Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 5
Up until the EJ
model Australia had been left alone to come up with its own designs. Before September 1960
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
when Alf Payze was developing the EF concept. Payze had created the styling of the FE
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.
, for example, was strongly reminiscent of the 1955
Chevies. But for the EF, Payze drew his inspiration more from Opel
. 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.