Although Holden and GM Australia have given us headlining designs in the form of Buick Avenir and Chevrolet Bolt as of late, its creative chops extend much farther back to the late 1960s. Starting with the 1969 Hurricane concept, Holden has found innovative sweet spots through design in a few notable concepts.
Naturally, the brand is proud of its design roots, and where it plans on moving forward in the future. To honor and celebrate its historic design endeavors, Holden has announced a partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria to display a few of its noteworthy achievements.
In total, five concepts will be shown publicly, all with special ties to Aussie design.
The gallery begins with the aforementioned 1969 Hurricane, a futuristic vehicle experiment “to study design trend, propulsion systems and other long range developments.” The concept grabbed headlines during its 1969 Melbourne Motor Show debut with its mid-engine powerplant, rear-wheel drive and two-seat sports car design.
Features such as electronic digital instrument displays, station-seeking radio, automatic temperature control air conditioning, rear vision camera and an automated route finder were all showcased in this ground-breaking vehicle 42 years ago. Now, these mere concepts are daily staples in your average automobile and have come to fruition all these years later.
Following the radical Hurricane was the gorgeous 1970 Torana GTR-X, in our eyes an Aussie alternative to the historic Datsun 240Z. With striking lines reminiscent of the historic C2 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the Torana GTR-X commanded attention with its long, sleek hood and low wedge-shaped grille. Unfortunately, the car just missed the green light and never made it to production.
Fast forward 35 years, and Holden presented a retro-throwback in form of the 2005 Efijy concept, a modern-day street rod with nods to the famous FJ Holden. The Efijy boasted V8 Supercars power and a Corvette underbody, making for a truly unique show car.
Another ten years later and Holden brought us its idea of a modern day Buick flagship, presenting the Avenir at the 2015 North American International Auto Show. The concept instantly made a splash, where it was awarded Best Concept Vehicle, and an Eyes On Design Award
French for “future,” Avenir’s signature sweep-spear body side motif and nod to the “boat-tail” styling of the 1971-73 Riviera are modern interpretations of classic Buick cues.
The HQ Holden Monaro will also be on display, a car which reinvigorated Holden’s relevancy in the late ’60s through ’70s.
GMA Design Director, Richard Ferlazzo said the cars on display were a testament to the automotive design talent in Australia, past, present and future.
“The exhibition features some very important cars in Holden’s design history. The very first Holden concept, the Hurricane and the subsequent GTR-X Torana, demonstrates how forward-thinking our designers have always been, and that attribute is still at large today, as evidenced by the concept of the Buick Avenir,” Ferlazzo said.
“Our current design team includes some of the most talented people I have ever worked with, and we are all looking forward to playing a significant role in the future of GM Australia design here in Melbourne.”
The display will run from March 6th through the 12th, so if you’re local, this is something you do not want to miss. Pieces of history such as these don’t show face to the public often, so grab your glance while you can.