The Adelaide Show Podcast putting South Australian passion on centre stage

278 – Don Loffler and his Holden Treasures

278 - Don Loffler and his Holden Treasures

In this week’s episode of The Adelaide Show, we talk to Don Loffler about his Holden Treasures, the title of his latest bit of Holden history. And Nigel Dobson-Keeffe rejoins us this week because he is a former Holden engineer.

This week, the SA Drink Of The Week is from Henschke Wines.

And in the Musical Pilgrimage, we have a track from Soursob Bob.

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Running Sheet: Don Loffler and his Holden Treasures

00:00:00 Intro
00:00:28 SA Drink Of The Week
Henschke Peggy’s Hill Eden Valley Riesling is the SA Drink Of The Week.
00:06:09 Don Loffler

My first car was an HG 1970 Holden panel van and that has turned out to be the only Holden I’ve ever had. Meanwhile, other friends go from one Holden to another. I think I was put off by talk of “lemons” or “Friday” cars. However, one man whose life has become entwined with the Holden more than most is Don Loffler. The SA factory has gone but Don’s email runs hot with questions and trivial because of his growing back catalogue of Holden cars. His latest is called Holden Treasures, out through Wakefield Press, and it’s time to rev the engine and take this baby for a ride!

Let’s start at the end. Despite me being not emotionally connected to Holdens, I felt a pit of sadness in my stomach for the months leading up to the closure. What was it like for you?

Before we get into this book, what were the Holden hits and what were its big misses over the years?

As a 12yo, I was hooked on having a lime green Holden Gemini. How did they fare?

They used to promote these cars as being made for Australian conditions but I clearly remember an ongoing battle with my radiator in my HG and having to stop above Eagle On The Hill and roll down to the servo to top things up.

Don, in this book, apart from some rare and special Holdens, you focused on the first 10 Holdens. That sounds pretty simple but were there any grey areas between when Holden became GMH, etc?

Can you walk us through some highlights from the Top Ten?

Also, can you take us through some of the special government vehicles?

Can you explain what HR means vs HG? Or is it totally arbitrary?

Paul Rees from the National Motor Museum asks (and it’s a quadruple-barrelled question): In a parallel universe Laurence Hartnett’s design for the ‘Australian motorcar’ was accepted by General Motors and is a huge success. In this alternative history universe, would you, Don Lofler, be driving a Holden today, what do you think the cars would look and feel like and would we still have a successful, viable and innovative Australian motoring manufacturer thriving in 2020 if Hartnett was listened to back in mid-1940s?

It is worth noting the National Motor Museum is fundraising for the restoration of the Hartnett Pacific (one of three in existence) that is in their collection.

01:01:08 Musical Pilgrimage
In the musical pilgrimage, we have a track called Mazda 323 Outback Homesick Blues by Soursob Bob, suggested by Courtney Robb.

Here’s this week’s preview video:

SFX: Throughout the podcast we use free sfx from for the harp, the visa stamp, the silent movie music, the stylus, the radio signal sfx, the wine pouring and cork pulling sfx, and the swooshes around Siri.

2 Responses

    1. Hello Garry, we just spoke to Don and he assures us that is an urban myth. He might reply here later with more but we get the feeling he encounters this one often! Cheers, Steve

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