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HK1837 Offline
#21 Posted : Friday, 17 March 2017 1:35:25 PM(UTC)
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Here is a related topic. This is now a photo in the public domain so it can be shared. Website shows 1965, probably closer to 1966 for the HT interior buck to be there. The HT buck you see on the right is the same one in the 2nd and 3rd photos. Look at the clock on the wall and the panelling and you can see the aspect of the 1st photo relative to the first.

Once you've zoomed in and looked around at the LC and HQ stuff all over the walls, have a close look at the HQ in the centre, with its chassis buck to the left. This was the car that was cancelled and replaced with the HQ design as we know it. This proves that for the HQ original release of 1970 to be met that there was already a lot of work gone into the car's design, remembering that its underpinnings were HK-HT not a whole new design as the HQ ended up. Also maybe ponder how the claims can be true that Ford Australia staff went to Detroit in the middle of 1968 to begin design on the XA Falcon? How did they get the cancelled design from a GMH studio? You can also see the 111" wheelbase on the sign behind the car on the wall. The image also shows you how far they were advanced with the HT's design at this stage assuming maybe late 1965. This means the HK was well and truly signed off by this stage, which also shows that for the HQ to start from scratch in early 1968 as claimed to be finished ready for the start of 1971 is near impossible.

http://www.hrc.org.au/im...design%20studio%202.jpg

http://www.hrc.org.au/im...ord/design%20studio.jpg

http://www.hrc.org.au/im...in%20seating%20buck.jpg

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Dr Terry Offline
#22 Posted : Friday, 17 March 2017 3:15:48 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: castellan Go to Quoted Post

The VB commodore was a Opel Vauxhall and I seen them in 1975 and a much superior car than the crap we got here, gear box was way better as was the 3.0L 6 cyl engine not to mention it had the IRS rear end.
Holden just used the body and put all our 3rd rate cheap crap in it and the only saving thing about it was for the work done on RTS and it was luck that the V8 could fit in, so some performance could be obtained, hell even the 6 CYL 3.0L they had could flogs our 5.0L V8.

The VN better than the original VB suspension, how is that, the VN handled like a bucket of, the VB was the best handling car by far and even the VN IRS was 3dr rate backwards crap.


You're stretching a few facts there. The VB was sold as either an Opel Commodore or a Vauxhall Viceroy, not an Opel Vauxhall. This car used GM-H's recipe of the Senator nose on a Rekord body.

The Opel Commodore (& its Vauxhall clone) had a live rear axle (no IRS available) & only had a 2.5L 6-cyl with either 85 kW (with a carby) or 96 kW in EFI form. These were very 'peaky' in their performance characteristics & had no low down torque. A VB 202 would easily beaten one at the lights, even if it overtook the VB on the freeway. But for that purpose we had the 4.2 V8 to beat it in all departments & a 5.0 V8 for those who needed more & these were only ADR27A Red motors. Aussies drivers usually prefer good low down torque, because in our country anything over 120 km/h is considered a heinous crime. In Germany their little 2.5 thing would've easily seen 200 km/h on the Autobahn. That's the way German cars are designed & geared.

You denigrate Holdens engines of the era by referring to them as "3rd rate cheap crap", when in fact it was ADR27a was the drama, imagine how much better a VB would have gone with HJ power-plants.

The car that you saw in 1975 was a Senator, which was released in late 1977 for the 78 model year, so you're a few years out there, no worries. The Senator had the 3.0L 6-cyl EFI donk, a 5-sp Getrag 'box & IRS, but was a lot more expensive than a Commodore or Rekord. As good as these German things went, they wouldn't have lasted the distance on our roads, as evidenced by VB prototype testing.

The Vauxhall version of the Senator was the Carlton & the 2-door coupe version was the Monza. These all had the 3.0L 6-cyl & IRS.

You misunderstood my point about the VN suspension, not that it handled well, because it didn't. What I meant was that it took GM-H several years to get the front struts & rack etc. to go the distance, durability wise. In the early days they were lucky to get 50,000 km before the front struts &/or rack needed replacement. A lot of work with TRW, Monroe & Armstrong York improved them considerably. These days you see many Commodores with 200,000 km on the clock with original struts & rack still in the car.

The main reason a VB handled better than a VN is that the VN was heavier & it had a wider body on the narrower VB track. In the handling & durability stakes I believe that the VL is the pick of early Commodores. At this time most of the original German 'niggles' had been sorted. Heck, even the heater/demister/aircond system was fixed.

Dr Terry
If at first you don't succeed, just call it Version 1.0
Dr Terry Offline
#23 Posted : Friday, 17 March 2017 3:58:20 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
Also maybe ponder how the claims can be true that Ford Australia staff went to Detroit in the middle of 1968 to begin design on the XA Falcon? How did they get the cancelled design from a GMH studio?

http://www.hrc.org.au/im...design%20studio%202.jpg



Are you saying that the car on the left in the first piccy looks like an XA Falcon ? I can't see many similarities, it looks more like an oversized TC Cortina. But maybe that's just me.

Dr Terry
If at first you don't succeed, just call it Version 1.0
Dr Terry Offline
#24 Posted : Friday, 17 March 2017 4:08:01 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
Here is a related topic. This is now a photo in the public domain so it can be shared. Website shows 1965, probably closer to 1966 for the HT interior buck to be there. The HT buck you see on the right is the same one in the 2nd and 3rd photos. Look at the clock on the wall and the panelling and you can see the aspect of the 1st photo relative to the first.

http://www.hrc.org.au/im...design%20studio%202.jpg

http://www.hrc.org.au/im...ord/design%20studio.jpg

http://www.hrc.org.au/im...in%20seating%20buck.jpg



I believe that the studio shown in the 1st piccy is not the same one as shown the the 2nd & 3rd. Everything around the clock is different & what appears to the a 'false' floor panel beneath the HQ is not seen in the other 2 piccies.

Dr Terry
If at first you don't succeed, just call it Version 1.0
castellan Offline
#25 Posted : Friday, 17 March 2017 5:32:41 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
Here is a related topic. This is now a photo in the public domain so it can be shared. Website shows 1965, probably closer to 1966 for the HT interior buck to be there. The HT buck you see on the right is the same one in the 2nd and 3rd photos. Look at the clock on the wall and the panelling and you can see the aspect of the 1st photo relative to the first.

Once you've zoomed in and looked around at the LC and HQ stuff all over the walls, have a close look at the HQ in the centre, with its chassis buck to the left. This was the car that was cancelled and replaced with the HQ design as we know it. This proves that for the HQ original release of 1970 to be met that there was already a lot of work gone into the car's design, remembering that its underpinnings were HK-HT not a whole new design as the HQ ended up. Also maybe ponder how the claims can be true that Ford Australia staff went to Detroit in the middle of 1968 to begin design on the XA Falcon? How did they get the cancelled design from a GMH studio? You can also see the 111" wheelbase on the sign behind the car on the wall. The image also shows you how far they were advanced with the HT's design at this stage assuming maybe late 1965. This means the HK was well and truly signed off by this stage, which also shows that for the HQ to start from scratch in early 1968 as claimed to be finished ready for the start of 1971 is near impossible.

http://www.hrc.org.au/im...design%20studio%202.jpg

http://www.hrc.org.au/im...ord/design%20studio.jpg

http://www.hrc.org.au/im...in%20seating%20buck.jpg

I have seen VH Valiant and XA pictures side by side like so together in a studio with the year 1968 displayed.

I believe it's only one company that masters in a field and it's this company of people who work on all the new car designs to get them ready of the ground, be it GM Ford Chrysler, just as all the engines casting setup first starts with just one company only as well that has that type of specialist ability and they leave it to that one company who are the specialist in that field.

There are specialist who get all the main body setups off the ground stages to make it all work and then hand it over to the car company's.
The car company's only start off what they think they want and then give it to specialist company to deal with and then it's finish by that company who goes back to the car company and then the car company can add a few bits of what they want and then give it all the green light for that company to go build all the tooling so as to make it all happen.

Even with say going from a HQ front to a HJ front end Holden's boys may do the clay, but Holden does not make the tooling does it too make them panels. and then all cars get fiddled with as the production of that model progresses.

Look at the first 3 Holden's that USA made, then they did road testing and came up with problems, some specialist dudes from USA came and worked out what best to do, not just some bozo in Holden Australia ginning about with it, they would not of had a clue with such an advanced car at the time.
castellan Offline
#26 Posted : Friday, 17 March 2017 6:40:30 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Dr Terry Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: castellan Go to Quoted Post

The VB commodore was a Opel Vauxhall and I seen them in 1975 and a much superior car than the crap we got here, gear box was way better as was the 3.0L 6 cyl engine not to mention it had the IRS rear end.
Holden just used the body and put all our 3rd rate cheap crap in it and the only saving thing about it was for the work done on RTS and it was luck that the V8 could fit in, so some performance could be obtained, hell even the 6 CYL 3.0L they had could flogs our 5.0L V8.

The VN better than the original VB suspension, how is that, the VN handled like a bucket of, the VB was the best handling car by far and even the VN IRS was 3dr rate backwards crap.


You're stretching a few facts there. The VB was sold as either an Opel Commodore or a Vauxhall Viceroy, not an Opel Vauxhall. This car used GM-H's recipe of the Senator nose on a Rekord body.

The Opel Commodore (& its Vauxhall clone) had a live rear axle (no IRS available) & only had a 2.5L 6-cyl with either 85 kW (with a carby) or 96 kW in EFI form. These were very 'peaky' in their performance characteristics & had no low down torque. A VB 202 would easily beaten one at the lights, even if it overtook the VB on the freeway. But for that purpose we had the 4.2 V8 to beat it in all departments & a 5.0 V8 for those who needed more & these were only ADR27A Red motors. Aussies drivers usually prefer good low down torque, because in our country anything over 120 km/h is considered a heinous crime. In Germany their little 2.5 thing would've easily seen 200 km/h on the Autobahn. That's the way German cars are designed & geared.

