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The Museum reopens on 29 Oct 21. See Plan your visit

The first production model Holden rolled off the assembly line at Fisherman's Bend, Victoria, on 29 November 1948. An icon of Australian society for more than half a century, Holden cars tapped into national postwar aspirations and represented the development of Australian industry and commerce. The last Holden was made in Australia in 2017.

More on Holden

Holden launch

The launch of Australia’s first locally made mass-production car was a milestone in Australian manufacturing.

Molly Goodall FJ Holden

For 25 years Molly Goodall drove and cared for this 1955 Holden Special Sedan.

Holden Prototype No. 1

One of three test Holden sedans built by hand in 1946 by American and Australian engineers at  in Detroit.

Essington Lewis Holden

An early FX Holden owned by Australian industrialist Essington Lewis.

Icon of postwar Australia

Holden was a pioneer of the nation's automobile industry and contributed significantly to the increasing prosperity of Australians in the postwar years. A Holden was the first car owned by many Australians. Various models have been celebrated in popular culture, including music, art, film, television and even pinball machines.

End of an era

Australian-made car manufacturing ended in 2017 after General Motors announced it was leaving the locally-made car market in Australia and New Zealand.

The National Museum of Australia acquired a four-door Calais sedan, one of the last vehicles to roll off the Holden production line before the Elizabeth factory in South Australia closed on 20 October 2017.

General Motors supplied Holden dealers with rebadged cars from its subsidiary companies. In February 2020, General Motors announced the Holden brand would be retired by 2021.

In our collection

1949 Model 48/215 Holden sedan1949 Model 48/215 Holden sedan. It is a medium-grey, four-door sedan with a chrome-plated radiator grille. Holden's red lion logo is impressed in the chrome-plated hub caps, which are fitted to white wheels. A small circular red reflector is fitted to both of the fenders at the back of the car and it has a lockable petrol cap. T...
On display
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