From The Sydney Morning Herald - "Holden's concept car is off to Detroit - to sweeten a deal to export the Commodore to the US, reports JOSHUA DOWLING.
Holden's Efijy concept car - the star of the 2005 Sydney motor show - is heading to the United States to take centre stage on General Motors' display at next month's Detroit motor show.
The 21st-century hot-rod, which was built by Holden designers in their spare time, is powered by a 6.0-litre V8 that is 11 times more powerful than the original 1953 FJ Holden on which it is loosely based.
It is not destined for production but is being sent to Detroit to display General Motors' global design expertise - and as a bit of a tease.
Holden is in the final stages of negotiating with its US parent company to export the Commodore SS there as a Pontiac sports sedan. A decision is due in the next few months.
The hope is the Efijy will show Americans that Australian car designers have diverse skills, from designing fleet sedans to sports sedans.
Displaying the Efijy at one of the world's biggest motor shows is regarded as a great compliment to Holden's Australian-based design team.
The Efijy would not have been built if it weren't for the designers' efforts and the generosity of suppliers who donated most of the high-tech parts and instruments.
The Efijy is the brainchild of Holden designer Richard Ferlazzo, who had wanted to build a hot-rod-style concept since he first penned one in a moment of inspiration in 1989. "When I started at Holden, when I saw what materials and technology the company had access to, I thought, 'Gee, imagine what sort of a hot-rod you could build with all this high-tech gear,' " he told Drive at the car's unveiling in October 2005.
The Efijy was originally going to be built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the FJ in 2003 but was delayed by other projects. Its supercharged 6.0-litre HSV engine produces 480kW of power and 775Nm of torque.
The car is based on the stretched and widened underpinnings of a C5 Corvette. "The electrical engineering guys had a Corvette that was about to be scrapped, so we asked if we could use its underpinnings for the show car," Ferlazzo says.
The Efijy is almost as long as a Statesman and as wide as a Hummer and yet has a lower roofline than a Monaro. It can be driven but only at low speeds because the Soprano Purple bodywork is made of fibreglass.
More than 20 suppliers and designers donated time, parts and expertise to build the car over 12 months at a cost of $200,000. However, if it were to be built again from scratch - and if the parts and labour had to be paid for - Holden estimates it would cost $1.5 million.
Inside, the original FJ's humble valve radio has been replaced by a touch-screen display. Buttons on the centre console, which control the four-speed auto transmission, replace the three-on-the-tree gearshift from 1953.
Ferlazzo says the car is all about fun. "It makes people smile. This is a tribute to what can be achieved with today's technology. Imagine what designers could have done in the 1950s if they had today's technology available to them.
"At the end of the day, we're all car nuts. We spend our days working on sensible and practical cars. Sometimes you've got to have a bit of fun."
Here's a link to HOLDEN's official spec page - Concept Car Specs
Slightly different photos and full specs from an article on Web Wombat:-
Holden EFIJY custom coupe
Powered by a 6.0-litre supercharged V8, the
EFIJY custom coupe belts out 480kW @ 6400rpm
An Effigy of the FJ
When two of its domestic rivals are releasing new vehicles in the form of the Mitsubishi 380 and BF Ford Falcon, what's GM Holden to do in order to attract a show goer's attention?
Create a concept that eclipses even the dramatics of the much-loved Torana TT36 concept? Dead right.
The new EFIJY is a brilliant example of Aussie car design and component implementation, powered by a ridiculously powerful blown V8, with air suspension, 22-inch rear wheels, a touch screen interface and plenty of advanced LED lighting.
Development of the hotrod design was to be completed in 2003, to celebrate the FJ's 50th birthday, but only got as far as clay models after it was decided the Torana TT36 would be fully developed for the 2004 AIMS.
The Holden money men gave the project the green light earlier this year, giving the design team led by Ferlazzo about eight months to bring the project together. "EFIJY has been a real labour of love for everyone involved and it shows in the way it feels. It gave us a unique opportunity to showcase Holden’s creative abilities," said Ferlazzo, "and those of some of our key partners, in a way which will appeal to a broader audience."
And appeal it will. The car is huge, hitting you square between the eyes with its sheer immensity, while the retro hotrod design combined with modern componentry combines for what is arguably one of Holden's slickest projects ever.
"It’s been a long road to bring this to reality," continued Ferlazzo, "and the perfect time to do it before we pull the covers off our new Commodore range [in 2006]. We’re pretty sure that an Australian motor show has never seen anything like EFIJY from a local carmaker before," said Ferlazzo. And methinks he could be quite right.
