1979 VB Commodore V8 - today's tempter

By: Guy Allen, Unique Cars magazine

Not the Kingswood

1979 VB Commodore V8 - today's tempter
1979 VB Commodore V8

It was a hugely controversial move at the time when GMH introduced the Opel-based Commodore to our shores.

Now before too many amateur historians get on their high horse about this, yes the car underwent a huge amount of local development, but the fact remains the platform began life as an Opel.

When Holden forecasters starting casting around for a replacement for the HZ Kingswood, they had two key options: the WB Kingswood, which was well down the development trail (and you can see a prototype in SA's Birdwood Museum), or a more compact alternative.

Given there was an international scare about rising oil prices through the mid to late 1970s, opting for a smaller car seemed to make sense.

However Holden may well have been wrong-footed, as the local Ford outfit stuck with a full-size (in Aussie terms) sedan in the shape of the XD Falcon - and it did very nicely.

The first Commodore, the VB, was in fact sold alongside the last of the Kingswoods from 1978. Meanwhile the XD launched in 1979 and grabbed more than a few sales from Holden.

Which isn't to take away from the achievements of the Commodore, which became GMH's most enduring nameplate and, towards the end of local manufacture, graced some truly great cars.

In light of all that, you can see why the humble VB is on the collector radar.

This example started life with a 253 V8 in the snout and now runs a 308, with auto.

It's running aftermarket wheels, which seem about right for the period, plus an aftermarket steering wheel.

Based in NSW, a little north-west of Sydney, it's priced at $22,000.

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