Monday, September 21, 2009

Beat On The Street: FE Holden


Australians seem to believe, and rightly so, that the usable life of a vehicle is much longer that Americans tend to think. Driving around the streets of Melbourne, Sydney, and all country towns in between, vehicles from the 50's, 60's, and 70's are still used in daily service.
Just look at this controversial bumper sticker equipped FE Holden Special parked in Sydney's Kings Cross district, still apparently used as a daily driver. It's even ambitiously equipped with a trailer hitch, should you need to start your own outback road train.

Released in mid-1956, FE Holdens were GM of Australia's first new design after their famed first 48-215 and FJ models. The small, stark vehicles owe their long service life to design simplicity and a low-stress and near maintenance-free Pre-War Buick derived 133ci OHV straight six, dubbed the 'Grey Motor'. Although almost completely Australian, the American influence of the design is obvious in that the car could be mistaken for a 3/4 scale 1955 Chevrolet.

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