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1969 Holden Hurricane

The Holden Hurricane was an experimental research vehicle, revealed in May 1969. The car has a mid-mounted 4147cc V8 Holden engine, producing 280bhp. The two-seater Hurricane displayed an electronic digital instrument display, station-seeking radio, Comfortron automatic temperature control air conditioning, and a Pathfinder automatic route indicator. The rear vision was provided by a TV screen in the console, connected to a wide-angle lens camera activated by the ignition.

As its code name suggests, RD 001 was the first product of the GMH Research and Development section, staffed by a small squad of engineers working in conjunction with the Advanced Styling Group at the Fishermans Bend Technical Centre. RD 001 stood just 990mm high and had no doors in the conventional sense. An electro-mechanically powered canopy swung forward over the front wheels, combining with twin “astronaut type” power elevator seats which rose and pivoted forward, along with the steering column, for ease of access. Occupants were lowered to a semi-reclining position, and the roof closed over. The car could not be started until the canopy was locked down, the seats fully lowered, and the driver”s fully retractable, automatically locking seat belt secured. Other safety innovations were a foam-lined fuel tank, integral headrests, digital readouts, interior padding, and a fire warning system.

The wind tunnel-tested fiberglass body was finished in an experimental aluminum flake-based metallic orange paint and mounted on a steel box-section perimeter frame with rubber insulated mountings. Under the Hurricane”s pivoting engine hood, set forward of the rear axle, was an experimental 253 cubic inch Holden-designed and built V8 with a four-barrel carburetor.

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