1982 Holden VH Commodore SL/X wagon - Our Shed

By: Glenn Torrens

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holden commodore wagon 2 Beige paint, sunvisor, windshields, headlight covers and roadside service badge… she’s full 80s time-warp spec! holden commodore wagon 2
holden commodore wagon holden commodore wagon
holden commodore wagon 3 holden commodore wagon 3
holden commodore wagon bonnet holden commodore wagon bonnet
holden commodore wagon interior holden commodore wagon interior
glenn torrens glenn torrens

Car-crazy Glenn Torrens comes under the spell of another 1980s beige beauty

No, I don't need another car. I have VW Beetles and an early Holden Commodore sedan project, plus my time-warp VN Holden Calais V8 and early Mazda MX-5. And my brown VB Commodore SL wagon, too; the rolling restoration that so many of you seem to enjoy reading about and a few have recognised when I’ve been driving it (thanks for saying hi!). That’s more than enough cars to cruise… and I realise how lucky I am to own them.

So, to inspect another car for sale is maybe not too sensible!

holden-commodore-wagon.jpgClassic Simmons alloy wheels looks great on early Commodores!

Yes, I bought this beige 1982 VH Holden Commodore SL/X. It’s a 3.3-litre six with auto and power steering. It has air-con, too, and like my VB SL wagon, it’s the top-spec wagon for its time. The original owner handed-in her licence some years ago and her son has been cruising it since. Now he’s on the hunt for a Holden panel van so sold the Commodore to free-up shed space and fun vouchers.

holden-commodore-wagon-bonnet.jpgOverall the car was tidy with only a couple of things missing, such as the under-bonnet sound insulation

It’s in gorgeous condition. The beige paint – almost the same shade as my now-sold 1982 Mitsubishi Sigma SE – has been resprayed on the bonnet, turret and tailgate. It’s a tidy job and does lots to lift the looks of this classic that has lived through 37 Aussie summers.

The interior is one of the best I’ve ever seen in an early Commodore. It’s a richer, brighter hue of green than a Daintree rainforest postcard! The only blemishes are one missing rear ash-tray and a few scratches around the tail-gate where, over the years, kids’ bikes, furniture and other family fundamentals have been loaded.


Several of the dash lights didn’t work. But pulling clusters from these early Commodores to replace bulbs is not much fun

Sold new in rural NSW, it was optioned with the Country Pack: sump and fuel tank guard, a heavy duty air-cleaner (of course, the original filter is long gone but the sticker remains on the air-cleaner housing) and slightly taller and stiffer suspension.

holden-commodore-wagon-interior-2.jpgThe interior is in stunning condition for a 37-year-old

I’m a big fan of the early Commodore’s on-road manners and this one drives beaut. There’s just a puff of smoke during a cold start to show for its 210,000km. The rear dampers are Monroe GT Gas and the front end and steering are totally devoid of the rattles and the wobbles that afflicted my ex-Qld (where there are no safety inspections!) VB wagon when I bought it.

holden-commodore-wagon-3.jpgAs I do with all my new toys, I raised the car onto chassis stands and gave it a thorough pressure-wash underneath

Less than a fortnight after I bought the beige beast, it was commissioned to appear in a TV series, as two of my other cars have been. The series is set in the 1980s so I dressed my wagon in a set of authentic 80s Simmons V5 alloy wheels for its month on-set.

The Simmons are borrowed but I’m not yet sure if I will re-fit the VH SL/X standard 14s with the distinctive spider-web hubcaps or a set of SL/E 15-inch alloys… decisions, decisions!


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