Canterbury Museum

Real Stories

Canterbury Heritage

FE Holden

Canterbury Museum’s FE Holden

This vehicle was purchased new in December 1956 from Holden’s Christchurch agent, Blackwell Motors Ltd, by William S. Richards, a local real estate agent.  It was one of three ‘FE’ models imported by Blackwell’s at the time, and one of 6902 vehicles manufactured by Holden in October 1956.

The car was given by W.S. Richards to his first cousin, Miss Rose Reynolds, who gave it the nickname ‘Fitzwilliam’. Miss Reynolds used the car until 1986 when she presented it to the Museum.

The vehicle retains its original leather upholstery and colour scheme, although it has been repainted. Seat belts were fitted in the 1970s to comply with current vehicle safety standards. The car has Holden optional accessories — windshield sunshade, locking fuel-tank filler-cap and weather shield. It was regularly serviced by Blackwell Motors Ltd until taken off the road in 1986. The odometer reading when the vehicle was laid up was 34 700 miles (55 844 km).

Technical Specifications

Make: General Motors, Holden
Model: Special Sedan
Series Designation: FE
Date of Manufacture: October 1956
Engine Size: 132.5 cu in.  (2.2 litres)
Number of Cylinders
: 6
Horse Power (S.A.E. rating): 21.6
Weight: 2374 lbs approx.  (1077 kg)
: 105 in.  (2.7 metres)

Gift: Miss Rose Reynolds