Society of
Automotive Historians

Wheels Across the Pacific Symposium

An Australian Ford XM Falcon "Ute" (Photo by GTHO)
1968 Holden Monaro Automobile
1968 Holden Monaro (HK) Coupe (Photo by "Jeremy")

For decades, the Australia and North American automobile industries have shared components, parts, staff, engineering skills and design expertise, not to mention business and management structures as well as advertising and trade practices. The result has been many unique vehicles.  

In September of 2022, the SAH co-hosted a virtual symposia on trans-Pacific automobile history with the Automotive Historians Australia (AHA). The symposium saw presentations on various aspects of Australian and North American automobile industries.  Featuring papers by SAH and AHA members, topics ranged from the design of individual cars to the importation of Australian cars into North America, and from the relationships of women and automobiles in the United States and Australia to the challenges people and institutions face today with respect to preserving automobile history and presenting that history to the public.  

Streamed live, and free for SAH and AHA members, the symposium was a great success. It’s hoped the 2022 meeting will be the first of many symposia on the trans-Pacific history of the automobile industry in the coming years.

If you are a member of the SAH, be sure to participate in the next Wheels Across the Pacific Symposium. If you are interested in the trans-Pacific history of the Australian and North American auto industries, be sure to submit a paper! 

1960 Goggomobil Dart Microcar, made in Australia (NRMA Motoring and Services)

The Next Pacific Symposium

Keep an eye on this page for details concerning the next Symposium. We’ll publish them here as soon as they are avalable.

The 2022 Wheels Across the Pacific Symposium

The Automotive Historians Australia (AHA) and the SAH co-convened the one-day online symposium on September 17, 2022. Ten speakers presented nine papers, exploring ways in which the Australian and North American auto industries shared parts and components, staff, expertise and skills, engineering, design and studio practices, business and management structures, and advertising and trade practices. 

Credit goes to the AHA for organizing and administering the event, and extra credit goes to students at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) for staging and recording the event in one of the campus auditoriums. With a twelve-to-fifteen-hour time difference (depending on your North American time zone) the symposium ran from mid-afternoon to near midnight on Saturday, September 17, which was Sunday morning to Sunday afternoon in Australia.

The program can be found here.

Since the conference was virtual, it could be recorded. The videos will be released soon. When they are, please find the links below: