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HK1837 Offline
#1 Posted : Saturday, 21 May 2022 10:51:18 AM(UTC)
HK1837

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Another one of these came to light this week. That makes 4 now at least that I have tags for, plus another L31 M40 cab-chassis I saw years ago. So that is 2 x Kingswood utes (1 x L31 M38 and 1 x L31 M40) plus 3 x cab chassis (2 x L31 M38 and 1 x L31 M40).

The one that turned up this week is a 4/81 L31 M38 bench seat cab chassis which is the first 100% guaranteed column shift TH350 example I have seen - they didn't even build WB Deville in that configuration afaik until M40 replaced M38. I do have another one (in the same Fleet colour too of Manifest Orange) but I only have its BODY ID tag so can't guarantee it was column shift. I think the 7/81 L31 M38 Kingswood ute is a 3 seater but it is hard to read.

I have images of the broadcast sheet for the L31 M40 Kingswood ute. It looks like it was a RETAIL order SVO where they have entered it into the schedule as an L14 M15 with C60 (A/C) N40 (steer), U17 (sports dash), M11 (console shift - which is weird as that is impossible with M15!) adn CD4 (intermittent wipers) and they have changed the specification partially by hand ( for example the VIN is on the broadcast sheet as 8N80LCL675227B but the L is crossed out and replaced by T), but the #SVO is printed properly as ADD L31, M40, G80, GU4. A lot of the broadcast sheet boxes are changed by hand to suit the different driveline like the box for the floor cutout, throttle cable, alternator, pulleys, heater hoses etc etc. I wouldn't mind betting all the L31 WB Holdens were done like this. The Manifest Orange cab-chassis will be the Federal Dept of Works probably so they must have had a need for decent pulling or carrying capacity.
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wbute Offline
#2 Posted : Saturday, 21 May 2022 8:12:04 PM(UTC)
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None with 4 speed yet? L31 was clearly a very difficult to get option.
HK1837 Offline
#3 Posted : Saturday, 21 May 2022 9:06:11 PM(UTC)
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I doubt very much there will be any manual 5.0L WB Holden. The engine will have been wanted for carrying load or towing and GMH never allowed a manual 5.0L in any cab chassis where L31 seems to be the most common in WB. Still not as rare as 5.0L in HJ cab chassis though, I’ve only ever seen one of those.
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wbute Offline
#4 Posted : Saturday, 21 May 2022 9:25:08 PM(UTC)
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You would think plenty tried to get it in WB utes but GMH turned them down. Makes no sense as they sold a fair few as Sandman’s in previous series.
Can never understand the logic in making it hard to get a 5 litre in WB Ute if people were asking for it (and plenty did).
HK1837 Offline
#5 Posted : Sunday, 22 May 2022 7:09:05 AM(UTC)
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The logic is clear. GMH considered the 4BBL 4.2 as all that was needed in Holden and Commodore with the 5.0L reserved for Statesman. It wasn’t until later in VC that anyone other than Police had access to 5.0L, initially it was just like WB Holden.
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wbute Offline
#6 Posted : Sunday, 22 May 2022 7:36:39 PM(UTC)
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Yeah that’s GMH logic but no one else’s. Any other business if customers ask for something that’s easy to deliver, they make the sale.
HK1837 Offline
#7 Posted : Sunday, 22 May 2022 9:13:09 PM(UTC)
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Think of it in context. GMH had made the decision to downsize with VC onwards replacing the W size Holden passenger vehicles. They had decided that with the improved 4.2L XT5 V8 there was no need for 5.0L in VC, and the same logic would have applied to WB commercials. The blue XT5 6’s were also so far improved over the red versions, and the XT5 V8’s also far improved that when you think about it from GMH’s perspective amongst worries about fuel cost and the fact that inflation in Australia running at least 10% between 1974 and 1981 (18% in 1975) would have influenced such decisions. They had (incorrectly) predicted that Australians would want smaller passenger cars and that generally meant the 4.2 4BBL engine would be more than adequate. Remember that very soon afterwards they decided to kill the V8 off altogether, VL planning would have been happening in 1980 or soon after. History tells us they were wrong, we wanted bigger engines and even bigger cars, but that is hindsight for you. Then they got it wrong again and kept building bigger sedans when people’s tastes had moved to SUV’s and dual cab utes.

