Milestones 1946 - 1959

There are many significant milestones in the story of the Holden car. From the very beginning in 1946 when the first example was hand-built in the U.S.A., through to the day the car first went on sale to the public. Many more would feature as the Holden went on to become Australia’s top selling car in just three short years and remained in that position right up to when production ended three decades later. In addition to significant milestones, the all-important production totals for the various models are presented along with yearly sales figures.

1946

August 30

19525 #1, the first American-built prototype car, is completed.

1947

August 22

The first Australian-built prototype is completed.

1948

September 25

The first Holden engine #1001 is started up.

1948

October 1

The first production Holden car is completed.
Largely built off-line, it was a Gawler Cream 48-215,
Body #6, Vehicle Serial Number 8-1001-M with engine #1001.

1948

November 29

“She’s a beauty!” declared Prime Minister Chifley at the unveiling.

1949

January

Volume production of the Holden car commences.

1949

February 24

First delivery of a Holden car to a retail customer.
Essington Lewis received a Convoy Grey 48-215, Body #215,
Vehicle Serial Number 8-1171-M with engine #1581.
The sale was conducted through Preston Motors, Melbourne.

1949

February 25

The Holden car goes on sale.

1951

January

Holden utility is introduced.

1951

December

Holden, the nation’s top selling car with 21184 registered in 1951.

1953

May 19

100,000th Holden produced.

1953

July

Holden Business sedan is introduced.

1953

October

The ‘new-look’ FJ is released with the Special model added.
Panel van added in December.

1954

November 26

First export Holden arrives in New Zealand.

1956

January 19

250,000th Holden produced.

1956

July

FE Holden released.
Engine power output increased to 70 horsepower.
13” wheels fitted, down from 15”.

1957

February

Station Sedan (wagon) added to the line-up.

1957

June

1,000,000th ‘Body By Holden’ produced - an FE wagon.

1958 - 59

 

Holden achieves 50% of the new car market.

1958

May

FC Holden release.

1958

October

10,000th export Holden produced.

1958

October 22

500,000th Holden produced.