The Tail Spin Holden FB Was Frankensteined From Five Cars, Including An R33 Skyline

See this car? It’s a Holden FB. Only it’s not. It’s actually two, underpinned by an R33 Nissan Skyline. It took five cars to chop up in order to build this one, and the result is rather unique.

The FB was a family of vehicles that Holden, GM’s Australian subsidiary, made in the early 1960s. It was offered AS a sedan, wagon, ute and panel van, with a 2.3-liter six-cylinder engine good for all of 75 horsepower (56 kW). All told, Holden made nearly 150,000 of them in less than two years before it was replaced by the EK series halfway through 1961. But this has to be the most unique.

Called the Tail Spin, this custom job was completed by a husband-wife team in Canberra, with help from Astill Design just up the Tasman Sea coast in Wollong, New South Wales. And it looks like it was a rather complicated build. In fact it took years to complete.

Now if the finished product doesn’t look quite right to you, that could be because it’s a front-to-back design. The team took the back ends from two Holdens and put their body shells together, giving its front end the same shape as the back, right down to the tail fins.

Underneath that tail-turned nose is a 5.0-liter GM V8 taken from a wrecked VN Calais and packing considerably more muscle than the original FB. It’s mated to a T700 gearbox, with a Borg-Warner limited-slip differential, disc brakes from a VS Commodore, 18-inch Schott Velocity wheels, a fully custom stainless steel exhaust, and a hodgepodge of parts from other cars.

The unique bodywork is painted in a greenish gold custom mixed by PPG, and the candy-apple red interior features seats lifted from a Lexus and with a modified take on the original dashboard, right down to the gauges.

The completed vehicle may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s certainly unique. And it’s won awards, including the coveted MotorEx Grand Master trophy. You can get the full story in the eight-minute video clip below from Inside Garage.

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  • Mynameis Taylor

    easily one of the most unattractive cars I’ve ever seen

    • paulgdeaton

      I really like the retro-look of the rear end (the rear end at the actual rear of the car); it looks like something Ford (USA) should have used in the 60’s. The front… nah.

      But the roofline looks good, too.

      • Mynameis Taylor

        the rear is actually the front of another car, and the front is the rear of another car. it’s horrible. Neither end compliments the middle or roofline. it’s just awful

        • Knotmyrealname

          This will haunt me. As they say, “what is seen cannot be un-seen”.

  • Matt

    I don’t remember the R33 having leaf springs…

  • SteersUright

    Looks like quality work, too bad about the overall design.

  • While it’s not generally acceptable, I found it quite clever, but pretty sure that’s a rear end tails in a front fascia.

  • Bash

    WTF is that! But I respect the effort and time and money.

  • eb110americana

    This is flipping brilliant! Such a unique build and so much fine craftsmanship all in one car from a grassroots effort no less. So many cars out there trying to be perfect clones of something they once saw or replicas of an original, it’s nice to see something that excels at forging its own path.

    • paulgdeaton

      If the roofline were reversed – the “windshield” at the rear, and the thicker “c” pillar at the front – it would look much more like a “tailspin”, i.e., a car that was totally reversed, front-to-rear..

      As it is, it is unique – and obviously well-crafted – but it doesn’t complete its design mission.

  • Mr. Crankypants

    It’s everything I loathe -yet I love it!

  • Craig

    Extremely well done! Not a fan of the colour combination… but I like the car.

  • Honda NSX-R

    Brilliantly built, would’ve been perfect with a better looking face

  • ZYGIUS

    Let’s be honest it’s looks just awful…

  • blunt-o

    Why?

  • Knotmyrealname

    The attention to detail is impressive, but dayyyyyyyyyyyum, that’s one ugly car!

  • Alex

    Which one is the front and which the rear??.. 😀

  • Auf Wiedersehen

    Is it coming or going?

  • TheBelltower

    Looks like quality work, but a dumpy car overall.

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