Holden Ute History
While looking for information on my old Holden, I realised that data on original equipment and model specifications was hard to find. At the same time, photos documenting original Holden cars on the internet are rare. To this end, I have put together an image library of GM Holden cars from 1948 to the present day. Some pictures copyright GM.
Please standby while I migrate all content from the old servers to this one...
48-215 (FX) Utility
The release of the FX utility signified the beginning of a new era for Holden that continues until at least 2014 with the newly released VF Commodore ute.
The idea for a ute is understood to have begun in the 1930's when Ford built the first "coupe ute" in 1934 at their Victoria plant in Melbourne. Mass production happen until Holden began production of the "FX" in 1951, three years after the sedan of the same model type began production.
FJ Holden Utility
The popularity of the Holden sedan was so good that Holden had ramped up production several times. In the mid-fifties, resources were more readily available than they were straight after the war so a bit more chrome was added to the styling.
FE Holden Utility
By the late fifties the previous design was looking very dated and while still popular, it was way overdue for a styling update. Several engine upgrades were introduced including higher compression options.
FC Holden Utility
A minor styling update compared to the previous model and only small changes to the engine and trim. The FC is distinguishable by a more integrated grill and bumper and the letters HOLDEN instead of a badge on the hood.
FB Holden Utility
The FB aligned the styling with other fifties cars of the time and came with a slightly larger engine with more power and torque and a grill that looks like 56 Chev's little brother.
EK Holden Utility
THis was a minor styling update from the previous model that included small changes to the grill and trim levels. The EK model was the first to offer an automatic gearbox, the US imported three-speed Hydramatic.
EJ Holden Utility
The EJ was a major facelift in the tick-tock pattern of previous updates, the first being a major update followed by a minor update. Although the EJ still used the Holden "grey" motor, the same one used since the very first Holden in 1948, but the EJ would be the last Holden to use this motor.
EH Holden Utility
The EH model was a minor styling update but was the first Holden to use the "red" motor that would be the basis for Holden cars through to the late seventies. Bigger capacity, additional main bearings and more power provided to a more responsive and tuneable package.
HD Holden Utility
The HD was wider and longer than the EH but had the same track so handling was not a strong point. At least disc brakes were an option for the first time! An X2 twin-carb model was also available as an option and these are quite rare in original condition now.
HR Holden Utility
The HR was released to address some of the criticisms of the HD model and has revised front sheet metal and subtle changes to the roofline. The track was widened and interior trim was improved.
HK Holden Utility
The HK moved the Holden ute from smaller more humble models to more upmarket (for the time) full-size cars aimed at both commercial and non-commercial uses.
HT Holden Utility
The HT inherited improvements brought with the sedan model including new front sheet metal, minor trim and badge changes and a more modern interior.
HG Holden Utility
The HG was a minor update as a stop-gap measure before he all-new HQ was released. Again, minor trim changes and badging are included to align with the sedan.
HQ Holden Utility
The HQ ute was part of a wildly popular model range that brought a completely new platform to the full-size Holden including better suspension, brakes and interior but with only minor improvements in the handling and engine departments.
Unlike it's sedan brother, the ute retained the leaf springs in the rear allowing for heavier loads and also providing a platform for a 1-ton load capable flat-deck variant with a separate cab and chassis.
HJ Holden Utility
The HJ finally replaced the long-serving but big-selling HQ model. The HJ brought new front sheet-metal and a new interior but continued to use the jazzy seventies themed yellow and bright green colours.
HX Holden Utility
Minor changes were added to fill the gap between the ageing update and the HZ model that would follow. Many of these cars were still sold new with cross-ply tyres although wider radials were optional. All this was about to change when the HZ model was released with radial tyres for all models - the end of an era.
HZ Holden Utility
The HZ finally got decent handling with its Radial Tuned Suspension (RTS). Emissions restrictions and fuel economy regulations had removed most of fun from the engine range and Holden were struggling to keep up with Japanese imports but both the six cylinder and V8 engines would keep being refined for another ten years.
WB Holden Utility
Full-sized Holdens were based on a platform designed in the late-sixties and were starting to show their age by 1980. The bodies were based on the '71 HQ and engines earlier than that. At the same time, the smaller and more fuel-efficient Holden Commodore was released two years earlier, so the final swan-song for full-sized Holdens was the WB.
The story continues in 1990 with the release of the VG Commodore ute...