Mean­while in Perth

Australian Muscle Car - - News -

Gath­er­ings

mark­ing the end of Aussiebuilt Hold­ens weren’t con­fined to the Holden Dream Cruise in El­iz­a­beth. Red Lion en­thu­si­asts across the coun­try dipped their lids to their favourite brand’s pass­ing as a lo­cal man­u­fac­turer.

In Perth, more than a dozen mem­bers of the Holden Car Club of WA made their way to the former site of GM-H’s Mos­man Park assem­bly plant in the week of El­iz­a­beth’s shut­down. Among the 14 clas­sic Hold­ens that con­gre­gated on the old Mos­man Park site were five ve­hi­cles built at that very spot.

Iona Pre­sen­ta­tion Pri­mary School sits on that site to­day and the school’s prin­ci­pal granted the club per­mis­sion to park the cars on the sports field. The ‘Ko­dak mo­ment’ was the brain­child of club mem­ber Craig Poole, who dropped AMC a line pre-event to gauge this mag­a­zine’s in­ter­est in run­ning im­ages of the spe­cial get-to­gether. When we gave Craig the two thumbs up sign, he went into over­drive.

“I had a cou­ple of mates al­ready lined up, but then more and more blokes were keen to come along. My phone didn’t stop ring­ing in the days lead­ing up to it.

“Through a third party, who knew one of the teach­ers, Gabrielle Groves, the school was ap­proached for per­mis­sion to shoot on the grounds on the Sun­day – we were wel­comed with open arms. It was re­ally pleas­ing to know that the school was aware of the site’s his­tory and was keen to em­brace what we were do­ing.

“To have five Mos­man Park-built cars present for the oc­ca­sion was great. Where these five cars and the other nine were parked up for pho­tos was right slap-bang where the fac­tory floor was lo­cated. That was pretty cool.”

Those five Perth-built cars ranged from a pair of 48-215s, owned by Len Dou­glas (black) and Phil Litch­field (cream), to Brad Pur­cell’s HG Kingswood. Also on hand were an FJ (Syd Grif­fiths) and a HK Premier (Michael Fitzger­ald).

Gen­eral Mo­tors (Aus­tralia) opened the Mos­man Park plant in 1926. Around 200 work­ers as­sem­bled the parts that had been shipped from South Aus­tralia and Vic­to­ria, pro­duc­ing cars for the WA mar­ket. Gen­eral Mo­tors (Aus­tralia) merged with Holden Mo­tor Body Builders in 1931 to be­come Gen­eral Mo­tors-Holden Lim­ited. The fac­tory strug­gled once the Great De­pres­sion hit, but re­ceived a new lease of life dur­ing World War II man­u­fac­tur­ing air­craft wings and other mil­i­tary com­po­nents, ve­hi­cles and ves­sels. Nor­mal op­er­a­tions at the plant re­sumed fol­low­ing the war, with Pon­ti­acs, Oldsmo­biles, La Salles, Vaux­halls, Buicks, Chevro­lets, Bed­fords and Hold­ens all as­sem­bled on site.

The plant closed in 1972, a re­sult of GM-H’s cen­tralised pro­duc­tion drive. The last car built at Mos­man Park was a HQ SS.

None of the orig­i­nal build­ings re­main, the last of the orig­i­nal struc­tures – part of a fac­tory wall – was knocked down to re­de­velop the school’s sports cen­tre. Its re­place­ment (pic­tured) was re­built in the same colour and to the same height.

An ar­ti­cle in the RAC WA’s mag­a­zine out­lined one ‘unique to Mos­man Park’ task per­formed at the fac­tory – patch­ing bul­let holes in body­work from when bored stock­men on the Nullar­bor took pot shots at trains car­ry­ing shells and pan­els bound for Perth...

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