Still­born HDT liv­er­ies

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Liveries -

For­mer GM-H stylist Paul Beranger shares some never be­fore pub­lished HDT paint schemes that didn’t make it onto the grid. And back­grounds the ones that did.

Holden’s styling stu­dios must have been a hip and hap­pen­ing place to work in the late 1960s and early 1970s. As con­ser­vatism gave way to free ex­pres­sion, the de­sign­ers at Fish­er­mans Bend went to town, con­jur­ing up such cre­ations as the Hur­ri­cane con­cept car, the two-seater GTR-X sports coupe, var­i­ous lairy-look­ing mus­cle cars and, ul­ti­mately, the Sand­man.

Mo­tor rac­ing’s pop­u­lar­ity was also on the rise, with the company find­ing a way to cir­cum­vent GM’s no-rac­ing pol­icy, via the Holden Dealer Team. This pro­vided a fur­ther and wel­come cre­ative out­let for the fer­tile minds that pop­u­lated Port Mel­bourne.

One of the stu­dio’s ju­nior stylists tasked with brain­storm­ing and ren­der­ing HDT paint and graphic con­cepts was Paul Beranger. A num­ber of Beranger’s still­born Sand­man sketches were pub­lished in AMC #75. Th­ese were paint schemes and de­cals for the shag­gin’ wagon that never made it into deal­er­ships.“Ninety-five per­cent of the ideas that de­sign­ers come up with ended up on the cut­ting room floor,” he ex­plained.

Beranger cut his teeth as an au­to­mo­tive stylist at Gen­eral Mo­tors-Holden and wrapped up his ca­reer as de­sign boss at Toy­ota Aus­tralia not so long ago. In be­tween was a va­ri­ety of roles, in­clud­ing head­ing Nis­san’s Spe­cial Ve­hi­cle Op­er­a­tions, which spawned the lo­cally-built, highly ac­claimed GTS Sil­hou­ette of the late ‘80s.

One of Beranger’s first jobs at Holden was to de­vise the Bathurst ‘68 paint schemes worn by the fac­tory-backed Monaro GTS 327s of the Holden Dealer Rac­ing Team. This was the fore­run­ner to the more widely known Harry Firth­led HDT, which was formed the fol­low­ing year.

“The cul­ture at Holden was that we were not in mo­tor­sport,” Beranger re­calls. “It was frus­trat­ing be­cause, up at Broad­mead­ows, Ford were in mo­tor­sport. So we were very en­thu­si­as­tic when any mo­tor rac­ing work came through the door – and the first time it came through the door was soon after I joined Holden. I’d been a mo­tor­sport nut all my life, so I was very ex­cited when my

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.