The Holden FE is an automobile produced by Holden in Australia from 1956 to 1958. It was also the first Holden to be assembled in New Zealand, where General Motors New Zealand built their first example on 31 January 1957.
The FE models were built on a longer wheelbase than the FJ series Holdens which they replaced, and they featured totally different styling, the FJ models having used a body shape carried over from the original Holden 48-215 series introduced in 1948. A single piece windscreen was now fitted and other improvements included a 12 volt electrical system (replacing the previous 6 volt system), improved steering, a front stabiliser bar and wider wheel rims. All models used a 2262 cc in-line six cylinder engine, coupled with a 3-speed manual gearbox. Engine improvements over the FJ included the use of bigger valves and the lifting of the compression ratio to 6.8:1, which increased the power output from 45 kW (60 hp) to 53 kW (71 hp).
The seven Holden FE models series were marketed as follows:
- Holden Standard Sedan
- Holden Standard Station Sedan
- Holden Business Sedan
- Holden Special Sedan
- Holden Special Station Sedan
- Holden Utility
- Holden Panel Van
When introduced in July 1956, the FE range consisted of the Holden Standard Sedan, Holden Business Sedan and Holden Special Sedan, the names designating different levels of equipment and interior trim. The existing FJ series Holden Utility and Holden Panel Van models continued alongside the new sedans, with the FE Utility replacing its FJ counterpart in February 1957. Two station wagon models, the Holden Standard Station Sedan and the Holden Special Station Sedan were released in March 1957, marking the first time that Holden had included a wagon in its range since the marque was introduced in 1948. The FE Panel Van replaced its FJ predecessor in May 1957, bringing the FE range up to its full complement of seven models.
The FE was also the first Holden to be assembled locally in New Zealand, in 1957 and 1958.
Production and replacement
- Holden FE Specifications Retrieved from Unique Cars and Parts on 22 August 2008
- Webster, Mark (2002), Assembly: New Zealand Car Production 1921-98, Birkenhead, Auckland, New Zealand: Reed, p. 70, ISBN 0-7900-0846-7
- The Holden FE Retrieved from Unique Cars and Parts on 22 August 2008
- Sales brochure for FE series Holden Sedans
- Sales brochure for FE series Holden Utility & Panel Van
- Norm Darwin, 100 Years of GM in Australia, 2002, pages 228-229
- FE Holden at The Sixties Holden Archives Includes scans of Holden FE sales brochures