You denigrate Holdens engines of the era by referring to them as "3rd rate cheap crap", when in fact it was ADR27a was the drama, imagine how much better a VB would have gone with HJ power-plants.

The car that you saw in 1975 was a Senator, which was released in late 1977 for the 78 model year, so you're a few years out there, no worries. The Senator had the 3.0L 6-cyl EFI donk, a 5-sp Getrag 'box & IRS, but was a lot more expensive than a Commodore or Rekord. As good as these German things went, they wouldn't have lasted the distance on our roads, as evidenced by VB prototype testing.

The Vauxhall version of the Senator was the Carlton & the 2-door coupe version was the Monza. These all had the 3.0L 6-cyl & IRS.

You misunderstood my point about the VN suspension, not that it handled well, because it didn't. What I meant was that it took GM-H several years to get the front struts & rack etc. to go the distance, durability wise. In the early days they were lucky to get 50,000 km before the front struts &/or rack needed replacement. A lot of work with TRW, Monroe & Armstrong York improved them considerably. These days you see many Commodores with 200,000 km on the clock with original struts & rack still in the car.

The main reason a VB handled better than a VN is that the VN was heavier & it had a wider body on the narrower VB track. In the handling & durability stakes I believe that the VL is the pick of early Commodores. At this time most of the original German 'niggles' had been sorted. Heck, even the heater/demister/aircond system was fixed.

Dr Terry


The senator is the same basic thing as the commodore, be it Vauxhall or Opel what ever and it sticks out as one directly. you see one and you automatic think blimey that's our Holden twin.

They did have the 3.0L 134KW at 5800RPM and max torque from 4200 to 4800 it does 210KM/H.
We had to wait till 1986 VL to get a 3.0L with 114KW at 5200RPM, not to mention our 3.3L had 69kw and the 4.2L 98KW the 5.0L 107 KW and 126KW.

One thing the VB did was it truly handled especially with the V8's because they had enough power to control the car and you could never put a foot wrong it was magic.
The VC-H-K-L handled like crap understeering pigs the VN-P were just all round crap the V6 was a chaff cutter Sick ThumbDown the VR was a better car and the VS with the ecotec V6 much better again, it was something you could live with without being embarrassed about all the noise the engine made.

A mate had the VL Turbo and it went as well as my XG Falcon but did not handle as well, but he spent money on the VL to try get it to handle, but went too low like most fools do, but he went to 2 1/2 exhaust and then 3in with the wick wound right up, then she flew but could not keep up on country roads with my VS commodore that was set up just right as if you go to low they dart about when they bottom out at high speed knocking the car off line through the corners. I took him up to show him the marble road and it's magic to fang out on, but he got understeer in the VL and lost itRollEyes
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#27 Posted : Friday, 17 March 2017 10:58:19 PM(UTC)
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The Senator has unique rear sheetmetal, the additional rear pillar window, and a longer nose (as well as the IRS). It is not the same thing. It's like calling a HZ Statesman a Kingswood.
The smaller, and lighter Rekord is what our Commodore is based on, with the Senator front end as Terry pointed out.
The only exterior panels the Rekord shares with the Senator are the front doors, rear door skins, sills, and most of the roof skin. All other panels are unique to the Senator.
Like how different a HZ statesman is to the sedan (except their bootlids interchange - the Opel ones don't).

The Rekord only had small engines (around 2L), live axle (no IRS) and even ran 4-stud wheels......
It was only the Senator that got the IRS and the 3.0L 6, which is quite the boat anchor - it's almost as big as the Jag inline 6s from the 70s, and weighs as much as a 308.
And if you really looked at the Senator, you'd see where the WB Sedan front seats originated......


How can a VC handle so bad compared to a VB? They are effectively the same suspension - almost identical spring rates as each other, and the same struts & swaybars, and wheels/tyres for each relevant engine/body combo that you would compare from one to the other.
Holden continually improved the handling over time - moving the rack mounts on non-power steered cars, and altering spring rates, lower trailing arm lengths, and diff pinion angles over time.

I'm with Terry - the VL, moreso in FE2 form, is the pick of all VB-VP live axle Commodores when it comes to handling, from the factory.
It wasn't until they widened the front track with VR that the handling of the wider body gen2 Commodores caught up - the VR/VS front end was a big improvement over VN/VP.

I've owned & driven plenty of early Commodores over the years, so I'm not just comparing one car with clapped out shocks & tarring a whole model span with the same brush.

Looks can also be deceiving - have you ever driven a Vauxhall/Opel version of the VB Commodore? The steering is utter rubbish - it feels worse than a sloppy HZ box. The Aussie rack & pinion was a huge improvement - which improved again with the VL when the rack was further updated. And the IRS under them is nothing to write home about. How bad was the VQ IRS? Where do you think the Holden design evolved from? It was already an improvement on the Opel IRS.....

