News and Reviews

A History of Australian Motoring Part 2 of 3

December, 2011

Part 2 of 3

At John Hughes, we have played a part in a huge history of Australian Motoring.

Last month, we brought you Part one of our 3-part history of Australian Motoring blog series. This month, we’re looking at Formula One wins, muscle cars and Australia’s first parking metre (probably one which we all wish had never happened!)



1948 Prime Minister Ben Chifley unveils the first Holden car ever, the 48-215 on 29 November.


1951 – After strict rationing measures during World War II, petrol rationing in Australia is finally ended by the Menzies Government.


1954 – All inter-state road transport is freed from forms of economic regulation as a result of the Hughes and Vale case.


1955 – Hobart City Council installs Australia’s first parking meter on the 1st April. They initially cost six pence (around 5 cents) for 30 minutes.


1959 Aussie driving legend Arthur “Jack” Brabham wins his first Formula One. He went on to win twice more, in 1960 and 1966.


1960 – Imports of Japanese vehicles in volume commence. They make up only 0.1 per cent of market share at this stage.


1967 – Peter Wherrett, Australian motor sport journalist, sets up Australia’s first post-licence driver training school for motor car driving enthusiasts.


1970 – Victoria becomes the first state in the world to make seat belts in the front seat compulsory. NSW follows suit the year after.


1972 – Motor racing driver Peter Brock wins his first Bathurst 500 (as it was then known). He goes on to win the even nine times between 1972 and 1987. Nobody to this date has equalled this achievement.


1974 – Australian TV show Torque first airs, becoming the world’s first television motoring series. Also, Australia adopts the National Highway system, which to this day remains the official highway numbering system.


Read Part 1

Stay tuned for part 3 of our History of Australian Motoring!


What other milestones and important events can you think of in Australian motoring history before between the 1940s and 1970s?


Get in touch

Visit us

49 Shepperton Road Victoria Park WA 6100

Get directions ›

General Enquiry

All fields are required

By submitting my enquiry, I agree to the John Hughes Group Privacy Policy.

Call Us

Parts & Accessories