Evolution of the Holden, 48-215 to VE

Model

Year

Production

Price

48-215

1948

120,402

$1,466

FJ

1953

169,969

$2,046

FE

1956

155,161

$2,284

FC

1958

191,724

$2,220

FB

1959

174,747

$2,214

EK

1961

143,362

$2,212

EJ

1962

154,811

$2,102

EH

1963

256,959

$2,102

HD

1965

178,927

$2,320

HR

1966

252,352

$2,167

HK

1968

199,039

$2,215

HT

1969

183,402

$2,326

HG

1970

155,787

$2,394

HQ

1971

485,650

$2,730

HJ

1974

176,202

$3,594

HX

1976

110,669

$5,186

HZ

1977

154,155

$6,377

VB

1978

95,906

$6,513

VC

1980

121,807

$7,903

VH

1981

141,018

$9,066

VK

1984

135,705

$11,152

VL

1986

151,801

$13,830

VN

1988

215,180

$20,014

VP

1991

111,949

$23,992

VR

1993

165,262

$25,302

VS

1995

277,774

$26,780

VT

1998

303,895

$29,760

VX

2000

207,339

$28,900

VY

2002

241,909

$30,880

VZ

2004

261,238

$33,160
VE 2006 Still in production $36,490

Torana & Sunbird

HB (1)

1967

1,631

HB(2)

1967

20,243

LC

1969

74,277

LJ

1972

81,813

LH

1974

70,184

TA

1974

11,304

LX

1975

65,977

UC

1978

53,008

Gemini

TX

1975

43,009

TC

1976

17,256

TD

1978

42,396

TE

1979

70,567

TF

1982

28,325

TG

1983

24,675

RB

1985

16,261

Camira

JB

1982

85,725

JD

1984

36,953

JE

1987

29,129

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1948
Holden 48-215
This four-door, six-seater sedan was lightweight and durable, with a torquey 2.15 litre "grey engine", chosen for its efficiency and durability. It offered exceptional performance and economy. With a top speed of over 80mph (130km/h) the Holden could cruise all day at 65mph (105km/h), take steep hills in its top-gear stride and typically return 30 miles per gallon (9.4l/100km). Aerobilt body construction, at the time a relatively new engineering principle, combined body and chassis into one all-steel unit.
Base price when new: £733 ($1,466). Total built: 120,402.

1953
Holden FJ
A much-celebrated Australian icon, the FJ ensured Holden's place as the country's most popular car. It was distinguished by a bold new grille, new hubcaps and a torpedo-style tail-light. Engine, power output and gearing remained unchanged. There were now three model levels: Standard, Business and the Special sedan - and a panel van joined the utility. Virtues included energetic performance, rugged dependability, low maintenance, unbeatable value.

Base price when new: $2,046. Total built: 169,969.

1956
Holden FE
Longer, lower, heavier and more powerful than the FJ, the FE introduced the 'new look': a roomier, locally-designed body with longer wheelbase, wider track, 40 per cent more glass area and the first one-piece curved windscreen. Ride and handling were enhanced, new features included improved steering, a 12-volt electrical system, twin tail and stop lights, electric turn signals on Specials. Range included the first Holden station sedan, introduced in 1957.

Base price when new: £1142 ($2,284). Total built: 155,161.

1958
Holden FC
An improved version of the FE, with refinements to the engine, suspension and other components, which resulted in better driveability, smoothness and lower noise levels. A variety of changes to exterior trim and ornamentation included H-O-L-D-E-N letters across the bonnet front edge, diecast chrome fins on rear guards, additional chromework on Special side panels.

Base price when new: £1,110 ($2,220). Total built: 191,724 (included 500,000th Holden and 10,000th export Holden).

1960
Holden FB
A significantly different style, strongly American-influenced and designed to combat moves from Ford and Chrysler locally. The FB sported sloping rear glass, wraparound front screen, large-finned tail-light clusters, hooded front headlight surrounds. Interiors were restyled, with new dash, instruments, dished steering wheel, roomier layout, improved seating. The FB had the first acrylic paintwork, enlarged engine and upgraded brakes. It was also the first left-hand drive export Holden.

Base price when new: £1,107 ($2,214). Total built: 174,747.

1961
Holden EK
Featured minor styling changes and mechanical improvements. Also introduced Holden's first automatic transmission (the GM-sourced three-speed Hydramatic) which was well-suited to the 2.26 litre engine, with performance and economy not far short of manual shift versions. Also featured three speed electric windscreen wipers, replacing the previous vacuum unit.

