1987 Holden Commodore VL SL Wagon – Today’s Tempter

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

VL Wagon Turbo VL Wagon Turbo

Very neat base with new paint and good trim: aftermarket turbo

The VL Commodore arrived in 1986 as a stark departure with their ‘bought-in’ Nissan inline-sixes which made up the most of the range. V8s were still option-able but with new unleaded fuel were by far the minority market.

Public perception was harsh amongst the new Commodore’s foreign powerplant; that is, until everyone realised how good the overhead-cam fuel-injected alloy-head RB30 Nissan donk was.

Most VLs were specified as SL or Executives with the RB30-six and, most commonly, a four-speed automatic. A five-speed manual was an option for inline-six buyers, but the V8 option could only coupled with the old-style Trimatic.


Beyond the new powertrain, the VL gained new and more extensive sound deadening – which saw NVH vastly improved on top of the preceding VK – and even the VL’s main fleet rival, the XF Falcon.

Suspension tunes were more comfortable too, with softer springs yielding increased ride comfort and a faster steering-ratio for improved feel and accuracy.

The 1987 VL Wagon on sale here is a largely original SL, with factory five-speed manual and RB30 inline-six.


It appears to have been kept in largely original condition, aside from some engine work – ascertained by the sizeable aftermarket turbo, and AN fittings.

Details are scant within the listing; but judging from the photos – it looks to be an incredibly neat base to enjoy as is, or return the engine to factory with relatively little effort.


Its Kimberley Bronze paint presents very well and may have been repainted; while its Sandalwood interior is complete, intact and in great condition with a small aftermarket boost gauge being the only noticeable departure from factory.

Overall, the car presents in great ready-to-drive condition. While it may not be 100% original, the turbo upgrade may be a welcome addition for some, and the rest of the car’s exceedingly original condition bodes well compared to the many far more (irreversibly) modified VLs out there.


For $16,500 – it looks like a solid buy if you’re after a VL Wagon.

It’s based in New South Wales, you can check out the full listing here!


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