Holden goes back to the future to restore the car that kicked-off their obsession with unique concept vehicles.
A dedicated team of Holden designers and engineers have painstakingly restored the company's very first concept car back to its former glory, which at the time of its creation was considered a futuristic research vehicle. Codenamed the RD 001, The Hurricane is a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive 2-seater sports car incorporating an astonishing array of innovative features and technology most of which was way ahead of its time.
Electronic digital instrument displays, automatic temperature control a/c, station-seeking radio, rear vision camera and an automated route finder were all features that wowed spectators and stole headlines as it debuted 42 years ago at the 1969 Melbourne Motor Show. The remarkable foresight Holden demonstrated at the time is evidenced by the fact that many of the technologies have only recently made their way into mass production. Michael Simcoe, Executive Director of GMIO Design said: "At Holden we have always prided ourselves on our ability to look into the future through our concept cars.
"It's amazing to think that the features we take for granted today were born out of creative minds over 40 years ago." Powered by an experimental 4.2-liter V8 producing 262hp courtesy of some advanced design components such as a 4-barrel carburetor, the Hurricane is as swift as it is sexy, and even just getting into the car is a unique experience.
For starters, there are no doors in the conventional sense as a hydraulically-powered canopy opens upwards and forward over the front wheels. Twin 'astronaut type' power-elevating seats rise up and pivot forward and occupants are lowered into a semi-reclining position before the roof closes over their heads. Thousands of man hours have been spent restoring the RD 001, a project that began back in 2006. Paul Clarke, who managed the restoration said: "The Hurricane plays a crucial role in Holden's story and the company has such a great sense of history and heritage that it was very important to bring RD 001 back to life."
This they have done with outstanding attention to detail, and the public will get to marvel at this important motoring specimen when it displays at the Melbourne's classic car show Motorclassica from 21 - 23 October.