Feature Mark Walker June 23, 2022 (Comments off) (141)

Holden Heaven on Show

Holden is synonymous with South Australia, and a sleepy town on the outskirts of the Adelaide Hills is home to the best collection of select Holdens you are ever likely to see.

Through to the 31st of December, the National Motor Museum in Birdwood is host to the “Holden Heroes: A Retrospective 1948 – 2017”, with many of the most famed prototypes and milestone machines from the General Motors collection now on public exhibition.

Each of the cars is a priceless specimen and a crowd puller in their own right, combined, they form an attraction you would travel for from afar.

From the prototype collection, it’s hard to go past the epic EFIJY from 2005, above, which was a centrepiece of motor shows around the country when it was released.

Then there’s the Hurricane from 1969, the 1971 Torana GTR-X, the Monaro concept ‘Matilda’ from 1998, the awesome 2000 Sandman recreation, the 2001 UTEster, 2002’s ‘Marilyn’ Monaro convertible, the legendary HSV HRT 427 and the SSX from 2002, the ’04 Torana TT36, and the 2008 Holden Coupe 60.

You don’t have to be a Holden fan to appreciate any of that.

In terms of the milestone vehicles, you can’t go past number one, the first 1948 48-215 Sedan, or the last Australian build, the 2017 VF Commodore Series II SS Redline.

Then there are the millionth cars: the 1963 EJ Sedan Premier (1 millionth), the 1968 HK Brougham (2 millionth), the 1981 VC Commodore SL/E Sedan (4 millionth), the 2001 VX Commodore SS (6 millionth) and the 2008 VE Commodore Sedan (7 millionth).

Want more? In total, there are over 400 vehicles on display across multiple halls, plus other rotating features.

Although it helps if you are into the automotive world, the Museum has a genuine focus on the Australian way of life, our local culture, and the stories of everyday people from across the nation expressed through their machines.

For instance, the [Re]assembled exhibit explores a century of local automotive manufacturing, while the Sunburnt Country exhibit delves into the automotive legends, innovations and journeys that helped shape the Commonwealth, with machinery in the display dating back to 1899.

There are plenty of oddities in the mix – try a Leyland Brothers West-East Crossing Expedition Land Rover, the 1992 Olympic bid Telecom phone car that when tethered to a phone line actually made calls, through to some more modern sophistication, including a Bugatti Veyron.

Adding to the Aussie flavour, there are numerous locally produced stock standard family cars and rep-mobiles that have been preserved as they rolled off the assembly line.

Where else could you see mint-condition Mitsubishi Magnas parked alongside Chryslers, an XD Falcon, Leylands and many, many more.

Ford, Honda, Pontiac, Toyota, Chevrolet, Rover, Datsun, Zetas, Vanguard, Hillman, Renault, Lincoln, Peugeot, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini and Goggomobile are all there, plus buses, trucks and a massive display of two-wheelers.

Intermixed into the exhibits are a smattering of competition vehicles, from circuit racing to drags and motorcycles.

Thinking of attending the Adelaide 500? Stay around for a couple of days and cruise through the hills. You won’t be disappointed with a stop in Birdwood.

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