Car Restoration Projects
A very original Holden
NSW South Coast residents Cathy and David Brown are the proud owners of this beautiful first-model Holden that looks just the way it did when it left the Fishermans Bend plant in 1950, painted in El Paso Beige.
This fine, unmolested example of Australia’s automotive history has been perfectly restored to original condition; right down to the Air Chief 5 radio. This first model Holden is, of course, the 48-215, often referred to as the FX Holden. However, its real name was always 48-215, where ’48’ records the year it started production and ‘215’ indicating a Standard Sedan.
Dave first clapped eyes on a 48-215 as a very young boy, because his grandfather owned one. He was smitten and from that early age he “became a one-eyed Holden ‘man’ and knew that one day I would own one.
“It’s only taken me some 40 odd years,” said Dave, with a broad grin.
He’d owned many Holden family cars over the intervening years, but never the ‘holy grail’ … until September 2020, when Dave discovered that ‘everything comes to those who wait’. He found his objet de désir in the NSW coastal town of Tuross Head.
“The seller had fully restored the car to its original condition, mechanically, as well as reupholstering it and painting in as-new condition. (The definitely non-standard air-cleaner is a bit of Dave’s bling.)
Much of the chrome work was original, but where required it was re-chromed.
“The car’s bodywork had been fish-oiled in every nook and cranny,” said Dave Brown. “So there isn’t a spot of rust anywhere.”
“The fellow had prepared the car for his grandson, who decided that he didn’t want it, and I was in the right place at the right time, for once.”
Dave said that he and Cathy went to a Shannons classic car day in Canberra, and the car ran faultlessly.
“However, I’ve got to say the vacuum-operated windscreen wipers take some getting used to.
“With your foot off the throttle they almost fly off the windscreen, but once you accelerate, they crawl ever-so-slowly across the screen!
“But that’s all part of the fun,” Dave and Cathy reckon.