Holden Commodore: a brief history

Holden is about to unveil its facelifted VF Commodore, which will more than likely be the last locally designed and engineered rear-wheel drive sedan of its type. So, to celebrate, we look back to see (almost) every generation of the car that for much of its lifetime was the king of the Australian sales chart.

Credit: Holden

1978 Holden VB Commodore Wagon
1978 Holden VB Commodore Wagon

Launched in October 1978, the Holden Commodore was an amalgam of the Opel Senator, Opel Rekord and Australian engineering. Engine options stretched from the 2.9- and 3.3-litre Red straight six to the 4.2- and 5-litre Red V8s. Transmission choices were either a 3-speed auto or 4-speed manual.

Larger than the Torana and smaller than the Kingswood, the Commodore range went on to top the sales chart. The wagon (above) was introduced in 1979.


Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]