Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Forza Horizon 3: The first Holden in history

In Forza Horizon 3's Mountain Dew Car Pack, here's the car Aussies forever worshipped for because to them, this is the genesis of what is known as "Australian's Own Car," Holden, and this is how it all began, the Holden 48-215, known by the chassis code as FX.

I knew this moment will come because as car production in Australia is nearing its end within a few months, it's a clear reminder that we should look back at the cars that became the forefront of Australian car production and nothing is more important than the FX Holden, the car that started it all. So, where did it all began? Let me go back to the beginning.

The year was 1945, in the climax of the Second World War, when the Australian Government urges the establishment of full-scale Australian motor manufacturing history and while Ford's presence in Australia is all in all at the moment, they demand Australia to have its own car maker and once such thing that steps up to the challenge is none other than General Motors Holden's. Two years later, in November 29th, 1948, Prime Minister Ben Chifley launched "Australia's Own Car," Holden.

The first Holden would officially be known as the 48-215 but they decided to call it just Holden and when it was replaced by its FJ successor, it was unofficially known as the FX Holden because it was never been used by Holden in such purpose. Since it was launched in 1948, General Motors Holden's managed to produce 10 Holdens a day, and over 75 million Australian Pounds were spent for expansion programs to enlarge and improve their facilities across Australia.

Despite being influenced by American styling, the Holden is 99% Australian through and through because nobody understands Australian driving conditions more than GMH. Under the bonnet lies a 132.5cu (2.2L) cast-iron 6-cylinder engine mated to a 3-speed manual gearbox. It produces 60HP of power and does a 0-97kph time of 18.7 seconds. Because this car is suitable enough to tackle Australian driving conditions, it's rugged enough to tackle the remote outback because of its dust-proof body and unique dynamics capable to handle such conditions.

I already driven the ute version of the Holden FX and with the saloon version of the very first Holden ever made, it all makes sense now that for a country that loves football, meat pies, and kangaroos, almost every Australian in the Land Down Under considered Holden to be the nation's favorite car because it really is Australia's driving future.

It's hard to say that if Holden celebrates its 70 anniversary next year, it will be sad because with car production well and truly over and their range is mostly imported from all parts of the world, including the next Commodore which is now based on the German-made Opel/Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, what would Aussies think about Holden now since they have no Aussie-made car on their lineup, but the important thing is that without it, Holden will not exist as a carmaker and Australia became heavily influenced by Ford.

I guess it's time to owe this first Holden a heartfelt thanks by calling out anyone who loves the FX Holden for a little gathering of some sorts. Holden has been with us for almost seven decades thanks to this car built for Australian driving conditions and to celebrate, let's take the FX Holden for a race against other FX Holden lovers while dealing with typical Australian driving conditions. This should be very interesting.

I may have overcooked a bit but I am very proud that I feel like an Australian with the knack for football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars and it all makes sense to me now that this is the car that made Australia became part of the globally-competitive environment, helped Australia through its industrial maturity, stepped up engineering standards, and made "Made In Australia" a new status symbol among the nations of the world. It really is "Australia's Own Car" with the look and leadership wherever they go.

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