Classic Concepts: 1969 Holden Hurricane
The year was 1969; Nixon had just been sworn in, Rupert Murdoch had purchased the News of the World, and Apollo 11 was about to land on the moon. But there was a far more important event for Australian car enthusiasts: the debut of the Holden Hurricane concept car.
Most futuristically styled concept cars begin to look dated just a few years after their unveiling, but not the Hurricane. If anything, the sleek, low-slung supercar has matured like a good whisky, and boasts technology which has modern, mainstream cars playing catch-up more than four decades later. Headline features included a reversing camera, a digital dashboard display and a route guidance system – although it used magnets in the road rather than the modern GPS affair.
Entry to the 39-inch-tall concept came via an electro-mechanical canopy, which pivoted forwards to reveal the two seats, that in turn rose to 'greet' the soon-to-be occupants. Once cocooned inside, the drama changed from visual to aural as the 262bhp, 4.2-litre V8 burbled into life, before whisking away whoever was lucky enough to pilot the one-off Hurricane. Occupants were kept safe by the inertia-reel seatbelts, and comfortable by the climate control system.
But the majority only ever got to appreciate the Hurricane from the outside – and if you think the exterior is pretty now, imagine how it would have looked in 1969. The curvaceous front wings, wraparound windscreen and Kamm-tailed rear end dropped many a jaw when the Hurricane landed at the 1969 Melbourne Auto Show. And now that it’s been professionally restored to such sublime condition, it’ll surely become one of the select masterpieces that can achieve the same reaction over four decades after its conception.