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  • Writer's pictureJames Meale

Hatch Hacked

The Torana Hatchback SS was the very first car I ever wanted to own - well it was the first car that I was old enough to imagine owning at least. From the moment I saw a Papaya SS in a Holden showroom, I was hooked. When they started to race them in A9X form, my lust to own one went to another level completely!

Cruising in an SS - a 308 manual of course - in fast back style, over-the-top stripes, retina scorching orange paintwork, and a pair of Polaroid sunnies, just seemed like to coolest thing a young Aussie revhead could possibly do. Slipping away for a weekend with your girl and getting familiar with nature in your ‘Hatch Hutch’ would have been the pink icing on the cake! Ever notice that a bikini girl is never far away from a Hatch Hutch in brochures?

You get the picture, Torana SS Hatchback, plus Hatch Hutch and girlfriend, equals the coolest life in the history of the world!

Recently a shocking discovery has torn a gaping hole in the fabric of my childhood dream life. Holden did not invent the Hatch Hutch! General Motors had introduced the ‘Hatchback Hutch’ for the Chevy Nova years before a Papaya SS ever came down the assembly line! The ’73 Nova and its siblings - Oldsmobile Omega, Pontiac Ventura and Buick Apollo, were flaunting the Hatchback Hutch in camping grounds across America. At the very same time Greg Brady could also head down to his local dealer and sign up for a Hatchback Hutch option on his new Chevy Vega!

The Americans were Hatch Hutching in the thousands, while Aussies were still sleeping in the back seat under a chenille bedspread!

What makes matters worse is that it wasn’t exclusive to GM either. AMC also equipped their Hornet hatchback with the curiously similar titled Hornet Hutch. This sordid affair had been happening in plain sight for decades without me knowing. It was no secret - if I had ever conceived of typing ‘chevy hatchback hutch’ into Google, all sorts of images of people hatching and hutching would have appeared right before my eyes.

It’s not been a pleasant discovery, but I guess the bright side is I can be thankful my Papaya tinted dream lasted untainted as long as it did.

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