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In Australia, few concept cars are as revered as the Holden Hurricane, which originally debuted at the 1969 Melbourne Motor Show.
Created in almost total secret by a small staff of engineers, in conjunction with Holden’s Advanced Design group, not only was the Hurricane a futuristic styling exercise (the lift up canopy was very Buck Rogers), it also incorporated a number of technological advancements which can be considered the forerunners of many features found on modern cars and trucks.
These include automatic air conditioning, a rearview camera and the ‘Pathfinder;’ an early guidance or navigation system, that relied on a series of embeded magnets along the route which the car traveled, plus a dash mounted indicator which signaled the driver when to turn. It can rightly be considered as a precursor to today’s GPS units.
Power for this fiberglass wonder came courtesy of an experimental 253 cubic inch (4.3-liter) V-8 with a four-barrel carburetor, which cranked out a respectable (for the time) 263 hp. Like other aspects of the car, this engine was an innovation for its time, and the 253 was later introduced to production Holdens.
Other neat aspects of the Hurricane (internally coded RD 001) included digital instrumentation, flip up headlights, station-seeking radio, foam lined gas tank, safety locks, even an onboard fire warning system.
“There are some genuinely remarkable ideas and technology in the Hurricane,” said Rick Martin, former Holden Chief Studio Engineer. “From the automatic air-conditioning and magnet-based guidance system, to the inertia-reel seat belts and metallic paint, this was a car that was genuinely ahead of its time.
Given that RD 001 was such a groundbreaking vehicle, it deserved better than languishing in a back room, gathering dust once its show days were over.
In 2006 a decision was taken to restore the Hurricane to it’s former glory, though in order to achieve the desired result, much time was needed researching the car and its innovative systems, plus using original parts wherever possible. Paul Clarke, Holden’s manager for Creative Hard Modelling, has been largely responsible for managing the restoration, what original components weren’t salvageable were remade using modern techniques to achieve 1969 specs.
Now completed and as fresh as the day it made it’s original debut, the Holden Hurricane is due to make another debut, this time the Motorclassica car show at the Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building, which runs from October 21-23.
The Hurricane was not only years ahead of its time, it also set the stage for future milestone concept cars from Holden, including the GTR-X, Torana TT36, Coupe 60, the GMC Denali XT (requested specifically by GM for the North American market) and the award-winning EFIJY.
It also helped foister the brand’s reputation as a builder of world class show and concept vehicles (currently it operates one of the three GM design centers capable of making such vehicles).
“The entire team has done a fantastic job in bringing [the Hurricane] back to life,” Clarke said. “This beautiful concept 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.”
For more information on the amazing Hurricane, click here
Gallery: Holden Hurricane
Now a British tuning shop by the name of Frontline wants to bring you the old with a some new technology, so you can enjoy your classic on the road, rather than it steaming on the hard shoulder.
Frontline will be dumping the miserable, old four-cylinder of the original MGB, and replacing it with a much more modern and reliable, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine from the Mazda MX-5.
Thanks to new con-rods, crankshafts and pistons, this motor will be able to produce 240 hp. Since the car is expected to weight just under 2000 lbs. it should be plenty quick.
It should handle better than the original also, since the old suspension bits are axed and replaced with new telescopic dampers and coilovers. Just to ensure this classic still has that classic feel, the car retains its live-axle set-up, and just like the original, it won’t have any power steering either.
All sounds very good then, until you get to the price. Frontline will be asking around $80,000 for each example, and you won’t be able to enjoy it until next year anyway. But since each car will use a new British Motor Heritage MGB shell, it’s like getting a new car, rather than a refurbished old one.
None have been completed so far, hence we had to use a file photo. Hopefully we get to see what this company can really do before forking out the cash.
If you’ve got a bit of cash burning a hole in your pocket and absolutely love the 1970 Dodge Charger then this is one example you should take a look at.
The 1970 Charger was the last of the classic ‘coke bottle’ examples and added a new grille and fenders among other things, plus the option of 15-inch wheels. It even came with high impact colors, like Panther Pink, Top Banana and this even more shocking hue called Sub Lime.
The R/T model shown here is documented to have originally been ordered in this retina scorching color and still has the original Chrysler build sheet. It’s also been fully restored; the 2-stage paint is far deeper and glossier than the old enamel originally applied at the Newark, Delaware assembly plant, plus the panel gaps are now linear and precise. Exterior trim has been restored and underneath this Charger looks just as good as it does from the outside. The black vinyl interior has been completely re-done, right down to the door panels and gauge cluster.
Under the hood, the car’s original 440 cubic inch (7.2-liter) Magnum V8 has been re-built and stroked, now displacing 492 cubic inches (8.1-liters). Although not originally ordered on this car, the optional (for ‘70) six-pack intake and triple carburetors have been fitted in the interests of greater appeal. Other neat options on this car include the A833 four-speed manual gearbox, stout Dana 60 rear end with 4.10 gears, power brakes with front discs, 26-inch radiator, black hood stripes, tie-down pins and a luggage rack.
Muscle era Mopars tend to attract a lot of attention and this Charger is certainly no exception. However, given the paint color and desirable options, the current asking price of $79,900 isn’t all that steep, especially in view of the workmanship on this beauty. If a car like this floats your boat and you’ve got the means with which to purchase it, then we’re exceedingly jealous.
GALLERY: 1970 Dodge Charger R/T
[Source: RK Motors]