Shoalhaven’s biggest fans talk about how they got hooked on Holden

Australia's motoring history will come to an end on Friday when Holden shuts down its last manufacturing plant in the country after almost 70 years.

In 2013, Holden announced it would stop making vehicles in Australia, becoming a national sales company and car importer. 

Nowra’s Craig Hall said his obsession with Holden began when his dad gave him his first car – a Ford.

“I didn’t have it long when the door handles started busting and all the other normal problems with Fords,” he said.

“I decided to sell my first car, a 1980s XD sedan and bought a 1979 VB Commodore with a V8 253 engine.”

Mr Hall said he has lost count of how many Holdens he had owned.

“I will say 60 plus of different models over the last 20 years, my wife would say easily hundreds – I am a true Holden enthusiast, but as long as a car catches my eye I am not afraid to say I like it regardless of what badge is on it.

“It is interesting to see how they evolved over the years.”

As the doors close on the Holden Adelaide plant for the last time, Mr Hall, like many other motor vehicle enthusiasts, agrees it is a sad time as car manufacturing comes to an end in Australian.

“I will always be a Holden man – these days I have a 2014 Holden HSV GTS, which was one of the last built and a 2005 Holden Monaro, one of the last built remakes of the 1970s car,’ he said.

Mr Hall, who is currently restoring a 1961 FB Holden sedan for his 17-year-old son, has even inked his passion for the brand on his body with two tribute tattoos.

“The big one on my arm is a Holden Efijy, a concept car that was never built for consumers, but I had to have one, the other is my Monaro,” he said.

Bay and Basin’s Mark Davis travelled to Adelaide on the weekend to attend the Holden Dream Cruise.

“It was with a heavy heart that I farewelled manufacturing of Australia’s favourite car,” he said. 

“Many fine examples were on display and it was with regret that I had sold my favourite car prior to the announcement of the Holden Dream Cruise.”

Mr Davis’ love affair with the brand all started in the 1980s.

“My parents owned Bewong Roadhouse and I sat in a brand new 1984 Holden Calais, which was being transported to a dealership on a car carrying truck,” he said.

“I thought to myself as a then ten-year-old ‘one day I will own one of these cars’.”

As an adult, Mr Davis’ dream came to fruition.

“I did own one which was identical by memory, but it wasn’t my first Holden,” he said.

“I have owned 13 Holden cars and while I sold my most loved one recently, I am already doing restorative work on the latest – a VE GTS.

“Not many of them remained in standard form, from bodywork modifications to performance enhancement, the latest however had been restored and largely was kept as it was built.

“It’s only ten years old now, but I like to have my cars looking as good as, or better than new.”

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