One of the last Holden Calais vehicles to roll off the production line.
One of the last Holden Calais vehicles to roll off the production line. General Motors Holden

Holden to be remembered forever at National Museum

HOLDEN may have shut its manufacturing doors to Australia but the country will forever remember the iconic brand thanks to the National Museum of Australia.

The National Museum has acquired one of the last cars - A Holden Calais - to roll off the production floor at the Elizabeth factory before it closed in 2017.

The car joins a historic collection that includes the 1946 Holden Prototype Car No.1 and Essington Lewis' 1948 48-215 model Holden at the National Museum.

National Museum director Dr Mathew Trinca said the acquisition of the Calais was the "perfect bookend" to Australia's Holden era.

"This modern vehicle, which has an Australian-made 3.6l V6 engine and the latest technology, is the perfect bookend to the Museum's Holden collection which spans over 70 years," Dr Trinca said.

"Built for Australian conditions, the robust and economical Holden family sedan captured the public imagination when they first rolled off the assembly line in 1948. Many saw this as evidence of national maturity, proof that Australia had escaped its pastoral beginnings and embraced the modern industrial age."

Holden chairman and managing director Mark Bernhard said it was only right the "special place Commodore holds in the hearts of many Australians" should be preserved at the National Museum.

"The pride, passion and quality of workmanship delivered by our people at Elizabeth has meant our last Australian-built cars including this Calais, with its engine proudly made by Holden, at Fishermans Bend, and with hundreds of other components drawn from Australian automotive suppliers, are the best and most technologically advanced vehicles ever made by Holden in Australia," Mr Bernhard said.

"There is no finer automobile to sit alongside the 1948 Holden prototype in the Museum's collection. We're proud to make this donation to celebrate our manufacturing heritage."

The Holden Calais will be on display over the Australia Day weekend.

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