Behold the Mumbo: Holden EFIJY Concept

Illustration for article titled Behold the Mumbo: Holden EFIJY Concept

First introduced in 2005, the Holden EFIJY has managed to fly under the Jalopnik radar — until now. Er, actually, until last night when we brought you some photos of it parked next to Chevy's Camaro Convertible Concept at Bob's Big Boy in Burbank. Well, in truth, the Postfather reported on the EFIJY back in October of 2005. A fact which only Davey would remember. Still, cars this bonkers deserve more virtual ink. At Bob's, friendly GM PR person Julie managed to track down a flash drive loaded with all sorts of, well, GM PR stuff, including these shots of the EFIJY. The press release claims that the EFIJY, "delivers retro, mumbo and gizmos in one glorious package." Which is just one more reason why we love Australia so damn much. Their cars have mumbo. Just to reiterate, the EFIJY rides on a stretched Corvette Chassis, packs a 645 hp supercharged LS2 and has the very, very coolest speedometer of all time. Click through the gallery to check out not only the 1953 Holden FJ that the EFIJY is an homage to, but an amazing Camino variant. Mumbo indeed. Full historical document press release after the jump.

The General Comes to Town: Camaro Convertible Concept at Bob's Big Boy [Internal]


Showcar delivers retro, mumbo and gizmos

EFFIGY (EF-ij-GEE) n. Stylistic representation of someone or something famous
FJ (EF-JAY) n. Iconic Australian motor vehicle released by Holden in 1953

The wild 21st Century hot rod reincarnating Australia's most famous car, the FJ Holden, was first unveiled at the 2005 Australian International Motor Show in Sydney.

EFIJY is a radical pillarless custom coupe boasting V8 Supercar power under the bonnet, Chevrolet Corvette underbody and state-of-the-art automotive technology throughout.


The 'Soprano Purple' paintwork highlights its curvaceous 5.2-metre body, reinterpreting the classic design cues of the iconic 1953 FJ Holden. It delivers retro, mumbo and gizmos in one glorious package.

Obviously not intended for production, EFIJY has been a passionate side project for some Holden Design team members otherwise dedicated to creating the all-new 2006 Commodore.


A long-term dream for Chief Designer Richard Ferlazzo, EFIJY brought together almost 20 suppliers to highlight the latest in mechanical, electronic and material products and ideas.

Automotive excess pounds through a 480-kilowatt, supercharged six-litre V8 engine and air-adjustable shock absorbers through to a touch control LCD screen and fan-cooled LED headlamps.


GM Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Denny Mooney, said the EFIJY project was a bold statement on the creative talent available within Holden's design ranks.

Mr Mooney said the project was developed as a collaboration with suppliers which reduced impact on the company's heavy work schedule and ensured the highest possible quality result for the showcar.


"EFIJY is all about fun, emotion and imagination. It shows what a bunch of clever and talented design people can do when they are let loose to create something really wild," Mr Mooney said.

"EFIJY is sure to evoke different memories for everyone who sees it. People might focus on the FJ links, the glorious custom coupes of the 1930s or the great design flair of the 1950s."


Design philosophies

Holden Chief Designer and EFIJY project leader Richard Ferlazzo, who sketched the first EFIJY designs in 1989 and is a long-time custom car fanatic, said the car existed purely for automotive entertainment.


"Invariably, people smile when they see it for the first time. EFIJY is our accolade to the talented designers who cut loose with some fantastically flamboyant styling in the post-war 1940s and 1950s," Ferlazzo said.

"Ask the question, 'what would these people have created using all the skill sets and technology we have now', and EFIJY might be the all-Australian answer to that question.


"EFIJY is also aimed at the legions of custom car and hot rod enthusiasts out there whose appetites aren't generally met in the concept car arena.

"Most importantly, it sends the message that the same people who have sensible day jobs designing entirely practical cars have the passion and inspiration to create something as outrageous as EFIJY."


Exterior and interior highlights

The design team has cleverly incorporated FJ design cues into EFIJY's radical custom coupe body, acknowledging the most important aspects of the iconic 1953 release.


The famously familiar FJ grille looms larger than life, fronting a low, wide and handsome body extravagantly elongated and brimming with retro chic style.

The Corvette rolling chassis was lengthened to accommodate the EFIJY body, which is more than 700 millimetres longer than the FJ by which it was inspired.


The Soprano Purple paint has multiple layers of translucent pigmented topcoats which creates the rich, deep effect.

All brightwork on the vehicle is hand-made billet aluminium to maximise its authentic look, nowhere more evident than the stunning grill salute to FJ's distinctive front.


A proximity sensor opens the door automatically as the driver approaches, revealing deep cream leather twin tombstone-shaped seats equipped with integral belts.

The drop-down, touch control LCD screen and an instrument cluster glowing with the number '53'- another FJ gesture - are set in the body-coloured metal dash and pulsate with a radiogram retro orange glow.


There are pearlescent, Bakelite-look push button controls for the electronic automatic transmission and the hard curved floor is finished in figured maple timber veneer with aluminium inserts.

EFIJY's prowling appearance can be accentuated by the air-adjustable suspension. At a touch of the LCD screen, EFIJY can hunker down to just 27 millimetres from the ground, or rise to a more practical drive height.


The use of LED headlights and tail lights is accompanied by liberal LED applications inside the vehicle, including courtesy lamps and sill plate illumination lamps. Several are dual filament, allowing them to throw different colours depending on the application.

Like any great showcar, EFIJY is stocked with a cutting edge entertainment system featuring hard drive audio and video storage driven through a major amplifier and speaker setup.


Mechanical highlights

The 6.0-litre LS2 V8 engine has been supercharged and modified by Ron Harrop, well known throughout the Australian automotive and motorsport industry and an ex-FJ Holden racer.


Driven by a Roots-type supercharger, the engine delivers peak power of 480kW (645 horsepower) at 6400rpm and peak torque of 775Nm (560 foot-pound) at 4200rpm. Such performance figures are equal to the stated output from 2005 Series V8 Supercars, and almost 11 times greater than the 45kW (60 horsepower) offered in the 1953 FJ Holden.

EFIJY's engine is mated to a rear-mounted four-speed automatic transmission featuring push button electronic control. Limited slip differential has been fitted for obvious reasons.


The custom designed exhaust is a stainless steel 2.5-inch dual system with customised compact headers and billet aluminium exhaust tips.

The power output is transferred to massive 22-inch by 10-inch billet aluminium wheels with fluting which echoes the FJ's more modest original 15-inch by 4-inch wheels. Reflecting its street sled heritage, the front wheels are 20-inch by 9-inch.


The brakes feature 381mm (15-inch) grooved and ventilated rotors front and rear, combined with six-piston aluminium calipers at the front and four-piston aluminium calipers at the rear.

Development schedule

Advanced designs for EFIJY were prepared during 2003, the 50th anniversary of the original FJ release. Clay models were prepared but plans were shelved to make way for other stunning concept cars such as the Torana TT36.


The project was finally approved early in 2005 for that year's Australian International Motor Show in Sydney. This gave the team eight months to bring like-minded suppliers on board and complete the EFIJY build in a way which greatly reduced costs compared with most showcars.

"EFIJY was a real labour of love for everyone involved and it shows in the way it feels. It gave us a unique opportunity to showcase Holden's creative abilities, and those of some of our key partners, in a way which will appeal to a broader audience," Ferlazzo said.

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Mike Spinelli

We did a little post on it back in '05, but it does deserve a revisit, at least biannually.