Celebrating Holden's best cars
We recognise Holden’s best cars as its time in Australia comes to an end
This week it was sadly announced by General Motors that the Holden brand would be discontinued in Australia as of 2021, leaving many of its dedicated followers in shock.
While servicing and spare parts will continue for about 10 years, the brand that Australians grew up loving will disappear completely.
To celebrate the legacy of Holden, we look back on some of the cars that made the much-loved brand so iconic.
Officially the first production Holden to be manufactured in Australia, the FX was available in sedan and utility trims when it began production in 1948. The ‘ute’ was one of the first ever and was loved by tradesmen and farmers alike. The original idea for the car was to be a multi-purpose vehicle - a car that a farmer could take his wife and kids to church on Sunday and then the pigs to market on Monday. The FX spawned multiple generations of the utility over the next 60 years, becoming one of the most popular body styles ever.
When most people think of Holden, they immediately imagine a big, thirsty V8 engine. Things changed, though, when the company announced a partnership with Nissan, deciding to use its straight-six engines instead. What resulted was a punchy three-litre turbocharged motor shared with the Nissan R31 Skyline that was mated to the VL chassis from 1986 to 1988. So virtually, the VL Commodore was Australia’s GT-R. The car today is commonly modified and ‘tuned’ to create big horsepower and is therefore commonly found on racetracks and drag strips all around Australia.
VF HSV Maloo GTS
What do you get when you mix a utility vehicle with supercar performance? The answer is the Maloo, HSV’s (Holden Special Vehicles) devil creation This 430kW supercharged V8 beast was the most powerful production Holden at the time of its release, also making it the fastest ute ever made. Going from 0-100km/h took just 4.4 seconds. Only 250 of these were made, making them a rare spotting on Australian roads.
At the time, the W427 was Holden’s most powerful car. Featuring a huge seven litre V8 engine, the W427 produced 375kW and 640Nm. With a frightening fuel consumption rating of 17 litres/100km, it can be said you would be spending a lot of time at the service station. Not many were made, meaning this beast is a rare car to find in Australia. Most of them are most likely covered up in garages, waiting for values to skyrocket.
One of the best-selling Holdens of all time, the VE was named the ‘billionaire baby’ of the company when it was unveiled in 2006. Costing, you guessed it, a billion dollars to produce, the VE Commodore was available in sedan, wagon and ute body styles and was available with both V6 and V8 engines. Over half a million were sold over its entire production run.
VF Series 2
The last Commodore to be released was also the best Commodore to be released. The VF series built on what was already great from the VE but added more characterful V8 engines to the mix and an even better tuned chassis. Holden Special Vehicles took things up a notch, releasing the most powerful production Holden of all time, the 430kW GTS - a real match for the best of the best from Mercedes-AMG and BMW. It was a very sad day indeed when the production of the VF series ended in 2017. Holden definitely went out with a bang.