Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 3
As was the case with the previous two body shapes, the FB Holden
was facelifted in 1961
and released as the "EK".
The list of refinements included revised interior trim, new exterior badges and mouldings (the rear-side colour flash of the FC
was deleted), a new fresh-air/heating unit, a new ventilation air intake located forward of the windscreen and a new grille with eight vertical bars instead of six. Parking lights were incorporated into the top grille bar.
At last the old "vacuum" wipers were replaced with electrically operated units, which were indeed far superior if not far safer! Most noteable was the availability of a new "Hydramatic" 3 speed automatic transmission
Imported from America, the Hydramatic was regarded as one of the best available in the world - and brought the "EK" to a new level of luxury.
Once again there were two levels of refinement, "Standard" being the basic car with no additional trimming or fittings, the body being painted in a single colour and "Special", the most popular model, with stainless steel trims along the side, chrome Special badges, two-tone vinyl interiors, as well as a better choice of exterior colours with a white roof.
Holden choose to make the Hydramatic available as an option only on the "Special", while their two commercial vehicles, the utility and panel van, remained almost identical to the previous model, the FB. In fact, the FB rear quarter panels and tail lights were carried over to the EK commercials.
there were 112,680 sold to the public and Holden employed over 18,500 people, however sales the following year slowed as both Ford and Chrysler ate into the Holden market dominance.
The latter two manufacturers had introduced the Australian public to the "compact sixes", which had a more sophisticated and less cumbersome look.
designers began work on their version of the "compact six", but it was to take another year before the EJ model was to be released. The R Series Valiant and Ford Falcon had not only arrived, but were proving to be worthy competitors.