Login to enhance your shopping experience.Login or Create an Account
Online Store Menu
Quick Store Search
There are no items in your shopping cart.
GM Holden Ltd is an automaker that operates in Australia, based in Port Melbourne, Victoria. The company was founded in 1856 as a saddlery manufacturer, but in the 20th century entered into the automotive field, becoming a subsidiary of the U.S.-based General Motors (GM) in 1931. After the GM takeover, the company was named General Motors-Holden's Ltd, becoming Holden Ltd in 1998, with the current name adopted in 2005.
Holden has taken charge of GM's vehicle operations in Australasia, and on their behalf, held partial ownership of GM Daewoo in South Korea between 2002 and 2009. Holden has offered a broad range of locally produced vehicles, supplemented by imported GM models. Holden has offered badge engineered Chevrolet, Nissan, Suzuki, Toyota, and Vauxhall Motors models in sharing arrangements, with Daewoo, Opel and Isuzu-sourced models sold currently.
All Australian-built Holden vehicles are manufactured at Elizabeth in South Australia, and engines are produced at the Fishermans Bend plant in Port Melbourne, Victoria. Historically, production or assembly plants were operated in all mainland states of Australia, with GM's New Zealand subsidiary Holden New Zealand operating a plant until 1990. The consolidation of car production at Elizabeth was completed in 1988, but some assembly operations continued at Dandenong until 1996.
Although Holden's involvement in exports has fluctuated since the 1950s, the declining sales of large cars in Australia has led the company to look to international markets to increase profitability.
The Holden straight-six motor is a straight-six engine produced by General Motors–Holden's in Australia between 1948 and 1986. Initially dubbed the Grey motor alluding to the colour of the cylinder block, later iterations came in the form of a Red, Blue, Black and the four-cylinder Starfire engine. These engines were fitted to all Australian-designed Holdens of the same years, and the four-cylinder Starfire notably found its way into the Toyota Corona (XT130).
132.5 cubic inches (2.2 L) Grey motor in a 1948–1953 48-215
The Grey motor built between 1948 and 1962, earned its name as the engine block was painted grey. This overhead valve engine was first fitted to the Holden 48-215 and mated to a three-speed manual transmission. A three-speed GM Roto-Hydramatic 240 automatic transmission was optionally fitted in the latter EK and EJ series. The engine was based on a Buick pre-World War II design, and saw only minor changes throughout its 15-year life.
It displaced 132.5 cubic inches (2.2 L) in its original form, and was bored out to 138 cubic inches (2.3 L) when the FB series was introduced in 1960. It made 60 brake horsepower (45 kW) at 5000 rpm, providing superior performance than competing four-cylinder Austin, Morris, Vauxhall and Ford of Britain vehicles. Due to the low compression ratio (7.5:1) they were able to revolve quite fast and effortlessly. Due to their sheer ubiquity, they were popular for racing, and were fitted to many open-wheelers, as well as racing Holdens. With the motors' low-end torque, they also found their way into boats and machinery such as forklift trucks.
This engine ran a seven-port non-crossflow cast iron cylinder head. There were three siamese (shared) inlet ports for cylinders 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6, two individual exhaust ports for cylinders 1 and 6, and two siamese exhaust ports for cylinders 2-3 and 4-5 in a layout on one side of the head casting. The inlets were fed by a single barrel Stromberg carburettor in common and fitted with a traditional points distributor and ignition coil. The ignition system was six volts to match the 48-215 and FJ's six volt negative ground system, as was the starter engine. The earliest grey motors (approximately 100,000) were fitted with Delco-Remy accessories, although Lucas and Bosch equivalents throughout the motor’s lifetime replaced these.
The very first production grey motor (1948) was number 1001, and they continued in a single sequence until July 1956, when the prefix "L" was introduced. The change affected all engines numbered L283373 and above, signifying the 12 volt negative ground engines as fitted to the all new FE model. The prefix "U" was introduced for motors with the original electricals as fitted to the run-on FJ utility and panel van models, which ended in February and May of 1957 respectively. The change was effective from engine U283384. The prefix "B" was introduced and the number sequence reset with the introduction of the 138 cubic inches (2.3 L) displacement engine, and ultimately this was replaced by a "J" prefix for motors fitted to EJ vehicles in 1962.
1948–1953 Holden FX
1948–1953 Holden 48-215 (sedan)
1951–1953 50-2106 (coupé utility)
1953 48-215-257 (Business/Taxi sedan, sometimes abbreviated to 48-217)
1953–1956 Holden FJ
1956–1958 Holden FE
1958–1960 Holden FC
1960–1961 Holden FB
1961–1962 Holden EK
1962–1963 Holden EJ
Superseding the Grey motor, the Red motor was manufactured between 1963 and 1980. Denoted by the cylinder block painted red, the engine debuted in the Holden EH in capacities of 149 cubic inches (2.44 L) and 179 cubic inches (2.93 L) (or HP) producing 100 brake horsepower (75 kW) and 115 brake horsepower (86 kW) respectively. This was a power increase of 33 per cent and 53 per cent over the previous motor.
Red six cylinder engines manufactured after October 1964 had the cubic inch capacity of the engine cast in raised numbers on the side of the block behind the generator/alternator location. Red engines manufactured prior to October 1964 had either no numbers cast (meaning that it was a 149 cubic inch engine) or the letters "HP" cast (meaning that it was a 179 cubic inch engine). All Red engines manufactured prior to April 1967 (including 149, 179, 161 and 186 engines) had forged steel crankshafts.
