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Holden concept car collection to stay in Australia

Every concept car from the Hurricane to the Coupe 60 will stay Down Under, Holden confirms.

Holden has confirmed it will keep its multimillion-dollar collection of historic concept cars in Australia — even after its assembly line closes in 2017.

The news will come as a relief to Holden fans and automotive historians after Holden's parent company General Motors sold some of its American classics and concept cars in the grip of the Global Financial Crisis.

"General Motors learned that lesson many years ago, selling concept cars," says Holden design director Richard Ferlazzo.

They're part of out heritage

"But at Holden we will keep them all, right back to the very first one. They're all in pristine condition and we will absolutely keep them forever, they're part of out heritage."

The priceless collection of almost two-dozen vehicles includes the Commodore coupe that became the modern Monaro, and futuristic cars from the 1960s that never made it to showrooms.

The public will be able to see the concepts for free at various car club shows in the coming years. When not on tour the collection will be on display in the foyer of Holden head quarters.

The announcement comes on the 10th anniversary of the most popular Holden concept of all time, the Efijy.

It was never meant to be built for the road

Designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic FJ Holden, Holden had to knock back offers of $1 million from Arab Shieks who wanted to buy a road-going version of the modern-day hot rod.

"There were many offers (to buy the Efijy), from athletes on the other side of the world, Arab Shieks, and celebrities," says Ferlazzo.

"There were others wanting to buy the rights to build the car was never meant to be built for the road."

The Efijy would have cost $1 million to create from scratch, except it was a labour of love handcrafted by Holden designers after-hours over several years.

It was meant to be unveiled during the FJ Holden's 50th anniversary year in 2003, but missed that deadline by a couple of years because the design department was busy on other concept car work.

Although Holden's manufacturing operations will shut in late 2017, General Motors is keeping 150 designers and 150 engineers in Australia to work on foreign vehicles, some of which will be sold locally.

Two of General Motors' star concept cars at this year's Detroit motor show were handcrafted in Holden's top secret design studio in Port Melbourne, and then airfreighted to the US.

Holden is understood to be working on other future General Motors vehicles but they will be kept under wraps until they are eventually unveiled at international motor shows in the coming years.