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FJ Holden gears up for 50 years on the road

3 OCTOBER 2003

In the lead up to the FJ's 50th anniversary celebrations being held in Canberra this month, the National Museum of Australia is searching for an unrestored FJ Holden to add to its vast historic car collection .

The Museum is seeking an FJ with a known history and in original condition which is no easy task given the car's cult status among restorers!

"The FJ represents the Australian spirit of achievement, and for many of us it was the first family car or the car we learnt to drive in," said National Museum Director Dawn Casey. "We're hoping to find an original FJ to help us reflect on the part the car has played in Australian society over the past 50 years."

Anniversary celebrations on 18 October, organised by the FX and FJ Car Club of Canberra, will include a lineup of more than 100 FJ vehicles from across Australia and some unusual conversions like an FJ army ute, ambulance and taxi and the Fair Dinkum FJ loaned to the Museum by singer John Williamson.

Celebrations include a traditional rocket cover race and cutting the cake.

Several FX Holdens will also be on display, along with early Holden memorabilia including FJ advertising material, parts, manuals and Holden pins and magazines.

Holden expert Don Loffler, who recently published a history of the FJ, will speak on the car's remarkable journey from sales success to icon.

"The FJ has a unique presence, with overtones of national pride, because it was the first all-Australian, mass-produced car and it worked it wasn't a flop!," Mr Loffler said.

"People were so proud of the FJ as an Australian achievement. Even if their first car was a hand-me-down FJ, it is still remembered with nostalgia. It might have been an old bomb, but at least it was an FJ."

Mr Loffler said the first FJ was unveiled in Melbourne on 28 October, 1953, five years after the production of the FX, and maintained the FX's tradition of being the best- selling car in its day.

The free FJ Holden 50th anniversary celebrations run from 9am-5pm on Saturday, 18 October at the National Museum in Canberra.

MEDIA NOTE: The official ceremony starts at 10.45am.

For enquiries, images or a place in the FJ lineup please contact Public Affairs Director Martin Portus on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481 or m.portus@nma.gov.au