The FJ came along after five years of producing the
48-215 (FX) and was basically the same car with a few
minor alterations to the body. Minor alterations?, tell
that to the folk of 1953 who were dazzled with the fantastic
bright work and creature comforts introduced that year!
The rather boring vertical grille was replaced by an elegant
finned and detailed version, and the new chrome cone shaped
hubcaps looked the part. There were new bright metal body
decorations, 5.90 x 15 tires, new bumpers and wonderful
new chrome fins placed on the rear mudguards.
And at last the Holden could be seriously optioned. For
example, the 'Special' featured armrests, deluxe leather
seat trim, front door courtesy switches, chrome instrument
surrounds, black knobs with chrome inserts, dash facia
grille extending to the glovebox, rear passenger assist
straps, window winders, a cigarette lighter and (for the
first time) came in a two-tone finish.
The FJ afforded excellent ground clearance, a good ride
(the FJ still came with the tried and true FX suspension),
a rugged drivetrain, energetic performance, comfortable
seating for six, low maintenance, fuel economy and unbeatable
value for money. For the time the whole package was well
The FJ was a marketing success, selling itself incredibly
well and beyond the most opportunistic marketing managers
estimates - invariably there were waiting lists at every
The FJ Holden was the car everyone wanted to own
- which was no doubt a worry for other manufacturers whose
sales were sliding in the other direction. Once again
demand far outstripped supply and GMH needed to expand
Raising the profile of the FJ (particularly for its
reliability and strength) were people such as "Gelignite Jack"
Murray, who raced the FJ around Australia in the Redex
and Ampol Trials - as well as in exotic overseas events
such as the Monte Carlo rallye.New Zealanders could also join in the love affair we Australians
were experiencing, with shipments to the "land
of the long white cloud"
commencing in 1954.