At Kenoath we have a saying. "If doesn’t have chrome, it ain’t coming home."
We acknowledge GMH knocked out some wonderful Commodores in the latter years. They just didn’t ring our bell as much as the insane machines of the 60s, 70s.
As a tribute, this is the list of our favourite Top Ten Lions.
The Holden Torana GTR XU1. Australian Muscle car Royalty. The dragon slayer. Along with the Charger just one of the greatest sixes of the 70s. She was a narrow car, with a tiny bumper bar but those big fuck off menacing-looking taillights. It was a bruiser in a tiny package. If you close your eyes you can see the purple and hear the snarl. No other car should be allowed to use GTR.
The Holden LJ Monaro LE Version. Yeah OK, this might surprise some. But take a Statesman and cram all the prestige goodies into one of the best-looking couples ever made and you get this. That spoiler, those coupe windows. Pass us a wet wipe!
The Holden HR Premier Station Sedan. Well, actually it was a wagon. Nobody took much notice of this wagon for many years but it morphed into the Elle McPherson of cars. Got better with age. Got prettier…..got more unattainable…..and is now that desirable you’ve consigned yourself. You’re not ever going to get in her. Deadset these things are becoming highly collectable and look wicked restored to concourse or run as weekend coastal machines. We want one!
The Holden HQ Kinsgswood Wagon. No, it just wasn’t a mum’s car. Well, it was…but it was more than. That. Throw some triples on and drop her and this took on a whole new stance. You could easily for 5 mates in her with enough room for the boards and a couple of eskies. There’s just something magical about the lines of this longroofer. The guards, the chrome bumper bar and the taillights. The dudes at Holden really struck gold with the lines of the HQ from the sedan, to the ute and to the hedonistic Sandman. One of Australia’s greatest. The wagon was and still is one of our favourite coastal cruisers. If you can get one, never let her go.
The Holden Torana LX SS Hatchback with A9X option. Let’s be frank. Probably the greatest hatchback ever made. Holden called them midsized. They went well with a 179, went like stink with 202….but shoehorning a 5.0 V8 on roids donk in her was nuts. 6 laps Brockie. One of the greatest cars this Country has seen. A deadest proper muscle car.
The Walky. The Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV. You either loved it our hated it. The only Lion in our list with plastic bumpers. Yes, there are more modern, more powerful, more refined and better cars produced by GMH after this. But we don’t care. This was the last car that shoved its finger in the air and said, “I’m an individual” It was fken ridiculous. It was eccentric and it looked sensational on the racetrack. Win Percy and Larry running around in 1990 with its livery imprinted in our minds forever. We love ‘em.
The Holden HK Monaro GTS. The best looking thing Holden ever made. Boy racer meets muscle car meets pillar less perfection. Beautiful sweeping lines, offset pinstripe perfection and what about those taillights? Tiny and refrained but the eyes were drawn from left to right with sheerline view across her arse. You just wonder if any car maker will ever make a coupe so pretty as this.
The Holden HZ Sandman. Sure the HQ was the first, but the HZ had the famous tailgate logo which we all worship. Combined with the front spoiler gave this model a real muscle car stance. Their personality and aura transcended transport….becoming pop culture, blending surf culture and becoming a true Australian icon. Sure the FJ is probably the most iconic of Aussie cars but we reckon the Sandman is the ultimate Kenoath shagging wagon. We lament the missed opportunity both Ford and Holden let slip by NOT developing Panel Van versions based on their utes into the Naughties and beyond. We should be still making panel vans. They would sell like crazy!
The EH Station Sedan ( wagon) A Kenoath favourite. The prettiest wagon ever made on this planet. End of story. Our favourite.
Thank you Holden.
Photo credit to Michelle Litchfield Photography.