- Feann Torr, Editor
Holden's EFIJY custom coupe measures
almost 5.2m long and 2m wide - very big
The huge engine bay dwarfs the boosted 6.0-litre V8
Note the pop-out touch screen above the centre
console that controls ride height, seat positions etc.
GM Holden's headline act at the 2005 Australian International Motor Show in Sydney was a blast from the past, albeit one with enough technology - and raw power - under the skin to send shivers up the backs of the most modern sports cars.
Holden calls the EFIJY a radical pillarless custom coupe boasting V8 Supercar power under the bonnet, a Chevrolet Corvette underbody and state-of-the-art automotive technology throughout.
And it's not lacking for power either, kitted out with an LS2 6.0-litre V8, complete with a roots-type supercharger that ups power and torque to supercar levels. Peak power is 480kW or 645hp @ 6400rpm, while 775Nm (560 ft.lb) of gut-wrenching torque is produced at the crankshaft, delivered to the rear wheels via a 4-speed auto @ 4200rpm.
Holden explains that the 6.0-litre LS2 V8 engine has been supercharged and modified by Ron Harrop, well known throughout the Australian automotive and motorsport industry and an ex-FJ Holden racer.
Driven by a roots-type supercharger and with a compression ratio of 10.9:1, the engine delivers peak power of 480kW and 775Nm, giving it performance figures equal to the stated output from 2005 Series V8 Supercars that recently raced around Bathurst, and almost 11 times greater than the 45kW (60 horsepower) powertrain offered in the 1953 FJ Holden!
The EFIJY's engine is mated to a rear-mounted 4-speed automatic transmission featuring push button electronic control, while a limited slip differential has been fitted for obvious reasons.
A custom designed exhaust system was also fashioned for the mammoth car: a stainless steel 2.5-inch dual system with customised compact headers and billet aluminium exhaust tips.
The power output is transferred to massive 22 × 10-inch billet aluminium wheels with fluting which echoes the FJ’s more modest original 15-inch x 4-inch wheels. Reflecting its street sled heritage, the front wheels are 20-inch x 9-inch.
The brakes feature 381mm (15-inch) grooved and ventilated rotors front and rear, combined with big 6-pot aluminium calipers at the front and 4-piston calipers at the rear.
With insane amounts of power to match it's arresting retro looks, Holden's new showcar will be a must-see for the Holden faithful, and perhaps even some intrigued Ford fans. Finished in ‘Soprano Purple’ paintwork, Holden says this highlights its curvaceous 5.2-metre body, reinterpreting the classic design cues of the iconic 1953 FJ Holden.
GM Holden has stated that the EFIJY is not intended for production, but has been a passionate side project for some Holden Design team members otherwise dedicated to creating the all-new 2006 VE Commodore. A long-term dream for chief designer Richard Ferlazzo, EFIJY brought together almost 20 suppliers to highlight the latest in mechanical, electronic and material products and ideas.
Automotive excess pounds through the concept's almost 500 kilowatt, supercharged V8 engine and air adjustable shock absorbers through to a touch control LCD screen and fan-cooled LED headlamps show what Australian minds are capable of.
Holden's new chief designer and the EFIJY project leader, Richard Ferlazzo, who sketched the first EFIJY designs in 1989 and is a long-time custom car fanatic, said the car existed purely for automotive entertainment.
"Invariably, people smile when they see it for the first time. EFIJY is our accolade to the talented designers who cut loose with some fantastically flamboyant styling in the post-war 1940s and 1950s," Ferlazzo said.
"Ask the question, ‘what would these people have created using all the skill sets and technology we have now’, and EFIJY might be the all-Australian answer to that question.
"EFIJY is also aimed at the legions of custom car and hot rod enthusiasts out there whose appetites aren’t generally met in the concept car arena," enthused Ferlazzo.
"Most importantly, it sends the message that the same people who have sensible day jobs designing entirely practical cars have the passion and inspiration to create something as outrageous as EFIJY. We're all car nuts together and the fact that EFIJY stands on our Sydney Motorshow stand goes some way to legitimising this form of automotive design in the mainstream," stated Ferlazzo.
Holden says that the design team cleverly incorporated FJ design cues into EFIJY's radical custom coupe body, acknowledging the most important aspects of the iconic 1953 release. The famously familiar FJ grille looms larger than life, fronting a low, wide and handsome body extravagantly elongated and brimming with retro chic style.