Even nearly 40 years on people still bring up the same unfounded pub drivel to criticise the VB Commodore, yet the humble VB underpinnings lived on for 22 years of production - longer than the Kingswood badge hung around for. Guess there's some people who will never accept that Holden actually built decent cars after 1977 (as the sales records and COTY awards prove), just like there's some who consider anything after an EH to be a pile of crap....
Cheers,

Mick
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wbute Offline
#28 Posted : Saturday, 18 March 2017 6:41:51 AM(UTC)
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You can safely say Holden were only the wagging tail of the GM dog. Only given permission to re-work ideas. They did it well though. Taking Euro handling and US engine ideas and making great cars. The Commodore was a good example.
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#29 Posted : Saturday, 18 March 2017 7:12:50 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: castellan Go to Quoted Post

The senator is the same basic thing as the commodore, be it Vauxhall or Opel what ever and it sticks out as one directly. you see one and you automatic think blimey that's our Holden twin.

They did have the 3.0L 134KW at 5800RPM and max torque from 4200 to 4800 it does 210KM/H.
We had to wait till 1986 VL to get a 3.0L with 114KW at 5200RPM, not to mention our 3.3L had 69kw and the 4.2L 98KW the 5.0L 107 KW and 126KW.


Yes, look at a Senator & it does looks similar to a Rekord or Commodore, but an HSV GTS looks similar to a Commodore Executive too. As I said the Senator was a prestige model, which was much more expensive than any Rekord or Commodore & was built to compete again higher end M/Benzs & BMWS.

You seem to prefer these high revving low torque overhead cam style engines. As I said early many Aussies prefer the high torque lower revving engines. The biggest complaint of the VL 3.0 when it was released was, "sure it's smooth & economical & great on the freeway, but off the lights it was only as good as a 173 Red motor". As rough as the VN onwards V6 engine onwards was, it became a top seller because of that low-down torque which was instantly on tap.

OK, many consider the Red motors (6 & V8) to be boat anchors, but they served us well for 2 decades. Look where the max torque is:- 2000-2500 rpm, not 4200-4800 rpm like the 3.0L Opel 6. You do know that the 3.0L Opel 6 is an LH Torana 1900 donk with 2 cylinders added, don't you ?

My sidekick at work actually owns an Opel Monza which he imported in RHD form from the UK. It is 1984 (update model) with the 3.0L CIH engine & a Getrag 5-sp gearbox. As commodorenut has said with it's old style steering box (which is not even advanced as the Bendix-Bishop variable box fitted to HQ-WB) it's nowhere near as good to drive as the same era Aussie version.

I think that many onlookers (like yourself) don't have a full grasp of how much work GM-H did to the Opel to make it a good car, on such a limited budget in such a comparatively small market such as ours.

Dr Terry

Edited by user Saturday, 18 March 2017 7:54:35 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

If at first you don't succeed, just call it Version 1.0
Dr Terry Offline
#30 Posted : Saturday, 18 March 2017 8:43:15 AM(UTC)
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One further thought.

In view of the discussion over the last 2 pages, it could be said that every Holden ever made has had some input from overseas GM divisions, some series more than others. As castellan has said NONE were built 100% from scratch.

Having said that, the V8 is one item designed by GM-H in Australia from scratch & not being derived from any other V8 from any era. Sure it had its 'teething' problems as all other designs did (Including SBC & Ford Windsor), but over time has proved itself to be a world class design. Its design began in 1963/64, it was released in 1969 & was still going strong when replaced by the LS1 in 1999. The only reason that it was replaced was it wasn't worth investing in it for the new pollution standards, given our small market & the fact that the LS1 was ready to go off the shelf with no more money to be spent.

With all this talk of how much Aussie design content any Holden had, we should salute Fred James & his team for the 100% Aussie Holden V8. Without going thru the history books I would say that it was also the successful engine at Bathurst in the 'pre-NASCAR' era.

Dr Terry
If at first you don't succeed, just call it Version 1.0
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#31 Posted : Saturday, 18 March 2017 10:07:36 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Dr Terry Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: castellan Go to Quoted Post

The senator is the same basic thing as the commodore, be it Vauxhall or Opel what ever and it sticks out as one directly. you see one and you automatic think blimey that's our Holden twin.

They did have the 3.0L 134KW at 5800RPM and max torque from 4200 to 4800 it does 210KM/H.
We had to wait till 1986 VL to get a 3.0L with 114KW at 5200RPM, not to mention our 3.3L had 69kw and the 4.2L 98KW the 5.0L 107 KW and 126KW.


Yes, look at a Senator & it does looks similar to a Rekord or Commodore, but an HSV GTS looks similar to a Commodore Executive too. As I said the Senator was a prestige model, which was much more expensive than any Rekord or Commodore & was built to compete again higher end M/Benzs & BMWS.

