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ABOUT THE FE & FC HOLDEN
July 1956 saw the introduction of the very modern looking and more powerful Holden FE. Originally released in Sedan form only, by early 1957 Holden’s first Station wagon had been released. This was followed later in 1957 with the Holden FE Utility and Panel Van’s.
The Holden FE had more power from it’s 132 cubic inch six cylinder engine than it’s predecessor due to larger valves and changes to the cylinder head porting. This increased power by 10bhp to 70bhp. There were many other improvements to the FE model including an oil bath air cleaner, steering modifications, a front stabiliser bar and different size tires.
In late 1956, Holden started exporting cars in CKD (Completely knocked downed) form to New Zealand for assembly at their plant in Petone, Wellington.
With a total production of 155,161 vehicles from July 1956 to May 1958, the Holden FE was the most successful Holden so far.
May 1958 saw the introduction of the Holden FC, a face lift version of the Holden FE. Mechanically the Holden FC was basically the same as the Holden FE except for minor improvements to the engine and suspension. The engine had a higher compression ratio and an improved camshaft. These changes resulted in a smoother driving car.
The major changes for the Holden FC was the outside trim, however there were many minor changes to the interior also. The Special model had extra chrome work added to the side panels and a new styled grille with bolder horizontal and vertical bars. The indicator and park lights were now incorporated in the grille on either side.
Holden dominated the car market in Australia during this time with an amazing 50% market share.
With prices ranging from £1141 ($2282) for a Holden Standard Sedan to £1311 ($2622) for a Holden Special Station Wagon, Holden sold 191,724 vehicles from May 1958 to January 1960.
Source: 60 Years of Holden by Terry Bebbington