Alongside the design and features of a car is the market it seeks to target. And that target is often overseas, so deals are made to keep the cars profitable. Such was the case with the 1923 agreement between General Motors Corp. and Adelaide's Holden Motor Body Builders of Australia. GM would provide pre-assembled chassis models for GM vehicles that would then become the base for Holden designed bodies. GM got a foothold into a market by avoiding import taxes on “finished cars,” while Holden got a reliable base for its cars. The marriage proved popular in the “land down under.”
Holden built the vast majority of the bodies for Olds in the 1920s, while the lower-volume models such as specialty roadsters and sedans were imported until the global crash of 1929. With Australia feeling the Great Depression, GM ceased exports of Oldsmobiles to Australia until the market improved in 1934.
The 1926 Oldsmobile Holden 30D comes from the era before the crash and has a story to tell outside of the model and styling it offers. America's Car Museum's Holden was restored by Peter Gifford of Dunlop, Australia before the car found its way to America. "I bought the Olds in 1975 as a pile of rubbish in a backyard for $100, and it was certainly not a complete car,” he wrote for the LeMay collection. “After six years of restoration and countless miles of chasing parts (there was no eBay back then), it was complete.
I still think it was a great achievement to do this restoration in my shed.” His 1926 was the only one he could find during his countless hours of research for parts, making the care a rarity among rarities. The car itself is a touring model, with only 1,660 miles on its odometer. Its six-cylinder engine brought 61 horsepower through a three-speed transmission.