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Why Holden chose the Director name

By Scott Newman, 23 Feb 2017 News

Why Holden chose the Director name

Holden explains why it brought back the controversial nameplate

When we first heard whispers that Holden was to revive the Director nameplate for one of its final ‘Special Edition’ Commodores, it certainly raised our eyebrows.

We assume that most people are familiar with why the name Director is so controversial, but in case you’re not, here’s a quick summary. Left exhausted after his attempt at the 1984 Le Mans 24 Hour, Peter Brock was introduced to Dr Eric Dowker, who introduced him to the concept of ‘orgone energy’.

Together, the two of them developed the most appropriately named feature of any car in history, the ‘DB Polarizer’. According to Brock, it harnessed this mysterious energy like an automotive version of The Force and improved every facet of a car.

HDT VL DirectorHolden tested the device and found it did precisely nothing except relieve punters of $480 for the privilege of having one fitted to their VL Brock Commodore. Holden released a statement in November 1986 stating it accepted no responsibility for the Polarizer.

Undeterred, Brock developed the HDT Director, forcing Holden to terminate its relationship with the HDT operation in February 1987. It was a bitter and public split that took years to heal and hardly an affair that seems worthy of celebration.

So why did Holden revive the nameplate? We put the question to it and it responded with the following statement: “[The] Director is our ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’. This blend of sophisticated performance and luxury lent itself perfectly to the Director name and gave us the opportunity to honour the late Peter Brock with one of our final, most collectible locally made vehicles.

“The contribution that Peter Brock made to Holden, motorsport, road safety and to the Australian community in general is legendary. It’s appropriate we would use the Director, and naturally it’s going to be associated with his legacy.”

Holden Director corneringThere is logic to Holden’s decision. As well as being a solid gold marketing opportunity, for right or wrong the Director was Brock’s vision of the ultimate sports-luxury Commodore, an Australian car that could take on the best from Europe. In that regard, it makes sense that the ultimate version of Holden’s sports-luxury Calais should carry the moniker.

A Holden spokesman told MOTOR it was felt that enough time had passed that the badge could be used as a celebration of Brock’s legacy rather than a reminder of the lowest point of relationship between the two.

What do you think of Holden’s decision to use the Director nameplate? What name would you have chosen instead? Let us know in the comments below.