VB Commodore: Australia's first Holden


This year in June Australia lost an iconic brand, the Holden. Technically a General Motors (GM) but manufacturered here in Australia the Holden Commodore became an iconic household name and brand that Australians came to know and trust. It was our car and just about everyone owned one or at least at some point owned one.

Tonight I'm sharing the first Holden Commordore that was produced here in Australia, the VB. I'm sharing the red wagon because it's the car that we owned when I was a kid and I loved it.


Although ours was a 4.2L V8 engine which only pulled 96 KW it was still the rumbling beast I'd hear as I'd walk out of school towards the cars awaiting to pick up everyone's kids. My friends would always say "Your mums here I can hear your car". I loved that car it was such an iconic vehicle with a beautiful sound and its what made me fall in love with a V8 engine.


The interior wasn't that special but as I look through these images that cream colour brings back fond memories. I'd never be lost when coming out of a shop and I knew how long I had before my mum was out the front of a friend's house as the sound of the carby coming down the road was our alarm. Quick quick quick your mums coming. Even when I'd run off at night and she'd go in search for me around the streets, always heard her.

This model was produced from 1979 to 1980 a short run before improvements came about. But they weren't the same as this beauty. My mum ended up getting one of those after market split tanks installed to save money. But I always felt that there wasn't much difference between Gas and petrol as Gas would end up running out faster. But it was a few cents cheaper at the pump. Today's prices you can bearly tell the difference. I remember when Gas was 6c a litre, oh man those were the days, go just about anywhere for cheap.



The Woodgrain dash which was just laminated plastic was a nice kicker, trying to offer an upper-class look and feel. Everyone wanted it. At those times everyone was laminating their floors with fake wood. It was always an odd experience as most people were laminating over real wooden floors.

These days people rip off the laminate to polish their floor boards to showcase them as a feature.

Despite being Australia's best selling car and winning Wheels Car of the year their production life span only lasted just over a year. 95,000 VB Commordores were manufactured in Australia and this car put Australian car manufacturering on the map.

It's sad that now Holden has closed its doors due to government subsidies withdrawl. We fund fossil fuel industries billions but not car manufacturers. Every country provides government support because car manufacturing is typically at a loss. You can not make a car and profit, it's just one of those things. Especially in today's day and age with all the extra technology and safety features.

But it got me thinking, do you have a car that sticks with you your whole life? Perhaps it is your families first car.

Let me know in the comments section below, I'd love to know.

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