As was the case with the previous
2 body shapes, the FB holden was facelifted in 1961
and released as the "EK".
The list of refinements included revised interior trim,
new exterior badges and mouldings (the rear-side color
flash of the FC and FB was deleted), a new fresh-air/heating
unit, a new ventilation air intake located forward
of the windscreen and a new grille with eight vertical
bars instead of six. Parking lights were incorporated
into the top grille bar.
At last the old "vacuum" wipers were replaced
with electrically operated units, which were indeed far
superior if not far safer! Most noteable was the availability
of a new "Hydramatic" 3 speed automatic transmission.
Imported from America, the Hydramatic was regarded as
one of the best available in the world - and brought the
"EK" to a new level of luxury.
Once again there were two levels of refinement, "Standard"
being the basic car with no additional trimming or
fittings, the body being painted in a single color
the most popular model, with stainless steel trims
along the side, chrome Special badges, two-tone vinyl
interiors, as well as a better choice of exterior colors
with a white roof.
Holden choose to make the Hydramatic available as an
option only on the "Special", while their
two commercial vehicles, the utility and panel van,
remained almost identical to the previous model, the
FB. In fact, the FB rear quarter panels and tail lights
were carried over to the EK commercials.
In 1961 there were 112,680 sold to the public and Holden
employed over 18,500 people, however sales the following
year slowed as both Ford and Chrysler ate into the
Holden market dominance.
The latter two manufacturers
had introduced the Australian public to the "compact sixes",
which had a more sophisticated and less cumbersome
GMH designers began work on their version of the "compact
six", but it was to take another year before the
EJ model was to be released. The R Series Valiant and
Ford Falcon had not only arrived, but were proving
to be worthy competitors.