‘Close to my heart’: Holden to live on in memory
FROM owning a first car or restoring a classic to fixing a gearbox with a hairpin, generations of motoring enthusiastics have shared their favourite Holden memories.
Fans are mourning the end of an era for the Australian motoring icon, after parent company General Motors yesterday announced the production line will cease to exist by the end of the year.
It is after more than 70 years of manufacturing.
Sunshine Coast Holden fans saw the news coming but said it was still a bitter pill to swallow.
Many shared their favourite memories of legendary Bathurst 1000 races and learning to drive in old Holdens.
Noel Rodda even shared a cheeky memory of his '73 Holden which broke down once due to a gearbox failure, which he fixed with a hairpin and later sold.
Holden's interim chairman Kristian Aquilina said the "agonising" decision to stop selling cars in 2020 came after General Motors ruled out any further investment in the brand.
Just 8s Car Club president Michael Gilmour said it was a "terrible" day.
"At the end of the day people just stopped buying them," Mr Gilmour said.
"Holden stopped putting on anything extra to keep up with other makes, just little things but it added up.
"It's a real shame, I've loved Holdens ever since I can remember. My parents had a Statesman.
"You'd imagine Ford will be next in a few years. What will happen to Bathurst then?"
Warana businessman Shane Hudson said it was a "horrible" reality which he feared would be passed onto other manufacturers.
Mr Hudson spent 12 years restoring his 1968 Monaro to its absolute glory after an even longer wait to buy it.
That same model HK finished Bathurst 1000 in first, second and third that year and Mr Hudson only has fond memories of it.
"My mum had one too, and I grew up in the back seat, so it's pretty close to my heart," Mr Hudson said.
"I found one at Golden Beach and just had to buy it, so I did. I finished the restoration a year ago."
Bill Ryan, who bought his Holden at 19 and never looked back, was sad to hear of the shutdown.
Lifelong fan Peter Kilfoyle said owning a Holden felt like it completed the balance of the family home and Australian culture.
"They were reliable, trustworthy, loyal and loved," Mr Kilfoyle said.
"The weekly car wash was a joy to look forward to.
"Perhaps the word 'Holden' could now be added to the Australian slang dictionary to describe a person or thing with the highest possible regard."