THE IMMINENT retirement of the Holden brand in Australia has saddened many, but it came as no surprise to Kempsey car enthusiast Easy Mike Lonie.
"The writing's been on the wall since they stopped production here and moved their base back to America," Easy told the Argus.
"Basically they weren't producing what people wanted to buy."
Over the years Easy has owned more than his fair share of the iconic Aussie marque - including his first car as an 18-year-old back in the 1970s.
"As an apprentice butcher I had saved $1800 cash and back then what you had was what you could spend," he said.
"So I found a 1969 HT Holden Kingswood at a car yard in Gosford and it was $1800 - so that was it.
"And it was a great car."
Easy's connection with Holden was something of a generational tie.
His parents' first brand new car was a 1964 EH Holden, and Easy recalled the list of optional add-ons back then was revealing.
"A left hand rear view mirror, a radio, a sun visor - they were all options," he chuckled.
"I think the Belmont used to be the base model and the only thing standard they came with was a cigarette lighter."
These days Easy still has a Holden close to heart - a pride and joy LH 1974 SLR 5000 L34 Torana.
"The L34 was the last Holden factory produced race car," he said.
The Torana through its various guises has been wedded to the story of Bathurst - Australia's greatest motor race.
Easy has been along for the drive for nigh on his entire life.
"I watched Bathurst as a kid, probably from about the age of six. I used to sit there all day in my pyjamas watching the race," he said.
Since then he's also seen the great race at The Mountain live "at least 10 times".
While the story of Bathurst is fabled for its Holden-Ford rivalry, Easy is unsure what the future may look like.
"It depends on what GM (General Motors, the parent company of Holden) want to do," he said.
"They're focussing on the left hand drive market - maybe we'll see left hand Camaros at Bathurst. And there's a rumour going around that GM might retain HSV (Holden Special Vehicles) under some other name."
The one certainty is that things won't be the same in the wake of this week's announcement to end the story of Holden.
HOLDEN'S PROUD HISTORY IN AUSTRALIA
1856 - Holden begins as a South Australian saddlery business.
1917 - Holden manufactures vehicle bodies.
1931 - General Motors buys Holden Motor Body Builders.
1948 - The FX, the first Australian-designed car, is released.
1951 - Holden's first ute goes on sale.
1958 - South Australian manufacturing plant opens at Elizabeth, though it does not assemble its first full car until 1965.
1968 - Kingswood and Monaro enter the market.
1969 - Holden makes its first V8 engine.
1971 - Holden launches the HQ model. Considered by some to be the best Holden ever.
1978 - Commodore replaces Kingswood.
1990 - Holden's last Australian boss, John Bagshaw, quits.
2003 - Holden opens $400 million V6 engine plant at Port Melbourne, exports to Korea, China and Mexico begin. Toyota takes Holden's position as top-selling car brand.
2009 - Parent company, General Motors, files for bankruptcy in the US but survives.
2013 - Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the Government will reduce support for automotive manufacturers despite appeals for help.
2013 - Holden decides to end manufacturing in Australia by 2017. The Holden Commodore is to become a fully-imported car.
2017 - The company rolls its last car off the assembly line on October 20, ending more than 50 years of car production on the Elizabeth site.
2019 - GM announces it will discontinue its Commodore and Astra models in 2020.
2020 - General Motors announces the retirement of the Holden brand in Australia and New Zealand.