Australian Classic Cars Remembered on New Coin Series


Earlier this year year the Royal Australian Mint released a three coin set that commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Australian children's TV show “Play School”. That larger theme of celebrating Australian history continues here with the release of a new twelve coin set. This collection again consists of 50c coins, like the play school set, only this time the commemorative coins are dedicated to the Australian automotive manufacturer Holden.

James Alexander Holden first emigrated to Australia in 1852, from the English town of Walsall, and by 1856 he had established J.A. Holden & Co., selling both locally made and imported saddles, whips and harnesses to the communities of South Australia and Victoria. His saddlery business flourished and steadily kept expanding over the decades, eventually being passed from father to son.

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - 48-215 Coin

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - 48-215 Coin

By 1905 Edward Holden, James' grandson, had joined the company and they moved into the automotive industry. First repairing and producing upholstery for the fledgling automotive industry, then sidecar bodies for motorcycles and eventually full vehicle body shells. By the time 1948 rolled around Holden was the proud producer of one of the first Australian produced cars, dubbed “Australia's Own Car” by the press. It is here that the coin collection picks up the story, with the Holden 48-215, unofficially referred to as the Holden FX by classic car enthusiasts.

The Royal Australian Mint has chosen eleven of Holden's most iconic models to feature on this unique collection that celebrates a 160 years since the Holden company was first established as a saddlery in South Australia during 1856. Officially known as the The Holden Heritage Collection the set is completed by a special twelfth coin that celebrates Holden's 160 year existence and transformation from a saddlery to motor vehicle manufacturer.

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - 160 Years

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - 160 Years

Each of the first eleven coins is partially colour treated to depict one of the eleven cars chosen. The reverse legend of “THE HOLDEN HERITAGE COLLECTION” is inscribed to the top of each coin with a set of dates in dicating the model's years of manufacture at the bottom. The coin's denomination, “50”, and the car's model are indicated just above the dates on the reverse of each coin.

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection 50c Coin Obverse

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection 50c Coin Obverse

The set has a shared obverse design that features the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth with the obverse legend of “ELIZABETH II” to the left of the portrait while “AUSTRALIA” and “2016” appear on the right side of the coin.

Each of the twelve coins is enclosed on a special display 'booklet' that features a pop out style model of the car featured on the coin. The 160 year anniversary coin features models of the Holden logo instead.

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - 48-215 Folder

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - 48-215 Folder

The coins are available individually or as a set contained in a unique limited edition tin. It should be noted that the Holden Heritage Collection tin container as well as the 160 year commemorative coin, the twelfth and only uncolourised coin, are only available when purchasing the complete collection. This coin and the set has a limited mintage of 7500 coins while the other eleven coins have a mintage of 30 000 coins each. The remaining 22 500 coins that are not reserved for the limited edition set will be made available on an individual basis.

Each of the coins are legal tender 50c coins for Australia and as such are struck from 15.55 gram of Copru-nickel on a 31.51mm planchet. The coins will only be minted in an uncirculated finish with no expectation of a proof release to be forthcoming in the future.

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection Limited Edition Tin

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection Limited Edition Tin

The coins can be ordered from the Royal Australian Mint's website or you can ask you trusted world coin dealer to obtain the coins for you. The eleven cat themed coins are being listed initially for US$15.00 each in the 'pop out' packaging and the complete 12 coin set looks set to sell for AU$160.00 to international customers.

Below follows a short description of all of the coins in the set, and the cars they represent :

48-215 FX Holden 50c Coin (1948 - 1953)

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - 48-215 Coin

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - 48-215 Coin

The 48-215 (FX) Sedan was the first Holden car ever built in Australia. Launched by Prime Minister Ben Chifley on 29 November 1948, this family car was well ahead of its time with a top speed of 80.4 mph (129 km/h) and fuel consumption of 9.4 liters per 100 Kilometers. A 48-215 Utility was added in 1951 and a Business Sedan in 1953.

