Australian motor culture has a strong canon of legendary cars, many of them stocked by Holden dealers, but many of them not. Several cars made by off-shore manufacturers have had a powerful impact on us, so we've put together the definitive collection of iconic cars through Aussie history.
1975 Holden Sandman
No one can claim the quintessential panel van doesn't deserve a spot in our list. Originally designed for stacking surfboards, the Sandman is an iconic emblem of Australian culture – popular with a younger generation in its time because of its bold advertising, Monaro wheels, and bucket seats. Available in either 4.2L or 5.0L V8, the Sandman also quickly garnered a reputation for being good for modifying, putting it at the top of the list for hippies looking to paint something.
Datsun 200B SX
Everyone’s dad has something to say about the Datsun – for better or worse. Fondly remembered as the Toyota Corolla of the era, the 'Datto' was well-known in the 70s as a great way to keep teenagers under the speed limit. The 2.0L 72kW motor could hardly do more. The SX was a touch classier than the standard 200B, and it sported better design, interiors, and a smoother ride.
Holden Monaro GTS 327 Bathurst
Every edition of the Monaro is a true-blue Aussie icon. Picking just one to put on the list is a tough call, but the GTS 327 Bathurst is about the best we can do. This variant switched to the Corvette small-block V8, a decision that became tradition, and still informs each and every modern Monaro to this day. The Bathurst Monaro also featured a slew of other adjustments to make it race-ready, netting Holden's first Bathurst victory in 1968.
The Chrysler might seem like a bit of a departure from the classics – an American made car, and a direct competitor to the EK Holden in 1962, but it earns its place fair and square. The retro American aesthetic left a huge mark on the Australian auto scene of the 60s, and the Valiant made itself useful by tackling the nation's rough roads with ease, making it a popular working-class car.
1978 Holden Torana SLR 5000
The Torana saw many variants through its lifespan from the late 60s to the early 80s, but the SLR 5000 has some particularly impressive specs – just ask any 70s gearhead. Constructed to fit larger V8s, the SLR 5000 trailblazed a new slot-car style body and wider flares. Your first day on the road in the SLR 5000 would have had you riding 427Nm of burning-rubber torque.
1967 Ford Falcon XR GT
The car the started it. The 1967 Falcon XR GT hit Australian roads and wasted no time starting a feud that’s been boiling blood ever since. A V8 Mustang disguised as a sedan, the Falcon swooped the first and second positions in the mountains of the Bathurst 500, sparking the mythic Holden v Ford rivalry.
Want to own a piece of Aussie history?
If you’re in the market for a classic Holden, and you're looking for cars for sale QLD, NSW, or VIC-wide, contact your local car dealer, and they'll steer you in the right direction.