Base price when new: £1,106 ($2,212). Total built: 150,214

1962
Holden EJ
Launched a completely new, lower-profile streamlined body with more interior space, new foam-padded seating and better all-round visibility. Introduced the name "Premier", to be identified with luxury Holdens for 16 years. The EJ Premier, first with standard metallic paint and auto transmission, offered leather trim bucket seats, heater, carpet, floor console and whitewalls. The EJ had Duo Servo brakes, strengthened front suspension, safety belt anchorages.

Base price when new: £1051 ($2,102). Total built: 154,811 (included the millionth Holden).

1963
Holden EH
One of the best-loved Holdens and the fastest-selling Australian car ever (250,000 in 18 months). Clever "Power Swept" styling incorporated a new roofline and there were, major rear end changes. Powered by two versions of a completely new "red" engine, the 149 and 179. With 7-bearing crankshafts, hydraulic valve lifters, external oil pump and new piston and head design, they delivered 33 per cent and 53 per cent more power respectively and improved fuel economy. Offered optional factory-fitted power steering for the first time. Introduced the Premier station wagon. Unbeatable value for money at the same price as the EJ and cheaper than mid-50s Holdens.
Base price when new: £1051 ($2102). Total built: 256,959.

1965
Holden HD
With a completely new body, the longest and widest yet, the HD offered big increases in passenger and load space, higher equipment levels, larger, self-adjusting brakes, optional front discs, new balljoint front suspension, alternator and two-speed Powerglide auto transmission. It also gave buyers the greatest choice yet: eight models, an expanded option list and three engines, including the powerful, twin carburettor 2.95 litre 'X2' version of the 179, which developed 105kW.
Base price when new: £1160 ($2,320). Total built: 178,927.

1966
Holden HR
The re-worked HR offered a sleeker, more modern profile, plusher cabin trimmings and improved performance. It pioneered the standard fitment of front seat belts, windscreen washers, padded sunvisors, exterior rear view mirror and shatterproof rearview mirror. It included the most powerful Holden engine so far, the 186S, the first automatic choke and the first 4-speed manual floorshift option. Limited slip differential was also optional.

Base price when new: $2,167. Total built: 252,352.

1968
Holden HK
A most ambitious 'new generation' series. Built on a longer wheelbase, it was bigger, lower, roomier and more rounded in appearance, with more models and new mechanical features, including an imported V8 - and a huge choice of factory options. Air conditioning and power windows were offered for the first time. The Kingswood replaced the Special and the pillarless Monaro sports coupe made its popular debut (in a choice of three versions including a 'Bathurst bred' GTS 327). An extended luxury version, the Brougham, was also introduced. Safety firsts were an energy-absorbing steering column and a dual circuit braking system. The V8 engine was available on all models.

Base price when new: $2,215. Total built: 199,039. (included two millionth Holden).

1969
Holden HT
Introduced the locally designed Aussie V8 - in 4.2 and 5.0 litre versions - to strong demand. It featured design changes such as wraparound rear light clusters, wider track, improved suspension, new instrument panel and wiper system and offered a 14-model selection (Monaro demand exceeded supply), a choice of five engines, four gearboxes, and a lengthy list of options, including a limited slip differential, Superlift shock absorbers, power steering, power windows, bucket seats, and air conditioning. Introduced first Holden factory-fitted clock (Brougham).

Base price when new: $2,326. Total built: 183,402

1970
Holden HG
Third version of the HK/HT range, it had Trimatic 3-speed automatic transmission, standard on Brougham and Premier models and optional on all others except the Monaro GTS-350, which had 4-speed manual or two-speed Powerglide auto. There were new safety features and trim designs, and all V8 models were fitted with improved disc brakes. It was the last of this series of full-sized Holdens to be built in left- and right-hand-drive versions.

Base price when new: $2394 Total built: 155,787

1971
Holden HQ
Hailed as the most significant Holden since the 48-215, and the biggest-selling single Holden model range. A huge model line-up included new sedan, wagon and coupe versions, the first Statesman, 'Sandman' ute and panel van, and Holden's first cab/chassis truck. HQs remained in production for three years and featured 'specials' like the Vacationer pack, Holden SS and 25th Anniversary Premier in 1973. Engines were given a longer stroke to increase capacity, monocoque construction and four-wheel coil springs made for a more comfortable ride and superior handling.