ENGINE: 2.15 liter six-cylinder

TRANSMISSION: Three-speed manual gearbox

MODELS: Standard Sedan, Business Sedan and Utility

PRICE WHEN NEW: $1,466/£733

EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS (SEDAN): Length: 4,370mm; Wheelbase: 2,616mm; Width: 1,702mm

IDENTIFICATION: Chrome grille with vertical slats; the word ‘Holden’ across centre front of bonnet and across boot; split two-piece windscreen; no front or rear turn indicators and one centrally mounted rear stop light with body coloured surround.

FJ Holden (1953 – 1956)

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - Holden FJ Coin

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - Holden FJ Coin

The Holden FJ perhaps evokes the most nostalgia out of all the early Holden vehicles as it was the first car for most Australians at the time. It was impossible to miss the FJ on the road. Reflecting the optimism of the post-war period, the FJ was a bold statement that came in 12 colours as well as two-tone finishes and was packed with accessories and decorations. There were five FJ variants - Standard Sedan, Special Sedan, Business Sedan, Utility as well as Holden’s first Panel Van.

ENGINE: 2.15 liter six-cylinder

TRANSMISSION: Three-speed manual gearbox

MODELS: Standard Sedan, Business Sedan, Special Sedan, Panel Van and Utility

PRICE WHEN NEW: $2,064/£1,023

EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS (SEDAN): Length: 4,401mm; Wheelbase: 2,616mm; Width: 1,702mm

IDENTIFICATION: Similar body to 48-215 but has an open grille with thick horizontal chrome bar; Holden badge mounted on front centre of bonnet; centrally mounted rear stop light has chrome surround.

FE Holden (1956 – 1958)

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - Holden FE Coin

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - Holden FE Coin

Holden’s FE was bigger, roomier and heavier than its FJ predecessor. A curved windscreen and large rear window improved visibility while reversing lights, windscreen washers and de-misters were optional accessories. Holden’s first station wagon was introduced together with six other FE variants featuring various levels of equipment and interior trim.

ENGINE: 2.17 liter six-cylinder

TRANSMISSION: Three-speed manual gearbox

MODELS: Standard Sedan, Special Sedan, Business Sedan, Standard Station Wagon,?Special Station Wagon, Panel Van and Utility

PRICE WHEN NEW: $2,284/£1,142

EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS (SEDAN): Length: 4,470mm; Wheelbase: 2,667mm; Width: 1,702mm

IDENTIFICATION: New body with hatched grille and hooded headlights; Holden badge mounted front centre of bonnet; model name on rear quarter panel; one piece windscreen; wraparound front and rear bumpers.

FC Holden (1958 – 1960)

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - Holden FC Coin

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - Holden FC Coin

Released in 1958 to a booming market, the Holden FC Series proved to be a great sales success. Featuring a bold and brassy appearance, with touches of American inspired chrome, they sported new ornamentation, freshened interior and mechanical improvements which improved drive-ability. A total of seven variants were released simultaneously. During this era, Holden reached a production run of 500,000 vehicles and exported its 10,000th vehicle.

ENGINE: 2.17 liter six-cylinder

TRANSMISSION: Three-speed manual gearbox

MODELS: Standard Sedan, Business Sedan, Special Sedan, Standard Station Wagon,?Special Station Wagon, Panel Van and Utility

PRICE WHEN NEW: $2,220/£1,110

EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS (SEDAN): Length: 4,488mm; Wheelbase: 2,667mm; Width: 1,699mm

IDENTIFICATION: Similar body to FE but with front turn indicators incorporated?into bottom edge of wider hatched grille.

FB Holden (1960 – 1961)

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - Holden FB Coin

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - Holden FB Coin

The Holden FB featured more elaborate styling than ever before. Taking cues from its American cousins - the mid to late 1950s Chevrolets - the FB had a wraparound windscreen, sloping rear glass, big finned tail light clusters, hooded headlight surrounds, a lower bonnet line and finned rear guards. The Holden FB was also the first model to produce left hand drive export versions.

ENGINE: 2.26 liter six-cylinder

TRANSMISSION: Three-speed manual gearbox

MODELS: ?Standard Sedan, Special Sedan, Standard Station Wagon,?Special Station Wagon, Panel Van and Utility

PRICE WHEN NEW: $2,214/£1,107

EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS (SEDAN): Length: 4,610mm; Wheelbase: 2,667mm; Width: 1,703mm

IDENTIFICATION: New body panels with integral fins on rear guards; lower profile?front grille with turn indicators on each side; the word ‘Holden’ across front centre?of bonnet.

