A DINKY-DI Australian icon, the famous FJ is perhaps the most fondly remembered of all the early Holdens. Today, the sight of its big, bold, familiar front grille has the power to transport nostalgic baby boomers back to that fabulous era when the fifties stood for rock 'n roll and not your age group.
The bond could go even deeper, according to social historians, because many of those boomers may well have been conceived in the back seat of an FJ Holden. The first car that many ordinary Australians had ever owned, it sold in unprecedented numbers and offered an equally unprecedented degree of mobility, freedom and privacy. The FJ became an enduring symbol of the Aussie way of life, serenaded in song and awarded the distinction of the title role in a feature-length movie.
Essentially a face-lifted version of its predecessor, the FX or 48-215 model, the FJ's main external distinguishing features were a torpedo-style tail light and the horizontal, American-influenced chrome grille with twin port 'nostrils' - a distinctive Holden characteristic later echoed in the strong hood design of the VR, VS and VT Commodore models.
In tune with the times, which saw post-war austerity overtaken by the growth of the consumer society, the FJ ushered in the first de luxe Holden, the Special, adding a pampering touch to the brand's straightforward virtues of value for money, durability and impressive performance. Instantly popular, the Special sported more bright metal body decoration, including tiny tail fins with built-in reflectors, and offered such enticements as leather trim, armrests, cigarette lighter, rear passenger assist straps, chrome window winders and gee-whiz two-tone colour combinations.
"From every angle," read the sales brochure, "Holden Special is a graceful beauty." Headlined as 'Australia's Own Car' and splashed with golden wattle, the brochure also extolled the virtues of the more spartan Standard model, praised for its six passenger roominess, family-sized luggage compartment and PVC upholstery - "...a recently developed plastic coated material with exceptional durability and a finish simulating antique leather." The Business sedan was aimed at the commercial market and "specially equipped to meet the particular needs of business and country users whose vehicles are engaged in heavy work or are located in arduous country."
A utility was also offered, and the first Holden panel van made its debut two months after the FJ's October 1953 launch. Utility-based, with an extended roof and an extra upper tailgate, the panel van found ready acceptance in a booming market, which saw eager consumers snap up the new Holdens at record rates and entrench GMH in the number one sales position.
By 1954, FJ Holdens were being produced at assembly plants nationwide at the rate of 250 per day - not nearly enough to satisfy demand. The same year, however, GMH took the decision to ship FJs to New Zealand "in the national interest", beginning an export drive that by 1956 saw Holdens on the road in Thailand, Malaya and North Bomeo. GMH celebrated the production of the 250,000th Holden, an FJ, in January 1956. It had taken the company just over seven years to produce its quarter millionth car - and the magic million mark would be reached only six and a half years later.
- Year of Introduction: 1953
- Engine: 2.15 litre or 123.5 cu.in. 6 cylinder
- Power: 45kW or 60bhp
- Transmission: 3 speed manual
- Performance: 0 - 100 km/h 20.0 seconds; Standing 400 metres 20.5 seconds
- Production: 169,969
- Price: $2,046
WP1 - At the coordinates given above you will find a 5 digit number at ground level (ABCED). The location of the next waypoint is calculated as follows:
S 35 (A)(A+D).(C-E)(A+C)(B)
E 149 (B)(D+3).(A)(C+2)(E+8)
WP2 - At the next location you will find a 5 digit number at a height of about 6ft (GFHIJ). The final location is calculated as follows:
S 35 (F)(H).(I-F)(F+G)(J)
E 149 (F-1)(J).(H)(H+G)(I+G)
The cache is a small Tupperware type container with a grey lid. Please rehide it so that it is not too obvious!
*****FTF-Sol de lune & AusCan1965*****