40 years of HDT Special Vehicles

By: Mark Higgins

Presented by

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Happy Anniversary HDT Special Vehicles

When Peter Brock established HDT Special Vehicles in February 1980 it was during an interesting chapter of Holden’s history. 

It had recently dropped the Kingswood for the Commodore which was promptly outsold by the larger Falcon, giving Ford overall sales leadership for the first time.

The all-conquering A9X Torana was also decommissioned leaving the General without a ‘Bathurst’ hero car. That is until Bathurst hero Brock, with backing from a group of influential Holden dealers, created the first HDT Special Vehicles car.

It was based on the range-topping VC SL/E Commodore called the Holden HDT VC Brock Commodore and limited to 500 units, painted in either red, white or black, the colours of Marlboro, Brock’s major race team sponsor.

| Read next: The Brock car-enhancement legend

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The ‘Brocky’, or HDT VC as it was quickly labelled, was just what Holden showrooms needed: Aussie hero and the General’s super salesman, Brock and ‘his’ car. It was a breath of home-grown fresh air and a departure from the alternative German imports costing way more. A recipe for success, then.

Brock relished the opportunity, rolled his sleeves up and in typical fashion was totally hands-on with the project. He even had a two-tone green VC SL/E (main picture) as a test mule for development of everything from steering wheels to alloy wheels, to exhausts and body kits, suspension and engine.

The HDT VC was launched wearing its own 15-inch Irmscher wheels, subtle bodykit including rear spoiler and Momo leather steering wheel.

Power from the 5.0-litre V8 was boosted from 126kW to 160kW, with a choice of a three-speed auto or four-speed manual gearbox.

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The retail price was $19,800 for the self-shifter and $20,000 for the auto.

To promote the HDT VC a field of identical cars competed in the Race of Champions, as a support to the AGP at Calder Park.

| Read more: John Bowe drives a Race of Champions 1980 VC HDT

Drivers included Brock, Dick Johnson, Jim Richards, Bob Jane, Colin Bond, Sir Jack Brabham and our own John Bowe, making his tin top debut and winning the two-part event. Bent panels and bruised egos aside, it was a great way to promote the Brocky.

Today expect to pay anywhere from $70,000 to well into six figures. Look out for our HDT special feature in an upcoming issue.

 

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