The FJ Holden Special Sedan owned by Molly Goodall for 25 years and now a part of the National Museum of Australia – Canberra Historical Collection.
One woman’s car, a part of the nation’s history
For 25 years Molly Goodall drove and cared for this Holden Special Sedan, garaging it and covering it with a rabbit skin rug and a horse blanket.
It is now a part of the National Historical Collection, an example of the FJ Holden which is one of Australia’s most recognisable cultural artefacts of the 1950s.
The ‘New Look’ Holden
The much anticipated FJ Holden came on the market in 1953. Known at the time as the ‘New Look’ Holden, the FJ was essentially a revamped version of the first Holden sedan, the FX released in 1948.
Rising affluence and the easy availability of credit helped make the FJ one of Holden’s best selling models.
Molly Goodall purchased this Holden Special Sedan in September 1955.
For the next 25 years, she drove it regularly between the family sheep farm in Tharwa, New South Wales, and the local town of Queanbeyan.
Molly found driving more difficult as more people bought cars. She had managed gravel roads and tricky creek crossings but found traffic lights, crowded streets and roundabouts confusing.
In 1980 Molly sold the car to Queanbeyan mechanic Albert Neuss, who had performed the first service on the FJ.
The car comes complete with whitewall tyres, rear wheel spats, the original spare tyre and red upholstered interior.
Interior designs for the FJ Holden, first produced in America, proved unpopular with the staff at General Motors Holden.
Australian stylists judged them too gaudy for the local market and too expensive to produce. They set about creating a more conservative interior for the Australian market.
The National Museum also holds in its collection the Holden Prototype No. 1, the only survivor of three test Holden sedans built by hand in 1946 by American and Australian engineers at the General Motors workshop in Detroit.
Interior view of a car showing a blue-grey body with red bench seat and right hand side drive.
Article courtesy of The National Museum of Australia Canberra http://www.nma.gov.au/collections/fj_holden/