Holden - 70 years today

By: Guy Allen, Unique Cars magazine

Holden 48 215 advertisement 01 Period brochure for the new Holden. Holden 48 215 advertisement 01
Chifley holden 48 215 nov 29 1948 Prime Minister Chifley launches the car on Nov 29, 1948. Chifley holden 48 215 nov 29 1948

The day the Prime Minister welcomed a new car

Holden - 70 years today
Prime Minister Ben Chifley welcomes the new locally-built Holden.

It seems unthinkable in the current political climate - 70 years ago today, then Prime Minister Ben Chifley attended the launch of what was the first locally-designed built mass-production car.

As the shiny 48-215 was unveiled at the Fishermens Bend Social Hall, Chifley weas heard to say, "What a beaut!"

That occasion led on to the development of a hugely active local manufacturing industry in the coming decades, encouraged at times by a tax regime that favoured either complete manufacturing locally, or assembly of CKD (complete knock down) kits.

For a time there, Chrysler, Ford, Holden, Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi built entire cars. CKD brands included numerous European and American nameplates.

It all came to an end in October last year, when Holden became the last local maker to close its plant. It was the end of an era.

Here is a selection of the stories we published to celebrate Holden's achievements over the years.

Iconic Holdens


FE Station Sedan

EH Holden

HQ Holden

WB Caprice

VB Commodore

VT Commodore

Torana LJ XU-1

Monaro GTS 327

Monaro CV8-Z

Holden utes - FX to SS-V Redline


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