Holden is gone but the Kingswood lives - Revcounter 437

By: Guy Allen

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It's not really over...

 

Lost Lion

After the last few years, I think we’re on the verge of suffering obituary fatigue. Really.

With the shut-down of local car manufacturing, 2016-2018 seemed to be dominated by stories of last-ditch specials from assorted makers and how people were dealing with the imminent death of a local car industry – or at least the creative side of it.

Then last issue we were dealing with the demise of the Commodore nameplate. And now, Holden itself has been killed off. You can read the news story and tributes further in the current issue #437, but I have to admit I’m a little over the whole thing, as it’s depressing.

Instead, let’s look at the positives. Like the fantastic Holden Muster we got involved with at Lang Lang a couple of years ago, where we managed to rustle up a fleet of cars and owners covering the vast majority of Holden’s local output. That was a brilliant day that will long be remembered by anyone who attended.

| Watch the video: Holden Muster 2017

Or the fact that there are a couple of Holdens in the shed – a VK Berlina wagon awaiting a heart transplant and of course the mighty Kingswood. The latter has been part of our family for nearly 40 years and, if my adult daughters have any say, will remain so for a very long time to come.

For me that car has been a great exercise in watching the life-cycle of locally made cars and the way they change both physically and in status across the decades. We bought it when it was just three years old, so it was a major purchase and seemed like a bit of an indulgence when any old clunker might have done the same job.

| Read next: End of the Lion

With the 253 V8 in the snout, it was a reasonably luxurious cruiser for the day and handled the odd interstate trip with aplomb.

Kids came along and the car, which was forced to live out in the weather, gradually declined as sun, rain, ice-creams and grubby paws took their toll. I’ll confess to reaching a point where I was seriously over the thing, but spouse Ms M had bonded with it and was determined to hang on to it, no matter the cost.

So she funded the respray and the inevitable engine refresh as the miles reached stratospheric levels. Then it got retrimmed, twice.

Somewhere along the way the attitude of the kids changed as well. They got driving lessons in it, and were eventually fighting over the keys for what somehow had become a cool old car.

Now it lives in semi-retirement in the shed, dusted off for the odd Sunday run plus an annual interstate trip where we pick a distant event or two, and a couple of far-flung feature cars, and go for a long drive.

Which is a very long way of saying that while Holden – and much of the local car industry – is gone, there’s still a whole lot of joy to be had from its legacy. Long may it be so.

 

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