Holden’s historic Lang Lang proving ground has been given a stay of execution beyond the 2017 closure of Holden’s Australian manufacturing facilities, with a pledge to continue using the 877 hectare site to refine new models destined for the Australian market.
First opened in 1957, Lang Lang’s 44km of sealed and unsealed test roads, skidpan, and 4.7km banked high-speed oval have been used to test every new locally-developed Holden since the 1958 FC, plus an untold number of models for international markets.
Holden kindly filmed the development of some of its classic models, many of which can be seen in the above compilation.
Highlights include pre-ABS braking in an EJ sedan, Stan the crash dummy, the lab coats worn by the early engineers, the flared trousers worn by later engineers, and former Holden boss Peter Hanenberger’s 70s hairdo.
Another sign of the times is where the “chief experimental engineer” lights up a cigarette before taking the “sales director” for a “spin” on the skidpan in an HQ.
There’s also plenty of classic period voiceover and of course the joy of watching EK, EJ, HR, HK, HG, HQ, VB, JB, VH, VT, and VF Holdens being put through their paces.