Holdens Demise brings memories

AF_SilverdaleWith the demise of Holden, we have been collecting stories from people who have fond memories from the past including some mishaps along the way.  David Brown caught up with a semi-retired traffic engineer.


I know Alan Finlay as a well presented and respected professional traffic engineer.

I knew he liked cars I didn’t realise his adventurous background when he raced an EH Holden.

I was competing at a hill climb at Amaroo Park in the early 70s and trying to better my times. It was towards the end of the day. And I think I’d had about six runs and I was going for a really good time on what would have been my second last run. And as I revved the car to its limit in first gear, I heard an almighty bang and I thought the worst. I thought I’d blown the motor. But as it turned out, the bang was created by one of the fan blades coming off the fan and actually almost piercing right through the bonnet. The fan blade was actually sticking out through the bonnet, and thankfully the rest of the motor in the car was alright. So the solution was to actually remove the whole fan blade assembly and then another frame friendly and helpful competitor managed to have a hacksaw in his tool kit and so we sawed off the other half of the blade that was still attached to the assembly and put it back on the car. So I limped home with a two-bladed rather than a four-bladed fan. Thankfully, didn’t get stuck in heavy traffic, so didn’t overheat.

One quick witted colleague lamented how he missed the time when a “heavy metal fan” was only referring to a motoring component.

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About David Brown 234 Articles
David’s boyhood passion for motor cars did not immediately lead to a professional role in the motor industry. A qualified Civil Engineer he specialised in traffic engineering and transport planning. What followed were various positions including being seconded to a government think-tank for the planning of transport firstly in Sydney and then for the whole of NSW. After working with the NRMA and as a consultant he moved to being an independent writer and commentator on the broader areas of transport and the more specific areas of the cars we drive. His half hour motoring program “Overdrive” has been described as an “informed, humorous and irreverent look at motoring and transport from Australia and overseas”. It is heard on 22 stations across Australia. He does weekly interviews with several ABC radio stations and is also heard on commercial radio in Sydney. David has written for metropolitan and regional newspapers and has presented regular segments on metropolitan and regional television stations. David is also a contributor for AnyAuto