Holden EJ

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Holden EJ

Holden EJ Premier

Holden EJ

1962 - 1963
6 cyl.
2262 cc
75 bhp / 56kW
3 spd. man
Top Speed:
132 km/h
Number Built:
3 star
Holden EJ
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 3

Horace Alfred 'Alf' Payze

Alf Payze created the styling of the FE, FC, FB and EK Holdens. He also drew the original shape of the EJ. But it was this design that caused a major reorganisation of Holden styling. When the EJ arrived as a full size model in Detroit, the American stylists were unimpressed to say the least. The prototype had a soft rear styling, a lack of valances front and rear, and cumbersome frontal treatment that was better suited to the 1950s, not the 1960s.

By then Harley Earl had been replaced by Bill Mitchell as head of GM Styling. After viewing the proposed EJ model, Mitchell issued a directive that changes be made. A senior stylist, Stan Parker, led a team which included Joe Schemansky. The car needed to not only look more modern, it needed to look elegant and desirable. Bigger, vertical tail lights were fitted. The whole car was made to look wider and squarer. The back portion of the roof, the C-pillars and the rear window were all changed. Valances were incorporated front and rear.

A Bold New Shape

Produced between 1961 and 1963, the "EJ" was the first of a bold new shape for the Holden. Gone were the fins of the previous EK model, and a new flat boot and lower roofline was created to keep pace with the more modern looking Ford Falcons. The EJ was designed from the Opel Kapitan, but incorporated some Americaninfluence, particularly in regard to consideration of aerodynamics. The trusty grey motor was carried over from the previous model, albeit with afew refinements.

Inside there were new lift up door handles, incorporating arm rests on front doors of the Specials and on both front and rear doors of Premier Sedans. Bench type seats were fitted to all models except the Premier, which had front seat bucket type. The new roofline shape provided more front and rear head room - even the dome light was reshaped and could now be controlled from the instrument panel.

The instrument panel itself was edged with sponge rubber padding, and a hooded panel featured new design instruments, including a new pointer type speedometer with magnified mileage recorder. A flashing handbrake warning lamp was added for Premier models only - and the glovebox was now bigger. There was also a new "press-button" steering wheel, which had thumb control for the horn as the traditional horn rings were, by 1962, deemed to be a safety hazard.

From the styling angle, it was obvious the Chevy II influence was here to stay. The grille had new type parking lights and turn indicators located in a valance below the bumpers, there was a new engine hood emblem and and the Premiers had a chrome engine hood ornament. The EJ had full, curved windscreens with sloping front pillars. The roofline itself was 3.6 inches lower than the EK, and extended just beyond the back window forming a "cap" effect. The entire EJ body re-styling extended from the lower engine hood to the new type wrap-around rear window.

For better braking, the EJ was fitted with a heavier quality duo-servo brake system which resulted in shorter stopping distances and lower pedal pressures. All models were equipped with anchorages for safety belts, and the foam rubber padding extended the full length across the instrument panel above the control knobs. As mentioned, the horn ring, considered a hazard in accidents, was replaced by pad buttons. And despite the EJ's low look silhouette, the ground clearance was still the same, although it of course had a lower centre of gravity, which resulted in more confident turn in when cornering and a more stable ride.

The Holden Premier

The EJ was the first model to introduce the new luxury "Premier" model, with innovations such as full leather interiors (dropped after two years), bucket seats and a console with controls for the two speed fan heater. The Premier also featured metallic paint, a push button AM radio and arm rests on all four doors (sedan) andcame standard with the Hydramatic 3 speed automatic transmission.

The paintwork on the Premier was a new, fine iridescent sheen of exclusive Magic Mirror acrylic laccuer. This gem-hard finish stayed bright and new-looking for years with little or no polishing. Other Premier features included special wheel trims, narrow band white wall tyres, flashing hand-brake warning light, lights in glovebox and luggage compartment. new type door arm rests combined with door pulls and lift-up door handles, two speed speed electric wipers, windscreen washers, dual horns, anti-glare rearview mirror, wool pile carpets, chrome floor scuff plates and a pull-down centre arm rest in rear seat. There were also coat hooks and assist straps, as well as foam seat cushion pads. This Premier was not available with manual transmission.

