The Political Holden

dscf4368If you have had enough of politics after the American election you can skip this post, but it really isn’t too bad – no Trumps or Clintons will be used.

The title was suggested by this car’s licence plate. Seen at Gillam Drive, and at other car venues around Perth, it represents one of the slightly up-market models of native design that Holden produced last century. In this case it has been further boosted by what I suspect may be a lot more engine. Or at least a lot more horsepower.

dscf4373The year looks to be about 1968 – perhaps this is the HK model. It is unlikely to have had a similar model in North America or anywhere – this body style is Australian. The locals will immediately recognise it and, if they are not Ford tragics or Chrysler fiends, will acknowledge that it was a fine staple car for the period. It had as many suspension and steering quirks as any medium sedan in those days and the usual level of interior vinyl/bench/ column shift that similar models from the other two big makers. They were bigger than their Japanese counterparts, cruder in some respects, but much more long-lived and long-legged. You can get parts, panels, and publications for them, so that they are a viable option for both customisers and restorationists.

dscf4371If you are determined to increase the power available in the engine there are also packs that will turn the local 3 litre engine into a competent performer. Not all of them require you to use a can opener on the bonnet or put a cluster of instruments onto the fascia. Or out by the windscreen wipers, for that matter. If you do it is style. The cars themselves had a great deal of style just stock – they were, after all, the up-market version of the Holden Special of the time.

dscf4372Politics? Well, here in Australia our state heads of government are known as Premiers. We also have Governors, but they don’t – they are a leftover from colonial days. There is Prime Minister in Canberra and if we are lucky, that is where he stays. But the use of a state title is prestigious so GMH chose Premier. Later one, Holden also brought in the Statesman and the Commodore before reverting to the workaday world of the Crewman, Drover, and Jackaroo.

I am never sure whether the names of cars actually stimulate purchase – whether the idea of status sells cars. I’m pretty sure you can get the opposite when you name them ” Cedric ”  or ” Lloyd “. Fine cars as far as that goes but as far as that goes, they went. And I have never seen one rodded back into existence…

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