1981 Holden Commodore VC L Wagon 3.3 Litre In-Line 6 OHV Carbur from Australia and New Zealand


I love my VC Commodore


On delivery I didn't put fuel in the tank and ran out of fuel which sucked junk into the carburettor causing the car to stall.

Trimatic auto gearbox is shifting from 1st to 2nd and and back to 1st.

Air conditioning makes the engine stall.

General Comments:

I purchased the car with no radio.

Performs quite well when running.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th July, 2002

1981 Holden Commodore VC 3.3L from Australia and New Zealand


Throaty sounding chick magnet


The Carby needed to be overhauled.

That is all so far.

General Comments:

Great power, with some exhaust work the 6 cylinder now sounds REALLY throaty.

People mistake it for a V8.

Good comfort and an all - round great runaround car.

I love my VC :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th May, 2002

1981 Holden Commodore SL/E 4.2L V8 from Australia and New Zealand


Great value for money


I had a complete respray after hail damage in 1994

Fitted new engine after harmonic balancer snapped and damaged crankshaft in 1996

ALL new ancillary components.

General Comments:

It's a very reliable car, with a lot of kilometres on the clock. Very luxurious for a 21 year old car. 334 pack has all extras including electric windows, cruise and 4.2 V8. Shadow tone paint (black / silver) difficult to keep clean.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th May, 2002

1981 Holden Commodore SL/X 4.2 Lt (253) V8 from Australia and New Zealand


VH good performance for a good price


Clutch needs replacement.

Coil and leads needed replacement.

Water pump needed replacment.

All parts cheap to bye and easy to fix.

General Comments:

A great all round car extremely comfortable for a 1981 SL/X.

The car cost me $1300 it has Air Conditioning, Power Steering and a Toyota Supra 5 speed gear box which makes it a lot of fun to drive.

I would recommend a VH to anyone it is a fun cheap car with great reliability.

It sounds great with a 2.5 inch exhaust system even at idle.

The car looks great and has been re- sprayed by the previous owner in original tahitian blue and it also has tinted windows.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th April, 2002

1981 Holden Commodore VH SL/X 3.3L from Australia and New Zealand


Cheap car to buy - but not to drive


I bought it in bad condition, here are the items not working or in bad condition before the car was registered:

- Starter motor worked sometimes - replaced.

- Doors full of rust, replaced and repaired.

- Headlights has a dull colour in the background so they were disassembled and cleaned and new parts of better lights were added.

- Leak in front of engine - replaced front main seal.

- Needed service bad, new points, plugs and leads; filters; big de-greasing; and adjusting carby.

- Interior was very bad condition, upgraded to VK.

- Electrical problems, such as boot release, heater fan, dash lights, oil and voltimetre gauge, and rear de-mister.

- Air conditioner condenser leaked, so did some of the air con hoses.

- Belt moulds had hard rubbers - replaced belt moulds (easier than trying to put new rubbers on old moulds).

- Window channel moulds were hard and missing in some spots - replaced with goods ones from a VK.

- Window glass for all 4 doors scratched bad from hard belt mould rubbers - replaced.

- Drivers door locked by itself sometimes when trying to open it from outside - annoying if you left your keys in the ignition - replaced a spring in the door lock to fix problem.

- Both front door windows slipped when trying to wind them up - replaced window regulators.

- Rust around the rear window seal and back mudgaurds.

Things since it has been registered:

- Needs wheel alignment every 2-3 months.

- Neutral safty switch cooked itself 2 times.

- Leak in auto gearbox.

- Speedo stopped working, replaced cog in gearbox.

- Fuel gauge works sometimes.

- Handbrake needed adjusting.

- Leaked water through windscreen seal.

General Comments:

I bought this car off the police for a very small price. It was in very bad condition, and had the full works done to it. Most of the parts on it were in bad condition or missing, especially the interior. No major engine modifications though - just 'bolt on performance'.

I got 4 other commodores and made mine the best out of them by getting all their good parts. Plus many other parts from the wreckers including a 5 speed manual.

It received a re-spray; a VK Berlina interior (except dash - I still wanted to keep the VH look) ; mag wheels; 2.5inch sports exhaust; tinted windows; replacement of a lot of serviceable engine components; re-gassed a/c (don't do this - increases your fuel consumption considerably). Most of the parts were picked up free or very cheap. I got the 4 other commodores for free - bonus.

It came out looking quite spectacular and I have sold it for exactly 100 times the price I bought it for making a comfortable profit.

These are nice cars to drive, look good with nice paint (red looks the best I reckon, with black around SLE taillights and windows - kinda like a group 3), but unfortunately use lots of petrol. They don't require much servicing, but when they do parts are very cheap!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th April, 2002

30th May 2003, 07:34

Hey, about the 1981 VH commodore sl/x, what is the interior like? is it all like the sl/e? and which is the better of the two... sl/x or sl/e?

16th Oct 2003, 23:33

There are three levels of trim in the VH Commodore and 2 seat styles. The first style is the very big and chunky style - the front seats are wide and thick and hug you extremely well. These came in vynil on the SL, velour on the SL/X (although some SL's had velour). The velour has a stripe pattern running through it.

The SL/E had a completely different interior. This was all velour, but had no pattern/grain in the material. The front seats were also much narrower and a lot more rounded off than the other seats. They also had buttons on the seat cushions.

I have found that both of these seats are just as good - the SL/X velour seats are comfy and they look good because of their extra bulk, whereas the SL/E seats may not be as thick, but are certainly comfortable and also good looking.

My suggestion would be to go for the SL/X chunky velour seats as they would be nowhere near as expensive as chasing down an SL/E set - they're also easier to find and have a good colour variety. I have found these seats more comfortable to ride in than VS executive front seats, which are comparatively rock solid!

Good Luck!

David (member@carsurvey.org)

25th Apr 2004, 08:50

The VH SL/E seats are 100% better.

21st Jun 2004, 07:23

Have just replaced the my SLX int. cloth seats with the SLE int. and would agree that the SLX seats are wider, but the SLE seats (talking about the drivers) is more supportive.

28th Feb 2010, 18:27

I have a 1981 Holden Commodore L in very good condition, and I am the second owner.

What would I expect to fetch if I sold it?

Cream in colour.