Holden plant closure may have silver lining

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Today will be a bittersweet one for Holden enthusiasts as the last car rolls off the line at the company’s Adelaide plant.

While it is the end of an era, the plant’s closure might mean higher prices are paid for sought-after models in the future.

Holden enthusiasts abound in Eastern Southland and many say their love of the Australian-made cars comes from what are known as “the centre park” days.

Gore used to have centre parking in Main St, and those parks were often frequented by youths in big cars such as Holdens, Fords and Valiants.

The centre parks were removed during 1998 and 1999.

Holdens have been produced in Australia since 1948, the plant in Adelaide having been open since 1963.

Rally driver and Holden owner Derek Ayson, of Gore, said the closure would probably push up the price of Holdens.

Holden was also one of the few car manufacturers that produced V8s.

It might be that another company would start producing V8s, he said.

While the closure would be sad, it was a sign of the times, Mr Ayson said.

Arron Reid, of Gore, owns nine Holdens.

“I was brought up with Holdens.”

There could be a silver lining to the closure as the price of the metallic masterpieces might rise, he said.

His first car was a Holden Torana and he had good memories of the brand.

Holdens were easy to maintain and parts were interchangeable between models.

The Holden name was synonymous with the centre parks, he said.

Steven Tutty, also of Gore, is the proud owner of a 1969 Holden HT Premier station wagon.

“It’s quite rare,” Mr Tutty said.

The vehicle sported a 253cu in V8 and a three-speed paraglide gear shift, he said.

He thoroughly enjoyed driving Holdens.

“I sort of just grew up with the cars.”

A big attraction was the sound of the V8 rumbling along – “I just love the sound of them”.

He also believed the Holden plant’s closure would push up the price of the vehicles.