(from General Motors Press Release)
Holden has solved one of the Australian automotive industry’s
long-standing mysteries by confirming the existence of a convertible
But the one-off vehicle, built by contractors TWR Engineering and Edscha
in Europe two years ago, will never reach production.
Holden showed the convertible, codenamed Marilyn, at a unique event in
Melbourne highlighting a dozen hallmark concept cars from Holden and its
partners dating back as far as the 1970 GTR-X.
The event at Flemington Racecourse was the first time such an array of
concept vehicles, conservatively valued at $25 million, had been shown
by any Australian carmaker.
Marilyn was a surprise attendee at the event which brought together some
of the defining vehicles of Australian motor shows.
Marilyn was built by the now defunct TWR Engineering in 2002 at the
request of the Holden Board of Directors to investigate whether a
convertible program was possible. Financial analysis confirmed that the
costs associated with producing a current platform coupe convertible
could not be justified.
Other vehicles in the invitation-only event included Marilyn’s
relatives, the original Coupe concept that stole the 1998 Sydney
International Motor Show; and two joint projects for Holden and Holden
Special Vehicles - HRT427 from 2002 and the Coupe4 all-wheel-drive from
the 2003 Sydney show.
Other one-off vehicles included GTR-X, one of Holden’s first concept
vehicles dating back to 1970, the reincarnation of the Sandman panel van
from 2000, SSX all-wheel-drive hatch from 2002 and UTEster utility from
2001, YGM1 sport utility, Cross 8 and recent 2004 Melbourne Motor Show
standouts - SST, Elfin MS8 Clubman and MS8 Streamliner.
Holden Executive Director GM Asia Pacific Design, Michael Simcoe said
that Holden’s concept vehicles had played an integral role in showcasing
Holden’s design prowess on the world stage.
"Concept cars characterise everything that is exciting about the
creative process in automotive design. They can transform people’s
perceptions of what is possible in terms of design and engineering", he
"There is no doubt that the Coupe Concept provided the catalyst for all
that came after, because it allowed us to believe in ourselves. It gave
us permission to push forward and continue to create, through these
vehicles and those to come, a clear and strong vision of what Holden is
and where it intends to go.
"The TWR Engineering brief for Marilyn was to produce a convertible
design based on minimum changes to the coupe."
Amongst the changes needed to successfully complete the task were
changes to A-pillar assemblies, rear quarter body panels, trunk lid
outer and the doors were modified to take a frameless glass system.
There were reinforcements made on the underbody and mountings for a
bolt-on cruciform structure to help optimise structural requirements.
The fully lined and insulated black canopy was designed as a six-bow
system to retain styling shape and roof operation is fully automatic
with a competitive cycle time.