Holden 6 Cylinder Red Motor

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Holden HR Red Motor
If we could turn back time, to a place where women would be impressed with gold-painted air cleaners and Holden Red Engines...

Holden Technical Specifications:
Holden EH Specifications
Holden HD Specifications
Holden HR Specifications
Holden HK Specifications
Holden HT Specifications
Holden HG Specifications
Holden HQ Specifications
Holden HJ Specifications
Holden HX Specifications
Holden HZ Specifications
Holden WB Specifications

Torana Technical Specifications:
Holden Torana LC Specifications
Holden Torana LJ Specifications
Holden Torana LH Specifications
Holden Torana LX Specifications
Holden Torana UC Specifications

Commodore Technical Specifications:
Holden Commodore VB Specifications
Holden Commodore VC Specifications
Holden Commodore VH Specifications
Holden Commodore VK Specifications

Also see:
Holden 6 Cylinder Timeline
Holden Red Motor Engine Identification Guide
Holden History
All Holden Day
Holden Car Commercials
Nasco Holden Accessories Commercials

In 1963, two versions of a totally new "Red"' 6-cylinder engine were born. They were over-square in design with lower piston speeds, with capacities of '149' and '179' cubic inches respectively. The 149 Red Engine produced 100 bhp, while the 179 was good for 115 bhp, an increase of 33% and 53% over their predecessors. The all-new "Red" engines featured:

  • Shorter stroke
  • Larger bore
  • Greater displacement
  • Increased compression ratios (8.8:1)
  • Seven-bearing cranks
  • Hydraulic valve lifters

The Red engine quickly garnished a wonderful reputation amoungst the Australian population, many considering them simply indestructable. It would continue in production for many years and in many models, finally making its last appearance in 1980 VB Commodore. Subsequent Commodore's were fitted with the "Blue" motor, from the VC through VH and VK until again being dropped in favour of a Nissan sourced 3 liter engine for the VL model.

The Blue engine was, however, very much the same Red motor that had been introduced back in 1963, although with many modifications and improvements along the way. In fact, the Red engine was modified for just about every new model Holden, particularly in capacity, and the biggest changes of all were reserved for its last outing in the VK Commodore.

Few mechanics from 1963 would be able to recognise the old girl, it now being fitted with (amoung other things) electronic fuel-injection and a computerised engine management system designed to improve the performance of the engine without loss of fuel economy. At this last stage of its development, the engine developed 106 kW (DIN) and 266 Nm - not too bad for a 21 year old 3.3- liter six!

Holden "Red" Motor
image from original Holden EH sales brochure
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