VH Commodore

Produced the following years:
1981 1982 1983 1984

VH Commodore 1981-1984

White VH Commodore

The Holden VH Commodore replaced the VC model, first released in October 1981. The egg-shell shaped grill of its predecessor was replaced by a horizontal slat grill and new lighting components gave the front of the car a lower, wider look.

The facelift of the earlier model also included variations on the tail light clusters on the sedans to help differentiate them from the VC model. The tail lights resembled the long, louvered design from the then-current Mercedes Benz models. Internally, the VH model saw the introduction of rear seat headrests.

The ‘Blue’ engines and mechanical specifications of the VC were carried over to this model, but minor revisions were made to the 1.9 litre 4 cylinder engine to improve fuel economy. These revisions saw a gain of 12.5% to the fuel economy figures. Those same revisions were carried across to the 2.85 litre straight-six cylinder engine to improve fuel economy by 14%.

While there were no significant modifications to the engines from previous models, Holden introduced a five-speed manual transmission as an optional addition to the 1.9 litre and 2.85 litre cars.

Holden was also proud to introduce the first local installation of advanced computer electronics to a mass-produced passenger car. These included the electronic spark selection black box on the 1.9 litre engine, and the seat height adjustment and trip computer, which became a feature for the SL/E models.

Holden VH Commodore Models

The SL model was redesignated as the base variant of the range, while the SL/X model was named the mid-range option. The SL/E model remained the top of the line, which still included the optional cruise control and trip computer to measure average speed and fuel consumption.

The VH SL/E top of the line model still offered buyers the choice of single or dual exhaust options on both V8 engines, which could increase the power significantly.

By September 1982 the Sports Sedan, or ‘SS’, sports model was introduced and was offered with the 4.2 litre V8 engine as standard. The SS model was available in three versions, which were the Group One, Group Two and Group Three.

The Group Three featured a 5.0 litre V8 engine and was produced by Peter Brock’s HDT Special Vehicles facility, which means this model is still a highly sought after car.

The SS models were initially released in the sole colour Maranello Red and included extensive flare guards and spoilers as part of the physical modifications in keeping with the sporty feel of this model car. However, the SS was later released with the option of Alabaster White as well as being available in red.

During 1983 the VH Commodore SL model was released with an ‘Executive’ pack on top of the base inclusions. This model included automatic transmission and air-conditioning. The special editions of the Executive pack were badged as a ‘Vacationer’ model during 1981, 1982 and 1983.

VH Commodore Engine Power

The 1.9 litre 4 cylinder engine had seen an increase in power to 54 kW at 4400 rpm, while the 2.85 litre straight-six cylinder engine raised to 73 kW at 4400 rpm.

Modifications to the 3.3 litre straight-six cylinder engine saw power output increased to 83 kilowatts at 4000 rpm, while the V8 options were only marginally increased from earlier models.

The 4.2 litre V8 engine produced power of 100 kW at 4200 rpm as a single exhaust option and up to 115 kW at 4400 rpm as a twin exhaust option.

The 5.0 litre V8 engine produced power of 117 kW at 4000 rpm as a single exhaust option and up to 126 kW at 4400 rpm as a dual exhaust option.

Specification Levels

The VH Commodore was available in the following specification levels:
- Commodore
- BT1 Police Pack
- SL
- SL/X
- SS
- Vacationer