A 1952 Hartnett station wagon, which is one of the first Australian made cars, has been acquired by the Trafalgar Holden Museum, with funding assistance from the National Cultural Heritage Account.
This vintage car, which was designed and built in Australia in the early 1950’s, is a survivor of attempts to mass produce an “Australian” car, by an Australian owned company, financed by Australian capital.
It is an important symbol of Australian post-war optimism and the challenges faced when Australia pursued industrial self-sufficiency.
This beautifully restored vehicle was built by the Hartnett Motor Company Ltd, an Australian company established by Sir Laurence Hartnett. He was known as ‘the Father of Holden’ and an elder statesman of the Australian automotive industry.
With only two similar Hartnetts in Australian public collections (the two door ‘Tasman’ sedan in Museums Victoria, and the two door ‘Pacific’ tourer in the National Motor Museum), the purchase of this Woody Wagon sedan is not only important to Trafalgar Holden Museum’s collection, it help preserve Australia’s cultural heritage. It will both expand the range of Hartnett models on display, and open the door to future research.
This car has been acquired by the Trafalgar Holden Museum with $115,000 assistance from the National Cultural Heritage Account. It will be on public display from early to mid 2023.