General Motors’ Holden division has pulled its very first concept car – the 1969Hurricane — out of retirement and fully restored it. Development of the Hurricane, codenamed RD 001, began in the mid-1960s and the car was first shown at the 1969 Melbourne Motor Show.
While the car is of course notable as Holden’s first-ever concept, the car also is an important showcase of groundbreaking technological ideas. The car is powered by a mid-mounted 4.2-liter V-8 engine producing 262 hp, with a rear-wheel-drive transaxle. Instead of doors, the Hurricane has a canopy that raises hydraulically above the car’s body. Special panels covering the headlights slide down into the bodywork when the lights are illuminated.
The Hurricane showed off a variety of technologies that wouldn’t reach production cars for some time: digital instruments, a backup camera using a black-and-white TV screen, automatic climate control, and even an early navigation system. Called Pathfinder and predating the GPS satellite network, the system used magnets embedded in roadways to display lights telling drivers when to turn in order to reach their destination.
Other innovations include metallic paint, a foam-lined fuel tank, ignition interlocks, and a fire warning system. The car’s body was built from fiberglass and was extensively tested in wind tunnels to reduce drag.
Work on restoring the Hurricane began in 2006, and Holden tried to use original parts (or recreations built to 1969 specification) as much as possible. Even the Dunlop tires were painstakingly sourced from the U.K. so they matched those on the original concept car.
The car will now go on display at a car shown in Melbourne, Australia from October 21-23.For those who can’t make it out to Australia, Holden also has released the promotional video seen below.