipe, VF Calais Sportwagon (Last Wagon)

Gippsland Vehicle Collection Motor Museum, Maffra, Vic

Cars/concepts: 48/215 Station Wagon (Cordell), HQ Premier 25th Anniversary, Chevrolet Bolt EV, VT Commodore SS (2000 Olympics Torch Relay Car)

Collins Holden Collection, Toowoomba, Qld

Cars/concepts: Colorado Concept, SST Concept, Jack 8 Concept

Elfin Heritage Centre, Moorabbin, Vic

Cars/concepts: Elfin Clubman (Holden Design), Elfin Streamliner (Holden Design)


CHECKOUT: So . . . who did design the first Holden?

CHECKOUT: Holden: Making cars and memories

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *