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Holden Model Specifications: Holden 48-215


Although its official model code is 48/215, the first Holden is widely known as the FX. Those two letters are thought to have been adopted by used-car dealers when its successor, the FJ, appeared, but FX never appeared on any official Holden records.

Plans for its development moved into gear in 1944, when the Federal Government asked manufacturers to submit proposals for the production of an Australian car; a move aimed at accelerating post-war industrial growth. General Motors-Holden’s (GMH) - its technical and manufacturing expertise advanced through wartime mobilisation - accepted and completed the challenge of building the nation’s first successfully mass-produced car.

Adapted from a US design, the first Holden was nevertheless a uniquely Australian car.

GMH worked hard to lift production rates, which rose from an initial 10 units a day to 100 per day in 1951, when the first Coupe Utility was launched. By 1953, when the fleet- and taxi-oriented Business sedan was introduced, the rate was close to 200 per day.

The Holden boasted ‘Aerobilt’ body construction, a relatively new engineering principle that combined body and chassis into one all-steel unit, increasing rigidity and reducing weight. With a top speed of over 80 mph (130 km/h), it could cruise all day at 65 mph (105 km/h) - at a time when it was rare to see any car travelling at over 70 mph - and it took steep hills in its top-gear stride.

The 48-215 would typically return overall fuel economy figures of 30 miles per gallon (9.4L/100km) - a staggering result for such a lively performer and particularly welcome in an era that encompassed petrol rationing, Within a few short years, the dependable Holden had also built a reputation for rugged reliability and ease of servicing that endures into modem times.

One of the first new cars to be built anywhere in the world following the Second World War, the Holden made automotive history, gaining GMH market leadership by 1951 ~ a feat that would have been accomplished as early as 1949 if supply had matched demand.





Holden 48-215: General Facts


Total number built

Model line up
Sedan, Business sedan (introduced 1953) Coupe Utility (introduced 1951 )

Price at introduction
Base price at introduction $1,466/£733 (inc. sales tax)

2.15 litre/132.5 cu.in. OHV six-cylinder

Power Output
45kW/60bhp @ 3800rpm

Three-speed manual gearbox, synchromesh on 2nd and 3rd.
Column mounted shift lever

Dimensions (sedan)
Length 4370mm; Wheelbase 2616mm; Width 1702mm

Fuel Tank
43 litres/9.5 gallons



Prototype Holden 'FX' - the First Aussie Car



Unofficial FX designation origins

Where did the 'FX' designation originate ?
It is believed that Repco were responsible for the FX prefix. Parts books in 1957 show the first reference to the FX Holden and this seems to have come about by Holden naming it's second vehicle the FJ and than third variant the FE. The X is used because X typically stands for unknown.



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