The FJ Holden. It's an unmistakable, much loved and unique symbol of Australia - right up there with the pavlova, Don Bradman's baggy green, or Christmas on the beach.
But how did it get this way? Exactly how did an American car company so accurately grasp Australia's automotive pulse to create a car which is now an Australian motoring icon?
Right from the beginning, Holden understood the importance of brand, the need to create a car for every purse and purpose'. The advent of the FJ Holden, seen as Australia's Own Car', revolutionised Australian automobility. Australians clamoured for the Holden not just because it was a (relatively) affordable car but because it was seen as symbolic of the new post-war era of increasing prosperity. Holden now enjoys a unique, iconic status in the automotive culture of Australia.
In this fascinating book - part social history, part corporate history, part biography of a car - Wright tracks the elements that made General Motors Holden such a successful company, from its beginnings in the 1920s and the boom in car ownership in the 1950s right through to the present day, when a Holden car - an artistic re-invention of the much-loved 1953 FJ Holden - was the star car at the 2005 Australian International Motor Show. This is a must-read story of opportunity, inspiration, and business genius for all motoring enthusiasts, Holden fans and car buffs.
Prologue: EFIJY, and why only Holden has Australia's automotive pulse
1. Australia not on wheels
2. The Sloan ranger takes on the world 1920-33
3. General Motors and the Third Reich 1934-35
4. 'This, our first car'
5. 'Chief engineers are not very good correspondents'
6. From Milford to Melbourne 1945-58
7. Smile, the war is over ... or is it?
8. 'An absolute confounding of the croakers'
9. Diamonds are a grille's best friend
10. The world catching up 1955-64