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Monday, April 22, 2024


We farewell the Aussie Commodore with our list of the greats …

STORY: Andrew Frood
IMAGES: AN1 Images Archive

THIS week we bid a fond farewell to locally-manufactured Holden Commodores.

The Commodore has represented Holden in motorsport since the late 1970s and is the only car with a continuous competition presence spanning Group C, Group A, 5-Litre touring cars and Supercars.

To mark the passing of a great Australian icon of the racetrack, the V8 Sleuth team locked horns to come up with our list of the top five racing Commodores.

This was no easy task and could easily have been a Top 20 – what do you think of what we came up with?

Post your comments on our Facebook page here.

1. Chassis HRT 033 – Craig Lowndes 1996 VR Commodore

The car which created the legend of the Holden Racing Team and Craig Lowndes, sweeping both to the 1996 ATCC title and taking Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000 crowns with Greg Murphy.

The term ‘Supercar’ was first used to describe this very car. Created as an engineering clean sheet, HRT 033 pushed the technical envelope in every direction.

2. 1979 Repco Round Australia Trial – Commodore 1-2-3

The grueling 20,000-kilometre, two week, almost non-stop lap of Australia broke both man and machine.

Peter Brock led home the Marlboro HDT Commodores to claim a dominant podium lock-out and give the Commodore its first competition win.

Brock considered this victory the greatest achievement of his stellar career.

3. Peter Brock’s 1984 HDT VK ‘Big Banger’

Everyone loves the Big Banger.

Day-glo orange paint, white Momo wheels, big flares and wings – arguably the prettiest Commodore race car ever.

Its time with us was brief, yet long enough to claim an inaugural Sandown 500 victory for Brock and Larry Perkins and a stunning 1-2 form-finish for the HDT at Bathurst.

4. Chassis PE 027 Perkins/Ingall 1995 Bathurst Winner – last to first.

One of the best ‘against the odds’ Bathurst stories ever.

An early pit stop to replace a flat tyre after a touch on the run to the first corner sent the Castrol Commodore of Larry Perkins and Russell Ingall to the rear of the 1995 Bathurst field.

It took the duo 44 laps to break back into the top 10 and 119 laps to crack the top five. They took the lead with just nine laps remaining to record an amazing, if not unlikely win.

5. Chassis HRT 045 – Mark Skaife’s VX Commodore ‘Golden Child’

Two championship wins, two Bathurst wins, two Clipsal 500 wins, 20 championship race wins, nine round wins, nine pole positions and only the second chassis in history to win Bathurst twice. Need we say more?

Do you have a favourite Commodore that didn’t make our list? There’s plenty to choose from.

Visit our Facebook page here to share your thoughts on the great Commodores.

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