Holden Our Car 1856-2017, by Toby Hagon

Published 2016, 280 pages

Holden, Our Car covers the period of Holden from the beginning in making saddlery, then car bodies and lastly their own car (with lots of help from General Motors).

There are many great images to stir up the nostalgia. Many photos could have been taken by my parents on holiday with the caravan and car in the 60’s.

It’s interesting to read about the process of designing, building and marketing a car, and the huge financial risk involved.  Each company effectively bets millions of dollars on a car that they don’t know if it will be a success or not.

Manufacturing Demise

The book covers the sad demise of car manufacturing by GMH in Australia. The author notes that the stronghold of Holden support, The Bathurst 1000, there are many supporters wearing the Holden gear but arriving in Japanese built cars.

Part of this is due to bad quality control which is noted by one of the overseas managers. From my own experience both my Torana 1900 and Ford Cortina often broke down. Rarely if ever a problem with my Japanese built Subaru or Nissan cars.

Design Industry

The book finishes on a happy note saying that Holden is still doing well in Australia as a leading design studio.

Overall an excellent and enjoyable read. Highly recommended.


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