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31 July 2020

­We can make them once more  

The recent auction by Lloyds of the first Holden Dealer Team Monaro got me thinking about two things. One was the astronomical price achieved for the car. Then there was speculation the government got involved, putting a stop to the coupe potentially leaving the country.

The $750,000 selling price for the 1969 HT Monaro – prepared by Harry Firth’s team and first driven by Spencer Martin and Kevin Bartlett at Sandown – shows there’s great pride in homegrown products.

The cars built by Holden, Ford, Toyota – and a host of other marques in our not-too-distant past – all had their followers. Sadly, that’s no longer the case. But we have an opportunity to change that.

Australia can no longer compete for the production of internal combustion vehicles. But a new dawn is upon us.

Electric and hydrogen-powered cars are hardly new. But the mass production of them is, and Australia can get a slice of the action.

This brings me to my second point.

Just before the auction there was talk the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications declared the Monaro an Australian Protected Object.

Now this could have been a bit of spin to increase interest in the car. But my point is this – instead of valuing what is gone, why doesn’t the government turn its attention to what could be? Australia could become a car-maker once more, if the right parameters were created.

So, come on Mr Morrison. Why not make car manufacturing an Australian Protected Object?

Words: VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym. As featured in the Herald Sun 31 July 2020.

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