You seem to prefer these high revving low torque overhead cam style engines. As I said early many Aussies prefer the high torque lower revving engines. The biggest complaint of the VL 3.0 when it was released was, "sure it's smooth & economical & great on the freeway, but off the lights it was only as good as a 173 Red motor". As rough as the VN onwards V6 engine onwards was, it became a top seller because of that low-down torque which was instantly on tap.

OK, many consider the Red motors (6 & V8) to be boat anchors, but they served us well for 2 decades. Look where the max torque is:- 2000-2500 rpm, not 4200-4800 rpm like the 3.0L Opel 6. You do know that the 3.0L Opel 6 is an LH Torana 1900 donk with 2 cylinders added, don't you ?

My sidekick at work actually owns an Opel Monza which he imported in RHD form from the UK. It is 1984 (update model) with the 3.0L CIH engine & a Getrag 5-sp gearbox. As commodorenut has said with it's old style steering box (which is not even advanced as the Bendix-Bishop variable box fitted to HQ-WB) it's nowhere near as good to drive as the same era Aussie version.

I think that many onlookers (like yourself) don't have a full grasp of how much work GM-H did to the Opel to make it a good car, on such a limited budget in such a comparatively small market such as ours.

Dr Terry


I may be just one of the most informed people of how the VB Commodore was created and came to be. fact is it was not as advanced as the Opel at all, in Australia Holden had to be competitive with the Falcon mainly and you see this all through the years and the cost of the IRS would not of cut it with the bean counters at the time, fact is the Opel was more advanced and it had IRS and a EFI engine.
We are in a Australia and had to make this car work for our conditions.

We have base model 2.85L and right up to the SL/E 5.0L and as for Merc and BMW they are not as expensive in Europe as they are here.

I do like low down torque engines and that's why I mainly drive V8's but if you look at the 3.3L EFI vs the 3.0L in the VL I do like the 3.3L EFI and auto to drive better around town but the 5sp manual and VL 3.0L is much better to drive than the auto. most of the poms drive manual's and they love there small engines and fuel cost more than it does here.

The VB Commodore was a great car and we got the rack and pinion and it even out handled the BMW at the time. the VB steering was a bit of a bastard as the initial part when driving straight ahead on the highway took a bit more effort than it should of but apart from that it was fine.

Nothing wrong with the Opel 1.9L engine it just cost more than a Holden 6 to recondition and any road the 1.9L + 2 = 2.85L but any road it were better than our moon glow 4.

The Commodore got IRS in the VN and it got EFI in the VK so yes the Opel was a more advanced car, but that does not mean it was a better car in every way especially for Australians at the time.
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#32 Posted : Saturday, 18 March 2017 10:33:37 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Dr Terry Go to Quoted Post
One further thought.

In view of the discussion over the last 2 pages, it could be said that every Holden ever made has had some input from overseas GM divisions, some series more than others. As castellan has said NONE were built 100% from scratch.

Having said that, the V8 is one item designed by GM-H in Australia from scratch & not being derived from any other V8 from any era. Sure it had its 'teething' problems as all other designs did (Including SBC & Ford Windsor), but over time has proved itself to be a world class design. Its design began in 1963/64, it was released in 1969 & was still going strong when replaced by the LS1 in 1999. The only reason that it was replaced was it wasn't worth investing in it for the new pollution standards, given our small market & the fact that the LS1 was ready to go off the shelf with no more money to be spent.

With all this talk of how much Aussie design content any Holden had, we should salute Fred James & his team for the 100% Aussie Holden V8. Without going thru the history books I would say that it was also the successful engine at Bathurst in the 'pre-NASCAR' era.

Dr Terry


Rubbish the Holden V8 was not built from scratch to the end at all by Holden, because they never hade the ability to do as such, just to make the cast to make the block takes people with the skill to make such a thing work, they had others in the USA do all that and make up the tooling to set it all up and then sent it all to Australia then Holden did the final testing and then started casting blocks. old Fred was the hear of the team and all but he could not make the tooling here.
Just look at all the machinery that goes into making the engines, it's a f ing joke ! we just did not have such an ability to make such stuff and if we did it would cost much more to do than the people who are in the business of making such things, some of them machines are bloody huge.

There were no teething problems from the HT on.
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#33 Posted : Saturday, 18 March 2017 12:08:51 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: commodorenut Go to Quoted Post
The Senator has unique rear sheetmetal, the additional rear pillar window, and a longer nose (as well as the IRS). It is not the same thing. It's like calling a HZ Statesman a Kingswood.
The smaller, and lighter Rekord is what our Commodore is based on, with the Senator front end as Terry pointed out.
The only exterior panels the Rekord shares with the Senator are the front doors, rear door skins, sills, and most of the roof skin. All other panels are unique to the Senator.
Like how different a HZ statesman is to the sedan (except their bootlids interchange - the Opel ones don't).

