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First look: Holden FJ returns!

Old meets new: Holden's Efijy concept is based on a Corvette rolling chassis.

Holden revives its 1953 FJ with a radical custom coupe concept with V8Supercar grunt

13 Oct 2005

HAPPY DAYS have returned at Holden! As the Australian car giant prepares to lay off 1000 workers in Adelaide by Christmas, as an increasing number of consumers turn their back on large cars and as its parent company General Motors faces the prospect of financial ruin following Delphi’s bankruptcy filing this week, a little ray of sunshine found its way on to the Lion brand’s stand at the Darling Harbour exhibition centre this morning.

It wasn’t a new Commodore, or a derivative thereof. Rather, it came in the form of a wild hotrod concept that rekindles the spirit of the most famous Holden of all time – the 1953 FJ.

Dubbed Efijy, the radical custom coupe showcar is based on Chevrolet Corvette underpinnings and boasts V8Supercar performance courtesy of a Ron Harrop-developed, supercharged version of GM’s 6.0-litre LS2 alloy V8 delivering 480kW and a planet-turning 775Nm of torque.

Bathed in Soprano Purple paint, the pillar-less 5162mm-long two-door is the result of spare-time work by the same design team responsible for next year’s all-new VE Commodore – led by chief designer and custom-car fan Richard Ferlazzo, who penned the first Efijy sketch in 1989.

Efijy echoes automotive cues of days past via twin cream-coloured leather tombstone seats with integrated belts, a maple timber veneer floor with alloy inserts, and Bakelite-look switches for the rear-mounted electronic GM four-speed transaxle.

13 center image It’s not all retro, however. The not-for-production concept involved almost 20 suppliers to include such hi-tech gadgetry as air-adjustable shock absorbers, a drop-down LED touch screen, fan-cooled LED headlights and 22x10-inch rear and 20x9.0-inch front billet alloy wheels.

The brakes feature 381mm grooved and ventilated rotors with alloy callipers – six-piston up front and four-piston at the rear. The adjustable suspension places the car just 27mm from the ground and rises to "a more practical drive height", while proximity sensors automatically open the doors of the fi breglass bodyshell.

"Efijy is all about fun, emotion and imagination," said GM Holden chairman and managing director Denny Mooney at its unveiling this morning. "It shows what a bunch of clever and talented design people can do when they are let loose to create something really wild.

"This year was a fantastic opportunity for us to create something which highlights our designers’ ability and versatility. Efijy is sure to evoke different memories for everyone who sees it.

"People might focus on the FJ links, the glorious custom coupes of the 1930s or the great design flair of the 1950s." A glorious moment, in uncertain times.

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