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Peter Briggs and 1948 Holden

First Holden falls short of the magic million dollars

on October 24 2013 | in Fun, Industry news, Latest news | by | with Comments Off

The first Australian-built prototype for the original Holden FX has sold for $A668,750 (NZ$772,000) at auction in Melbourne.

The car was expected to attract bids of up to A$1 million. It was offered for sale by West Australian collector Peter Briggs, who  displayed it at his private motor museum near Perth for more than 20 years.

The hand-made Holden was one of five prototypes built by General Motors before the first Holden, called the FX, went into production in October, 1948.

The prototypes were codenamed 48-215. The first three were built in Detroit with the aid of Holden engineers. The fourth and fifth were hand-built in Melbourne.

The first Detroit-built prototype was bought by the National Museum of Australia in Canberra for A$650,000 in 2004.

The museum car and the auction car – still driveable and registered as KJ-400 – are believed to be the only surviving pre-production cars.

The auction car’s history was verified by a South Australian historian specialising in Holden products.

When Briggs bought it at auction for A$15,000 in 1980, it was advertised as one of the Detroit prototypes.

But experts traced its origins to Holden’s workshops next to the Port Melbourne plant.

The winning bid of $A668,750 fell well short of that for the most expensive Holden ever sold.

Queesland car collector Shawn Ryan paid $A920,000 for a 2002 HRT 427 based on the Monaro and built by Holden Special Vehicles.

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