Holden EF Prototype

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Holden EF Prototype
General Motors Holden

Holden EF

Never (intended for 1965)
6 cyl.
95 bhp
3 spd. man
Top Speed:
Number Built:
5 star
Holden EF
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 5

American Intervention

Up until the EJ model Australia had been left alone to come up with its own designs. Before September 1960 the Holden had no direct rival. Provided the engine had six cylinders, a three-speed gearbox, bench seats and a Holden badge it practically sold itself during those years.

But the introduction of the Falcon changed all that and more effort had to be put into improving the Holden's image as well as its substance. Perhaps this is why the Detroit heavies began to take a much closer interest in the styling of the cars to be produced by its Australian subsidiary.

The EF Concept

With a lead time of around 4 years from design to production, we believe it was around 1960/1961 when Alf Payze was developing the EF concept. Payze had created the styling of the FE, FC, FB and EK Holdens - but things did not go to plan with the EJ, and the design was dramatically altered by GM in the US. While this major re-design was occuring, Payze continued with what he believed would be a new model Holden - this to be a replacement for the EJ and its subsequent facelift - the EH.

With the previous designs, Payze had looked to the American GM product for inspiration. The FB, for example, was strongly reminiscent of the 1955-1956 Chevies. But for the EF, Payze drew his inspiration more from Opel than Chevrolet. To most observers, the EF design looked very similar to the 1962 Opel Kapitan, particularly the frontal treatment.

Designed in the US of A

But the EF was never likely to have made it. With the re-design of the EJ, the GM parent decided the EH would be completely designed there - which it was, the (almost) final version being shipped to Australia in a crate - with only a few minor alterations made locally. Fortunately however the decision was made to again let the "locals" design their own cars, although this would be overseen by a Director of Design Staff - someone recruited from Detroit.

And so it was that in early 1964 Joe Schemansky became the first Holden Director of Styling. A new Technical Centre was constructed at Fishermen's Bend to coincide with this change of direction. The Technical Centre was opened in June 1964. And while the EF was shelved, so to was the previously used Holden two letter model identification. Rather than have letters corresponding to each decade and year (See the FJ Holden Review for more information), the decision was taken to give Holdens virtually random initials because it was felt that too many people had cracked the old code.
EF Holden
EF Holden
EF Holden Close Up
EF Holden Close Up
A close-up of the front and rear end treatments of the EF Holden. Note the similarity to the Opel Kapitan.

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Also see:

Holden Grey Motor
Holden History
Holden Car Commercials
Nasco Holden Accessories Commercials
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