While attention focuses on the usual round of wacky (e.g. Honda's dog-friendly car) or thinly-disguised production-ready 'concepts' for the Tokyo motor show opening next week, designers at GM's local arm Holden have travelled down the retro road for a genuine concept car shown on Thursday at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney.

Harking back to the 1953 FJ Holden, generation two of 'Australia's own car', the rather cleverly named EFIJY is a pillarless custom coupe with V8 Supercar power under the bonnet, Chevrolet Corvette underbody and current automotive technology throughout.

The 'Soprano Purple' hot rod look-alike is 5.2-metres long and is described as combining "retro, mumbo and gizmos in one glorious package" - and there is absolutely no chance of it going into production.

Despite the retro looks, chief designer Richard Ferlazzo, said the EFIJY brought together almost 20 suppliers to highlight the latest in mechanical, electronic and material products and ideas.

The engine is a 480kW, supercharged six-litre V8 and other details include air-adjustable shock absorbers, touch control LCD screen inside and fan-cooled LED headlamps.

Ferlazzo, 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," he 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."

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-like  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.

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 colors depending on the application.

The V8 is mated to a rear-mounted four-speed automatic transmission featuring push button electronic control.

Holden Design plans to show the car at a series of street machine and hot rod shows around Australia after show debut.

Graeme Roberts