Holden Efijay Production?

I remember as a young bloke reading an ad for a Holden FJ that was nearby for $3,000. I rang the seller and then jumped in the car to look at it. Unfortunately even back then three grand only bought you a rustbucket FJ that is up on blocks. I ended up buying a 1962 EJ Holden instead. So it was with interest when I saw Holden display a modern vision of the FJ in the Efijay that was put on a Chevrolet Corvette chassis.

The car picked up interest in the United States and was shown around the different motor shows and cruises/drive-ins. It seems that some wealthy folks want it, and want it bad. Autoblog writes:

It’s not uncommon for over enthusiastic gear heads to make offers or even send in checks to buy a concept car with the hope that production is right around the corner. General Motors has apparently already received interest for a production version of its heralded Holden Efijy concept from “Oil-rich sheiks, mega-millionaire British businessmen and even the brother of Russia’s president.”

Speculation is that some co-operative between Holden, HSV and Elfin will build it for a cool one million a pop. It is good to see innovative design and engineering be rewarded by the market. It will also be a headline car for Holden if it all goes ahead. Good stuff.

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Jc
Jc
14 years ago

It’s really cool , hey. I saw it a few years back at the motor show and it was a stopper. You just looked and looked at it. The interior was brillant too.

Brendan Halfweeg
Brendan Halfweeg
14 years ago

I like it. But for that kind of dosh I might splash out on a Bugatti Veyron AU$2.2 million (

gilmae
14 years ago

Jebus, if this was an animated film about cars, that’d be the bad guys lieutenant. Very nice.

David Rubie
David Rubie
14 years ago

A Corvette (circa $35,000USD) in fancy dress is worth a million dollars? Sounds more like a plot from Austin Powers. Who would pay that kind of money for a rolling caricature? It’s hideous.

Perry
Perry
14 years ago

If you can’t afford a Ford, dodge the Dodges,and hold onto a Holden.

derrida derider
derrida derider
14 years ago

Looking at that picture, it just shows once again that money can’t buy taste. People, it’s butt-ugly. And I bet it handles like the original FJ too.

Nicholas Gruen
Admin
Nicholas Gruen(@nicholas-gruen)
14 years ago

One would think one ought to be able to make a reasonable business out of such speciality cars – and freight to the US is not much as a proportion of value. The niche is presumably not custom building, but smallish mass builds – of 5-20,000 per year. I would have thought that our industry ought to be able to make vehicles profitably that are customised in home markets. So we could have a ‘hearse’ line feeding off Ford and Holden sedan lines, Limos are another example. I wonder if taxis might be a specialised niche. It’s interesting that Ford dominates taxi markets apparently for longevity. So I wonder if one could build something that was particularly well suited to some large taxi markets off one of our car lines? Who knows?

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

Of course it is tasteless, David. We know it’s over the top. That’s what makes it so great looking.

However I don’t think they will find many buyers at a million a pop.

Now these are the most beautiful cars in the world.

http://www.spykercars.com/?pag=18

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

Sorry

I meant DD.

David Rubie
David Rubie
14 years ago

Nicholas Gruen wrote:

The niche is presumably not custom building, but smallish mass builds

I don’t think so. For the kind of money they are talking about, you can take your pre-bought corvette to a hot-rod specialist and they can build *exactly* what you want, rather than an off-the-peg shape or design. That way, when you spend your million, you can guarantee that you won’t see yourself coming the other way ever.

There are already specialist, small run companies building high performance vehicles (jc pointed out Spyker, but Bristol is still making retro road rockets (albeit with a british bent). When Holden start getting in on the act, it’s starting to smell like the late-eighties supercar bubble where every two bit manufacturer wanted to build a Ferrari F40.

When you see supercar bubbles, a worldwide recession can’t be far behind.

David Rubie
David Rubie
14 years ago

Nicholas Gruen wrote:

The niche is presumably not custom building, but smallish mass builds

I don’t think so. For the kind of money they are talking about, you can take your pre-bought corvette to a hot-rod specialist and they can build *exactly* what you want, rather than an off-the-peg shape or design. That way, when you spend your million, you can guarantee that you won’t see yourself coming the other way ever.

There are already specialist, small run companies building high performance vehicles (jc pointed out Spyker, but Bristol is still making retro road rockets (albeit with a british bent). When Holden start getting in on the act, it’s starting to smell like the late-eighties supercar bubble where every two bit manufacturer wanted to build a Ferrari F40.

