Original Melbourne site of HDT to be demolished for six-storey apartments

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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hdt building exterior hdt building exterior

The original and historic home of HDT could soon be gone

The original site of the Holden Dealer Team could soon be no longer, as the garage at 35 Queens Avenue, Hawthorn in Melbourne’s inner-east is set for demolition to make way for a $7 million six-storey development.

Heroic names such as Peter Brock, Colin Bond and John Harvey were all frequent faces at the workshop in its heyday, under team owner Harry Firth.

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Firth purchased the property in the early 60s as he worked for Ford’s factory-backed touring car efforts, however was let go and immediately taken on by Holden, with HDT forming in 1969.

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HDT based their operations in the Hawthorn garage until the end of the 1977 season from whence they moved to North Melbourne under John Sheppard.

The workshop was sold to famed engine builder Ian Tate in 1978, who sold it on in 2000 – when he foresaw the increasing development facing surrounding buildings.

The building is said to have been built in the 19th century as a Cobb & Co coach stopping station; but with no historical overlays – no original design elements or components are safe from destruction.

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It was in these walls that Firth birthed many of Australia’s significant race cars including the XR GTs, the GT500 Cortinas as well as the Bathurst-winning GTS350, and the XU-1, L34 and A9X Toranas under HDT.

The facility was sold in March 2019, with Rob Blackbourn later penning his hopes that the building of such historical local automotive provenance will be saved.

However that may not be the case unfortunately. Any objections to the proposed development must be lodged with the City of Boroondara by March 25, with the final decision to be made within months.

 

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