Australia Post has released a set if five stamps celebrating the passing of an Australian icon — Holden.

The new stamps feature “Australia’s Own Car” the 1948 Holden 48-215 sedan.

There’s also the luxurious 1963 Holden EH Premier, fast and flashy 1968 Holden HK Monaro GTS 327, 1971 Holden HQ Kingswood Ute, a favourite of farmers and tradies, and the 2006 Holden VE Commodore SS V — from the highest-selling Holden model series.

Australia Post’s Nicole Sheffield said the new stamp issue would appeal to car enthusiasts and stamp collectors, but also to the broader Australian public.

“Through our stamp releases, we’re in a unique position to highlight and honour important Australian icons and this stamp issue recognises the incredible impact that Holden had on the Australian cultural fabric,” she said.

“For generations, Holden vehicles were a constant presence in key industries, such as farming and law enforcement and a much-loved part of many Australian households.”

GM Australia and New Zealand boss, Marc Ebolo, offered similar sentiments.

“These five stamps feature iconic vehicles which encapsulate the passion people have for the brand, whether they be past employees who helped develop these vehicles or those who purchased them,” he said.

“It’s an absolute privilege to have this incredible heritage recognised in such a way by Australia Post.”

Over the course of six decades, Holden constructed more than 7.6 million vehicles for Australia and the world.

General Motors continues to provide after sales service, support and parts to the 1.6 million Holdens still on the road across the country.

The five $1.10 stamps will be available until September 30 or while stocks last.

Additional products including a first day cover, stamp pack, maxicards and a minisheet are also available.

Medallion covers will be available from April.

Stamps and associated products are available for purchase at participating Post Offices, via mail order on 1800 331 794, and online at auspost.com.au/stamps.

Holden Australian Icon 1948 48 215

1948 Holden 48-215

Upon seeing that first Holden roll off the assembly line, then prime minister Ben Chifley exclaimed, “she’s a beauty!”

The FX became the highest-selling passenger car in Australia by 1950.

Featuring the latest in unitary construction techniques, the FX was comfortable to drive, with room for six passengers.

It handled perfectly in Australia’s rough and rugged conditions, powered by a Stovebolt six-cylinder OHV engine and a three-speed manual gearbox, with column change.

The original sedan was joined by the 50-2106 utility in 1951 and the 48-215-257 Business sedan in 1953.

The stamp design includes the FX car badge as well as a photograph of the Holden production line.

Holden Australian Icon 1963 Premier

1963 Holden EH Premier

The EH heralded big mechanical changes, in the form of the new “red” engine, which boasted a bigger bore and shorter stroke, plus a higher compression ratio, to boost output to almost double that of 1948’s FX.

The Premier variant included a metallic Magic-Mirror finish, narrow-band whitewall tyres, wheel trim rings and front fender chrome wind splits.

Inside was luxurious leather upholstery, a white steering wheel, carpet on the floor, a folding rear seat armrest and chrome sill plates.

As well as the car badge, the stamp design features a background photograph of an EH in a suburban setting.

Holden Australian Icon 1968 Monaro

1968 Holden HK Monaro

The much-anticipated 1968 HK Monaro GTS 327 – Holden’s first two-door, fastback coupe – instantly appealed to younger buyers and fans of the burgeoning “muscle car” trend in the USA, with its flashy colours and offset stripes, lowered suspension and console-mounted tacho.

With a Chevrolet V8 engine, it could reach speeds of 201km/h, unimaginable just 18 months earlier.

Privateer Bruce McPhee drove a Monaro GTS 327 to victory in the 1968 Bathurst race, the first win for a Holden at Mount Panorama.

The HK also became the first Holden to receive the coveted Wheels Car of the Year award.

In the stamp background is a photograph of a Monaro at Bathurst, as well as the car model’s badge.

Holden Australian Icon 1971 Kingswood

1971 Holden HQ Kingswood

The 1971 Holden HQ Kingswood Utility, the classic ride for farmers and tradies, was the first Holden ute to feature a full unitary body and full-perimeter chassis.

Combined with stronger rear leaf springs and a steel load floor, this was a strong and reliable load-carrying machine.

The HQ Kingswood also boasted the safety benefits of strong outer panels and internal padding.

The HQ was Holden’s second highest-selling car model series.

The background photograph represents the affinity between this car model and country Australia. Also featured is the car badge.

Holden Australian Icon 2006 Commodore

2006 Holden VE Commodore

Upon its release in 2006, the VE Commodore was lauded, winning Wheels Car of the Year for its design, engineering and sophistication.

Dubbed Holden’s “billion-dollar baby”, due to the record level of investment, the VE became the highest-selling Holden car model series and took Holden to its last major milestone before the retirement of the brand – the seven-millionth Holden produced.

As well as presenting the car badge, this stamp’s background photograph represents Holden’s emphasis on engineering and design.

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Holden stamps celebrate passing of an icon

Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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