Base price when new: $2,730. Total built: 485,650 (included three millionth Holden).

1974
Holden HJ
A major refinement of the HQ, it delivered new front sheet metal and styling treatments. Interior changes included full-foam seats, new instrument panel, revised ventilation and upgraded equipment levels. The volume-selling Kingswood had a 3.3 litre engine and power-assisted front disc brakes as standard. The Statesman Caprice sedan introduced with this range was the most luxuriously equipped Holden yet.

Base price when new: $3594. Total built: 176,202

1976
Holden HX
A refinement of the HQ/HJ series, introducing a low-emission version of each Holden engine to meet new Australian Design Rules. Improvements included fingertip steering column stalk control of wipers, washers, indicators and headlight beam, revised interior and exterior styling, improved noise insulation and better ride. A run of 600 specially equipped Limited Edition V8 Monaro 2-door models wrapped up Monaro coupe production; a gold HX marked General Motors' 50th year in Australia; Sandman 'recreational' utes and panel vans sold well.

Base price when new: $5186. Total built: 110,669.

1977
Holden HZ
Final revision of the HQ series and the last traditionally-sized Holden until the VN, the HZ range offered RTS and four-wheel disc brakes. RTS made dramatic improvements to handling safety, and combined with other suspension modifications gave the HZ a more sporty, European feel. Four-wheel disc brakes were standard fitment on Statesman and GTS, optional on sedans and wagons Minor styling changes included a revised grille, higher bootlid, upgraded interior trim and improved instrumentation.

Base price when new: $6,377. Total built: 154,155.

1978
Commodore VB
The first Commodore's high levels of comfort, generous standard equipment and excellent performance and handling capabilities brought a new level of sophistication to the market, earning it top-selling status and the 1978 Wheels Car of the Year award. VB Commodore sedans and station wagons combined the best available international technology of a GM "world car" design with Australian-developed powertrain, steering, suspension, body strengthening and dust sealing. In addition to the base model there were SL and SL/E derivatives. Engine choice was 2.85 litre six cylinder, 3.3 litre six cylinder, 4.2 litre V8 and 5.0 litre V8.

Base price when new: $6,513. Total built: 95,906.

1980
Commodore VC
Distinguished externally from its predecessor largely by a new grille treatment and centre-mounted Holden badging, the VC refined the Commodore concept and maintained its sales leadership. This range (the base model now designated Commodore 'L') offered cruise control and electronic ignition for the first time, and an upgraded suspension system. Its six and eight cylinder engines, with redesigned cylinder heads, camshafts, carburettors, inlet and exhaust manifolds, were up to 25per cent more powerful and 15 per cent more fuel efficient than before. A four-cylinder model, powered by a 1.9 litre 'Starfire' engine was also released.

Base price when new (6 cyl): $7,903. Total built: 121,807. (included four millionth Holden).

1981
Commodore VH
Front-end styling changes gave the third Commodore series a longer, lower appearance. There was a choice of five engines and four transmissions, including, for the first time, a five-speed manual. This model benefited from further improvements to noise, vibration and harshness characteristics and the introduction of advanced electronics systems, highlighted by a 7-function trip computer on the SL/E model. Comfort and convenience items included central locking, seat height adjustment, climate control air conditioning and all-new leather trim. The 'SS' sedan designation was introduced with this model.

Base price when new (6 cyl): $9066. Total built: 141,018

1984
Commodore VK
Featuring comprehensive changes in styling (principally additional side windows at the rear and a horizontal louvred grille), and mechanical specifications, the new look VK Commodore also introduced new model names: SL, Berlina and the top-of-the-range Calais, which featured an advanced digital/analogue electronic instrument panel. The VK also offered a computerised engine management system and optional electronic fuel injection, which lifted 3.3 litre power output to 106kW with no loss of fuel economy.

Base price when new: $11,152. Total built: 135,705

1986
Commodore VL
The well-received VL was powered by a high-tech, imported EFI six-cylinder engine, teamed with electronic 4-speed automatic transmission. It delivered 33 per cent more power and 15 per cent better fuel economy, and offered an optional turbocharger which lifted output to 150kW. Striking styling changes included a revised, lowered front end appearance with wide, slim headlights, a raised lip on the decklid and a remodelled interior with a new, binnacle style instrument panel. Holden Calais styling - highlighted by semi-concealed headlights and a transparent grille - set this model significantly apart. The range included turbocharged and unleaded V8 variants, a Calais wagon and a fuel-injected V8 Group A.