Holden Standard, Special, Premier (1963–1968)
1963–1965 Holden EH
1965–1966 Holden HD
1966–1968 Holden HR
Holden Belmont, Kingswood, Premier (1968–1980)
1968–1969 Holden HK
1969–1970 Holden HT
1970–1971 Holden HG
1971–1974 Holden HQ
1974–1976 Holden HJ
1976–1977 Holden HX
1977–1980 Holden HZ
Holden Commodore (1978–1980)
1978–1980 Holden VB Commodore
Holden Torana (1969–1979)
1969-1971 Holden LC Torana
1972-1974 Holden LJ Torana
1974-1975 Holden LH Torana
1976-1978 Holden LX Torana
1978-1979 Holden UC Torana
1971-1979 Bedford CF (Australasian models only)
3.3 litre Blue motor in a 1981–1984 VH Commodore
The Blue specification debuted in the 1980 VC Commodore. The blue motor was a development of the earlier red engine, and incorporated several improvements. The biggest of these changes was the complete redesign of the cylinder head; this was now a 12 port design with individual ports for each cylinder. The crankshaft for the 3.3 litre engine now had counterweights on each throw, and stronger connecting rods were used. A two-barrel Varajet carburetor was standard, as was a dual outlet exhaust manifold and a Bosch HEI distributor. It was made in 3.3 and 2.85 litre versions.
1980–1985 Holden WB
1980–1981 Holden VC Commodore
1981–1984 Holden VH Commodore
The Black specification was introduced in the 1984 VK Commodore. In the VL series of 1986, Holden ceased the tradition of employing Australian-made and designed six-cylinder engines, instead opting for the Nissan RB30 engine. This came because pending emission standards and the requirement for unleaded fuel made it difficult to re-engineer the engine.
The black engine was produced in 3.3 litre form only, and in carbureted and fuel injected versions. The carbureted engine was almost identical to the previous blue engine, the main difference being in the use of computer controlled spark timing (EST). The Bosch-injected version used a long-runner intake manifold and a conventional HEI ignition. It also had slightly different cylinder head intake ports for improved breathing.
This 1.9 litre (1,892 cc) powerplant, known as the Starfire engine, was effectively Holden's existing 2.85 litre 173 cu in straight-six with two cylinders removed. Designed and built in Australia to satisfy local content rules, it first appeared in 1978 during the UC Sunbird's production run, replacing the Opel 1.9L cam-in-head unit used in LH, LX and earlier UC Torana/Sunbird 4-cylinder models.
Peak power output for the Starfire was 58 kilowatts (78 hp), with a 17.5 second acceleration time from 0-100 kilometres (0–62 mi) in the VC Commodore. This variant's performance meant the need to push the engine hard leading to fuel consumption similar to the straight-sixes. Due to this, it was often nicknamed as Misfire or Backfire. This engine was replaced in the Australian market by the Camira's OHC Camtech unit, however it continued until 1986 in New Zealand, where it was used to power 4-cylinder versions of the VK Commodore.
1978–1980 Holden UC Sunbird
1980–1981 Holden VC Commodore
1981–1984 Holden VH Commodore
1984–1986 Holden VK Commodore (New Zealand)
1979–1982 Toyota Corona (XT130)
Holden V8 engine
The Holden V8 is an overhead valve (OHV) V8 engine which was produced by Holden in Australia between 1969 and 2000. The engine was used initially in the Kingswood and Monaro model ranges; it was later utilised in the Torana and Commodore ranges. The final iteration, the HEC 5000i, was phased out in the VT I Commodore in 1999, replaced by the imported American GM-Powertrain Gen III V8. The engine continued briefly in the VS III Commodore utility which continued to be sold alongside the VT model until the VT/X-based Holden Ute referred to as the VU series debuted in 2000.
In addition to being Holden's mainstream performance engine throughout its production run, it was also a popular powerplant for kit cars and specials as well as for motorsport in Holden's efforts in the Australian Touring Car Championship and the Bathurst 1000 right up until 1995. Australian company Repco developed and built the Repco-Holden Formula 5000 engine for Formula 5000 and other racing applications using the block and head castings of the Holden 308 V8 as its basis. The engine featured many modifications including Lucas fuel injection and dual coil Bosch ignition and more than 150 special components designed by Repco. The lifter bore angle in the engine block is 45° from the block centerline.
Initially offered in 253-cubic-inch (4.2 L) and 308-cubic-inch (5.0 L) versions, the engines were intended to be offered on the 1968 HK versions of the new Kingswood ranges but the project ran behind schedule. The success of Ford Australia's 289 ci V8 powered XR Falcon GT - in particular the publicity that followed the cars success at the 1967 Gallaher 500 - saw the V8 added to the plans for the forthcoming coupe adaptation of the HK Kingswood, to be known as the Monaro and the luxury version of the Kingswood, the Brougham, and the utility panel vans. The engine was offered as part of the Kingswood/Monaro model ranges, alongside the 350 ci (5.7 L) Chevrolet Small-Block engine throughout their combined lives which came to an end in 1980.
The engine also appeared from 1971 in the Statesman range of large size luxury cars which Holden established as a separate marque, replacing the Holden badged Brougham. In 1974 the engines were added to the new larger LH Torana range and was offered as well on the LX model range, but not the final UC range which appeared in 1978.
Both engine capacities were offered on the first Commodores which appeared in 1978. The 253 ci version was dropped in 1984 and was not offered in the VK model range. At the same time the special editions modified by Holden's official after-market tuner, Holden Dealer Team began introducing the 304 ci (4.9 L) version of the engine, created to slip underneath the 5000 cc engine capacity cut-off in Group A touring car regulations, allowing Commodore competitors to run at a lower competition weight.
Fuel injection replaced the carburettors initially on the VL Commodore SS Group A SV, again with Group A touring car racing in mind, this car produced by replacement after-market tuner Holden Special Vehicles (HSV). While Group A disappeared after the VN model range, the fuel injected 304 engine was offered in Commodores right up until the VS III Commodore utility.