Trafalgar was inundated with GMH’s finest on Saturday October 18th for the opening of the new Holden Museum. As well as the cars on display inside, there were many more Holdens as well as other classics assembled on the railway reserve opposite the Old Butter Factory which houses the museum. Most if not all models up to the HQ were there, plus examples of other marques that Holden provided bodies for up to 1948.These included a 1942 Oldsmobile two door that had been converted from a four door and marketed as a 1946 model. Due to World War II interrupting production, the company continued producing pre-war models, virtually unchanged, after the war. Other displays showed saddles and a many other products produced by Holden in their Adelaide factory up until the late 1800s and prior to them making motor bodies for many different manufacturers.
Tariff regulations in the early 20th century meant that it was cheaper to import chassis and engines into this country and then have local body builders put bodies on them. For many years Holden made bodies for many American, European and English marques until they finally agreed to make bodies exclusively for General Motors. Eventually GM bought into Holden and finally took them over.
One of the most spectacular displays at the Museum was the styling exercise done by the company using FJ Holden styling queues called the Efijy. Other displays included a cut-away VE Holden showing how it was made. There were interactive displays of car components, such as suspensions and engines as well as a gift shop, cafeteria area and a theatrette showing a video history of Holden.
Many members of GSCCR were there for the opening, including Harry De Groot, Merv Swingler, Alan Mitchell, Bob Murphy and John and Alex Weymouth
Neil Joiner should be congratulated on his effort to put together such a magnificent collection in such a historic venue.
Words by John Weymouth, pictures by Alex Weymouth
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