The story of Australia’s Holden begins in 1920 with the Holden Motors Body Builders (HMBB). This company specialized in assembling cars from Dodge, Buick, Ford, Chevrolet, and Studebaker, as well as several European brands, with the goal of avoiding the high taxes on finished imported goods. At the time, to improve the employment prospects of Australian workers, the government did not levy the same taxes on products built in Australia, even if they were identical to those that might be imported.
From 1923, HMBB worked only with General Motors, which established offices itself in Australia the following year, and discontinued its exclusive deal with HMBB in 1925. By 1931, however, Holden was bought by GM with a plan to create a wholly-Australian car. The plan was stalled by the Second World War, but once hostilities were over, the idea picked up steam again.
A Chevrolet design that had been rejected as too small for the US market was send Holden’s way and the first prototypes were made in 1946, with the first production cars leaving the production line on October 1st 1938. The official model launch was made just over a month later, on November 29th, when the Holden 48-215 became the first Australian automobile.
The story of Micro Models is somewhat comparable. Micro Models was the first and best-known miniature model manufacturer in Oceania. With production split between Australia and New Zealand, it seems more fitting to refer to the company as Oceanic rather than Australian; certain models were made in both countries and others in either one of the two. It should be noted that the numbers stamped on models’ chassis are always of Australian origin, while the renumberings from New Zealand appear only on the packaging. The GB suffixes on these number are the initials of the two firms which came together to found Micro Models. “G” is for Goodwood Productions Pty (Australia) and “B” is for JA Brent and Co.
Production spanned 1952 to 1961. In 1956, a company from New Zealand, Lincoln Industries, made some of the models under license, while the moulds were also reused in 1974 by Matai and by Torro in 1976.
Most of the models are painted just one basic colour; red, blue, green, grey or cream. Only the taxi versions have two-tone paint - and are particularly eye-catching finishes. The taxi versions are hard to find.
Isabelle and Vincent Espinasse. Autojauneparis.fr