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My TV FB Holden


"Many people thought the FB was destroyed in a road crash sequence, but that was just a rusted old hulk painted to resemble the real car", explains Jim. Jim acquired the car through his daughter, Paige, who worked for the TV production company which made the series and had always admired the car. "After the crash scene they had no need for it, so Paige suggested we buy it", he says.

Although the car was in reasonable shape, Paige and Jim decided to undertake a full restoration and get it back to showroom condition. It took them both three years and they well and truly succeeded. This baby is as crisp and bright as if it had just rolled out of the dealership.

Released in January 1960 the FB Holden design pays homage to the iconic 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. Chrome abounds on the FB, and that's to be expected, for it was styled during the reign of General Motors (GM) famed design supremo Harley Earl. "Misterearl" they called him, and he just loved chrome. He was known to order stylists to add it on by the pound.

From its sparkling, chrome-encrusted egg-crate grille to the chromed sweep-spear along the doors, to the three chromed stars on the front mudguards and on to its rear fender fins and "jet exhaust" tail lights, the FB lays claim to every late-1950s GM styling motif imaginable. Inside you sit on two tone green bench seats and look out through the big wrap-around windscreen. And everything is etched in bright metal.

Holden sold 175,000 FBs during its 16 month production run and it was the last Holden to have the big car market all to itself. It was soon joined by Ford's Falcon and Chrysler's Valiant, and the Big Three Car Wars began. Jim's and Paige's car has an early build number from the Adelaide factory of GMH. It is painted in the rare Fernando Yellow colour which was only available during the first five months' of production.

GMH changed from nitrocellulose based paints (Duco) to a more resilient acrylic paint in June 1960. They called the new stuff the "Magic Mirror" finish. Cars like "Marge", which have TV and/or film "on-screen" provenance, are a growth section in the collector car market, especially here and in the US and the UK. The more time spent on screen, the higher goes the value.

David Burrell is the editor of www.retroautos.com.au