A horde of Holdens

THE Gippsland Vehicle Collection was turbocharged at the weekend, by a funding announcement of $18,000 as more than 1000 people made a pit stop to check out the new display of Holdens.

The collection received the funding through the State Government’s Regional Growth Fund, with the funds to help develop a business plan that enables it to support future growth and capitalise on expansion opportunities.

Gippsland South MLA and Regional Development Minister Peter Ryan said the Gippsland Vehicle Collection – Options, Operations & Outcomes 2011-2021 project would enable the Gippsland Vehicle Collection to engage a consultant to develop a 10-year business plan.

“This project will articulate the Gippsland Vehicle Collection’s goals and aspirations for the next 10 years and ensure that it maximizes potential opportunities for growth, and strengthens social and economic outcomes,” Mr Ryan said.

“It will help the Gippsland Vehicle Collection make an even stronger contribution to the development of the Gippsland tourism industry and the diversification of the local economy.”

Officially opened on Sunday, the new display was kicked-started the only way the collection knows how – with a display of some of the region’s finest and rarest classic and vintage cars.

While it was all things Holden inside the collection – which includes one of the Holdens driven by the late and great Peter Brock – outside the shed, visitors were treated to a display of dozens of lovingly restored cars, as well as some unique vehicles – including a Kingswood station wagon that had been sprayed with concrete.

The owner of the concrete Kingswood asserted it was still able to be driven, but most visitors remained sceptical.

Gippsland Vehicle Collection president Peter Gault said he was thrilled with the turnout at the opening, saying it was one of the best attended open days at the collection for some time — due in no small part to the funding announcement.

“I think with this collection, there’s a lot of sentimental value here for the older motoring enthusiasts,” he said.

“I’ve heard a lot of people here today talk about how they’ve seen their first car on display here, so it’s a nice trip down memory lane for them.

“And well, people just love Holdens — it’s Australia’s own car.

“Along with the $18,000 grant, it’s a really exciting time here for the collection.”

The highlights of the new Holden display at the collection also include the Holden dealer team’s number one Commodore and a GTR Torana.

The Holden display will be open at the Gippsland Vehicle Collection until the end of October this year. The collection is open from Friday to Monday, from 10am to 4pm, and also by appointment. For more information, visit www.gippslandvehiclecollection.org.au