EH Holden (1963 – 1965)

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - Holden EH Coin

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - Holden EH Coin

The Holden EH was the most dramatic model since the 48-215 in 1948. Clever styling changes gave it a streamlined low profile body, while a fuel efficient ‘Red’ engine provided 33 per cent to 53 per cent more power in 179 form which made the EH ideal for towing. The EH was arguably one of the most loved Holdens of all time, owing much of its success to its universal appeal. In just 18 months, Australians bought 256,959 EH Holdens, making it the fastest selling car in the country to date.

ENGINE: 2.44 liter six-cylinder ‘149’ and 2.93 liter six-cylinder ‘179’

TRANSMISSIONS: ?Three-speed manual gearbox and?three-speed Hydramatic automatic transmission

MODELS: Standard Sedan, Special Sedan, S4 Special Sedan, Premier Sedan,?Premier Station Wagon, Panel Van and Utility

PRICE WHEN NEW: $2,102/£1,051

EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS (SEDAN): Length*: 4,511mm; Wheelbase: 2,667mm; Width**: 1,727mm

IDENTIFICATION: Similar body to EJ but with squared rear guards and roof-line;?grille split in centre by vertical bar bearing Holden badge.

* excludes Premier Sedan

** also applies to Station Sedan

HK Monaro (1968 - 1969)

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - Holden HK Monaro Coin

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - Holden HK Monaro Coin

The Holden HK Monaro was the first sports car designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia. Its exciting design which reflected an era of massive social and cultural change won Wheels magazine Car of the Year award in 1968. It also became an instant race and rally success, when Bruce McPhee and Barry Mulholland secured its first victory at the 1968 Hardie-Ferodo 500 (Bathurst 1000) in a HK Monaro GTS 327.

ENGINES: 2.65 liter six-cylinder ‘161’, 3.05 liter six-cylinder ‘186’?3.05 liter six-cylinder ‘186S’, 5 liter V8 ‘307’ and 5.3 liter V8 ‘327’

TRANSMISSIONS: Three-speed and four-speed manual gearbox and two-speed automatic transmission

MODELS: Monaro Coupe, Monaro GTS Coupe and Monaro GTS 327 Coupe

PRICE WHEN NEW: $2,575 (base Monaro six-cylinder)

EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS (SEDAN): Length: 4,694mm; Wheelbase: 2,819mm; Width: 1,814mm

IDENTIFICATION: All-new body with pronounced flaring above the wheel arches; grille featuring the word ‘Holden’ in the lower curb-side corner; wraparound front turn indicators mounted under the bumper.

HQ Kingswood (1971 – 1974)

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - Holden HQ Kingswood Coin

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - Holden HQ Kingswood Coin

At a time when flared trousers and platform shoes were Seventies hallmarks, the HQ Holden Kingswood hit the streets of Australia and quickly became an automotive icon. It was promoted as a luxury version of the full size family car and boasted a ‘jet-smooth ride’ over rough roads. Modern Motor magazine editors said that an 8800 kilometer test of the HQ Kingswood had shown that the new model ‘raised the average family man’s car to above average status’.

ENGINES: 2.84 liter six-cylinder ‘173’, 3.3 liter six-cylinder ‘202’, 4.2 liter V8 ‘253’ and 5 liter V8 ‘308’

TRANSMISSIONS: ?Three-speed and four-speed manual gearbox and?three-speed Trimatic automatic transmission

MODELS: Kingswood Sedan, Station Wagon and Utility

PRICE WHEN NEW: $3,255 (Kingswood Vacationer six-cylinder sedan)

EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS (SEDAN): Length: 4,762mm; Wheelbase: 2,819mm; Width: 1,880mm

IDENTIFICATION: All-new body with ‘creased’ side panels; recessed grille featuring a horizontal bar with central Holden badge, separated from headlights; front turn and rear turn indicators, stop lights are incorporated into bumpers.

