Cohort Sighting: 1953 Holden FJ Ute – In Memoriam

Holden FJ 1953 ute f

I saw the demise of Ford and GM in Australia coming a long time ago and predicted it in 2008; at the time it was a subject no one was talking about in the US. Ford’s already given notice, and now Holden has been given the death sentence, with its plants shutting down by 2017. So the appearance of this FJ at the Cohort makes a nice moment to remember Holden’s better days.

Holden FJ 1953 ute s

The FJ holds a special place in the hearts of Holden lovers, not unlike the passions that the tri-five Chevies have inspired for over half a century in the US. Marlin87 found and posted this gem at the Cohort, and it marks the first appearance of an FJ here. The passion about early Holdens is understandable, as they were Australia’s first cars they could call their own, even if the design had its roots in a still-born Chevrolet prototype.

The FJ was the second Holden model, appearing in 1953 and succeeding the first, the 48-215, commonly called the FX. Built from 1953 to 1956, the FJ’s OHV six had a displacement of 2.2 L (132.5 cubic inches), and was rated at 60 hp; later upped to 65 hp. It strongly resembles a down-sized Chevrolet six of the era.

holden FJ

Of course there was a sedan along with the ute. The original origins of the 48-215 was a Chevrolet prototype, often mistaken for the 1947 Chevrolet Cadet, GM’s ambitious but aborted compact car program from the immediate post-war years. But the Holden was based an an earlier small car prototype, dating to the pre-war years when GM was already considering a compact car. Its general configuration, design and tallness mark its origins in the late thirties, as the Cadet was a lower and more modern design.


Holden Efijy-Concept

The 50th anniversary of the FJ inspired the 2005 Efijy concept, a rather cartoonish affair that one might expect to see at SEMA. So now that the plug is to be pulled on Holden, maybe a 60th anniversary FJ concept is in order, but in black, and with a hearse body. Pass me the tissue; it’s always hard to think of another brand dying.