Base price when new: $13,830. Total built: 151,801.

1988
Commodore VN
A winner from day one, the VN represented a major generational change and was considerably larger and more powerful than its predecessors. Based on an Opel design, but widened and comprehensively restyled for Australia, it had an all-new, rounded body and aerodynamically efficient flush fitting glass. Standard powerplant was a torquey 3.8 litre V6 - as powerful as the old carburetted V8. A fuel-injected 5.0 litre V8, the most powerful mass-produced Aussie engine so far, was standard on the SS model, optional across the range. The VN won all three motor magazine Car of the Year awards in 1989 and returned Commodore to the top of the sales charts.

Base price when new: $20,014. Total built: 215,180 (includes 5 millionth Holden).

1991
Commodore VP
Subtle styling changes, including headlamps and turn lenses that wrapped into the front guards, engineering refinements and equipment upgrades characterised the VP range. This model saw the introduction of independent rear suspension (IRS) and anti-lock brakes (ABS). All models featured remote central locking and a sophisticated anti-theft system. Calais had a body computer which controlled a range of functions, including speed-sensitive power steering and automatic lights out.

Base price when new: $23,992. Total built: 111,770

1993
Commodore VR
Holds the title of the most-awarded Australian car. It featured significant styling changes, highlighted by a distinctive twin port grille and a large central air intake, improved ride and handling, extra comfort and convenience features. Increased primary and secondary safety levels included the first driver's airbag fitment. The new, safety-orientated Acclaim model offered IRS, ABS and seat belt webbing clamps. Further changes included a soft-form, wrap-around instrument panel, adjustable steering column, CFC-free air conditioning and clever electronic security.

Base price when new: $25,302. Total built: 165,262

1995
Commodore VS
Powered by the smooth, refined 3800 ECOTEC V6, the VS delivered 15 per cent more power and even better fuel economy figures. Low friction technology was used extensively in this engine. Its features included a new cylinder block design, lightweight, high-compression pistons, lighter cylinder heads, a new Bosch throttle body and sequential fuel injection. Maximum power increased by 17kW to 147kW at 5,200 rpm, the four-speed electronic transmission was re-engineered, computer power doubled. VS also introduced the driver and passenger airbag combination, an Australian first, and security features were enhanced.

Base price when new: $26,780. Total built: 277,774

1997
Commodore VT
Totally new and a major advancement. The all-Australian result of a multi-million dollar investment in design and engineering development and new manufacturing facilities. It is characterised by striking new exterior styling, high equipment levels across the range, class-leading vehicle dynamics and significant strides in safety performance. The largest Commodore yet, with a substantially stronger new body structure, wider track and longer wheelbase. Safety initiatives include computer-designed, crash energy-absorbing body structures, optimised restraint systems with driver airbags standard, pyrotechnic buckle pre-tensioners and anti-submarining ramps. All-new brakes, traction control, re-tuned suspension with state-of-the-art hydraulic tension rod bush. High-tech electronics include Calais personal PowerKey system, automatic headlights on and dual zone climate control. Engines: lower-emission ECOTEC V6, Supercharged V6, upgraded, more refined and efficient V8.

Base price on introduction: $29,760. Total built: 303,895

2000
Commodore VX

While retaining the key attributes that won the VT Commodore such emphatic market acceptance, the VX range offers a higher degree of refinement, achieved through design, engineering and feature upgrades. Styling changes - teardrop headlamps, new grilles, bumpers and rear treatments - give more differentiation between models; interior trims are all-new. Steering-wheel mounted sound system controls, CD player, retracting power antenna and ABS brakes are standard across the range; the Supercharged V6 engine option is extended to Executive and Acclaim sedan buyers. Driveline refinements, recalibrated and more powerful electronics, suspension changes and noise isolation measures combine to deliver smoother and more responsive performance, a 3-4 per cent improvement in fuel economy and a quieter ride. VX also features a new concept in side structure which gives occupants measurably better protection from injury in a side impact collision.

Base price on introduction: $28,900.  Total built: 207,339

2002
Commodore VY
Expanded to include a new SV8 sports sedan, the VY series set a strong new styling direction with harder-edged, angular lines, a more aggressive ‘face’ and a sharper rear end which improved aerodynamic performance.

Inside, the look was also cutting edge, with a totally re-designed instrument panel, featuring a binnacle-style instrument cluster and multi-function digital displays, a new centre console and steering wheel.