When you see supercar bubbles, a worldwide recession can’t be far behind.

derrida derider
derrida derider
14 years ago

To take things OT, it always amazes me that none of the big manufacturers sells something designed from the ground up as a taxi. It would be far from a niche product if you sold it worldwide.

Such a taxi would have to be:
– absolutely bulletproof with minimal maintenance (any time off the road really hurts, especially where the fixed cost of a plate is a big part of overall costs)
– light enough to be easy on tyres and brakes and very fuel efficient in stop-start
– roomy
– quiet and smooth
– a really good turning circle

Other things such as performance, high-speed handling, styling and purchase price (which is small compared to running costs) would be much less of an issue than for most cars. So it would probably be a well padded aluminium (or even carbon-fibre) box on wheels powered by a diesel with a CV transmission.

David Rubie
David Rubie
14 years ago

Re: taxis,

I’m not sure if there is a real market for them. Most countries have reasonably different requirements (including cultural ones) that don’t necessarily translate to different environments. They tried using the little diesel Metro cabs in Sydney for a while and they were a failure (just not durable enough? dunno).

The American and Australian markets seem quite similar, the most common cab you see in the US used to be the Ford Crown Victoria, but I understand they’ve been trying to discontinue it for nearly 10 years unsuccessfully. The Crown Vic was really pretty similar to the Aussie Falcon and would be missed amongst the police in the U.S. as well. (also sold as the Lincoln Town Car and Mercury Grand Marquis). The original design dates back to 1979 and the BA Falcon is light years better to drive by comparison.

I can’t see a Falcon being very useful in London or Paris though – narrow streets, smaller parking spaces, different ideas about what constitutes good fuel economy and resistance to the LPG favoured in Australia due to differential taxation on that fuel. Falcons are durable, but not overly compared to Commodores – the industry switched in the 1980’s away from the (small original) Commodore and never really switched back due to what seems like inertia. No diesel engine makes it a no-go for Europe and the crash testing costs would be crippling to a little outfit like Ford Australia. Maybe Germany, but the Taxi market there is all Mercedes (understandably).

I thought Toyota or Mitsubishi might take the market over with a people mover, but it hasn’t really happened (except the maxi taxi market which is vanishingly small).

The really interesting bit of the Taxi market is the premium end – Fairlanes and LTD’s set up like the “limousines”. I thought the extended wheelbase Ford models would have been a dead certainty for the Crown Victoria market if it was discontinued, but nothing came of it as the vehicle has been endlessly reprieved.

Robert Merkel
14 years ago

Have any of you seen this in the flesh?

It looks even better in real life than in the photos, though I do wonder whether a version designed to even the modest practicality requirements of, say, a Lamborghini, would look as good.

For instance, if it had to meet American fender-bender rules (that say that the bumpers must survive an 8 km/h collision unscathed) it’s hard to see how this could be done while retaining the massive chrome bumper bar.

Nabakov
Nabakov
14 years ago

I reckon it’s fantastic looking car – LA Confidential meets Bladerunner meets The Fifth Element and so absolutely right for the current zietgeist.

And the Aus automotive industry has great expertise in short flexible production runs. Can’t seen any reason why it shouldn’t be developed and exported and/or licensed abroad. It’s like the way our vinters value add our grapes befor slapping a nifty label on the bottle. Bit of nifty marketing (“from those wonderful folks that brought you Mad Max, the Cars That Ate Paris, AC/DC and Nicole Kidman”)and I’m sure they could shift 50,000+ units easily globally at a decent profit margin. I’d buy one.

Patrick
Patrick
14 years ago

I’d be very surprised if they could shift 50k+ at $1m. That’s a LOT of cars in that bracket.

cam
cam
14 years ago

I think 50K Commodores are coming to the US as Pontiacs, so if there was that many they would probably be 30K USD a pop. If they are a million each I suspect the run numbers are something closer to twenty.

Wasn’t the 7L Monaro supercar expected to be a run of 200 at 250K each?

David Rubie
David Rubie
14 years ago

Nabakov wrote:

Bit of nifty marketing (from those wonderful folks that brought you Mad Max, the Cars That Ate Paris, AC/DC and Nicole Kidman)

“From those wonderful folks that brought you Air Supply, Men At Work, BMX Bandits and Alexander Downer”. Yep, that’ll work. Make it $2 million otherwise they won’t think we’re serious.