This car badge is one of a collection of twelve badges representative of the top three Australian car manufacturers between 1960 and 1980, General Motors Holden Australia, Ford Australia and Chrysler Australia Ltd. The 'Kingswood' badge is from the boot lid and front mudguard of the Holden Kingswood HQ made between 1971 and 1974. A total of 495,650 HQ Holdens were built, more than any other Holden model to date.
Four years work went into the Kingswood's design and it was planned to be the car of the seventies. The car was launched in July 1971 and was the first ground-up redesign of the Holden since it was first sold in 1948. The HQ was the first Holden fitted with coil spring suspension on all wheels and also had a sub frame. Safety was one of the major features, and the car met the new Australian safety standards and exceeded many. The Holden HQ range included the Kingswood, LS Monaro Coupe, Kingswood Station sedan, Monaro GTS and Statesman De Ville. The Kingswood came standard with the 173 six cylinder engine. The HQ model stayed in production for three years, an unusually long period by Holden standards at the time.
The model name 'Kingswood' was immortalised and satirised in Australian culture with the television sit-com "Kingswood Country" which first screened in January 1980. One of the main characters was, Ted Bullpitt, whose most precious possession was his Holden Kingswood. He objected to other family members driving his car and would hide the keys. He also glad wrapped the tow bar and steam cleaned the glove box!
Over the 20 year period (1960-1980) the three companies, Holden, Chrysler and Ford vied for supremacy of the six cylinder four door family car market. Local car manufacturing was at a peak during this period heralded by Holden who by 1958 held over 50 percent of the local market share. Slowly the share became more divided with the companies watching and competing against each other. The badges also illustrate and represent the emergence of locally-made cars in Australia motor sport of the period associated with names such as Monaro and Torana where a win at Bathurst was associated with increased car sales. Furthermore names such as Kingswood and Premier are part of the cultural identity of Australians and their cars. The badges also show an interesting development of graphic design with the change in printing and lettering styles over the 20 year period as well as material construction from chrome to plastic.
Margaret Simpson, 2005