Holden History EK

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By ReaperHR

The New EK Holden

Produced May 1961 to June 1962.

Still sticking with the same general body type as its predecessors (with minor facelifts) the EK Holden entered the market, bringing with it though a new feature that Holden had not considered before, the optional automatic gearbox. The automatic wasn't considered by holden until Ford introduced its Fordomatic to Falcons, but due to the reception the Ford automatic was recieving Holden needed to get an option out on the market as soon as possible.

This left the EK with a minor facelift over its predecessor the FB Holden and no power increase due to using the same motors. The automatic gearbox however (a 3 speed Hydramatic) had already been designed in Detroit and used in both US and UK vehicles, giving Holden a proven gearbox to use behind its existing motor. The Hydramatic was not available on the Standard EK.

Changes to the EK over the FB appeared superficial but included: The optional new Hydramatic gearbox, electric windscreen wipers replacing the old vacuum unit, new fresh-air/heating unit, new ventilation air intake located forward of the windscreen, parking lights were incorporated into the new grille with eight vertical bars instead of six, revised interior trim, new exterior badges and mouldings.

The New EK Holden

Economic conditions imposed by the government at the time saw car sales in Australia drop by around 25% in 1961 compared to 1960, making the market a tough place for holden to sell the EK, added to this was the styling of the Ford Falcon and the R Series Valiant which outperformed both the Holden and the Ford. Ford also still sold V8 versions of their Falcon compared to Holden sticking with the underpowered Grey Motor. It wasn't until many years later in the HK series that Holden entered the V8 market and not until 1965 did Holden even sell a performance oriented motor.

The EK Holden was released in the now standard types of Standard, Special and Commercial (Ute and Panel Van which looked very similar to the previous FB commercial series, including tail-lights and rear quarters). No Premier model existed as yet, Standard EKs were sometimes purchased by taxi companies for example.

Standard - The Standard EK was recogniseable by it's single body colour and lack of and additional exterior trim and badges.

Special - The Special was the most common type of EK, it included a better choice of exterior colours, a white roof, exterior badging ("Special"), trim along the side and two tone vinyl interiors.

The New (optional automatic!) EK Holden

The EK Holden entered a tough economic climate with rivals that had already taken the initiative and advantage in the market place. Other than the inclusion of its new automatic gearbox the EK didn't seem all that different to its predecessor the FB and with no real improvements on styling and performance it had a lackluster appeal to the marketplace.



Figures of Interest
Price New Number Built Engines Transmissions Performance:

0 - 100 km/h


Standing 400m

$2212 150,214 138 3 speed column manual

3 speed column automatic

4 speed column automatic (last models)

24.9 seconds (auto) 23.2 seconds (auto)


Information for this page was gathered from the following sites:
Early Holdens
Unique Cars and Parts
Southgate Holden
Australian Holdens
Holden Main Site
and from the following books:
SPOTLIGHT ON HOLDEN 1948-1959 by Tony Davis
FX (48/215) to HR Workshop Manual by Gregorys