Emphasising Commodore’s reputation as a true driver’s car, VY benefited from the most intensive vehicle engineering program undertaken by Holden since the development of the VT. It offered a new measure of refinement and improved drive character via significant advances in chassis dynamics, build precision, powertrain and safety performance. As an example, its new steering package delivered a precise feel through more positive feedback and improved on-centre definition.

The VY series introduced upgraded high feature Blaupunkt audio systems, automatic headlamps, road-speed sensitive intermittent wipers, headlamps off programmable time delay and passenger airbags across the range – and such options as Rear Park Assist on sedans and a six-stack in dash CD player (where not standard).

VY Series II models added cruise control, passenger seat lumbar support, sunglasses holder and rear reading lamps across the range and introduced active front seat head restraints on Acclaim and Calais models, ‘memory’ seats and heated exterior mirrors on Calais.

2004
Commodore VZ
The VZ range represented the final iteration of the vehicle platform introduced with the VT Commodore. It was distinguished by sharper design themes and a ‘twin spear’ sculpted bonnet, beneath which was a completely new high-feature Alloytec V6 engine. More powerful, responsive and fuel-efficient than the outgoing ECOTEC V6 and matched to new and improved transmissions, the Alloytec V6 reinforced Commodore’s reputation for driver’s car performance character and innovative safety technology.

Chassis dynamics were improved by brake, suspension and steering system upgrades. All V8s now had electronic throttle control and improvements to engine management, transmission and cooling systems. SS and SV8 models had a power boost to 250kW.

Strong graphics – larger air intake openings, new radiator grilles (with the single sports bar now shared by all models) – emphasised width across the front. An SV6 performance model replaced the Commodore S. In early 2005, the SV8 took on SV6 exterior styling cues.

The all-aluminium 3.6 litre Alloytec operated with double overhead cams and four valves per cylinder. It delivered more peak power and 90 per cent of peak torque between increased rev ranges, with fewer emissions.

Executive, Acclaim and Berlina were specified with the 175kW Alloytec engine. The high-performance, 190kW Alloytec 190 engine specified on Calais and SV6 was linked to a premium five-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters on the steering wheel. SV6 offered the option of a new six-speed manual.

The Alloytec V6 introduced a new era in Holden chassis control systems and active safety technology, with Acclaim and Calais delivering features such as electronic stability program – a first for an Australian-built car – electronic brake distribution, brake assist and corner brake control, all of which help drivers to maintain vehicle control in emergency situations.

Interior refinements included a new centre stack, which in Calais and Berlina had a insulated storage compartment for small items, fresh trim fabrics and patterns. Calais now offered leather trim as standard.

2006
Commodore VE
The VE sedan represented the fourth generation of Australia’s best-selling car range. It was the product of Australia’s first $1 billion car program and the most clean sheet development project in almost 60 years of Holden vehicle production.

The VE was engineered from global architecture with potential for GM markets around the world and safety was a major factor. Electronic Stability Program (ESP®) was standard, all models could be purchased with six airbags; curtain airbags were available for the first time.

A stiffer, stronger body structure with expanded use of high-strength steels, multiple load paths and optimised deformation zones met real world crash performance objectives.

The VE made a dramatic style statement, characterised by a purposeful stance and pronounced wheel arches. Designers maximised interior space without making the car significantly larger.

Individual models were more differentiated, inside and out.

Refinements to Alloytec V6 and Gen IV V8 powertrains lifted power and torque, improved takeoff feel, responsiveness and torque delivery. 270kW peak power output from the 6.0 litre V8 was the highest ever offered on a standard Holden.

Linear Control Suspension system delivered outstanding ride and handling without sacrificing ride comfort. An new electrical interface and expanded microprocessor capacity provided improved safety and infotainment capability. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems were totally new.

An Omega nameplate replaced Executive and Acclaim and a new V Series concept - SS V and Calais V - highlighted top-range choices.

VE sedans are exported under the GM brands of Chevrolet, Holden, Pontiac and Vauxhall to markets in the Middle East, Brazil, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom.

The VE Ute went on sale in October 2006. It offered more features, more useable interior space, greater storage flexibility and more performance than any of its predecessors.

A VE Commodore Sportwagon is expected to be released in the first half of 2008. It takes the sedan's sporty design and engineering advances and integrates them into a stylish and practical wagon with strong family appeal.

Base price on introduction: $36,490. Still in production.

   
Top
Pricing Disclaimer