LJ Torana GTR XU 1 (1972 – 1974)

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - Holden LJ Torana Coin

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - Holden LJ Torana Coin

The 1972 LJ Torana models picked up features and refinements from the landmark Holden HQ series released the year prior. The hottest of all the small Toranas was the mighty LJ GTR XU-1. The XU-1 model incorporated a number of high performance features which boosted its bhp to 190 at 5600 rpm. The LJ GTR XU-1 was piloted to victory in the Hardie-Ferodo 500 (Bathurst 1000) at Mt Panorama by a young Peter Brock.

ENGINE: 3.31 liter six-cylinder

TRANSMISSIONS: Three-speed and four-speed manual gearbox and Tri-matic automatic transmission

MODELS: Torana 1200 Sedan, Deluxe Sedan, Torana S, Torana SL, Torana GTR and GTR XU-1

PRICE WHEN NEW: $3,165 – $3,455 (LJ Torana GTR and LJ Torana GTR XU-1)

EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS (SEDAN): Length: 4,387mm; Wheelbase 2,540mm; Width 1,544mm

IDENTIFICATION: Same nose and bumpers as LC Torana with with new ‘HQ’ style grille; new side moulding and three segment boxed tail lights. GTR XU-1: Blacked out grille; upper door frames; headlight bevels; rear of spoiler; tail light and boot lid area; entire lower portion of car; fiberglass rear spoiler and steel front spoiler fitted; ‘GTR XU-1’ decals; three slanted vertical louvres in front guard.

HX Sandman (1976 – 1977)

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - Holden HX Sandman Coin

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - Holden HX Sandman Coin

If any Australian vehicle symbolized the sensational Seventies, it was Holden’s Sandman. It will forever be associated with the thriving surf culture of the day and has since become an Aussie icon. The HX Sandman package was introduced with brighter colours, new side striping and that unmistakable full width tailgate decal, which was designed to appeal to a younger crowd.

ENGINES: 3.3 liter six-cylinder ‘202’, 4.2 liter V8 ‘253’ and 5 liter V8 ‘308’

TRANSMISSIONS: Four-speed manual gearbox, three-speed Trimatic automatic transmission?and three-speed Turbo-hydramatic 400 automatic transmission

MODELS: Sandman Panel Van and Sandman Utility

PRICE WHEN NEW*: $4,754 (Holden Utility), $4,888 (Holden Panel Van)

EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS (PANEL VAN): Length: 4,938mm; Wheelbase: 2,895mm; Width: 1,877mm.

IDENTIFICATION: Similar body to HQ and HJ with separate grille and headlights; wider protruding vertically slatted grille featuring Holden badge in centre; model name on rear of front quarter panel above protector strip.

VC Commodore (1980 – 1981)

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - Holden VC Commodore Coin

Australia 2016 Holden Heritage Collection - Holden VC Commodore Coin

Launched in March 1980, the VC Commodore was declared by Wheels magazine to be ‘easily the best Australian car ever’. The VC ensured Holden kept its place as Australia’s top car producer. The Blue XT5 engine gave the VC up to 25 per cent more power and 15 per cent more fuel economy than the previous VB. Driving a VC, Peter Brock won the Bathurst 1000 in 1980. Brock’s record nine wins at Bathurst between 1972 and 1987 were in either Commodores or Toranas.

ENGINES: 1.9 liter four-cylinder, 2.85 liter six-cylinder, 3.3 liter six-cylinder, 4.2 liter V8 and 5 liter V8

TRANSMISSIONS: Four-speed manual gearbox, three-speed Trimatic automatic transmission?and three-speed Turbo-hydramatic 350 automatic transmission

MODELS: Commodore L Sedan and Station Wagon, Commodore SL Sedan and Station Wagon and Commodore SL/E Sedan

PRICE WHEN NEW: $7,403 (Commodore L four-cylinder sedan)

EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS (SEDAN): Length: 4,706mm; Wheelbase: 2,668mm; Width: 1,722mm

IDENTIFICATION: Similar body to VB Commodore but with new ‘egg crate’ hatched grille; Holden badge mounted centre of grille and curb-side of boot; model name set into rubber protector strip on front doors.

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