1953 Holden FJ Delivery Van - Reader Ride

By: John Arnel with Guy Allen - Words & Photos

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Liberated from the outback this classic FJ did the return journey

 

Holden FJ Delivery Van

It has the 267 tag that says it’s an original delivery van. They only built around 1500 and most of them were worn out and got taken to the tip. A mate owns a million acres in the middle of Australia. It was there for years before it was found by someone mustering cattle in a chopper, about three kays up a creek bed.

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It was in pretty good nick and had probably been there since the mid-seventies, around the time the Stuart Highway got moved 50 kays. We’d nearly given up looking for it. My mate said roughly where it was, but the creek bed is nearly a kay wide. It was stinking hot and we went back and got it around seven years ago.

I got it and fully restored it. We pulled it down to nothing and got it up on a rotisserie. We’ve kept it basically original, except for the wider tyres and twin carbs on the engine.

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At the time you could get an FJ sedan in three levels of trim, while the van was a relatively late addition to the series in December 1953. Holden also played with a wagon but it didn’t reach production. The FJ was phased out in favour of the FE from mid-1956 through to 1957.

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The engine is the 2.2lt straight six ‘grey motor’ running a three-speed manual transmission.

This one has been back up to where we found it – we drove it up the Oodnadatta track!

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We drive it. It’s been to Tassie and lots of other places and I’m now doing another that’s in better nick.

Valuation: If it’s as good as John’s prepare to fork out at least $50k.

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