The steering wheel, gear selector, heater switch and turn indictor switches, previously only in grey, were now all colour coded white for an up-market appearance. The front suspension was improved along with the Hydramatic. Interestingly when the new EJ was being tested around Australia the only camouflage used was the removal of the Holden badges, replaced with those from Opel. The EJ also retained its two commercial offerings in the Utility and PanelVan. The 1,000,000th Holden was an EJ Premier, and itwas produced on 26th October 1962.

The EJ Wagon

With the lower gate-tail up the floor load length of the EJ from the base of the folded rear cushion was increased to 66.3 inches. In addition, the rear seat cushion could be completely inverted and folded flat forward of the seating position to further extend the load capacity of the floor provided you moved the front bench seat to the fully-forward position. The floor length was then 82.4 inches with lower tailgate in the closed position. With the tailgate down, and the rear seat folded, the EJ floor luggage space was 85.2 inches - and increase of 2.7 inches on the EK.

EJ Mechanical Modifications

The engine in the EJ was identical to that in the EK, with minor modifications to linkages, cables, etc., to suit the relocation of the engine. The clutch was fitted with a new type diecast aluminium housing. The generator was new and had increased power output at lower road speed. The manual transmission was new, and had a cast-iron transmission case separate from its clutch housing. This permitted servicing of the transmission assembly and clutch assembly without removal of the engine mounts. The gear-set was the same as EK except the clutch gear and mainshaft were revised to suit the new transmission case. The gear shift mechanism was changed so that it was incorporated in the transmission cover.

The battery was a new, smaller and lighter unit. There were new headlights with sealed beam light with increased in wattage. The fuel tank offered the same 95 imperial gallon capacity, but the filler pipe was moved to the left-rear quarter panel and covered by flush fitting door. The steering setup was similar to EK except that steering box housing was revised to suit installation, and steering gearbox was a life lubricating assembly. The gear-shift tuning of Holden's famous Hydra-Matic transmission has been improved for the EJ range to give smoother performance, greater flexibility in heavy traffic, and quieter operation, and is modelled on the Olds and Cadillac series.

The Hydra-Matic was of course a three-speed unit. But a "fourth" speed, provided by the torque multiplier, was so smooth it was not discernible to the driver. Modifications to the Hydramatic included further improvements to gears and bearing; On light throttle in heavy traffic this meant that the gear shift was now from top to low gear when slowing down, and on easing off again, at light throttle, from low gear direct to top. But with heavy throttle, for a normal take-off shift was through the gears first, second, third, then top. The Hydramatic required routine servicing every 24,000 miles, but this was a simple matter of changing the oil, the oil filter and adjusting the linkages.

EJ Holden
FB Series
FE Series
Austin Freeway
Kerb Weight (manual)
2496 lb.
2494 lb.
2380 lb.
2464 lb
2576 Ib.
2688 Ib.
Kerb Weight (automatic)
2571 lb.
2504 Ib.
2758 Ib.
Average MPG
Top speed
Turning circle
36 ft. 6 ins.
36 ft. 6 ins.
36 ft.
38 ft.
36 ft. 6 ins.
37 ft.
177 ins.
181 ins.
175 ins.
181 ins.
178 ins.
183 ins.
68 ins.
67 ins.
66 ins.
70 ins.
63 ins.
70 ins.
58 ins.
60 ins.
60 ins.
54 ins.
59 ins.
54 ins.

1962 Holden EJ Premier
1962 Holden EJ Utility
The 1,000,000th Holden EJ

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Also see:

Holden EJ Specifications
Holden EJ Brochure
Holden EJ Premier Brochure
Holden Grey Motor
Holden History
Holden Car Commercials
Nasco Holden Accessories Commercials
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