Holden 48-215 Standard

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POSTED: February 18, 2020

Holden began as a saddlery in Adelaide in 1856. In 1917 one of the Holden’s founded a new company: Holden’s Motor Body Builders Ltd, and this eventually produced the car bodies for General Motors, Australia, having previously made bodies designed to suit a number of chassis imported from manufacturers including Austin, Buick, Chevrolet, Cleveland, Dodge, Essex, Fiat, Hudson, Oakland, Oldsmobile, Overland, Reo, Studebaker, and Willys-Knight.

After the second world war, according to Wikipedia,

Holden continued to pursue the goal of producing an Australian car. This involved compromise with GM, as Holden’s managing director, Laurence Hartnett, favoured development of a local design, while GM preferred to see an American design as the basis for “Australia’s Own Car”. In the end, the design was based on a previously rejected postwar Chevrolet proposal. The Holden was launched in 1948, creating long waiting lists extending through 1949 and beyond. The name “Holden” was chosen in honour of Sir Edward Holden, the company’s first chairman and grandson of J.A. Holden.

In the photograph we see the first 1948 Holden 48-215 Standard sedan

So what, you might ask.

This week, the brand’s owners General Motors announced that they will end the brand, and Australian car production, by the end of 2021. They cannot give investors sufficient return on their investment making left-hand drive cars.

Holden began as a small cog in the machinery of early twentieth century globalisation, making bodies to stick onto imported chassis, and ended as an unwanted anomaly in a consolidated global marketplace.