OUR CARS – TORRENS
GT BUYS ANOTHER COMMO
IT POPPED up on one of the Facebook sa les pages I reg ularly haunt: It’s an At la ntis Blue VC Holden Commodore SL/E. It looked to be a ll-t here and was quite reasonably priced. Just three suburbs away, a poke and a prod under t he tarpaulin in t he seller’s back yard revea led a Commodore that I thought could be easily brought back to life.
It’s one of my favourite cars and prett y much my favourite colour. And even though my garage has enough ‘projects’ in it… How could I resist?
Towed home a few days later, I got stuck into t he old girl. Judging by t he stunning condition of t he interior, I reckon t his poor old dame has been cherished for maybe 25 of her 35 years. But t hen, as wit h t he life cycle of many cars, a new young owner has stuf fed a set of lowered springs and a blarey sports ex haust underneath… And then, no
surprise, he crashed it.
The boot-lid and nose were damaged, a lthough not too badly. Windscreen and turret damage from a fa lling tree branch during a storm had sentenced the SL/E to a couple of years in a back yard where the cockroaches had moved in and many interior parts had acquired a feint green haze of mould. The day I inspected it, t he front carpets were under water. Yuk!
At home, a closer look a long the doors and rear quarters revea led a few minor wibbles and wobbles… but nothing that would require more than few weekends’ worth of ef fort to f i x. There was some r ust, too, in t he usual V B-V L Commodore traps of the panel below front and rear windscreens and a few bubbles in t he spare t y re well. No big deal.
Under t he bonnet is t he standard 3.3-litre Holden blue si x-cylinder. The dash shows just 57,000k m and lif t ing t he oil f iller cap showed an engine t hat is sludge-free inside. One of the ideas I have is to (maybe) plonk in a later-model f uel injected Holden V8 and four-speed auto – both from a V N or later Commodore – to create a terrif ic cruiser.
With no log books, an obv iously patchy past and t he fact it needs restoration, t his car will never be a true big-buck collectorspec like an original books-and-condition time-warper. But t hat’s not going to stop me restoring it to showroom-fresh condition to create a cruiser t hat any Aussie car nut would throw a thumbs-up at.
It’s sur v ived t his long so it deser ves to be prett y again !
01 A ute-load of bolton bits will make a big difference up front.
02After the 4.2-litre in VB SL/Es, standard power for the VC SL/E was Holden’s then-new Blue 3.3-litre. I’m yet to decide if I want to keep it standard or transplant a later-model V8
Apart from a few $100K HDTs I have had the pleasure of witnessing, this is truly the greatest Commodore interior I have seen… Once wiped clean, of course! 03