How’s this for a Throw Back Thursday? It’s Holden’s very first concept car the 1969 Hurricane Concept. The Holden Hurricane Concept car is one-off from 1969 has been restored to its former glory by a dedicated group of Holden designers and engineers.
Code named RD 001 the Hurricane is a mid-engined, rear-wheel drive, two-seater sportscar. It is powered by a 4,2-litre V8 that made approximately 190 kW. RD 001 stands just 990 mm high. It has no conventional doors. A hydraulically-powered canopy opens upwards and forward. Power-elevating seats rise up and pivot forward, along with the steering column, for ease of access.
The Holden Hurricane Concept explored several new technologies that would eventually become production realities, many of which we use in modern cars. Two innovative features were the “Pathfinder” route guidance system and a rear-view camera.
The Pathfinder was essentially a pre-GPS navigation system. It relied on a system of magnets embedded along the road network to guide the driver along the desired route. A dash-mounted panel illuminated as well as a warning buzzer to guide drivers. A camera was mounted in rear bumper feeding visual to a small black-and-white TV mounted in the centre console.
Other features include automatic air-conditioning, inertia-reel seat belts and metallic paint, which were all ahead of their time in 1969. Safety innovations included a foam-lined fuel tank, integrated roll-over bar, digital instrument readouts, ignition safety locks, interior padding, four-way disc brakes, and a fire warning system.
In his own words
Former Holden Chief Studio Engineer Rick Martin, who led the modern-day Holden Hurricane Concept restoration team, commented, “The Hurricane 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.”