Holden (‘Aussie icons’ series)

Bailey's Garage, Yass Street, Gunning, New South Wales, AustraliaGrowing up, there were two types of people. Those that loved Ford and those that loved Holden. And ne’er the twain shall meet!

It was a matter of personal and family pride, like a clan war, who was the winner at the Mount Panorama car race held every October long weekend, at Bathurst (New South Wales).

Bailey's Garage, Yass Street, Gunning, New South Wales, Australia

Holden Wall of Fame, Gunning, New South Wales


So here’s my tribute to a great Aussie icon, The Holden, of which everyone has a fond tale to tell, or two …

I remember sliding across the bench seats going around the corners. Holding on to the ‘Jesus strap’. Seatbelts, what seatbelts!

A column-shift, of course! Big steering wheel with finger grooves.

AM Radio… if you were lucky!

Everyone squashed into the back seat to go to The Lake to swim. 

Windows rolled down for the breeze, if you got the door you controlled the ‘free air’.

The solid-sounding, heavy thud of the door. The boot that always had one smelly sports shoe and a football, no matter whose car it was.

Duco colours that you could find in a pencil set, no metallic this, pearl that. Chrome wherever possible and it always gleamed!

Bailey's Garage, Yass Street, Gunning, New South Wales, Australia

A Holden haven

(For a great photo of a line-up of old Holdens out the front of Bailey’s Garage, Gunning, see also  http://oldgmh.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/img_3249.jpg?w=700&h=

FE-HR Holden Owners Club ACT, Gunning Garage and Picnic run, post 2 Aug 2012)


There was a well-known advertising jingle for Holden in the mid 1970s. (It was apparently based on the Chevrolet jingle, by General Motors.) It went like this:


We love football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars. (Repeat over and over)

There they go together underneath the Southern stars,

Football and meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars.

And just about every kid I knew did sing it … over and over!  ♦


Aussie icons series 

– To mark Australia Day, on January 26, my posts this week feature good old Aussie icons.

Photos taken 11 December 2013 – coincidentally, the day before General Motors announced that Holden, the golden light of the Australian automotive identity, will be closing its car plants in Victoria and South Australia by 2017. A sad day! See the news report at http://www.news.com.au: ‘Holden to end car manufacturing in Australia and import cars’, December 12, 2013.

Gunning, New South Wales, Australia

Bailey’s Garage, Yass St, Gunning, New South Wales, Australia, http://www.baileysgaragegunning.com.au/

Established 1/8/1945  – [http://www.fastlane.com.au/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=29078]

‘Opposite the Court House [in Gunning] is Bailey’s Garage, which originated with Frank Bailey during the First World War…  Numerous electrical items were also sold such as radiolas, refrigerators, hecla household appliances as well as Speedwell bicycles. The garage was purchased by Vern Southwell.’  [http://strlhistorymatters.blogspot.com.au/2009/06/baileys-garage-gunning.html]

‘Baileys Garage Pty Ltd (company name registered 24 April 1950) is a long established Holden dealership and mechanical repair business that has also operated school buses since the 1950s. It has been owned by the [Southwell] family since at least the early-1980s and is currently managed by Craig [Southwell].’  [http://fleetlists.busaustralia.com/nsw.php?info=BAI]


6 comments on “Holden (‘Aussie icons’ series)

  1. pilbra says:

    Ford in this family

  2. Robyn G says:

    Great post CC! Yep, footballs, meat pies, kangaroos and holden cars etc. 😀

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