Automobile badge, 'FB Holden', chrome, made by General Motors Holden, Australia, 1960
The twelve car badges are representative of the top three Australian car manufacturers between 1960 and 1980, General Motors Holden Australia, Ford Australia and Chrysler Australia Ltd. The badges are from the following cars: FE Holden of 1956-58; FC Holden of 1958-1960; FB Holden of 1960; EH Holden of 1963-65; HR Holden Premier of 1966-68; HT and HG Holden Monaro GTS of 1969-1970; Holden HQ (Kingswood) of 1971-74; Holden Torana UC of 1978; Ford Falcon XW and XY of 1969-1972; and Chrysler Valiant from 1962-1981.
Over the 20 year period the three companies, Holden, Chrysler and Ford vied for supremacy of the six cylinder four door family car market. Local car manufacturing was at a peak during this period heralded by Holden who by 1958 held over 50 percent of the local market share. Slowly the share became more divided with the companies watching and competing against each other. The badges also illustrate and represent the emergence of locally-made cars in Australia motor sport of the period associated with names such as Monaro and Torana where a win at Bathurst was associated with increased car sales. Furthermore names such as Kingswood and Premier are part of the cultural identity of Australians and their cars. The badges also show an interesting development of graphic design with the change in printing and lettering styles over the 20 year period as well as material construction from chrome to plastic.
Margaret Simpson, 2005
The 'Holden' badge is from the boot lid of a 1960 Holden FB sedan. The FB Holden was released in January 1960, in answer to Ford's XK Falcon. The FB model, more than any other, reflected the fascination of American culture of the 1950s with its heavy embellishments and wraparound windscreen, lower bonnet line and finned rear guards. The FB Holden was lower, wider and longer than previous models. There were mechanical improvements and re-styling inside and out. Large diecast mouldings were used for the tail light assembly together with a flare on the rear fenders and a slope on the roof.
The FB had the first 'real' fins, (the FC's ones being add ons) as well as a new American-style dashboard with speedo featuring an orange-coloured curved indicator band instead of a needle pointer and wrap-around windscreen with dog-leg windscreen pillars and sloping rear glass. This was an increase in overall glass area of the FC of 27%. In addition to these modern features, the FB also had a lower and flatter bonnet line, no longer having a hint of the classic V shape of the late 1930's.
Furthermore, a more efficient interior layout increased usable room. A fully drained plenum chamber that collected air from a full-width intake vent between the front windscreen and the rear edge of the bonnet, considerably improved the ventilation throughout the car. Options like the 'Warmaride' heater/demister and a radio added to the plush Americanised environment.
A total of 174,747 FB Holdens were built from 1960 to 1961. It was the first Holden with acrylic paint work and the first for which left-hand drive export versions were produced.