NotesNothing is known about the early history of the vehicle. It was seen by Museum staff illustrated in "The Sydney Morning Herald" on 27 October 1936 participating in a National Road Safety Week procession through Sydney's streets which the reporter was erroneously described as a "steam buggy the forerunner of the motor car, which reached Sydney in 1896". The procession included 60 motor cars driven by men and women with "exemplary records" as safe drivers together with a Roman chariot, mail coach, horse bus, Hansom cab, bicycles, early fire appliances, horse-drawn brewery wagons and the latest Sydney double deck bus.
The Road Safety Week was organised by the Commissioner of Road Transport and Tramways and opened by the Minister for Transport to increase safety awareness amongst all road users at the time including drivers of cars, lorries, bicycles, trams, buses as well as pedestrians. In addition to the procession, special road safety certificates were presented, 250 Yellow Cabs of Australia taxi drivers pledged to drive safely, a competition was held for the Department of Road Transport and Tramways' ambulance corps, and a Road Safety Week ball was held in aid of the Central District Ambulance Service. Also being discussed at this time in State parliament was compulsory third party insurance of cars, increased police for patrol work and a speed limit on the roads, while optometrists were discussing the need for eye testing for licence applicants.
The Museum contacted the owner of the Holsman auto buggy, Mr W.B. Larke, of Larke, Neave & Carter Ltd, (later LNC Industries) an early New South Wales importing group which was established in 1924 to handle the importation of Chrysler automobiles. William and Fred Larke had begun by selling Red Star bicycles in 1901. They went on to import a number of motor vehicles including the Bean and were joined by Norton Neave. Their original offices were in Hunter Street, Sydney, but by 1936 they had a showroom at 177-185 William Street and were the metropolitan distributors for Chevrolet cars. Once approached, they agreed to donate the car to the Museum.
In 1984 the Museum decided to restore the Holman to as-new running condition without re-working the engine except to replace a broken valve. The wheels and king pins were rebuilt, the upholstery replaced, and the vehicle repainted and pin striped.
"The Sydney Morning Herald" 27 October 1936, 28 October 1936.
OwnedLarke, Neave & Carter Ltd