Shopping: Real Estate |  Costumes  |  Guitars
This Issue Archived Articles Blog About Us Contact Us

Lang Lang's 50th Birthday

50 years of testing

by Holden and Julian Edgar

Click on pics to view larger images

Click for larger image

GM Holden’s proving ground at Lang Lang has just celebrated its 50th anniversary.

GM Holden’s Executive Director of Engineering Tony Hyde said: “Lang Lang has played a key role in the development and success of GM Holden since its earliest days.

“Having a world class testing facility has been integral in enabling Holden to develop generations of vehicles able to withstand the uniquely challenging Australian driving conditions.”

Located 95 kilometres south east of Melbourne, the 877 hectare site was Australia’s first automotive testing and development complex and has been the testing ground for every Holden from the FC to the recently released VE Ute.

Click for larger image

Behind the security fencing, more than 4.5 million kilometres are driven under test each year where prototype, pre-production and current production vehicles are tested on a variety of sealed and unsealed surfaces designed to replicate real world conditions.

The 44 kilometres of road systems are designed for specific and general durability testing as well as performance and high speed testing. This includes a banked 4.7km high speed track, a twist course, a noise road for noise and vibration development, a rattle and squeak track, tests hills and a skid pan.

Click for larger image

The proving ground also houses a safety test laboratory which is home to an extended family of state-of-the-art fully instrumented test dummies and has an airbag test and development capability.

A range of collision types can be reproduced at Lang Lang’s full compliance SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) barrier facility where cars are winched towards a 76 tonne concrete barrier at speeds of up to 90 km/h.

The proving ground’s emissions laboratory is capable of conducting a wide range of exhaust emission tests for certifying vehicles to Australian and international regulatory requirements.

Purchased by GM Holden in 1956, Lang Lang commenced operations in 1957 and is the lead test facility for General Motors in the Asia Pacific region.

But rather than go on and on about it, we thought we’d treat you to this wealth of historic pics...

Click for larger image

The high speed loop.

Click for larger image

The 1963 EH Holden range on the high speed loop.

Click for larger image

One of the prettiest Commodores never produced was 2000’s ECOmmodore (see Holden's Green Car). Unfortunately, all the driving it ever did was here...

Click for larger image

Back in the early days indeed, with some 1958 FC Holdens on display.

Click for larger image

Yes, that is the speed loop – still dirt! An amazing pic, but – rightly so – Holden engineers of the time probably thought high speed dirt was pretty damn relevant to Australians...

Click for larger image

The Holden Hurricane of May 1969 represented Holden’s forward thinking – but apart from the Australian-designed V8 (available in 253 and 308 cid versions), nothing else Hurricane found its way into Holden production cars...

Click for larger image

An HQ Holden prototype – probably from 1970 – sent to the wall. Note the outside crash testing facility and the structural integrity of the cabin – although we don’t know the impact speed.

Click for larger image

Emissions testing, where the driver needs to follow a monitor trace that shows required speed. We’re sure that Holden test drivers never bothered leaning out of the cabin like this – but it’s good for the photographer...

Click for larger image

Was the handbrake yanked on or was this the result of a massive throttle lift? Holden testing the dirt road handling of an early Astra...

Click for larger image

The HK Holden range on the speed loop, 1968....

Click for larger image

...and the LH Torana models, 1974.

Click for larger image

A VB Commodore – the first Commodore – being inspected after a frontal impact test. The test facility is still outside. Note the banks of (switched off) lights and the bicycle wheel speed monitoring device.

Click for larger image

But all was not speed loop or crashes. Here an HX GTS model undergoes the water splash test – with more mud than water. The year would have been about 1975.

Click for larger image

The Torana GTR-X was another Holden that never made it. Shown publicly in August 1970, the car even reached the stage of having journalists drive it. But it was not to be – something that with the market success of the Datsun 240Z, may have been the wrong decision.

Click for larger image

Was the high speed test loop used more for publicity pics or testing? Here are three VB Commodores in 1978. Note the headlights wipers of the SLE – you won’t find them on a VE Commodore!

Click for larger image

Without a doubt, the most beautiful car ever sold by Holden was the Monaro. Even in this image, the absolute grace of the shape still shows through...

Click for larger image

The sign says “16.0% hill” – and that’s pretty steep. The year would have been about 1958.

Click for larger image

More a publicity shot than one of testing, but the kangaroo crash test dummy was apparently also used in real crash testing – like Saab use a make-believe moose...

Click for larger image

Side impact testing of the Statesman and...

Click for larger image

...rough road testing by one Peter Brock in the 1984 VK Commodore.

Click for larger image

The photo’s captioned by Holden as the “65 litre airbag test’ and we’d assume it’s from the early Nineties.

Click for larger image

And bringing things right up to the present, here’s the VE Commodore undergoing testing at Lang Lang.

Sincere congratulations to Holden for the work that’s been done over the 50 years.

Did you enjoy this article?

Please consider supporting AutoSpeed with a small contribution. More Info...

Share this Article: 

More of our most popular articles.
Making your own automotive themed clock

DIY Tech Features - 28 October, 2008

DIY Workshop Clock

Fuel economy of 1 litre/100km from an amazing car

Technical Features - 11 June, 2002

The World's Most Fuel-Efficient Car

A very cheap workbench for your power tools

DIY Tech Features - 5 February, 2013

Building a power tool workbench

Why turbo engines give better fuel economy

Technical Features - 13 February, 2008

Turbo'd For Fuel Economy

Why an engine's peak power figure is becoming increasingly insignificant

Technical Features - 12 June, 2008

Forget the Kilowatts

A bloody nightmare...

DIY Tech Features - 6 March, 2012

A New Home Workshop, Part 5

Got an old cordless drill around the place? Here are the parts you can salvage from it!

DIY Tech Features - 8 May, 2008

A Heap of Parts for Nothing!

Installing the machinery in a home workshop

DIY Tech Features - 7 October, 2008

Building a Home Workshop, Part 9

One of the most extraordinary racing cars ever built

Special Features - 29 July, 2014

The Mercedes Benz W196

Starting with measuring the performance of the intake

DIY Tech Features - 25 January, 2011

Powering-Up the 1.9 litre TDI, Part 1

Copyright © 1996-2020 Web Publications Pty Limited. All Rights ReservedRSS|Privacy policy|Advertise
Consulting Services: Magento Experts|Technologies : Magento Extensions|ReadytoShip