The Hottest Muscle Cars In the World: 1970 Plymouth Barracuda #musclecars
Australia is the car-crazy. Have always been. For decades, Holden-Ford debate has been an important topic of conversation, and if you pass an Australian driver on anything to do with their car, you get your ears talked. Something about car service is likely to create a debt, or at least disturb some stories of the problems.
The real car culture began in the 1950s. The baby boom was in full swing and the post-war population rose. The construction industry doubled in size by Melbourne and Sydney, and the newborn middle class went out and bought cars like never before.
That's where the real Holden-Ford rivalry took off. Holden, a GMH subsidiary, was reflected as the Aussie car, although Ford was built in Australia as well. 1950s Holdens and Fords were tough cars, large steel cars with a number of tail fins and patterns that even today look like strange cartoon cars, but it has since been generally agreed that they were good cars under the bonnet, regardless of the design.
A whole series of generations of amateur mechanics were also born. The big Australian weekend involved a Saturday or Sunday out to fix the car (if it needed to fix or not, if it wasn't called "tuning") as often as a run to the pub or beach. Australian suburbia became a sea of cars, with attached car fanatics.
The next generation of cars included some true classics. Holden Kingswood and Torana were respectably shallow cars and a famous teen hoon mobile, but it's probably that hockey cares more about the car than themselves. Kingswood became the police car; Torana was the car chased. These cars were really loved, despite their social roles.
Ford stuck with its basic Falcon design from 1959. This American design was intended to be a competitor with Holden, which then dominates the Australian market and Falcons were the first cars to really challenge that dominance. The original Falcons were pretty big cars and looked good. They were never really the cultural icons that modern Holdens were, until the GT series, real "muscle cars", and they were also racing cars.
From the arrival of a real competitor onwards, the Holden Ford competition was on and it never ended. Thousands of new brands have come along the way but, if they have no power under the bonnet, they have hardly been noticed by the Australian car culture. Some European cars, especially the E-type Jaguar, the RX 7 and the XJS, have made people sit up and notice, but they are not quite in the traditional picture of suburban car culture.
Since then, Commodores and Fairlanes, Hyundais, Mitsubishis and other cars have "diluted" the pure Australian car culture, but never changed it as a social phenomenon. It's a pretty sure bet that as long as people in Australia talk about car repair and anything with cars, "car culture" always comes with us.