Conceived in the Molina Albert Park backyard the MM (Molina/Massola) Holden was indeed something special. It consisted of a Silvio Massola home made chassis, Standard 12 front end, H.R.G differential and gearbox, early 1948 Holden motor and a very attractive body by Brian Burnett.
The MM had its first serious outing (after having run at Fishermen's Bend on the 3rd October) on November 21st at the 1953 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park. Lou Molina piloting the car over the 64 lap 200 mile event finished in a remarkable 5th place. This was an even more remarkable feat considering this locally built race car was so new that it had only been run up and down some of the nearby streets in the dark of night before the 18th Australian GP meeting being held for the first time at Albert Park in Melbourne. The 2290cc MM Holden started at 30th place on the grid with the race including such legends as Stan Jones in the Maybach Mk 1, Jack Brabham who failed to start in his Cooper Bristol, Lex Davison in the HWM Jaguar and Bib Stilwell in an Austin Healey. The race was won by Doug Whiteford in his Lago Talbot T26C whilst 5th position for the MM secured 75 pounds prize money. The MM raced the following year at the 1954 New Zealand Grand Prix with Molina competing alongside other Australian drivers including Jack Brabham, Stan Jones, Tony Gaze, Alec Mildren and Maurie Stanton. January 9th 1954 was the first NZ GP at Ardmore south of Auckland but unfortunately on this occasion the MM was not so successful retiring early on with mechanical problems whilst a similar fate also befell 1951 Le Mans winner, England's Peter Whitehead with his V12 Ferrari 125. Amongst other notable runs, in1956 the MM Holden Special finished in the top six at the Argus Cup again at Albert Park and also clocked 15.3 seconds for the standing quarter mile at the Geelong Sprints.
According to John Blanden's definitive book 'Historic Racing Cars in Australia' first published in 1979 and in which this car features extensively the MM was destroyed by fire in 1963. "In the late 1990s CAMS was approached by Roy Williams of Geelong seeking to build a recreation of the original MM Holden." The project was approved "..with the construction with enthusiasm and with the assistance of Sil Massola, the Molina and Leech families."
This important piece of Australian motor racing history is a fast and competitive historic racer, its current owner of the last ten years now deeming it too speedy for his years and worthy of a new more daring owner in the cockpit to continue the legend. The car today can still be run as a either a racing car stripped for action or sports car with road equipment as it did in its heyday in the 1950s.
The auction takes place tonight at Motorclassica. You don't have to be there to bid. Go to the Motorclassica website to register. Yet another grey Holden powered special of some significance. Estimated value expected to be between $140,000 and $180,000.