1952 Holden 48-215 FX ute – Today’s Tempter

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars mag

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holden fx holden fx

Nab yourself a bit of Australian history

In just five years after its initial launch in 1948, the FX Holden in 1953 held almost 33 per cent of domestic car sales, and kicked off the halcyon years of Australian automotive manufacturing as our nation’s first locally made car.

Design wise, you'd be forgiven in mistaking the 48-215 for a Chevy Fleetline from a distance. Despite being deemed too small for the US, Holden’s first-born immediately found its place on home soil with its six-cylinder donk pitched as a sweet spot between the smaller British fours and the American V8s.

Rolling off the line right here in Melbourne on the waterfront at Fisherman’s Bend, the FX was offered solely with a 2.2 litre single-carb six-cylinder and a column mounted three-speed.

By 1950, 100 FXs were produced a day, and shortly thereafter, the original Holden’s commercial success overtook British automaker Austin, to claim the mantle of Australia’s best-selling car.

The facelifted FJ in 1953 slowly phased in subtle changes to the grill and front bumper fascias, as well as a few mechanical changes; a new diff and swapping the rear dampers from lever-action units more modern telescopic pieces.

This early series FX was restored 14 years ago and looks well represented in a period light blue, with dark navy interior.

The three-on-the-tree’s original gearbox is still in use, however it has been converted to a floor-mounted shifter; and a 12V electrical system has been retrofitted throughout the car in order to handle some more modern niceties such as electric windscreen wipers (as opposed to the original fiddly vacuum wipers) as well as a modern radio head unit in the cabin.

Listed at a reasonable $29,500, with a few modern upgrades for usability and peace-of-mind, it may not be a concours-winning original restoration, but arguably more valuable in that you won’t be scared to take this historically significant beauty out for those sunny-Sunday drives.

For those interested, you can check out the full listing here.

 

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