Design Spotlight: 1969 Holden Hurricane Concept

Rising from Down Under

Only the automotive cognoscenti recognize the Holden name, the car manufacturer out of Australia out of which great engineering and automobiles have emerged. Here’s a good reason to remember the name–the 1969 Holden Hurricane Concept, recently restored to its original glory. The restoration project took a full five years, but it was clearly worth it based on the photos. Painstakingly conducted by Holden designers and engineers, the project started in 2006 and utilized original parts and specs in the process.

The original vehicle was codenamed RD 001 and was built to showcase the future of automotive technology in 1969. The Hurricane was mid-engined with rear wheel drive and two seats, but the impressive aspects were the revolutionary digital instrument binnacle, automatic temp AC, rear facing camera and automatic route finder as well as numerous pioneering safety features like a fire detection system. It was shown at the 1969 Melbourne Auto Show to critical acclaim for obvious reasons. It had the tech and the guts, including the 4.2 liter 262 horsepower V8 engine with quad-barrel carburetor, throwing down power numbers that did not belie the svelte fiberglass body. Without conventional swing doors, the canopy was operated hydraulically and both driver and passenger were elevated in the sport seats for improved egress. The orange aluminum metallic finish flake paint was also experimental at the time, and we think an excellent choice. Nothing short of remarkable is the original idea and execution and, of course, the careful restoration which product you see here. 42 years later, the design is still absolutely stunning.

More photos after the jump.

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