Fans of classic cars already know a lot about the Holden EJ. Car company Holden produced bodies for several other companies throughout its early years, including Buick, Chevrolet, and Pontiac, but got its first real start producing its own vehicles in the 1940s. Their goal in the early years of production was to produce the first vehicle that could be considered ‘Australia’s Own Car,’ a feat that they accomplished in the latter part of the decade.
It was difficult for the company to decide, in its early years, whether or not it should focus on adapting the bodies of popular American cars or if they should build up something from scratch. They eventually settled on a compromise of American car styling with new, unique features that would define the vehicle on the market here.
The Holden EJ was one of the biggest cars to come out of Holden’s line of vehicles. It was produced for only 13 months, from 1962 to 1963, but even in that short period of time it had a big impact on the history of Australian cars. The Holden EJ replaced an earlier line of cars, the Holden EK. With the Holden EJ, the company moved away from styles that were modelled after American vehicles of the 1950s, making the body lower, giving it a flatter boot, and doing away with the fans that defined vehicles of the previous decade. That style was a major stepping stone for older models of cars, and the newer models that would spring up in the latter part of the 1960s.
Now the Holden EJ is considered a classic car, and because of that, it can be difficult to find one that is in good shape as well as affordable. It’s a darling among classic car collectors, with the most sought-after Holden EJ being the first vehicles to hit the Holden Premiere line of automobiles. However, it is still entirely possible to find an affordable Holden EJ that is still in relatively good shape, so interested collectors should have a good look around at the many options that are available.
The Holden EJ came with a decent engine for a car of its time, though it is nothing spectacular. The 2,262cc inline 6-cylinder engine provided 56kW of power. Fans of classic cars will undoubtedly recognize this as the so-called ‘grey motor,’ which was used on cars in the Holden line from the first vehicle that Holden produced until the end of the Holden EJ’s run, after which the car company replaced their motors with a newer, more advanced model. The original engine does provide 163Nm of torque at 4200rpm, impressive for an older vehicle.
While you will find some classic Holden EJs that contain the original motor, over the years many of the original engines have been replaced with newer models that provide a little bit more power, as well as better fuel efficiency and durability on the open road. All Holdens were produced with Australia’s driving conditions in mind, so this classic car handles much better on the open road than other similar classic cars, which is another reason collectors enjoy this old standby so much.
If it is fun to drive, it is primarily because of its classic car feel. What it loses in power it makes up for in its ability to adhere to the road and to provide drivers with a leisurely, comfortable ride, reminiscent of the days when people actually used to go out on drives for fun. All in all, it’s an enjoyable ride, though the reasons for that are different than they are with a more modern car.
Talking about the kit for the Holden EJ is a bit of a moot point, because most of the cars that are available on the market have been pushed far beyond their original factory specs. However, there were a few different trims originally available with this vehicle, which means that potential buyers have a choice to make when it comes to what trim of Holden EJ they want to buy. There are several different sedans available: the standard sedan, the special sedan, and the aforementioned premiere sedan. In addition, there are the standard and special station sedans, the Holden utility and the Holden panel van.
It’s difficult to talk about competition when it comes to classic cars. There are a lot of collectors who may be more interested in classic car models from America, in particular early 1960s Buicks and Chevrolets, but the Holden is hands down the top of the line when it comes to classic cars in the country.
That being said, even during the time period when the car was being produced, it was overshadowed by the next car to come off the Holden assembly line. The Holden EH was a little bit more stylish, doing away with even more of the lingering 1950s style, and — more importantly — it finally updated the grey motor with the red motor, providing the Holden line with a major boost. The Holden EH, available in sedan, station wagon, utility, and panel van trims, had 2.4L or 2.6L 6-cylinder engines with up to 75kW of power at 4400rpm and up to 197Nm torque at 2000rpm.
The Holden EH has overshadowed its predecessor for years, in part due to the changeover in engine between the two models. However, there is definitely a place for the Holden EJ in Australian car history.