Typically forthright, the Australian Holden car company announced the Holden Hurricane of 1969 as ‘Tomorrow’s Holden’. It was the new Research and Development team’s first creation, and it was conceived to show off and demonstrate the ‘design trends, propulsion systems and other long range developments’ of which Australia itself was capable.
In 1969, the car was a catalogue of yesterday’s wish-list made manifest so you could (just) imagine today what you might be driving tomorrow. Holden’s timing was perfect, and the Holden Hurricane had a lot to say.
It was an aerodynamic wedge of pure speed, powered by the first fully-Australian designed and built V8 engine. Directly as a result of this first appearance, the 4.1 litre Holden V8 went into production and sold a million cars in five years. The Hurricane had no doors: the entire, wraparound glass canopy lifted up and forwards, the steering wheel tilted, and the twin ‘astronaut’ seats rose up and pivoted for easy access, all at the touch of a single button.
Once inside, the driver and passenger were lowered to a semi-reclining position, and the car wouldn’t even start until the canopy was locked down and the seat-belts fastened.
Safety innovations included foam-padded interior trim and foam-lined fuel tank, integral headrests, pedals adjustable to the driver’s height, and a fire warning system. Other features were pure science fiction, like the automatic station-seeking radio, the ‘Pathfinder’ automatic steering indicator, the Vomfortron’ automatic temperature control and air conditioning, and wide-angle, rearward-looking camera connected to a dashboard console (instead of a rear mirror).
The dashboard itself was crowded with electronic digital displays to monitor the gizmos — most people had never seen one before, let alone in a car.
The Holden Hurricane teased its awestruck admirers in 1969 — but it really was a glimpse of the future.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
4,147 cc V8
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Among professional designers, the Holden Hurricane’s super-low slung, wedge shape was its most revolutionary feature — and you can see it echoed in the Bertone Stratos Concept car of 1970, Ferrari’s 1970 512S Berlinetta Speciale, and the 1972 Maserati Boomerang.