The Rekord only had small engines (around 2L), live axle (no IRS) and even ran 4-stud wheels......
It was only the Senator that got the IRS and the 3.0L 6, which is quite the boat anchor - it's almost as big as the Jag inline 6s from the 70s, and weighs as much as a 308.
And if you really looked at the Senator, you'd see where the WB Sedan front seats originated......


How can a VC handle so bad compared to a VB? They are effectively the same suspension - almost identical spring rates as each other, and the same struts & swaybars, and wheels/tyres for each relevant engine/body combo that you would compare from one to the other.
Holden continually improved the handling over time - moving the rack mounts on non-power steered cars, and altering spring rates, lower trailing arm lengths, and diff pinion angles over time.

I'm with Terry - the VL, moreso in FE2 form, is the pick of all VB-VP live axle Commodores when it comes to handling, from the factory.
It wasn't until they widened the front track with VR that the handling of the wider body gen2 Commodores caught up - the VR/VS front end was a big improvement over VN/VP.

I've owned & driven plenty of early Commodores over the years, so I'm not just comparing one car with clapped out shocks & tarring a whole model span with the same brush.

Looks can also be deceiving - have you ever driven a Vauxhall/Opel version of the VB Commodore? The steering is utter rubbish - it feels worse than a sloppy HZ box. The Aussie rack & pinion was a huge improvement - which improved again with the VL when the rack was further updated. And the IRS under them is nothing to write home about. How bad was the VQ IRS? Where do you think the Holden design evolved from? It was already an improvement on the Opel IRS.....

Even nearly 40 years on people still bring up the same unfounded pub drivel to criticise the VB Commodore, yet the humble VB underpinnings lived on for 22 years of production - longer than the Kingswood badge hung around for. Guess there's some people who will never accept that Holden actually built decent cars after 1977 (as the sales records and COTY awards prove), just like there's some who consider anything after an EH to be a pile of crap....


Statesman and the Kingswood are based on the same car, the VL vs VB is the same car, sure there are different in some ways.

Look at all the test when the VC came out, the RTS was changed because people could not drive well enough to take advantage of what Peter Hannenberger did, so they introduced understeer for the fools, VB-C almost identical you say but not the same and I am not on about old worn out or crap examples.

Opel IRS is where it evolved from and sure we adapted it to ours and when the VX came out we adapted what Opel did to stop the toe in, as did the VT GTS setup.
The VQ Statesman IRS was good only for the ride not handling.

COTY awards well well well what have we got here.

From the EH on is where it all becomes ok for me, before that they were real slugs and just totally boring to drive.

When the HZ WB came out they sure did handled grate, but nowadays when you get a wheel alignment most use a different setup that turns it into a shit box like a HX and they do this new settings because they don't understand why Peter Hannenberger set it up that way in the first place, so they set it up for dip sticks who can't drive for shit, bringing back that dreadful understeer that only incompetent drivers love. the same with the VC RTS it makes the car understeer so a incompetent driver will back off, now they do drive well on the highway, but if you get out of control on highway and try to get it back on the road again good luck, and it's the same up to the VS commodore.
With the VB especially the V8's this is a car you can do anything with because you have the power to control it with the throttle, here read Wheels Oct 1978 what Peter Hannenberger is pointing out to Bill Tuckey, poor old Bill has not got a clue what Peter is explaining to him in depth at all and Peter throws the car off into a spin, progressing at speeds leading all the way up to 210KM/H and Peter says all cars must do this ! so you can regain control.

People think IRS makes a car handle better it does not at all, it only works to improve the ride, unless it's real advanced like a Porsche 928 rear end setup, but it's an expensive to go that far advanced.
I had a dude claim his Datsun 200B would out handle a VB Commodore because it had IRS. Applause
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#34 Posted : Saturday, 18 March 2017 1:57:53 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: castellan Go to Quoted Post
Rubbish the Holden V8 was not built from scratch to the end at all by Holden, because they never hade the ability to do as such, just to make the cast to make the block takes people with the skill to make such a thing work, they had others in the USA do all that and make up the tooling to set it all up and then sent it all to Australia then Holden did the final testing and then started casting blocks. old Fred was the hear of the team and all but he could not make the tooling here.
Just look at all the machinery that goes into making the engines, it's a f ing joke ! we just did not have such an ability to make such stuff and if we did it would cost much more to do than the people who are in the business of making such things, some of them machines are bloody huge.

There were no teething problems from the HT on.


We shall just have to agree to disagree then.

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HK1837 Offline
#35 Posted : Saturday, 18 March 2017 3:50:17 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Dr Terry Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
Here is a related topic. This is now a photo in the public domain so it can be shared. Website shows 1965, probably closer to 1966 for the HT interior buck to be there. The HT buck you see on the right is the same one in the 2nd and 3rd photos. Look at the clock on the wall and the panelling and you can see the aspect of the 1st photo relative to the first.

http://www.hrc.org.au/im...design%20studio%202.jpg

http://www.hrc.org.au/im...ord/design%20studio.jpg

http://www.hrc.org.au/im...in%20seating%20buck.jpg



I believe that the studio shown in the 1st piccy is not the same one as shown the the 2nd & 3rd. Everything around the clock is different & what appears to the a 'false' floor panel beneath the HQ is not seen in the other 2 piccies.

