Home » Car Talk: VL Commodore, VL Turbo, VL Calais Turbo & More
Car Talk: VL Commodore, VL Turbo, VL Calais Turbo & More
Lets face it, if you live in Australia then you’ve heard about the iconic VL Commodore. This car has been known for hectic doses, fast street cars and its iconic RB30 motor. The RB30 always causes controversy amongst the community which can refer to the Holden VL as a “Nissan” due to the fact that Nissan originally produced the RB30.
VL Commodore Production
The VL commodore was produced for a short time between 1986 and 1988. There was a range of models from the base VL executive all the way to the luxurious VL Calais Turbo. The VL Calais Turbo had many features like cruise control, electric windows, electric mirrors, power steering and more. There was a range of Turbo, Non Turbo and V8 models released and of course the Holden VL Turbo would become the iconic car for many years.
VL Commodore Common Modifications
The VL Commodore has had many modifications over the years where owners either build a street cruiser or opt for more power and race the car at drag racing events. You’ll often see a VL Commodore at the race tracks like Heathcote park raceway, Calder Park, Sydney Dragway and Willowbank Raceway.
A pretty standard driveline setup for the VL Commodore would be a bigger turbo, improved driveline (either a built Jatco, trimitic or a 2 speed powerglide). With little modifications, these cars can go pretty fast and they are fairly light making them sought after for automotive enthusiasts.
Its often you’ll find them with Shortened 9 inc Differentials these days as the “drag spec” look is more common. Gone are the “Sex Spec” days with large chrome wheels which was a common look in the 2000s with shows like the Autosalon and more.
GAS747 Holden VL Calais Turbo
I’ve been lucky enough to have owned a VL Calais Turbo since early 2004. Originally this car was on LPG where I managed to eventually run my first 9 second pass in 2007. Since then the car ran its personal best at Heathcote Park Raceway of a 9.49 @ 147 MPH back in 2012.
Over the years my GAS747 Holden VL Calais Turbo has evolved. It was once a sleeper with Holden VL Calais wheels all round, but these days it sports a Mini tubbed look with Convo Pro Wheels. GAS747 VL Calais Turbo has a roll cage and parachute for when its raced at the track for safety and to meet the right technical inspection whether that be IHRA (International Hot Rod Association) or ANDRA (Australian National Drag Racing Association).
Holden VL Commodore BT1
Over the years, the Holden Commodore BT1 has become one of the most iconic cars in the automotive scene. This car was originally known for its loud “dose” as the Holden Commodore BT1 owners would go out cruising together. Along with its familiar absynth yellow colour which was known to be “Ex Cop Cars” or ex-interceptor cars, over the years seeing a genuine yellow Holden Commodore BT1 would always turn a head or two.
Who’s Well Known For The Holden RB30 Modifications?
There’s a heap of workshops that heavily modify the Holden RB30. Lets face it, many workshops modify these bad boys so I cant sit here and list them all. For me, I would say that workshops like maatouks racing in Sydney, Quickbitz in Dandenong (Melbourne), Independent Motorsports in Gippsland and Rajab Racing Developments have all had a huge role in making the Holden VL Commodore such an iconic and sought after car. I mean if you were into the VL Scene in the 2000’s and haven’t hear of Rajab or Maatouks, id be really surprised! Especially these days some of these workshops have managed to create some impressive street and drag cars out of their workshops. Again there’s a huge list of contenders here but I wanted to keep this list short and to the point.
How Much Did The Holden VL Commodore Cost?
It’s good to be a little nostalgic and think about the old day brand new pricing. Below is a list, it may not be 100% accurate but it’ll be close.
Holden Calais Turbo – $31,000 Brand New (roughly)
Holden Commodore Executive Turbo VL – $21,000 Brand New (Roughly)
Remember there was many different models with different configurations. So this pricing is a finger in the eye pricing, take it with a grain of salt. Its just good to look at what they sold for back in 1986 to 1988, and then look at the prices after 2020 onwards.