Unique Cars - - FAREWELL HOLDEN -

If you were silly enough to hes­i­tate, you would have missed out on buy­ing this car new. Holden orig­i­nally planned to make only 1500 of these beau­ties, but a mad rush through the deal­er­ships saw them hav­ing to pump out a sec­ond batch of 1300. Why such de­mand? We reckon it was the looks. As then GMH de­signer Leo Pruneau re­vealed to us, this was a cheap and cheer­ful model done with next to no bud­get. Es­sen­tially a dressed-up Bel­mont, you got a V8 in ri­otous colours (Ul­tra Vi­o­let, In­fra Red or Let­tuce Alone green) for just $3500 on the road. A bar­gain, even then. “They were so hard to get,” re­calls owner Hay­den Pil­grim. “You re­ally didn’t get a choice of colour – you couldn’t go to your dealer and say I want a red one, be­cause the dealer got what he got.”

Ac­tu­ally, the spec wasn’t half bad: GMH’s 253 V8 was never the most pow­er­ful thing out there, but it sounded good, had tons of low-end urge and was fa­mously bul­let­proof. That was mated to an M20 four-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion, plus a Monaro 3.36 dif­fer­en­tial. It was a bit leisurely across the quar­ter at around 17.5 sec­onds.

In­side the first batch of cars you scored dis­tinc­tive hounds-tooth up­hol­stery, while the stripes and SS badg­ing (the first time the now fa­mous mon­icker was used) was sup­plied by 3M. Gen­eral ap­point­ments were sparse in some ar­eas. If you wanted an in­te­rior light, arm­rests or power steer­ing, there were all ex­tra cost.

You may have seen this car be­fore. It’s owned by Hay­den and Mar­garet Pil­grim, who bought it from a GMH em­ployee when the car was but a pup. A tribe of kids have been brought up in it, though these days it’s more of a pet than fam­ily trans­port. The cou­ple ad­min­is­ters a club for the model.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.