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Aussie motoring icons: the Holden One Tonner

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Published on 12 November 2018

Even though the preferred weapons of choice for tradies these days are Thai-built dual-cab 4x4 utes and cab-chassis, there was a time not so long ago when Holden's mighty Aussie-made cab-chassis light commercial dominated construction sites across the country. I remember there was also healthy competition amongst proud tradie owners in personalising their One Tonners, often with customised Statesman front clips and superbly-crafted load trays featuring chrome, stainless steel and in many cases superb timber joinery. In fact, customising of One Tonners became an industry all of its own! For many farmers, plant operators, couriers and other hard workers, there was nothing that could match it for decades. And it was the basis of countless street machine projects. What I find really interesting, though, is that the One Tonner's huge payload rating of more than 1.3 tonnes is still competitive with today's imported one-tonne utes. So, given that the first 'Tonner was released with the HQ series in 1971, it was ahead of its time. I hope any surviving examples are valued and preserved, because I reckon this unique HQ-WB variant (produced from 1971-1985) qualifies as a genuine Aussie motoring icon. What do you guys think?