An Australian icon.
An Australian icon.

‘You’re not taking the Kingswood!’

Ted Bullpitt must be spinning in his grave - but it is too late for him to tell the boss of General Motors: "You're not taking the Kingswood!"

General Motors international operations senior vice president Julian Blissett has not only taken the Kingswood but the whole Holden company and buried it, breaking Australian car lovers' hearts in the process.

Scene from 1980s TV show Kingswood Country'.
Scene from 1980s TV show Kingswood Country'.

He did not even leave his money on the fridge.

The Holden brand is woven into the fabric of Australian culture with one of the most popular television shows of the 1980s, Kingswood Country featuring Ross Higgins as Ted Bullpitt, named after Holden's top selling sedan.

"Everybody grew up in a Kingswood or a Ford Falcon, it's part of our national heritage," Andrew Hillen, the former vice president of the now defunct Club Commodore Australia, said.

"There are a lot of people who still love Holdens to death," Mr Hillen said. "It is so sad to see them go."

Australia's first mass-produced car was a symbol of national progress and pride. The public loved them and within 10 years almost half of all cars bought by Australians were Holdens.

Colin Kiel, of the Australian Motor Museums Association, said: "I learnt to drive in an EH in the 1960s. Bench seat and three on the tree."

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A 1974 Holden Kingswood. Picture: Supplied
A 1974 Holden Kingswood. Picture: Supplied

The EJ and EH were the iconic models of the 1960s but the release of the Torana in 1970 gave the brand a whole new sporting lease of life.

"The Bathurst win of 1972 with Peter Brock at the wheel of an LJ Torana was the start of an incredible era where he won nine times," Mr Kiel said.

The 1962 Holden EJ sedan.
The 1962 Holden EJ sedan.

And then came the Commodore.

"People just loved them, it was just the right size and had plenty of power," he said. An Australian car built for Australian conditions.

As news of General Motors decision to pull the pin on an Australian icon disappointed fans took to social media to lament their loss.

When you’re hot - you’re hot. Classic Holden 1972. Picture: Supplied
When you’re hot - you’re hot. Classic Holden 1972. Picture: Supplied

Finance journalist Ross Greenwood wrote on Twitter: "The end of @holdenaus in Australia is a classic example of a troubled distant head-office not understanding or caring about a proud, respected local brand."

And former Courier Mail columnist Paul Syvret wrote: "I actually feel physically ill; almost like there's been a death in the family. #Holden has been part of my life since I held my first set of car keys 35 years ago."

Peter Brock tears up the Bathurst 1000 racetrack in a Holden Commodore in 1991.
Peter Brock tears up the Bathurst 1000 racetrack in a Holden Commodore in 1991.

Its loss means characters like Darryl Kerrigan in The Castle will never again say lines like: "Oh Steve, could you move the Camira? I need to get the Torana out so I can get to the Commodore."

 

And an old ad “The Good Samaritans … People Trust Holden”.
And an old ad “The Good Samaritans … People Trust Holden”.
The 1964 EH Holden advertisement from the First World Surfing Titles. Picture: Supplied
The 1964 EH Holden advertisement from the First World Surfing Titles. Picture: Supplied
Classic Holden Torana brochure in 1972. Picture: Supplied
Classic Holden Torana brochure in 1972. Picture: Supplied
Peter Brock drives his Torana to a Bathurst win in 1972.
Peter Brock drives his Torana to a Bathurst win in 1972.

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