2021 Shannons '40th Anniversary' Timed Online Auction
1956 Holden FE Special Sedan
|Wheels||Steel wheels with hubcaps|
This lot is no longer available
Although still selling strongly, the original Holden design was looking a little dated by the mid-‘50s and General Motors took the opportunity to release a completely restyled model, designated the FE, in July 1956. With integrated rear guards and a curved one-piece windscreen, the Holden took on a much more modern appearance, more in keeping with contemporary Chevrolets. The engine produced more power, steering was improved with the adoption of a sealed recirculating-ball system, there were better brakes and 12-volt electrics for the first time, with a key-operated starter. Inside, a new dash with built-in speaker grille, lockable glove box and redesigned instrument cluster was the big news but a host of minor changes, such as pendant-style clutch and brake pedals, made the FE more pleasant to drive. Holden raised the compression ratio on the grey motor to 6.8:1, added bigger valves and stronger pistons to increase power and improve performance, while smaller 13-inch wheels gave better roadholding. The FE proved as popular as its FX/FJ predecessors, selling more than 150,000 units in just under two years of production, and saw the introduction of a new Station Sedan (wagon) variant, while the commercials (ute and panel van) remained very popular with tradesmen.