1979 Holden VB Commodore - Reader Ride

By: Robert Fellowes

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Robert Fellowes' 1979 Holden VB Commodore

Yes, this is just like the car that Glenn Torrens has pulled out of a paddock and started to revive. As GT said, it’s a dealer option rather than factory model as such and is a bit of a rarity. There’s no ‘Sport’ badging, just the 4.2lt badge on the rear.

The package included sports instrumentation, four-wheel discs, four-speed manual transmission and of course the 4.2lt V8. Plus, they came with 15-inch SL/E wheels.


I came across mine on Ebay about five years ago and I bought it sight-unseen. Then I got in trouble for not telling the wife first, as she felt I already had enough cars!

I gravitated to this car because I wanted a factory V8 and at the time it didn’t really matter what model it was. This one came along and I thought, "wow a manual", which was a bit of a rarity.

It wasn’t in great shape, so I’ve painted it and we’ve swapped over the seats for VK Berlina pattern – though I’ve kept the originals, just in case someone wants them. The rest of the trim is as per factory.


No special emblems for this unusual dealer pack, just a 4.2 badge

We did pull the heads off the engine and installed a slightly warmer cam than standard, and reconditioned the heads themselves. It was running okay but was dropping a little oil into the cylinders.

It’s a light car by current standards and it’s fantastic to drive. It feels more modern than you might think and disguises its age well. Compared to my Torana, which is as rough as guts (though it’s been restored), it’s pretty civilised. And my HR, by comparison is pretty good, but the VB is just that much better. Things like the updated steering and good brakes all round make a difference. It handles pretty well.


This is one of those cars where you need to know your Commodores to recognise what it is. I didn’t realise what I’d bought until I got it home and discovered all these little features on it. There’s not much information out there about them.

Everywhere I go with this car, people recognise there’s something different about it, particularly when they spot the V8 and manual combination.


As it came  except for the VK pews

I wish Glenn the best with his, he looks like he has a fair bit of work ahead of him!


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