They built the bodies on all the
Chassis that were imported
into Australia from America
for many years.
The original Holden
Universally known as the FX
All FX and FJ Holdens had
Genuine leather upholstery.
Holden's second model
the FJ, shown here in
Our love affair with the ute
rivals that of America's
The HX Holden
the last one before they
were re-badged as the
Ford were the first company to
manufacture a utility in 1932.
Prior to that time inventive
farmers had been cutting the
back section from
"Tourer's" and building a
tray section on the back to
carry their farm needs around.
The first Ford Falcon
XL model 1961
built as a competitor to
the very popular Holden
Falcon's are still built today.
This was the car that
sealed the fate in Australia
for Leyland, although very
innovative in design the
P76 suffered from chronic
build faults that eventually
drove Leyland from our shores.
Some more background stuff.
During, and for some years after World War 2, there was petrol
rationing, dependant on the type of vehicle you drove and your
occupational priorities you were issued with ration tickets which
entitled you to buy petrol to the value of the tickets, no tickets..
Used car “Pegged Prices” There was a Government set price for any
make and model vehicle which was not to be exceeded, all this
managed to do was create a thriving “black market” trade in
secondhand cars, about as effective as Americas prohibition laws.
During World War 2 the practice of jacking cars up to take the weight
off their tyres became popular, lots of women didn’t drive back then
and petrol was very scarce anyway, this became known as “been on
blocks” when the car was put up for sale, it indicated that it had been
unused for the war years and commanded a higher price.
Australia used a method of extending petrol mileage known as
“Gas Producers” these consisted of a fire unit which worked on a
system not unlike a slow combustion fire where the fire of a charcoal
based fuel was fed a minimum amount of oxygen to retard the
burning, the gas that this fire produced was fed into the air intake of
the carburetor where it mixed with or in ideal situations replaced the
Fire and Petrol… not a good combination to have close together but
evidently there were very few accidents!!
To help eke out the precious supply of petrol it was not uncommon
to mix a proportion of power kerosene (which was a tractor fuel back
in the days before Diesels) that was a little easier to obtain than
petrol, this mixture needed to be in the right proportions or the car
wouldn’t run very well, if at all.
As the soldiers returned home and things started to get back to
normal there was a severe shortage of motor cars, and with at least
some of the population prepared to stick to the Government’s pegged
price the way was open for entrepreneur’s like my Dad to launch his
car dealing career.
Pre-war our range of cars was pretty varied with a fair percentage of
American cars mixed in with English and European makes, there was
no Japanese car industry then nor had the German Volkswagen been
launched onto our market.
Post-war until 1948 there were no new cars available from anywhere,
into this ideal market GMH released their new Australian built Holden,
complete with all the plaudits that they and the Government could
heap upon it, not surprisingly it became an instant success, what
was perhaps a little surprising, for a brand new product it was a pretty
darned good car.
We are now approaching the era when I had this brain storm about
being a motor mechanic, what sort of vehicles are on our roads? well
there were pre-war cars from every where there was an increasing
supply of British makes our own Holden’s and soon to be released
Ford’s much vaunted Australian built Falcon.
I went to work for a firm called “Sporting Car’s Services” and to be
fair the name and our reputation did attract a few sporting type cars,
some quite exotic like Jaguar’s, Lagonda’s, Morgan’s, MG’s, Riley’s,
as well as a couple of Bently’s several Rovers, a Bristol, a Maserati
and an Aston Martin that only the foreman was allowed to touch.
That’s the good side however, the main course was Austin’s,
Morris’, Standard’s, Vauxhalls, Humber’s, Hillman’s,
Wolseley’s and for the European content, Peugeot’s,
Citroen’s, Fiat’s and Renault, all of these in those days fitted
neatly into the Un-Sporting car bin.
I am trying to prove to myself
that I am a person.
Then may be I'll convince myself
that I'm an actress.