For decades, ‘Australia’s own’ did more than just put this country on wheels. Holden helped shape who we were as a nation Benedict Chifley, fedora in hand, wore a wool suit minus the usual waistcoat, given Melbourne’s late November weather. Australia’s 16th Prime Minister was very nearly a day late for this, the launch of the first Holden, but he was never – ever – going to be a penny short. After all, he’d arranged one million pounds of bank loans and invested a good deal of his heart and soul. This was the realisation of a dream for a country where butter, petrol and tea were still strictly rationed, long after peace was declared. The former railway engine driver, war time Treasurer and now PM, endured the ravages of the Great Depression and then a war that seared the hearts and hopes of every Australian family. Now, on 29 November, 1948 – definitely not the 30th as initially scheduled – he was here at the factory in Salmon Street, Port Melbourne to see his efforts made whole. This was a banner occasion for a country of just 7.5 million citizens that only six years earlier was perilously close to a Japanese invasion. That distant past was indeed a different country. But to un...