Comparing Automotive Rivals: A Documentary

Ford v Holden Hits Aussie Theaters Oct 19

In the United States, there tends to be a separation between Ford and Chevy enthusiasts; however, that blazes no candle to the contest between Ford and Holden. While examining the planet’s most extraordinary automotive contests, numerous others cannot come close to the war happened in Australia. A documentary known as Ford vHolden takes an exploration into the epic car conflict that captivated the country for many years, and reshaped the nation’s automotive outlook for years afterwards.

The feature-length documentary takes an in-depth look into the world’s most intense automotive rivalry, tracing its roots back over a century in order to comprehend the history and culture behind the Holden “Red Lions” and the Ford “Blue Bloods.” The documentary examines every aspect by conversing with key individuals from both sides of the divide, from ex-employees to historians and other influential people.

Produced by Veronica Fury, Ford versus Holden will be shown in Australian theatres on the 19th of October.

Ford v Holden | Official Trailer | Park Circus

Visiting this exhibition is an absolute must-do for all Australian automotive fanatics, since it follows the amazing competitive history between these two brands from the very outset. It highlights the ultra-intense motorsport faced off at Bathurst, as well as each company’s eventual closure; in 2016, Ford Australia assembled its last car, whereas Holden just about survived until 2017.

At the epicenter of this combat was the Commodore and Falcon. In essence, they were regular house sedans comparable to the Accord and Camry but at a larger size and outfitted with strong six-cylinder and V8 motors. What began as a placid rivalry between two manufacturers soon snowballed into a full-fledged conflict, especially in the Bathurst 1000 and V8 Supercar age, still being an impressive space for the Ford Mustang.

This conflict was truly intense. Individuals have engaged in an argument over which brand was preferable, and we don’t only imply on social media or the internet. We mean actual scuffles. Any relative who chose to change sides by supporting the opposing brand were ostracized for such a choice.

“It was a common thing in every household; you were either a Ford family or a Holden family,” recalls one participant, while another adds that this rivalry was “deeply entrenched in the Australian culture.” This intense competition between the two automotive giants has been a part of the country’s identity for many years, and it continues to be a prominent feature of the nation’s social fabric.

Sadly, while these two esteemed Australian organisations were embroiled in competition, they failed to notice a catastrophic menace from Asia: economically priced (and well-made) Japanese and Korean vehicles. This was just one of several triggers that caused the extinction of the Australian automobile industrial sector; marques such as Toyota and Mitsubishi also shut down native manufacturing in the nation.

Let’s recall the rivalry in its true glory: a moment of brilliance in Australian motorsports that gave rise to originality and imbued thrilling excitement on the racecourse as well as away from it. As those vehicles progressed, so did the races with them, culminating in some of the most scintillating contests of all time.

Over the years that the Bathurst 500 was taking place, everyday people used to observe their boring Falcons and Toranas line up to vie for the top position. This generated a sense of satisfaction in the existing customers and also attracted new purchasers. As the saying goes, if you win on a Sunday, you’ll be sure to make a sale on Monday.

In 1973, the 500 km race was replaced by the now-iconic Bathurst 1000, expanding from a journey of 500 kilometers (310.9 miles) to a gruelling 1000 km (621.4 miles). Despite its reputation as a battle between Holden and Ford, many other marques have taken part in the prestigious event. From 1985 to 1992, it was held under the Group A regulations.

During this era, the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth and the Nissan R32 Skyline GT-R – famously referred to as ‘Godzilla’ by the Australian press due to its overwhelming on-track capabilities – were the kings of the racing scene. Holden and Ford fans alike united in their disapproval of the “unjust” advantage the Nissans had.

In 1992, intense rainfall pounded the course and resulted in a lot of crashes. The lead Skyline was in one of these mishaps, but as it had already gone 75% of the way, it was given the victory. As witnessed in the trailer, such a judgment led to great unrest.

The yearly Bathurst 1000 is still a major event for many Australians. Unfortunately, Holden drivers have had to exchange their revered Commodores for American Camaros due to their exit of the endurance event. Ford fanatics can still root for their beloved Mustang, but it is definitely not the same for the diehard Bathurst buffs that ache for the memorable days of the showdowns between Falcon and Commodore.

In the present times, both marques have become just a remnant of their original glory. Ford Australia imports its inventory, including the Ranger and Everest pick-ups and SUVs. Holden, on the other hand, formerly sold rebadged Opels and Chevrolets alongside its locally-made vehicles; however, it’s no longer operational, providing assistance and maintenance services just to its current owners.

It may not have the same glitz and glamour as the Ford vs. Ferrari movie, but this yet-to-be-released documentary promises to be one of the most remarkable, thrilling automotive sagas of all time. We’re ebullient in anticipation!

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