Edited by user Sunday, 22 May 2022 9:16:54 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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wbute Offline
#8 Posted : Monday, 23 May 2022 10:06:30 AM(UTC)
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Yes but I think a lot of those decisions were heavily weighted by US based GM bean counters. Clearly there was a big disconnect between reality and what those bean counters thought. It’s the same with all big companies I guess, never listen to those below you who actually know, just make sure those above you are not kicking your arse.
If they had listened to the public’s interest in the concept Torana in the early 2000’s and actually produced the car the public wanted, Holden would still be here. They were close to putting the V8 in the Colorado which was also what we wanted, but too little too late.
Their reasoning with the 5 litre in commercial vehicles was always flawed, as can be seen by the fact they eventually only offered a much bigger V8 at all. The 5 litre in the Statesman wasn’t big enough! Not sure why the US bean counters thought that a country that was just as big as the US wouldn’t suit big engines. I think they had Austria and us mixed up.

Edited by user Monday, 23 May 2022 10:10:06 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

HK1837 Offline
#9 Posted : Monday, 23 May 2022 10:46:18 AM(UTC)
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Maybe, GMH were losing money and market share in that timeframe. Inflation in Australia was very different to the USA though in the 70's. It rose far higher and took a lot longer to come down.

I'm not sure if people really would have wanted that TT36 car in enough volume to help Holden. It wasn't that much different in size to a VZ, in fact its wheelbase was longer than a VZ. It was basically the same size as a Vectra, V6 only and only a 4 seater. I don't think it would ever have been called a Torana and it probably would have been built for worldwide sales so probably built in the USA anyway.

Totally agree on the Colorado. Harrop was ready to pull the trigger on doing conversions just as Holden pulled the pin. Australia is crying out for vehicles that can tow and carry and aren't uncomfortable and manual only (79 series). The Nissan Titan would have been perfect for here, more so than the Ram as it came in 5.6L V8 petrol (same as Patrol) or 5.0L V8 Cummins diesel, but they dropped the diesel in the USA. Ram Australia tried the 3.0L V6 diesel but they only offered it in Laramie and it dropped a whole tonne of towing capacity - thus no-one wanted it. If I could have had the 1500 Express with the 2500's Cummins 6.7L 6cyl diesel I would have had it, they are a beautiful engine: 276kW and 1152Nm.

You can't compare WB to the 5.7L and larger in later cars. A WB V8 ute was only about 1400kg or less. A VE V8 ute was about 1750kg with a GVW of over 2300kg. A 4.2L V8 auto was a pretty decent car in a WB. Sure they would have gone harder with a 5.0L but the difference wasn't anywhere near as much as it was in HZ:

HZ 4.2 - 87kW 271Nm (DIN)
WB 4.2 - 100kW 269Nm (DIN)
HZ 5.0 - 114kW 344Nm (DIN)
WB 5.0 - 117kW 336Nm (DIN)

All single exhaust figures as there was no dual exhaust on any Holden commercials.
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wbute Offline
#10 Posted : Monday, 23 May 2022 12:43:06 PM(UTC)
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I went into Holden to price a HSV sports Cat. They told me there was a good chance there was a V8 Colorado about to be released which clearly sounded good. Then I couldn’t get anything from the dealer as far as trade in went, then Holden folded up. I ended up buying the Ram when the Hilux blew up its transmission.
Clearly with the number of Rams on the road, Holden should have pursued the V8 Colorado from the beginning. They could have sent that conversion all over the world (Colorado is available left hand drive?).
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#11 Posted : Monday, 23 May 2022 1:45:49 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
Maybe, GMH were losing money and market share in that timeframe. Inflation in Australia was very different to the USA though in the 70's. It rose far higher and took a lot longer to come down.

I'm not sure if people really would have wanted that TT36 car in enough volume to help Holden. It wasn't that much different in size to a VZ, in fact its wheelbase was longer than a VZ. It was basically the same size as a Vectra, V6 only and only a 4 seater. I don't think it would ever have been called a Torana and it probably would have been built for worldwide sales so probably built in the USA anyway.

Totally agree on the Colorado. Harrop was ready to pull the trigger on doing conversions just as Holden pulled the pin. Australia is crying out for vehicles that can tow and carry and aren't uncomfortable and manual only (79 series). The Nissan Titan would have been perfect for here, more so than the Ram as it came in 5.6L V8 petrol (same as Patrol) or 5.0L V8 Cummins diesel, but they dropped the diesel in the USA. Ram Australia tried the 3.0L V6 diesel but they only offered it in Laramie and it dropped a whole tonne of towing capacity - thus no-one wanted it. If I could have had the 1500 Express with the 2500's Cummins 6.7L 6cyl diesel I would have had it, they are a beautiful engine: 276kW and 1152Nm.