The Corvette rolling chassis was lengthened to accommodate the long EFIJY body, which is more than 700 millimetres longer than the FJ by which it was inspired. The Soprano Purple paint has multiple layers of translucent pigmented topcoats which creates the rich, deep effect, and looks sensational under the Sydney motor show's bright lights.
Holden says that all the brightwork on the vehicle is handmade billet aluminium to maximise its authentic look, nowhere more evident than the stunning grill salute to FJ's distinctive front.
Testament to Holden's adoption of the latest technology and its implementation, a proximity sensor opens the door automatically as the driver approaches, revealing deep cream leather twin tombstone-shaped seats equipped with integral belts. There's even a drop-down, touch control LCD screen and an instrument cluster glowing with the number ‘53’– another FJ gesture – set in the body-coloured metal dash that pulsates with a radiogram retro orange glow.
The EFIJY's prowling appearance can be accentuated by the air-adjustable suspension. At the touch an LCD screen, the ominous-looking automobile can hunker down to just 27 millimetres from the ground (it's current motor show level) or rise to a more practical drive height of up to 139mm ground clearance.
Measuring 5162mm long and almost 2 metres wide (1999mm), the EFIJY's dominating glass fibre bodyshell is enhanced by the use of LED headlights and tail lights, as well as courtesy lamps and sill plate illumination lamps inside the custom coupe.
Holden says that several of these LED lights are dual filament, allowing them to throw different colours depending on the application, and like any great showcar, the EFIJY is stocked with a cutting edge entertainment system featuring hard drive audio and video storage driven through a major amplifier and speaker setup (2000W amplifier, 1000W RMS subwoofer, two x 200W RMS mid-bass, two x 100W RMS split mid-range and two x 100W RMS directional tweeters).
GM Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Denny Mooney, said the EFIJY project was a bold statement on the creative talent available within Holden’s design ranks. Mr Mooney said the project was developed as a collaboration with suppliers which reduced impact on the company’s heavy work schedule and ensured the highest possible quality result for the showcar.
"EFIJY is all about fun, emotion and imagination. It shows what a bunch of clever and talented design people can do when they are let loose to create something really wild," Mr Mooney said. "This year was a fantastic opportunity for us to create something which highlights our designers’ ability and versatility. EFIJY is sure to evoke different memories for everyone who sees it. People might focus on the FJ links, the glorious custom coupes of the 1930s or the great design flair of the 1950s."
I notice the guys over at THE CORVETTE FORUM are checking out this story. This is a Hard-Core 'Vette site. Hey nice to meet y'all! Why don't you post a comment? I've joined your forum so I can check out some of your cars.
For a little more info on the FJ go to THE POWERHOUSE MUSEUM
FJ Holden Special
Object automobile, FJ Holden Special
Object No. 85/795
Designer General Motors – Holden's Ltd
Maker General Motors – Holden's Ltd
Size height 1575mm, width 1700mm, length 4400mm, weight 1034kg
Materials steel body
What is it?
This car is a 1955 Holden Special four door sedan.
The design of this car reflects car fashion of the time. It is large, with rounded bulbous bodylines and was designed to project an aerodynamic modern look. The 'Special' was Holden's first luxury car. The chromed grill at the front is a design feature. Compared to modern cars there are surprisingly few dials and controls. The dashboard is made of bakelite, an early form of plastic, and there is a lot of chrome plating details. The bench style seats are upholstered in red leather, complementing the grey body.
132.5 cubic inch (2,171 cc) OHV six-cylinder engine
transmission: three speed gearbox
single plate dry disc clutch
integral frame 2616 mm wheel base
steering: worm and sector mechanism
front suspension is independent coil with control arms and lever type shock absorbers; semi-elliptical leaf springs and telescopic shock absorbers at the rear
Why is it important?
The FJ Holden is an Australian icon because it represents the typical family car of the 1950s at a time when car ownership was becoming a realistic ambition for many Australian families. The FJ Holden was the most popular and successful car of its time. Wholly Australian manufactured, over 200 cars were built per week, approximately 170,000 in total.
The FJ quickly entered into popular culture as a symbol of family values, enjoyment, stability and the pleasures and freedom of the open road. There are many songs, films, and stories that feature an FJ Holden!
Holdens were first manufactured in Victoria, Australia in 1948, with export beginning in the 1950s.
The Powerhouse Museum collection features an extensive range of transport objects, many of which are on permanent display.