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Australian Holden Sedan Top Fives V8

Five reasons we’ll miss the Holden Commodore SS

Australia’s most popular V8 sports sedan – the Holden Commodore SS – is coming to an end, with the last VF II model set to roll off the production line in the coming months.

Like most Australians, we’re lighting a candle to what was one of the best sports sedans (and later station wagons) to ever hit Australian tarmac. Here’s five reasons why we’ll miss the V8-powered Holden Commodore SS.

1. Bathurst will never be the same
While the modern V8 Supercars (now simply called Supercars) have almost zero common parts with the road cars they represent, the Bathurst 1000 was the race where the Holden Commodore (and Ford Falcon) made their names famous; everyone wanted a V8 Commodore like Peter Brock or Larry Perkins ‘drove on Sunday’.

With Holden’s beloved V8 sedan leaving us, there is talk that Holden-badged Supercars will switch to turbo V6 engines under the new regulations. Now that’s just not cricket. While we understand times change and things evolve, listening to a turbo V6 Holden Supercar pull gear after gear down Conrod Straight just won’t be the same. That said, we’ll still support Australian motorsport nonetheless.

2. Rear-wheel drive sedans rock
The Holden Commodore SS was capable of spirited driving, as well as lugging families from one end of the country to the other. Like most other sectors, modern sedans have gone down the efficiency path and neglected the fun ol’ formula of sending power to the rear treads.

Mums and dads today will have a little tear in their eye as they move their families around without the hum of a V8 to help the kids sleep.

3. Australian made
There is something special about driving around in a car knowing it was made by our fellow countrymen. The Holden Commodore was a car we were proud of, especially in the 90s when it outsold every car on the market year after year.

In the early 2000s Holden sent the Monaro (rebadged as the Pontiac GTO), the VE Commodore (rebadged as the Pontiac G8), and finally the VF SS (rebadged as a Chevrolet SS) to America. While none sold like a box of Dunkin’ Donuts, the Americans definitely warmed to our beloved Holden V8s (that we’re equipped with Chevrolet engines).

4. A ute is no longer a sports car
Only in Australia could you purchase a car that can carry your tools during the week, then bust out some fast laps at a race track on the weekend. The Holden Commodore-based Ute, known simply as the Holden Ute, were loved by tradies around the country, especially the SS and HSV Maloo variants.

Holden’s billion-dollar development of the VE saw plenty of engineering put into the Ute, and later it was refined even further with the VF – Holden claimed a world record lap time (for a utility) in 2013 around the famous Nurburgring, clocking a time of 8:19.47. While the Toyota HiLuxes and Nissan Navaras of this world are king of the construction sites, they offer few smiles on twisty tarmac.

5. Arguing with Ford Falcon XR8 owners
Holden vs Ford is as much a part of Australian culture as meat pies, footy and beers at the pub. Losing the Commodore and Falcon feels like there’s now a black hole in the great southern land’s heart. It was just a decade or so ago where every family had to choose which side of the line they stood.

The war of horsepower went on year after year, model after model. The final editions of the two cars are now in the high-performance spectrum when it comes to power and torque. At least they went out with one hell of a knockout punch.

We’ll miss you, Commodore.

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Josh Barnett

Josh Barnett has been writing about motoring and motorsport since 2005, with hundreds of published articles in a range of publications and websites. He's confessed car nerd of anything on four wheels from yesteryear. He also believes everything about life, including cars, was better in the 90s.

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