Back in 1969 Holden was unveiling its first concept car - the Hurricane. It was a a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive, two-seat sports car incorporating a remarkable array of innovative features and technology, much of it years ahead of its time. Now the company has restored that concept as an experiment "to study design trend, propulsion systems and other long-range developments".
The restoration process has begun back in 2006 and is now finally ready for a first display to the public at the Motorclassica, car show at the Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building from October 21-23.
"The entire team has done a fantastic job in bringing this beautiful concept back to life,” Paul Clarke, Holden’s manager for Creative Hard Modelling 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. It’s been a challenging but incredibly rewarding process."
Hit the jump to read more about the 1969 Holden Hurricane Concept.
Impressive features list for a 1969 concept
The concept was codenamed RD 001 to suggest that it was the first product of the GMH Research and Development organization. And despite its 1969 launch the Hurricane has been offered with features such as electronic digital instrument displays, station-seeking radio, automatic temperature control air conditioning, rear-vision camera and an automated route finder.
The concept stands just 990mm high and comes with no conventional doors: a hydraulically powered canopy opens upwards and forward over the front wheels. Once you have entered the car you will firstly notice twin "astronaut type" power-elevating seats which rise up and pivot forward, along with the steering column for ease of access. Occupants are then lowered to a semi-reclining position before the roof closes over them.
The concept’s body has been made from fiber glass and consists of three segments; the canopy, the engine hood and body shell. For the exterior Holden has opted for an experimental aluminum flake-based metallic orange paint.
As for the safety features the concept comes with a foam-lined fuel tank, integrated roll-over bar, digital instrument readouts, ignition safety locks, interior padding and a fire warning system.
Under the hood Holden has placed an experimental 4.2 liter V8 engine - a precursor to the Holden V8 engine program which entered production in late 1969. This engine delivered a total of 262 HP and featured many advanced design components such as the four-barrel carburettor – a feature which wouldn’t be seen on a production 253ci Holden V8 until the late 1970s.
So if you happen to be in Melbourne on October 21st, this is definitely a concept you have to see.