How you Holden up?

AUSTRALIA “out-safetied and out-waged” itself out of an automobile manufacturing industry and is facing hard times, says Holden die-hard Gino Tagliaferri.

“When the greatest country in the world, Australia, doesn’t produce it’s own cars – just to keep other countries happy – it’s just the start of the demise,” the tow truck driver says.

One of a legion of Holden fans left reeling from General Motors’ decision to kill off the iconic Aussie brand, the Bicton resident says while it was inevitable, it still hurt.

“It felt as bad as the day my wife went out and bought a Mazda.”

Mr Tagliaferri, whose brother Peter was a former Fremantle mayor, says Holden DNA is in the family.

“Dad never bought anything but Holden.”

He says he’d rather drive his Commodore into the ground than switch brands, even if a Ferrari was on offer.

• Gino Tagliaferri with his precious Holdens, including an FX once owned by the last digger from World War I. Photo by Steve Grant

As proof of this passion, the family’s Holdens are intrinsic to the special events commemorated in photo albums. There’s the newly-weds posed beside their first Gemini, his dad’s Kingswood gets towed home after his death before being passed onto a grandson. Hundreds of photos.

Cabinets throughout the home are packed with models and memorabilia, despite a big cull when the family last moved house.

But pride of place amongst the collection are two beauties; a ’48 FX and a ’66 HR.

The FX is particularly special, as it’s previous owner was the last Australian Anzac left standing from World War I, Peter Casserly, who’d owned the car from new. His name is still visible on the leather cover of the owner’s manual.

Mr Tagliaferri said he came across the car by luck.

“It was at a panel shop getting a few dents repaired because as he was getting older he was reversing into things.”

Chatting to staff it emerged Mr Casserly was looking to give up driving and sell the car.

Mr Tagliaferri says he’s never regretted the purchase. When he takes the FX to car shows, it’s instantly surrounded.

by STEVE GRANT

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What’s your Holden’s story?

Like Mr Tagliaferri’s stunning FX, there’s bound to be classic Holdens out there with a colourful history. We’d love to hear about them. Send in a few lines, a photo and a contact number to news@fremantleherald.com

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