My Car Quest

September 25, 2017

Could The Holden Hurricane Have Been A Corvette Competitor?

by Mike –

The Holden Hurricane is a concept car designed and made by GM Holden in 1969. I think this design style is very attractive and would have been well suited to compete with the Corvette. Since both are owned by GM it would have been an interesting competition.

Under various names GM Holden, Ltd (Holden) in Australia has been a subsidiary of General Motors since 1931. Holden has designed and manufactured cars to suit the Australian market and Asia as well.

Holden Hurricane

Holden Hurricane

The futuristic concept vehicle was an experiment “to study design trend, propulsion systems and other long range developments”.

Code named RD 001, the Holden Hurricane is a mid-engined, rear-wheel drive, two-seater, fiberglass bodied sports car that uses an array of innovative features and technology, much of it way ahead of its time.

Holden Hurricane

Electronic digital instrument displays, station-seeking radio, automatic temperature control air conditioning, rear vision camera and an automated route finder were all in the Holden Hurricane when it was introduced at the 1969 Melbourne Motor Show.

The Holden Hurricane incorporated some advanced technologies when it came to the power train. It was powered by an experimental 4.2-liter (253 cid) V8; this engine was the precursor to the Holden V8 engine which entered production in late 1969.

Holden Hurricane

Two innovative features were the “Pathfinder” route guidance system and the rear-view camera.

The “Pathfinder” used magnets embedded at intersections along the road to guide the driver to the desired route. A panel on the dash board let the driver know which turn to take by lighting up different arrows and sounding a warning buzzer. This was long before GPS systems were available to the public.

Holden Hurricane

The rear-view camera was also innovative; it used a Closed Circuit Television system with a camera mounted in the rear bumper transmitting to a small black-and-white TV located in the center console. This camera feature is available on many new cars today.

Holden Hurricane

Holden Hurricane

The Hurricane is only 39 inches high and has no doors. Entry and exit is through a hydraulically-powered canopy that opens upwards and forward over the front wheels. The powered seats rise upward and pivot forward as does the steering column allowing the occupants to easily enter and exit the Hurricane.

Holden Hurricane

Holden Hurricane

The canopy looks similar to the Sterling design.

Holden Hurricane

What do you think – would this have been a good alternative to the Chevrolet Corvette in 1969? Let us know in the Comments.



The photos are from

Could The Holden Hurricane Have Been A Corvette Competitor?
Article Name
Could The Holden Hurricane Have Been A Corvette Competitor?
An innovative advanced design by the Australian company, GM Holden, is a beautiful concept car.


  1. Can’t believe how futuristic this is for a 55 year old design! Beautiful.

  2. Definitely the car of the future in many ways. Interestingly, GM announced this week that 2016 the last year for Australian Holden production. Future cars will be badge-engineered from plants outside of Australia. Same thing with Ford after 2017. The last domestic manufacturer in Australia will now be Nissan. Glenn in the Bronx, NY.

    • Too bad for Holden, they did good work I think.

      • Yep, I would say GM’s loss.
        Not only have Holden been at the forefront for the last 55-60 years but even in the last decade,
        the Monaro was rebadged by GM subsiduaries and sold around the world as a serious competitor to more expensive European marques. They even provided the chassis, under-carriage and handling characteristics similar to high end European cars for the Camaro.

  3. Still looks Futuristic even today and would have given the Italians a run in the period, but probably only the ITALIANS could have got this to market and accepted, Holden, who!!!

    • But Holden who? was owned by General Motors – the largest car company in the world at the time!

      What if GM had branded this with a GM brand (Chevy or Pontiac) and put the GM company behind it? Heck why not brand it a Corvette?

  4. The list of features on the Holden reads like an option sheet on many of today’s cars. Only 10 years go these features were proprietary to high end automobiles. GM didn’t want or need a competitor to the Vette, perhaps the reason why this car is a one-off

  5. If you thought this was nice,have a look at Holden GTR-X. Another winner killed by the bean counters !!!!!

  6. Wim van de Kimmenade says:

    IMHO this car has very futuristice features for a design of that time!

    So terrific work from the Aussie brand of GM!

    Personally, the rear end reminds me of the FordGT40.
    The covered rear wheels are not to my own taste!
    However, it should never be forgotten that there as many tastes as there people in our world!

    In any case, I take off my hat for the designer (or design-team)

  7. metalflake paint !!!…designers were definitely hot rodders at heart……. I remember reading about this car in ‘wheels’ & ‘Australian hot rodding review’ mags back in the day…as in the states the mid 60’s to early ’70’s (’74’ish) was the hey day for aussie cars – holden monaro gts + torana gtr / xu1, ford falcon gtho, Chrysler charger R/T E37 / E48.

  8. Very Pininfarina–front clip shades of 308 Ferrari. Blind spots?

  9. Robb Northrup says:


    Great car! I remember reading about it at the time and thinking that it should be the next Corvette! It looked great, had the performance, and had class.

    Oh well, another one lost to history…

    Robb Northrup
    President, Apollo owners Registry

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