Globally, Australia does not have a reputation for being a hotbed of automotive creativity. Big, rear-wheel drive sedans were, for decades, the vehicle of choice with the public and the nation’s big manufacturers Ford and Holden were more than happy to meet that demand. Although some pretty amazing cars were produced – think the Holden Monaro or the various models of upgraded Ford Falcons - most of these seemed to be variations of these sedans with a massively powerful V8 stuffed in the front.
However, every now and again, the Aussies would suddenly appear from over the southern horizon with an absolute stonker of a concept car in tow.
In 1969, they really hit the creative jackpot when the design team at Holden produced the Hurricane.
A study in design trends, power systems and other developments, the Hurricane is one of the picks of ‘60s concept cars. The mid-engined, rear-wheel drive sports car not only looks stunning but Holden’s research team used it to test-run a remarkable list of features. These included an electronic digital instrument display and an automated route finder, called ‘Pathfinder’, which used a system of magnets embedded along the road to guide the driver. There was also automatic temperature control air conditioning and a rear-view camera connected to a screen in the centre console. The whole glorious package was powered by a 4.2-litre V8 producing 260hp.
Getting in to the Hurricane involved lifting a hydraulically-powered canopy over the front wheels – a fittingly futuristic design for a vehicle truly ahead of its time.