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25 January 2018

This FB Holden barn find was so good, someone bought it sight unseen

By Ross Vasse
The FB had been parked up for 28 years in her family’s shed. (image credit: Survivor Car Australia)

​​Barn Finds are usually found, but sometimes they find you.

Such was the case with this 1960 FB Holden Special sedan that had been parked up since 1982. On a reconnaissance mission to find a suitable location for a car show in 2009, in the central New South Wales town of Narrandera, some of the committee members of the FB-EH Holden Club of NSW attended a meeting at the Narrandera Visitors Information Centre where they met Helen Ry. Helen worked at the Centre which was adjacent to the park opposite where the ‘50th Anniversary of the FB Holden’ show and shine was going to be held.

The discussion soon led to the discovery of an old yellow FB Holden sedan sitting in a shed on Helen’s family farm. The NSW car club committee informed Helen that the proposed event would be a great opportunity to find a buyer for her FB, as there would be more than 200 Holden enthusiasts attending the show and shine come June 2010.

  • The FB's styling was very reminiscent of the ’57 Chevrolets. (image credit: Survivor Car Australia) The FB's styling was very reminiscent of the ’57 Chevrolets. (image credit: Survivor Car Australia)
  • The FB came complete with rear fins. (image credit: Survivor Car Australia) The FB came complete with rear fins. (image credit: Survivor Car Australia)

A few months preceding the event, Helen placed a post on social media stating the car would be available, and could be viewed the weekend of the upcoming FB-EK Holden Nationals in Narrandera.

After reading the post, the Jacksons, a family of Holden enthusiasts, called Helen and after speaking for some time, agreed to purchase the Fernando Yellow FB sight unseen. Helen explained that it had been her Dad’s (John Williams) car which he’d purchased in January of 1962 from an auction in Melbourne, and that he’d stopped driving the FB in 1982. She went on to explain how it had been parked up for 28 years in her family’s shed. Steve Jackson collected the FB Holden after the Nationals.

The Jackson family only had the Holden for a short time before it went to Grays Auction where it sat for another two years until Kaine Willis purchased it.

Kaine tells us that he carefully cleaned and polished the FB Holden over two years. The original trim was restitched, resprung and cleaned. The worn floor mats were replaced with replica obsolete rubber mats.

The FB's new owner restitched the original trim. (image credit: Survivor Car Australia) The FB's new owner restitched the original trim. (image credit: Survivor Car Australia)

“It took almost forever to clean every speck of country dust and sand from in, out and under the FB revealing a genuine factory original, without erasing its history with a restoration,” Kaine says with pride.

“This pre-June 1960 nitrocellulose paint has to be one of the most original surviving on an FB Holden highlighted in Fernando Yellow with the contrasting side-flash.” The barn find came fitted with the original 138 grey six-cylinder and three-speed manual crash box – from the factory they were good for a 22-second standing quarter. With styling rooted from Detroit’s 1950s designs, the FB model was reminiscent of ’57 Chevrolet with its chrome-laden grille, wraparound glass, curved roofline and rear fins. Some 175,000 FB Holdens were produced and sold in the first 14 months before the revised EK model appeared.

Some 175,000 FB Holdens were produced and sold before the revised EK model appeared. (image credit: Survivor Car Australia) Some 175,000 FB Holdens were produced and sold before the revised EK model appeared. (image credit: Survivor Car Australia)

In coming full circle within the auction circuit, Kaine’s FB Holden was put up for sale at the Shannons Spring Auction in Sydney where it fetched a respectable $26,500. Indeed a great investment for the new owner. 

Source: Survivor Car Australia

Do you think this FB Holden is worth $26k? Let us know in the comments.