G’Day guys and welcome back to MotoringBox. Up until now, my YouTube channel has mainly been looking at Australian Fords. My first car was actually a 1984 Ford LTD, and I loved that car more than anything in the world. I wish I still owned it. So yes, it’s fair to say that I love my Australian made Fords. I’ve got a Ford NC Fairlane, and also a 2001 Ford AU Fairmont Ghia – which I absolutely love. It’s a fantastic car, just with divisive styling. But today, we’re going to see how the other half live. Live? Lived. Have been… whatever. It’s the VT Commodore.
We’re back in the 1980s, where Holden’s mid-sized Commodore spent almost the entire decade getting smashed in sales by Ford’s full-sized Falcon. With the fuel crisis all but over, Australian car buyers were thirsty for large, dependable family cars – and luckily Holden caught on just in the nick of time when they released the full-sized VN Commodore in 1988. The VN could finally match it’s main rival, the EA Falcon, for sheer size, and was available with a 3.8L Buick V6, or a locally-built 5.0L Holden V8 engine. This combination was a winner, and Holden continued the formula throughout the 1990s with the VP, VR and VS Commodores.
But then in 1997, everything changed. After spending more than half a decade and $600-million dollars developing the VS Commodore’s successor, Holden beat Ford to the punch by releasing their new generation car a full year ahead of the new Falcon. It was of course, the VT Commodore.
Just like the VN, the VT was a case of right-car, right-time. It was a larger, better engineered vehicle that was beautiful to look at and even better to drive. Compared to Ford’s aging EL Falcon, the VT Commodore looked positively modern, and saw the introduction of Independent Rear Suspension fitted across the entire range as standard.
Australian car buyers were in love, and the VT Commodore quickly climbed to the number 1 spot on the Australian sales chart. But that was then and this is now. So let’s take a look at Holden’s golden child to see if it was all it was cracked up to be.