AS HOLDEN prepares to go out with a flourish by releasing the fastest car to wear the Commodore badge, here are 10 things we reckon you didn’t know about the local brand’s long-running rear-drive mainstay.
1. The Commodore has been sold in six continents and has included the USA, UK, Brazil, Argentina and the Middle East as export countries.
2. The best-selling Commodore was the VE, which sold more than 520,000 in total.
3. The VE/VF Commodore is the only Holden developed from the ground up in Australia.
4. The 1986 VL Commodore was originally a mild restyle of the VK, until Phil Zmood tore up the papers and started again. “I remember being told at the time, we had to make a success of the VL or we would be looking for another job,” said Phil Zmood.
5. The VF Series 2 Commodore will be the last car in the General Motors stable to be powered by the Gen IV V8. It’s also been used in Camaro, Corvette and GM trucks.
6. The VB Commodore was sold in South Korea as a Daewoo Royale. It was offered with a 1500cc engine, with the body-panels stamped at Elizabeth.
7. The Commodore was the first Australian-made car to offer an airbag (’93), a trip computer (’81); cruise control (’81); a supercharger (’95); a turbocharger (’86).
8. The Commodore has won Bathurst 22 times. That compares to the Ford Falcon’s 14 wins; the Torana’s five; Ford Cortina’s three; Monaro, Nissan GT-R and Ford Sierra RS500 (all with two wins) and one win apiece for the Mini Cooper S and Jaguar XJ-S.
9. The Commodore finished the 1979 Around Australia Trial in first, second and third positions. Ford argued that the Commodore was too small to be a Falcon rival, and entered a trio of Cortinas to make the point.
10. You may never have heard of him, but George Gallion is the father of the Commodore. The Opel designer penned the GM’s global V-car exterior, which included the VB Commodore and two-door Monza.
11. The fastest car to wear the Commodore badge is the Holden Commodore VF Series II SS-V Redline (but you already knew that).