Holden Commodore (VC)

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Holden VC Commodore
1980-1981 Holden VC Commodore L station wagon 01.jpg
Manufacturer Holden
Production 30 March 1980–October 1981
Assembly Dandenong, Victoria, Australia
Elizabeth, South Australia, Australia
Trentham, New Zealand
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size
Body style 4-door sedan
4-door station wagon
Layout FR layout
Platform GM V platform

Holden Commodore (VB, VH, VK, VL)

Opel Rekord E


  • 1.9 L 58 kW (78 hp) Starfire


  • 2.85 L 76 kW (102 hp) Blue
  • 3.3 L 83 kW (111 hp) Blue


  • 4.2 L 100 kW (134 hp) Blue
  • 4.2 L 115 kW (154 hp) Blue (dual exhaust)
  • 5.0 L 115 kW (154 hp) Blue
  • 5.0 L 126 kW (169 hp) Blue (dual exhaust)
Transmission 4-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,668 mm (105.0 in)
Length 4,706 mm (185.3 in) – 4,730 mm (186.2 in)
Width 1,722 mm (67.8 in) – 1,736 mm (68.3 in)
Height 1,379 mm (54.3 in) – 1,375 mm (54.1 in)
Curb weight 1,158 kg (2,553 lb) – 1,348 kg (2,972 lb)
Predecessor Holden VB Commodore
Successor Holden VH Commodore

The Holden VC Commodore is an automobile that was produced in Australia by the General Motors division, Holden between 30 March 1980 and October 1981. The VC Commodore was succeeded by the Holden VH Commodore, and is distinguished by its 'egg-crate' style grille. The VC series brought many improvements over the VB Commodore and maintained the Commodore's place as the best selling car in Australia.

The improvements included revised suspension to improve ride and handling, a few cosmetic changes and the availability of new options such as cruise control.

However, one of the biggest changes were a series of engine upgrades which included redesigned cylinder heads, now with a single intake and exhaust port for every cylinder, improved intake/exhaust manifolds, new camshafts and pistons and an all-new carburettor called the Rochester Varajet, as well as the fitment of electronic ignition. In total, these upgrades brought up to 25% more power and 15% better fuel efficiency. The engine block on these motors were painted a blue colour (as opposed to the previous red) and were known as the XT5 versions, although are commonly referred to as the 'Blue' motors.

As well as changes to the existing engines, a new 1.9 litre 4-cylinder engine was introduced. Known as the 'Starfire Four,' the new engine was the 2.85 litre (173 ci) blue six-cylinder engine with two cylinders removed. Also used in the Holden Sunbird, this engine was fitted to the Commodore in response to increasing pressure from the 1979 oil crisis. This new engine was not a complete success however, as its lack of power meant the engine needed to be pushed hard to deliver acceptable performance, negating any fuel saving benefits.

The engines used in this generation were Holden's own, and were not shared with the equivalent Opel Rekord or Vauxhall Carlton.

A new spec level was added to the range: the L. Thus the Commodore lineup was L, SL and SL/E. Transmission choices remained the same as the VB Commodore. A total of 121,807 VC Commodores were produced.

With the discontinuation of the Holden HZ models in 1980, the Commodore was complemented by a range of Holden WB commercial vehicles and the Statesman WB luxury models. All of these also utilised the "Blue" motors.

HDT VC Commodore[edit]

In late 1979 Holden pulled out of touring car racing after two years of domination by the Holden LX Torana A9X SS Hatchback. In 1980, this led to Peter Brock buying the Holden Dealer Team (HDT), though without Holden funding was needed to continue racing and development. This led to the creation of a modified VC Commodore, tuned and styled under the direction of Peter Brock who established HDT Special Vehicles, not only to produce 'hotted up' versions of the Commodore but as a way of funding the race team. The result was a luxury-performance version of the VC Commodore, to be sold through select Holden dealers throughout Australia. The HDT VC Commodore was powered by an HDT tuned 5 litre V8 engine, producing 160 kW at 4500rpm. The HDT VC Commodore was a limited edition vehicle, with exactly 500 production models produced. These only sold with a choice of three colours (Palais White, Firethorn Red or Tuxedo Black) to pay homage to Marlboro, HDT's main sponsor at the time.[1]