Echuca 3

John Vandeven

Albury, Australia

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The Holden museum at Echuca
Canon 50D
Single image enhanced with HDR

History of australia first Holden made….The FX

Produced November 1948 to September 1953.

Australia was a different place in 1948, the Second World War had finished in 1945 and was still fresh in everyones memory. Australians of the time hungered for American style freedom and American styled cars, infact at the time America was very well loved and respected by the general population for the help they had given Australia during the war. It was in these years that only around 1 in 8 Australians owned an automotive but by the time Holdens new construction had finished its run this ratio was closer to 1 in 4.
This model was where it all began, often referred to as the FX Holden, it’s real name is the 48/215, 48 being the year it started production and 215 being Standard Sedan (the numbering system remained with Holdens for many years to come with 215 always signifying the Standard type of each model). When produced the FX was the first mass produced six seater car produced in Australia and it had to compete with 4 cylinder British cars as well as many American vehicles. Much of Australian automotives of the time were either pre-war
Workers with FX Grills during manufacture
Workers with FX Grills during manufacture
American or British and so an Australian car was very well recieved, especially by government and businesses who snapped them up like hot cakes to replace their pre-war American fleets.

The FX was given a 2.17 Litre 6 cylinder motor which was later referred to as a “Grey Motor” due to its colour. The motor was used with a 3 speed column shift gearbox and could achieve around 30 miles to the gallon and 80 miles per hour (with a hefty run up). The Grey Motor was used right up until the EH Holden was preduced in August 1963 with the new “Red Motor”.

The standard features of the FX Holden included a key-operated drivers door lock, flipper windows, no chrome mouldings, adjustable air scoop between the bonnet and windscreen, no heater, one sunvisor, one tail-light and no turn indicators (people of the time used an arm out the window to indicate which direction they wished to turn). Options included an ‘Air Chief 5’ radio, lefthand side sun-visor, a rear venetian blind, a locking petrol cap and a heavy duty oil bath air-cleaner. There was only 4 exterior colours available: Black, Convoy Grey, Gawler Cream and Seine Blue.

In 1951 the first Holden ute was produced and it was another hot cake, especially for farmers and workers.
Even though the 48/215 showed a lack of refinement it was still in such demand that General Motors Holden had to release a book of testimonials saying why the Holden was worth waiting for. It took a year for Holden to lift production to 1000 cars per month (it originally was 10 per day) but by 1953 when they released the first of the “Business Sedans” (bought by businesses like taxi companies) they had lifted production to around 200 cars a day.






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