1960 Year In Review

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Peugeot 404 The Peugeot 404 would prove to be one of the best built and durable cars, ever.

Holden FB
Holdens answer to Australia's desire to be more 'American' was the longer, more elegant FB. But unlike the new Falcon, the FB carried over many outdated 1950's design cues, most noteably the tail fins.

Holden FB Ute
The "Business" sedan may have been dropped, but the Ute remained a favourite for the tradesman.

Ford Falcon XK
The 'Americana' styling of the all new XK Falcon captured the heart and mind of many Australian motorists.

Vauxhall Cresta at Phillip Island
The 1960 "Great Race" was not held at Bathurst, but at Phillip Island in Victoria. Titled the "Armstrong 500", the victors were John Roxburg & Frank Coad in their Vauxhall PA Cresta.

The Peugeot 404

By the time 1960 rolled around, Peugeot had built an enviable reputation for strength, reliability and durability following the Redex trials. Naturally the locally "built tough for Australian conditions" Holden’s were the favourites - but it was the rugged little Peugeot 203, with its small capacity 1200cc 4 cylinder motor that was to tame the larger more powerful Aussie cars.

And so when Peugeot released the 404 in 1960 many astute Australians lined up at their local dealership. But the popularity of the 404 was not contained to Australia, in fact the rest of the world fell in love with the car, making it easily one of the most recognisable cars around. Production of the 404 would continue in Nigeria until 1987, such was its reputation for strength and durability.

The FB Holden

During the 1950's Australia had become decidedly more American, particularly in motoring taste. Holdens answer was the release of the all new "FB Holden". Mechanically, the new model was a further refinement of the FC Holden, but the appearance was significantly changed with a wraparound windscreen, a lower bonnet line and finned rear guards.

A more efficient interior layout increased usable room. The length was increased (although the wheelbase remained the same) and the 'grey' engine was slightly enlarged to produce 56 kW. Due to the slightly increased weight, however, the performance remained unchanged. The FB was the first Holden with acrylic paintwork. It incorporated upgraded brakes, heavier front coil springs and a reworked interior. The range included six models (the Business sedan was dropped). Holden may have produced its 750,000th car, and even be manufacturing left-hand-drive versions for shipment to Hawaii, but it now faced a serious competitor.

A Serious Challenge By Ford

By 1959 Ford knew that the Zephyr, despite being a very good car, was never going to challenge the Holden for market leadership. But Ford had a new rival for it, the Falcon. When Robert MacNamara became President of Ford in 1960, he immediately set the Company on the course of producing a new mass market family car. The resulting Ford Falcon was to become immediately popular, although more so in Australia than the US.

The new sleek 'Americana' body shape would find favour with Australian motorists, even though Holden had just released their all new FB model. The "fins" of the 1950's were a thing of the past, and many thought the new Holden was a step backward, while the Falcon represented the future style in automobile design. With the benefit of hindsight we can see exactly what they meant!

When the calendar year sales figures for 1959 were released (in 1960), it showed that 268,015 motor vehicles were registered in Australia! And while the new Falcon was to prove a hit down under, over in the USA the Ford parent company were forced to drop the Edsel from its range after two nightmare years on the market. 1960 would see Sir Jack Brabham both holiday and race in Australia, after clinching the World Drivers Championship at the US Grand Prix in December 1959.

Exploration of the Pilbara iron-ore deposits of Western Australia would begin in 1960, with 10 new towns being established in the process.

Formula One Championship:

Jack Brabham (Australia) / Cooper-Climax

1960 Bathurst Winner:

John Roxburg & Frank Coad / Vauxhall PA Cresta

NRL Grand Final:

VFL/AFL Grand Final:

Melbourne Cup:

Hi Jinx (W. A. Smith)

Wimbledon Women:

Maria Bueno d. S. Reynolds (8-6 6-0)

Wimbledon Men: Neale Fraser d. R. Laver (6-4 3-6 9-7 7-5)

The Movies:

  • Psycho
  • The Apartment
  • The Sundowners
  • Sons and Lovers
  • The Alamo
  • Elmer Gantry
  • North by Northwest
  • Pillow Talk
  • Summer of the Seventeenth Doll
  • El Paso
  • Anatomy of a Murder
  • Carry on Teacher

Academy Awards:

  • Best Picture - The Apartment
  • Best Actor - Burt Lancaster (Elmer Gantry)
  • Best Actress - Elizabeth Taylor (Butterfield 8)

Gold Logie:

Graham Kennedy (In Melbourne Tonight, GTV9)

The Charts:

  1. It's Now or Never - Elvis Presley
  2. Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport - Rolf Harris
  3. Just A Closer Walk With Thee - Jimmie Rodgers
  4. North To Alaska - Johnny Horton
  5. Clap Your Hands - The Beau Marks
  6. Peter Gunn - Duane Eddy & The Rebels
  7. Yes Sir, That's My Baby - Ricky Nelson/Col Joye & The Joy Boys
  8. He'll Have To Go - Jim Reeves
  9. Are You Lonesome Tonight? - Elvis Presley
  10. My Old Man's A Dustman - Lonnie Donegan


  • Boris Pasternak (winner of the Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature and author of Doctor Zhivago)
  • Emily Post (author of "Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home")
  • Lawrence Tibbett (Baritone)
  • Albert Camus (French writer)
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