VC Commodore

Produced the following years:
1980 1981

VC Commodore 1980-1981

Brown VC Commodore

The Holden VC Commodore was the successor to the VB Commodore. Released in March 1980, this model incorporated many improvements over the older model. While the body-shape remained very similar, the biggest physical distinction was the ‘egg-crate’ style grille.

However, the biggest improvements had more to do with the introduction of electronic ignition and redesigned cylinder heads. The single intake and exhaust port for each cylinder as well as the improved intake/exhaust manifolds and a Rochester Varijet carburettor brought up to 25% more power along with up to 15% better fuel efficiency.

Add to this new camshafts and pistons and the revised suspension, which meant a much improved ride and better handling for drivers.

Wheels magazine declared the Holden VC Commodore to be the best-ever car released in Australia. It also won the award for becoming the best-selling car within Australia.

Holden VC Commodore Specifications

While the VB Commodore design had already incorporated strengthened front strut suspension and strengthened chassis to cope with the harsh Australian road conditions, the VC design took these modifications and added a smoother ride and improved handling conditions.

The VC model also re-introduced shadow-tone paint work, a feature that hadn’t been included on Holden cars for around 20 years. The two-tone paint options, along with the egg-crate design on the front grill and the black plastic surrounds on the tail-lights were the biggest distinguishing features that set the VC apart from the VB physically.

Engine Options

The introduction of the 4 cylinder 1.9 litre 58 kilowatt (78 hp) ‘Starfire Four’ engine into the VC Commodore gave drivers a smaller engine on quite a heavy body. The maximum torque was 140Nm @ 2400rpm. This often meant drivers felt the need to drive the engine harder, which could also lead to a fuel consumption rate similar to that of a straight-six engine.

The XT5 versions of these motors were painted blue to distinguish them from the earlier red engines.

Holden VC Commodore L

In the VB model, the base model was undesignated. The introduction of the L model helped buyers to distinguish the base model.

The base model of this car included similar options to its predecessor, but included the option of the 1.9 litre 4 cylinder engine.

Holden VC Commodore Vacationer

The limited edition model was released in December 1980.

Holden VC Commodore SL

The more highly specified SL model came with a choice of T-bar automatic transmission or a four-speed manual gearbox and included the option of cloth seat trim and retractable rear seat belts.

The changes to the 3.3 litre 71 kilowatt (96 hp) straight-six engine gave it a maximum torque of 231Nm @ 2400rpm.

Holden VC Commodore SL/E

The top of the line model offered a limited range of ‘Shadowtone’ paint, which was a dark over light colour combination.

The SL/E model came standard with central locking, headlight wipers, and power steering, along with power windows. The addition of a limited slip 2.6 diff and the changes to the 4.2 litre 87 kilowatt (117 hp) V8 engine gave it a maximum torque of 269Nm @ 2000rpm. The twin exhaust option increased the maximum torque to 289Nm @ 3200rpm with the twin exhaust option.

The powerful 5.0 litre 113 kilowatt (153 hp) V8 engine with a maximum torque of 289Nm @3200rpm was also available in dual exhaust, which raised the power to 125 kilowatts (168 hp) and the maximum torque to 361Nm @ 2800rpm.

Specification Levels

The VC Commodore was available in the following specification levels:
- Commodore
- L
- SL
- SL/E
- Vacationer