The Crew Car

No, not the young lady from Crewe. This is not that kind of a weblog column. You can’t pay to get out of it…

I mean the crew car from this year’s Big Al’s Poker Run. The silver and black N0.51 Holden. She’s an FJ Ute, and as Australian a device as you could ever find. She wasn’t out on big bad open display, but up near the scrutineering tent. What a great daily driver this would make, if you didn’t have to go anywhere near shopping centre car park drivers. That, or hang some 5-inch channel iron bar on the sides of the car when you leave it in a parking bay…and give the dog in the back a revolver…

The Holden was a true Australian design made through the auspices and finances of General Motors in the late forties. It is still going as a brand but the powers that be have decided to close down the Australian factories that made them and to just badge imported cars to keep the thing alive. No-one I have ever talked to think this is a good idea for any reason whatsoever – perhaps I talk to the wrong people. Australia needs factories and workers who can make real things to do real tasks.

Well, the owner who refurbished the FJ ute obviously knows how to do things – the finish is wonderful. The smooth style of the rear end is not that far from what they were in stock form – Holden always seemed to make a slicker tail than Chrysler or Ford. The pronounced rear hips did not hurt either. There is a good deal of hauling space in that ute bed undisturbed by encroachment.

Remember I said that no-one I ever talk to thinks stopping car production is a good idea? Well the reverse of the coin is equally well-moulded; no-one in the car game that I have talked to would hesitate to buy this same design if they would make them again. We’d eschew air conditioning and MP4 players and GPS rubbish for just a good old bench seat and a good old 6-cylinder motor.

In fact, the whole crew want one.

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