Holden FX

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I knew a farmer who had one of these, I couldn’t believe what he put in it – chickens, hay bales, fence posts. No way to treat such a lovely car. Or maybe that’s just the townie in me, maybe the country folk do do that? I should take a drive in the country some time and see what I can see. I hear it pays to keep your windows up to keep out the country smells. Worse than that, I hear you get cow pats stuck in your tyres – that would make a fine mess of the carpet in the garage. That always put me off leaving the city limits but I shouldn’t be so narrow. To be fair, we do have a TV that has sunsets and waves lapping on the beach, tweeting birds, fish tanks, you know the sort of thing. I’m sure I can select a rural scene and it would be much cleaner than the real thing …. wouldn’t smell. I don’t really need to see what they put in their cars anyway, there’s bound to be a story in the Sunday supplement some time, I’ll keep an eye out. 

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EH Holden Special

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My Grandma lived in a block of flats like this, on the ground floor, she wasn’t very mobile. Spent her time watching Days of our Lives and John Wayne movies. Not many John Wayne movies probably, but that’s what she used to tell me. It was that little thing we would bond over, even though I didn’t like John Wayne movies, and I’m guessing she didn’t either. We would go and visit in the school holidays, Mum would keep Grandma company and we’d hang around the town all day, looking for things to do. Not much was happening in Whanganui in the mid seventies. I know, we were as surprised then as you are now. I do remember seeing a Gary Glitter, Slade and The Sweet triple bill at the cinema one afternoon – bargain, three for the price of one. We were a bit too cool for this sort of thing, but these were dire times. We entered the cinema by sashaying down the pavement as though the cinema wasn’t there, then suddenly lurching through the front doors, like being sucked in by a vacuum. It was the only way to minimise the chance of anyone seeing us enter, not that we knew anyone in town but the stakes were high – if this got back to Wellington … it was all over, all over mate.

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1969 Holden Monaro

Ever found yourself in a guitar shop, mentally spending thousands of dollars, imagining which half dozen guitars would look best mounted in a row along the living room wall. OK, bedroom wall. OK, study wall. OK, maybe not actually on the wall and maybe not half a dozen. One maybe – if it’s a big birthday. I have heard there’s a convincing argument for pitching it as a ‘bridge’ over the mid-life crisis, but further than that I can’t comment. A photo of a Strat, in a quiet frame, on a wall, somewhere … preferably in the house may work. It’ll keep the dream alive at least and perhaps leave the crisis negotiation open for that discreet yellow Monaro. Just thinking aloud.

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All the Holdens

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All the best vintage Holden cars from 1948 to 1974. The original Holden FX came out in 1948 and was the first fully Australian assembled car built for the Australian domestic market. It was followed by the facelift Holden FJ in 1953. Although this styling was a little dated by 1953 it was a huge hit and quickly became ‘the’ iconic Australian car. 1956 saw a complete makeover for Holden with the new FE (in style at least, not so much mechanically) taking it’s cues from the 1955 Chevrolet, although slightly more humble than it’s American big brother. The General Motors influence continued, moving the 1958 Holden FC along with the 56 Chevy, adding a little more chrome on the side. For me, the 1960 FB Holden was a coming of age, having dipped it’s toe in the Chevrolet waters, this was the flying forward one-and-a-half somersaults, pike. Chevrolet had done this four years earlier with the outstanding Bel-Air but for Australians, and us New Zealanders over the ditch, this was Hollywood glam. The Holden EK followed in 61 with a minor styling update. With the Holden EJ in 1962, Holden left the 50’s behind with a truly modern car. This was a real grown-up car with higher trim levels and many more accessories – regarded today as one of Holden’s finest models. 1963 saw the tweaked Holden EH hit the market and the big news in 63 was the all new ‘red’ motor to replace the ‘old grey’. One of my favourite models is the HD, launched in 1965, however, it wasn’t well received by all – it may have been a step to far with it’s pointed fin front for the conservative Antipodean market of the mid-sixties. Tellingly, a new model appeared the following year. A softened-off front end and other refinements were aimed at addressing some of the criticism. Then in 1968 came the Mighty Holden HK, big in styling and big in power, this was the start of a great era for Holden with the HT and HG that followed, essentially the same car with upgrades along the way. I have a Holden HG Premier and for me, this is as good as Holdens get. In 1971 Holden launch the HQ, a beautiful car that sold well and evolved through the 1970s … and then came the Commodore – but that’s another story.   

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