EH Holden

EH Holden

These pages include a number of specifications, some brief history and some original advertising literature from the time the cars were released.

General Motors Holdens used a two letter prefix to identify the individual models which produced. Actually, they still do. The 'EH' was produced between 1963 and 1965, and was Holden Motor Company's greatest seller at the time.

The EH was produced in four distinct body styles. These were the sedan, station wagon, panel van and utility.

The utility is a two door vehicle, with a sedan like passenger compartment, and a carrying tray behind. Actually, we Aussies invented the utility back in 1933, when a farmer of the day approached the Ford Motor Company with an idea for a vehicle which could carry around his tools and stock feed, and still be able to take his wife to church on Sundays! Hence, the Ford Coupe Utility was born. The difference between the 'utility' and the American 'pick-up' is that the utility is a one piece body, whereas the 'pick-up' has a separate cab and tray. Anyway, enough about Fords!

The New EH Holden
Engines -

The EH was offered with an all new engine based around the Chevy Blue Flame six. It was available in three variations.

These were:

  • 149 Cubic Inch low compression - developing 95 h.p.
  • 149 Cubic Inch high compression - developing 100 h.p.
  • 179 Cubic Inch high compression - developing 115 h.p.

Check out the brochure on the new Holden Red Motors.

These may not seem like huge performance figures, but to the public brought up on mainly English sourced vehicles, they were great! In fact, when originally introduced, the 179 was only available with the Hydramatic transmission, as it was seen to be too powerful for the general populous to control! This decision was later reviewed due to public demand for the 179 with a manual transmission.

The engines themselves were of oversquare design and had a seven bearing crankshaft. They also were the first Holden to use hydraulic valve lifters, and external oil pump and oil filter for easier servicing. These motors became known as "Red" motors due to the fact that the were, obviously, red.

The basic design of this motor was used up until 1985, where it had developed into a 3.3 litre with fuel injection, 12 port head, counterbalanced crank and other goodies. They are regarded as some of the most reliable engines ever produced, and some do amazing mileage before needing rebuilds.

Of the four body styles available, the two passenger models were offered in three levels of refinement;  

Standard - The basic car, with no additional trimming or fittings. The body of this model was painted in a single colour. These were sometimes purchased as Taxis or rental vehicles.

Special - The most popular model, with stainless steel trims along the side, chrome Special badges, two tone vinyl interiors, as well as a better choice of exterior colours with a white roof.

Premier - This was the luxury model, with innovations such as full leather interiors featuring bucket seats and a console with controls for the two speed fan heater. The Premier also featured metallic paint, a push button AM radio and arm rests on all four doors (sedan). A number of factory options were fitted at standard equipment, such as hand brake warning light, glove box light and luggage compartment light (sedan). The steering wheel, gear selector, heater switch and turn indictor switches, usually grey, were all colour coded white for an up-market appearance. The Premier came standard with the larger 179 Cubic Inch motor, and Hydramatic auto transmission. See the pictures below for more information.

Utility - The EH was also offered as two commercial vehicles. The first of these is the Utility. The commercial vehicles were only offered in one level of trim, but options were able to be purchased from Holden dealers. The carrying capacity of both the Utility and Panel Van was half a ton. The utility was offered with the standard 149 cubic inch motor, or with the 179 as an option. In fact, due to its lighter weight than the passenger variants, the EH Ute with the 179 motor and standard 3 speed manual transmission was our first genuine Aussie produced 100 MPH vehicle!

The Utility was also available with the Hydramatic transmission, but this was not a popular option when new. Due to the larger transmission tunnel in the floor to suit the automatic transmission, utilities with this option are now highly sought by EH enthusiasts, as it is not uncommon for EH owners to fit Holden and Chevy V8's. The larger tunnel allows Trimatic (Aussie) autos, as well as Powergilde and Turbo Hydro 350's to fit without modification. Also, a number of larger V8 sourced manual transmissions, as well as Japanese 4 and 5 speeds, will fit the automatic floor tunnel with no clearance problems.

Panel Van - The second commercial bodied EH offered was the Panel Van. You may know this style as the Sedan Delivery. The Panel Van had a higher roof line than the utility or passenger vehicles, which made it popular for carrying high loads. As with the utility, automatic versions were available, but are very rare to find now. Also, finding a "Windowless" bodied panel van, that is one which has the side panels intact, is particularly difficult. The Panel Van was also offered with the 149 cubic inch motor as standard, with an option of a 179. As you would imagine, these vehicles were used by tradesmen for most of their life, so finding one in good condition takes a fair amount of searching.
Here are some great EH commercial and passenger sales brochures.
Go to EH Passenger sales brochure
Go to EH Passenger
sales brochure
Go to EH Commercial sales brochure
Go to EH Commercial
sales brochure
Here are some EH Holden advertisements (from TIME magazine and Readers Digest) and a Nasco Accessory guide..
Go to EH advertisements
Go to EH advertisements
Go to Nasco Accessories
Go to Nasco Accessories
Here are some EH Holden magazine tests from the day.
Go to EH Magazine test
Go to EH Magazine test
Go to EH Magazine test
Go to EH Magazine test
Go to EH Magazine test
Go to EH Magazine test
Here are some additional brochures available at the time of the EH model release. Not all of these were available to the public. The first two cover the new red motor, and the Hydramatic auto transmission.
Go to the New Holden Red Motor Brochure
Go to the New
Holden Red Motor Brochure
Go to the Hydramatic Transmission Brochure
Go to the Hydramatic
Transmission Brochure
A big sales push called 'Operation 64 and a half' was put in place to further assist sales. Salesmen's kits were produced with lots of additional info about the model, and incentives aimed at increasing sales.
Go to the Holden Power Steer Salesman's Brochure
Go to the Holden Power
Steer Salesman's Brochure
Go to the GMH Proving Ground Brochure
Go to the GMH
Proving Ground Brochure
These pages are heavily based on the work of Mike Long, Copyright 1997-2008, MSLDesign. Accessed on the 14th October 2008


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