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1946 Prototype No 1 Holden sedan

Object type
Motor cars

Object number

Prototype No.1 Holden sedan (prototype for the 48/215 Model). A 2.15 litre six cylinder, four door, blue-gunmetal grey sedan with chrome-plated radiator grille, bumper bars, and hub caps. The grille and hub caps all bear a single Holden red lion badge, and the lion on the grille badge has a small gold-coloured frame around it. The paint in the centres of the wheels matches the bodywork but the rims are black. There is a vertical division in the middle of the windscreen. The interior is trimmed in grey cloth.

Collection name
Ian Metherall collection

Collection statement of significance
The Ian Metherall Collection comprises the first prototype Holden sedan motor vehicle. It was hand-built at Fisher Works, Detroit, in 1946 and, after extensive testing, was brought to Australia with two other prototypes for road trials under local conditions. Following release of Holden sedans for sale to the public in March 1949 the prototype passed into private hands. It has since been substantially restored.

This vehicle is a reflection of national aspirations, a representation of post-WWII industrial development in Australia and an icon of 1950s Australian society. It is the only survivor of the first three prototypes of 'Australia's Own Car'. It marks the beginning of the Australian automobile industry, contributing significantly to the increasing prosperity of Australians in the post-war years. A Holden was the first car owned by many Australians. They have been celebrated in popular culture, including music, film and even pin ball machines.

GM Holden Ltd

Place made
Detroit, Michigan, United States of America

Date made

Associated person/organisation
Mr Des Kelly

Metal - non specific, Glass, Rubber, Plastic - non specific, Textile - non specific, Petrol, Mineral oil

Length: 4340mm
Width: 1750mm
Height: 1650mm

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