1948 FX Holden

1948 FX Holden (48-215)

The 1948-215 FX Holden was a four-door, six-seater sedan, lightweight and durable, with a torquey 2.15 litre “grey engine”, chosen for its efficiency and durability. It offered exceptional performance and economy. With a top speed of over 80mph (130km/h) the Holden could cruise all day at 65mph (105km/h), take steep hills in its top-gear stride and typically return 30 miles per gallon (9.4l/100km). Aerobilt body construction, at the time a relatively new engineering principle, combined body and chassis into one all-steel unit.

1948 FX Holden Sedan (48-215)

FX Holden 48-215-1940s

FX 2.15 litre famous grey engine

FX Holden 2.15 litre famous grey engine

1948 FX Holden Ute

1948 FX Holden Ute

1951 FX Ute and sedan (48-215)

1951 FX Ute and sedan (48-215)

In reality, the 48-215 (and indeed subsequent models) had a few elements of warmed-over American pie dished up in Australia. Mr Loffler said they often formed the Holden’s weak points. The radiator was a bit too small for local conditions.

In addition on hot days, if the car had been stopped, its fuel could vaporise, making it a devil to restart. “People had enormous embarrassment on punts,” Mr Loffler said.”You’d stop the car and in the five minutes it took to go across the River Murray, they’d open the gates and you could not start the beggars.

Nevertheless the 48-215 was immensely tough and much better suited to Australian conditions than its British or American-built competitors. And that meant it wasn’t just the Loffler family whose horizons were widened by a Holden. “There were 500 dealers dotted around Australia, even in tiny country towns,” Mr Loffler said.

“If you broke your fan belt or some other thing you could get spare parts anywhere. “We could go to Melbourne and to all the big Victorian country towns and that was a really big deal, a real eyeopener.” “Everyone knew someone who worked there.”

It wasn’t just a matter of suddenly we had a new industry. As Mandy Paul from the Migration Museum explains, Australian culture itself shifted gear. “Everything changed and the transformation of culture was part of that,” she said.

“Anglo-Saxon Australians had to change their orientation … all of a sudden people were looking at different cuisines, hearing different languages on the buses and trams, were starting to think differently. “Their children were going to school with Italian, Greek and German children and so a different sort of culture took root … it was profound.”

Obviously when Holden goes we won’t lose those changes, but there will most certainly be a loss.

Commodores among factory’s top-selling models

The world’s second-oldest transportation company started as an Adelaide saddlery in 1856 and began producing all-Australian motor cars at Fisherman’s Bend in Melbourne in 1948.

The first fully-built model was produced at Elizabeth in 1965 when the HD Holden rolled off the production line.

Since 1994, General Motors Holden have manufactured all of its Australian-built vehicles in Adelaide, although engine’s were produced at Fisherman’s Bend until November 2016.

The company’s peak export year was 2005 when 60,518 Holdens were sent to 10 countries, including the Middle East and North America.

It achieved its largest market share of national sales at 50.3 per cent in 1958.

Holden 48/215 FX

1948 – 1953

Engine: 6 cyl.

Capacity: 2160 cc

Power: 60 bhp

Transmission: 3 spd. man


BASE PRICE (when new) £733 ($1466)

9 Responses to “1948 FX Holden”

  1. Kevin Darke says:

    Hi, I am writing a novel. It is a work of fiction roughly based on a true story. I need to obtain a detailed description of the FX ute braking system, how it works and what might cause a serious
    brake failure thru lack of maintenance. It will only be a paragraph or two but the detail is important as far as factual content goes. can you help or point me in the right direction?
    thanks Kevin

  2. mark says:

    hey kev the master cyclinder is right under the driverside, back of the firewall, n sticks out a bit, and if extremly unlucky coud be hit by a rock.

  3. David says:

    Hi. Just wondering where you got the illustration of the FX Holden from? (FX Holden 48-215-1940s).

  4. katrina says:

    hey just wonderind if anyone knows what type of windscreen it has?

  5. trevor says:

    looking for rough value of a fx ute . needing to be restored . just asak rought idea plz

  6. scott says:

    dose any one know when the 48-215 holden changed the position of the rear door locks I have a care with the rear door locks at the rear of thre door

  7. greg says:

    This model is only referred to as the fx but is the 48-215

  8. Guido Capone says:

    What would a fully restored (A class) 48-215 be worth today ?

  9. neville matthew crowther says:

    i have many parts for a 1948 holden which have been in storage for 58 years, include suspension, window winders and many hard to come by parts,will sell for a fair price.

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