1983 Holden Commodore VH Wagon 2.8 from Australia and New Zealand


Simple, comfortable, classic


Well, being an old car, just the usual things such as points (remember them?).

Radiator rusted out every 3 years, but perhaps putting plain water in it wasn't a smart idea! These were the old steel radiators which were all rubbish, regardless of car brand.

Seats sagged slightly in the time I had it, but the later VN Commodore seats were much worse!

General Comments:

Pale yellow station wagon with brown intercourse (ouch), oh well, got her cheap in an ex government auction. Mostly garaged, and only used once or twice a week, and a few driving holidays every year.

I liked the metal bumpers, and the metal door handles; made it feel a bit special. Didn't rust like the older Holdens, although this one had a sheltered life, spending most of the time in the garage. Very comfortable inside, with brown (!) dash/beige seating. Only had a AM radio though, LOL! Those were the days. Comfy, easy to fix and durable however!

In my opinion, the interior was better quality than the later VN Series, which I also owned.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th November, 2015

1983 Holden Commodore VH SL/X (Royale) 1.9 from Australia and New Zealand


Well worth 10 times what I paid for it


Rust and leak round rear window.

Rust in rear seat belt anchor point due to above.

Rust around boot seal.

Horn goes when turn indicator activated.

Central locking not working.

Slight vibration from the driveshaft at around 70-80 k.

Power steering hose needs replacing.

General Comments:

I got this car for a steal ($250) after it had been stolen and paid out by the insurance company then recovered.

The only thing I needed to do to make the car road legal was to purchase new tyres and new locks.

I have been getting around 10k's per litre so the car is pretty economical.

The engine has plenty of pull. I was even able to tow a Toyota van on a half trailer for about 300k's including some pretty decent hills.

I've also had the car up to 130k without the slightest sign of shudder in the drive train or in the steering.

The seats are quite comfortable and there is plenty of headroom which is good because I am a big guy.

Would I buy another one? Absolutely!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st July, 2004

1983 Holden Commodore VH 308 stroked out 355 from Australia and New Zealand


A true Champion


The modulator in the distributer burnt out.

The radiator had to be replaced. The original had a crack in it.

The power steering rack boots always leak. Replaced the rack at least three times.

The car is on it's fourth diff. It is hard to find a 5 litre diff for a wagon.

These days when I fill the petrol tank to full, I get an obscene amount of fuel fumes in the cabbin when driving.

I've checked the lines, they seem O.K.

But I have a suspicion that it's coming from the tank. Probably where the weld joins are. Now I only half fill her.

I always seem to have problems with the carbies.

General Comments:

I bought the beast as a 253 cubic inch V8. Since then I have upgraded to a 308 that has been stroked out to a 355.

She is my first car and hopefully a car that I will have for a very long time.

She handles the road like she's on rails. Tough enough for country tracks as well.

The old Vacationer can tow anything from horse floats to cars.

The V8 has performed well on the drag strip with a time of 14.08 seconds to the quarter mile. That was with a newly built turbo 350 transmission and a 5 year old engine. Not bad considering she needed a rebuild.

The old girl looks like a bomb, but goes hammer and tongs.

I'm trying to save up some money so that I can get her looking great again. I am also going to rebuild the engine as it needs new bearings. She's been knocking a fair bit these days.

The commodore has never left me stranded on the side of the road.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th February, 2004