Unique guest of honour at Holden’s 60th party

Unique guest of honour at Holden’s 60th party

Caption: Holden New Zealand managing director Jeff Murray and Greg Murphy toast 60 years of local operation

It was a unique 47-year-old guest of honour which literally roared into Holden’s 60th birthday celebrations last night at Imperial Lane in Auckland.

As part of recognising 60 years of operation in New Zealand, Holden decided to restore a 1969 Holden Monaro GTS coupe which its says will be won by one “lucky bugger”.

The arrival of the Monaro driven by V8 supercar driver Greg Murphy into the Imperial Lane venue came at the conclusion of the welcome speech to assembled guests including dealers, customers, and media from Holden New Zealand managing director Jeff Murray.

Murray who leaves Holden New Zealand in December to return to Holden Australia, paid tribute to the Holden staff, Holden dealers and the customers who have supported the Red Lion brand during the last 60 years of New Zealand operations.

“It was 1954 when our story first began in New Zealand. The first FJ’s rolled off the boat from Australia, marking the start of our history,” says Murray.

“The FJ is arguably the most fondly regarded of all our earliest cars. It was for many, the first car their family ever owned and it played an important role in the mobilisation of New Zealand families.”

“The FJ made way for the FE and we began to assemble cars locally. In 1957, the first New Zealand assembled Holden drove out of the General Motors Petone plant, a proud day for the brand, our staff and the people of Petone. That area will always hold a special place in our hearts.”

“One of my personal favourite’s in our catalogue is the Holden Monaro, and it would seem I am not alone in my love for this model. This year we unearthed a rather neglected version and decided to rebuild it.

“We have used the collective Holden family to restore this vehicle to its former glory. The process has been detailed and in-depth and I certainly have a new found appreciation of what goes into restoring classics,” he concluded.

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