Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
The first car that wore the Holden badge and its production started in 1948 after two years of trials in the Australian environment.
When General Motors decided to build a car specifically for the Australian market, the American giant carmaker already owned the Holden company, which was specialized in bodyworks for various chassis. It was a challenge and the first vehicle that bears the Holden name. The car was unveiled at the Oriental Hotel in Melbourne on November 26th, 1948, and had the unusual name of 48-215. Later on, it was nicknamed FX by a local dealer.
From the outside, it looked just like a regular American car from the ’40s, with rounded bodywork and wide fenders both front and rear. The split-windshield with its pined-out center was considered an aerodynamic improvement for a sedan. Its prominent chromed grille featured a taller middle side, behind the chromed bumper. It looked just like a scaled-down Chevrolet since the initial project was for an American car, but it was considered too small for U.S. customers.
Inside, the carmaker used the know-how from General Motors and installed a bench at the front and another one in the back. The car could carry up to five adults inside.
Holden built the 48-215 based on the 1938 Experimental Light Car 195-Y-15. The GM engineers tried to build a monocoque vehicle on that project, which was 10 percent lighter than the body-on-frame ones with similar size. The result was a one-ton vehicle powered by an inline-six engine that developed 60 hp. For those times, it was a fast car despite its three-speed manual gearbox, and it could hit 80 mph (129 kph).