You can't compare WB to the 5.7L and larger in later cars. A WB V8 ute was only about 1400kg or less. A VE V8 ute was about 1750kg with a GVW of over 2300kg. A 4.2L V8 auto was a pretty decent car in a WB. Sure they would have gone harder with a 5.0L but the difference wasn't anywhere near as much as it was in HZ:

HZ 4.2 - 87kW 271Nm (DIN)
WB 4.2 - 100kW 269Nm (DIN)
HZ 5.0 - 114kW 344Nm (DIN)
WB 5.0 - 117kW 336Nm (DIN)

All single exhaust figures as there was no dual exhaust on any Holden commercials.

VB 4.2L = 86kw 4000rpm / 271nm 2000 RPM single exhaust
VB 4.2L = 98kw 4000 / 271 2400 dual
I would say above, such would be much the same for HZ DIN figures maybe a bit more for Dual and a bit less for Single if anything.

VC 4.2L = 100kw 4200 / 269 2400 single
VC 4.2L = 115kw 4400 / 289 3200 dual
VC 5.0L = 117 4000 / 336 2400 single
VC 5.0L = 126 4400 / 361 2800 dual as all WB statesman are.

VB 5.0L = 107 4000 / 321 2200 single
VB 5.0L = 126 4250 / 336 2500 dual
I would say VB above, is much as HZ is.

HZ 5.0L - 114kw 344nm Dual exhaust ? and more torque ? but less power than a VB 5.0L dual, well maybe showing the HZ dual exhaust is better at making more torque but still more restricted maybe, as HZ had 2 big long mufflers and VB went single and into 2 small mufflers and one dual resonator. Have you got the Revs for that bro ?

Remember the WB Statesman Magnum 188kw 5000 rpm 429nm 3500
and the VH Group 3 184kw 4700 / 418nm 3500 This still goes into one then to two mufflers and back into one dual resonator.
HK1837 Offline
#12 Posted : Monday, 23 May 2022 2:30:45 PM(UTC)
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There was no dual exhaust in commercials hence I quoted the single exhaust figures for all engines. I used VB figures not HZ as there were no DIN figures for HZ in technical literature and no SAE gross or net for WB to do the comparison.
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HK1837 Offline
#13 Posted : Monday, 23 May 2022 2:41:05 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: wbute Go to Quoted Post
I went into Holden to price a HSV sports Cat. They told me there was a good chance there was a V8 Colorado about to be released which clearly sounded good. Then I couldn’t get anything from the dealer as far as trade in went, then Holden folded up. I ended up buying the Ram when the Hilux blew up its transmission.
Clearly with the number of Rams on the road, Holden should have pursued the V8 Colorado from the beginning. They could have sent that conversion all over the world (Colorado is available left hand drive?).


I spoke to Harrop about an LSA in a Colorado. I didn't want a sports car as they were ugly as f%$k like most HSV stuff was - they covered them in wanky useless stuff, similar to a Ranger Wildtrack. I almost bought a converted Colorado locally. It was a base Xtra cab with an LSA, only $42k. I was going to buy it and swap the drivelines over in a new mid range example. But it sold so fast I didn't get a look in.

What Holden should have done is imported affordable GMC or Chevrolet trucks and got them converted rather than the over-priced stuff they have. I reckon they'd sell a huge amount of single cab Silverado. I know the Ram salesmen are crying out for single cab Rams to be converted as well. The reality is the Walkinshaw run ASV are working as hard as they can converting both Ram and Chevrolet, they can't keep up. I had heard that they were about to start doing RHD conversions for GM for trucks to sell into the middle east. What we need is for one of them to build factory RHD. Nissan were talking about it but that is not going to happen. The most likely is Toyota as the 300 series is built on the Tundra chassis. If they can build RHD 300 Series they can do RHD Tundra. The problem is, the idiots will only want to fit that stupid V6 TD rather than the Petrol V8. Eventually they'll get rid of the diesel and run hybrid petrol. By the time we get any of them though they will all be 3.xL 6cyl turbo petrol engines. That is what is replacing the Hemi in Ram and Jeep (an inline 6) and has replaced the V8 in Landcruiser (V6 turbo). Ford already have the Ecoboost V6 in F150.
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If we all had the same (good) taste, who would buy all the Fords?
wbute Offline
#14 Posted : Tuesday, 24 May 2022 7:13:49 PM(UTC)
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Yeah I would think they would sell plenty of single cab RAMS.
The Sportscat was very underwhelming, and was a sad indication of Holden’s failings really.
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