Dr Terry


If not it is the adjacent studio in the same building, the Tech Centre I believe. Same HT buck I believe. Here is another image of the same building:

http://www.hrc.org.au/im.../seating%20buck%202.jpg
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HK1837 Offline
#36 Posted : Saturday, 18 March 2017 3:59:33 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Dr Terry Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
Also maybe ponder how the claims can be true that Ford Australia staff went to Detroit in the middle of 1968 to begin design on the XA Falcon? How did they get the cancelled design from a GMH studio?

http://www.hrc.org.au/im...design%20studio%202.jpg



Are you saying that the car on the left in the first piccy looks like an XA Falcon ? I can't see many similarities, it looks more like an oversized TC Cortina. But maybe that's just me.

Dr Terry


I'm saying it is the first stage of the XA Falcon's design. It cannot be anything else can it? Surely GMH can't have been working on a HQ that looked like that and then suddenly Ford build a very similar car. What the car is isn't the point though. The point was this is 1965 going into 1966 as the HT interior buck is there. That was the HQ at that time, and then by all accounts the HQ was back into tape drawings in 1968. The main point being they could not have started from scratch in 1968 and been finished ready for volume production around May 1971 of TOTALLY new sedan, wagon, Statesman and coupe. It had to have been a partially (and significantly) completed design.

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#37 Posted : Saturday, 18 March 2017 4:02:04 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: castellan Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
Here is a related topic. This is now a photo in the public domain so it can be shared. Website shows 1965, probably closer to 1966 for the HT interior buck to be there. The HT buck you see on the right is the same one in the 2nd and 3rd photos. Look at the clock on the wall and the panelling and you can see the aspect of the 1st photo relative to the first.

Once you've zoomed in and looked around at the LC and HQ stuff all over the walls, have a close look at the HQ in the centre, with its chassis buck to the left. This was the car that was cancelled and replaced with the HQ design as we know it. This proves that for the HQ original release of 1970 to be met that there was already a lot of work gone into the car's design, remembering that its underpinnings were HK-HT not a whole new design as the HQ ended up. Also maybe ponder how the claims can be true that Ford Australia staff went to Detroit in the middle of 1968 to begin design on the XA Falcon? How did they get the cancelled design from a GMH studio? You can also see the 111" wheelbase on the sign behind the car on the wall. The image also shows you how far they were advanced with the HT's design at this stage assuming maybe late 1965. This means the HK was well and truly signed off by this stage, which also shows that for the HQ to start from scratch in early 1968 as claimed to be finished ready for the start of 1971 is near impossible.

http://www.hrc.org.au/im...design%20studio%202.jpg

http://www.hrc.org.au/im...ord/design%20studio.jpg

http://www.hrc.org.au/im...in%20seating%20buck.jpg

I have seen VH Valiant and XA pictures side by side like so together in a studio with the year 1968 displayed.

I believe it's only one company that masters in a field and it's this company of people who work on all the new car designs to get them ready of the ground, be it GM Ford Chrysler, just as all the engines casting setup first starts with just one company only as well that has that type of specialist ability and they leave it to that one company who are the specialist in that field.

There are specialist who get all the main body setups off the ground stages to make it all work and then hand it over to the car company's.
The car company's only start off what they think they want and then give it to specialist company to deal with and then it's finish by that company who goes back to the car company and then the car company can add a few bits of what they want and then give it all the green light for that company to go build all the tooling so as to make it all happen.

Even with say going from a HQ front to a HJ front end Holden's boys may do the clay, but Holden does not make the tooling does it too make them panels. and then all cars get fiddled with as the production of that model progresses.

Look at the first 3 Holden's that USA made, then they did road testing and came up with problems, some specialist dudes from USA came and worked out what best to do, not just some bozo in Holden Australia ginning about with it, they would not of had a clue with such an advanced car at the time.


That is not an XA Falcon in 1965. It is a cancelled design for the HQ. It has HQ on the windscreen. How the XA came to look like that is a mystery, but one we hope to solve later this year.

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#38 Posted : Saturday, 18 March 2017 4:10:52 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: castellan Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Dr Terry Go to Quoted Post
One further thought.

In view of the discussion over the last 2 pages, it could be said that every Holden ever made has had some input from overseas GM divisions, some series more than others. As castellan has said NONE were built 100% from scratch.

Having said that, the V8 is one item designed by GM-H in Australia from scratch & not being derived from any other V8 from any era. Sure it had its 'teething' problems as all other designs did (Including SBC & Ford Windsor), but over time has proved itself to be a world class design. Its design began in 1963/64, it was released in 1969 & was still going strong when replaced by the LS1 in 1999. The only reason that it was replaced was it wasn't worth investing in it for the new pollution standards, given our small market & the fact that the LS1 was ready to go off the shelf with no more money to be spent.

