Australia markets close in 4 hours 19 minutes

Boomerang: The surprising names the first Holden was nearly called

Australians are reminiscing on Holden's history. Image: Getty

As Australia tearfully bids iconic car brand Holden farewell, fans are reminiscing on the brand’s 164-year history. 

But, the National Museum of Australia reveals, one major part of the brand’s history - the name of its first Australian vehicle - could have been entirely different

In fact, before the brand launched in 1948, the company considered naming its first model ‘GeM’, ‘Melba’, ’Emu’, ‘Woomerah’, ‘Austral’, ‘Boomerang’, and even ‘Canbra’ - a phonetic spelling of Canberra. 

However, it ultimately settled on ‘The Holden’, and was unofficially dubbed the ‘FX’. 

Why the ‘Holden’

Pictured: Prime Minister Ben Chifley with the unveiling of the first Holden.

General Motors-Holden’s executives landed on the ‘Holden’ after the company’s first chairman, Sir Edward Holden.

Edward Holden was the grandson of James Alexander Holden, who established saddlery business J.A. Holden & Co in Adelaide in 1856. 

Edward Holden joined the business in 1905 and began transitioning the company, then titled Holden & Frost, to automobiles. 

Originally, the company re-bodied older chassis, before making motorbike side cars and then vehicle body shells. 

With Holden’s car production later directed to making weapons, engines and aircraft during World Wars II, it wasn’t until 1948 that the company achieved its goal of making its first all-Australian car. 

The Holden FX was unveiled on 29 November 1948 by Prime Minister Ben Chifley, with a set price of $733. 

“She’s a beauty!” Chifley said upon seeing the car. 

At the time, that was around 94 weeks of pay for the average Australian. Undeterred, 18,000 people signed up to purchase the vehicle.

Make your money work with Yahoo Finance’s daily newsletter. Sign up here and stay on top of the latest money, news and tech news.

Follow Yahoo Finance Australia on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.