‘Still driving my first Holden’: Mayor’s pride and joy
YOU can take the Holden badge out of Australia, but you can’t kill the classic hunks of metal that diehard fans keep running like clockwork.
When he is not busy performing his mayoral duties in the Somerset region, lifelong Holden driver Graeme Lehmann is lovingly caring for his collection of classics that ranges from a mint 1971 HG ute, through to a more recent 2000 Grange.
While shocked by this week’s news that Holden cars would cease to exist as of next year, Cr Lehmann said his love of the brand would never die.
“I never saw it coming, but things certainly weren’t going as well for Holden as they once were,” he said.
“I thought they would at least bring the Camaro out her and rebadge it.
“It is just a shame the old cars will disappear, and it is a really disappointing that we don’t manufacture a car in Australia any more.”
The red HG ute is Cr Lehmann’s first car, which he bought new from Buhse’s at Laidley for $2500. It remains original except for the seats.
Despite being written off in a crash several years ago, it has been lovingly restored to its former glory and promises to keep going for another 50 years.
“I used to have to ride my pushbike 22 miles a day from Coolana to Plainland to work at the Shell servo,” he said.
“The ute was my first car. It is a 253 (cubic inch) V8 and still beautiful to drive.
“It won’t be going anywhere.”
Inspired by the great Peter Brock, Cr Lehmann once owned a Brocky-inspired LX Torana.
He has raced his various Holdens extensively over the years and inspired a love of Holdens in his three daughters Angela, Jessica and Rebecca, who now also drive Holdens of their own.