With all this talk of how much Aussie design content any Holden had, we should salute Fred James & his team for the 100% Aussie Holden V8. Without going thru the history books I would say that it was also the successful engine at Bathurst in the 'pre-NASCAR' era.

Dr Terry


Rubbish the Holden V8 was not built from scratch to the end at all by Holden, because they never hade the ability to do as such, just to make the cast to make the block takes people with the skill to make such a thing work, they had others in the USA do all that and make up the tooling to set it all up and then sent it all to Australia then Holden did the final testing and then started casting blocks. old Fred was the hear of the team and all but he could not make the tooling here.
Just look at all the machinery that goes into making the engines, it's a f ing joke ! we just did not have such an ability to make such stuff and if we did it would cost much more to do than the people who are in the business of making such things, some of them machines are bloody huge.

There were no teething problems from the HT on.


GMH designed and built their V8. Sure they would have used outside assistance to do some of it which may have included GM US involvement, but that is normal. In fact most of the bits that make up a Holden until VZ anyway were built by outside sources within Australia. I can tell you for a fact that in Australia in the 1960's there was the ability to develop casting patterns, to develop the sand casting boxes and to cast any complex shape. I saw it every day in Newcastle Steelworks in the 80's and 90's and most of it had been there since the 1920's. The Steelworks made just about everything for their internal workings from mill rolls to rail wagon wheels. They even had their own power station. So developing an engine casting from design to production was a relatively easy task. It was only the aluminium parts that were cast outside, but again this is normal back then - GM in the US used Winters to do their alloy intakes, heads etc.

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#39 Posted : Sunday, 19 March 2017 9:07:14 AM(UTC)
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Castellan, there was dozens of foundry's in Sydney alone who had the ability to cast engine blocks and heads from the 1920's on. I would be really surprised if Holden didn't have their own in-house foundry's.
GMH definitely had the machinery and tooling to machine a raw castings to a finished machined product from the beginning (pre 1948).
Your mates 200b probably didn't has IRS anyway unless it was one of the fully imported 200b SSS coupes which were relatively rare. The 1600 and 180b did but Datsun Australia took a backward step with 200b.
j.williams
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#40 Posted : Sunday, 19 March 2017 11:29:36 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HGV8 Go to Quoted Post
Castellan, there was dozens of foundry's in Sydney alone who had the ability to cast engine blocks and heads from the 1920's on. I would be really surprised if Holden didn't have their own in-house foundry's.
GMH definitely had the machinery and tooling to machine a raw castings to a finished machined product from the beginning (pre 1948).
Your mates 200b probably didn't has IRS anyway unless it was one of the fully imported 200b SSS coupes which were relatively rare. The 1600 and 180b did but Datsun Australia took a backward step with 200b.


Your right it was a 180B.

I know they did cast blocks etc as you say, but as I have seen a show that pointed out how one mob in the USA do all the work in the initial making of the castings of blocks CWC I think it is and they have all the drawings sent to them and it's there job to make this casting setup work, they are not making just shit here ? it's a big deal to be able to cast a block in a way so as to get value for dollar and that means there always a percentage of blocks cast that don't cut it and that is a cost that can not be afforded, we are talking about big numbers of engines here and thin wall castings not the old 3rd rate heavy pre 1940's shit but modern stuff and it got better From 1962 when Holden started using even a better casting type system then they even had with the other grey motor before then.

This mob work out how best to get a quality product casting set up with the least air bubbles or with the sand mixing with in the cast iron that makes the casting able to weep water into the oil and when the plans come to them they will point out any imperfections with there knowledge and then endeavour to make this all work, it's much like a architect drawing given to a master who has the ability to build the bloody things, the drawing is just a dream, but the master creates it. they get it all working, making sure stress points pass and give it the OK for Holden etc to start making them.

When they pour the blocks they can even be done by the iron coming from bottom up and 2 blocks at a time or with cyl heads 3 are poured as one casting.

Ford Australia could not cast V8 blocks till Dec 1975 they did cast the V8 cyl heads until Nov 1971 and they just used the old tooling from USA just as they did with the XK 6 cyl 144 block and heads.

Even our XY 200 and 250 6 cyl were done in USA but this 200ci 250ci is not the same as the USA 200 and 250 engine.

Our Ford X flow 6 cyl was a Aussie creation but I am sure the USA had a lot of people involved with it all and I have read that they had a lot of problems in trying to get that right in the testing stages of 3 or 4 years I think it was and it's based on the engine before it and the V8 heads, so it's not as big a deal as the Holden V8 to do.

Hell we in Australia could not even make the Alloy heads for the 1980 Ford 6 cyl, Honda did all that work.

I think Holden Australia did all the work on the EFI 5.0L heads and block mods.

I believe when reporters came to do show what was going on in the day with the making of Holden FX or Falcon XK they did not go into it all in depth, mainly because most people are not interested in things as such but the assembling of the car is all they want to see.
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