Aussie SS: 1982 Holden Commodore V8 4-Speed

In the U.S., we tend to think we have ultimate authority on building muscle cars. In many cases, we do, but one area that hasn’t been a sweet spot is the burly muscle sedan. Yes, I know, we all love our coupes here, but there’s something sinister about a four-door that truly hauls. If there’s another country with some serious pedigree for building factory hot rods, it has to be Australia, which loves copious amounts of horsepower as much as we do in the states. This rare 1982 Holden Commodore SS is a serious performance sedan that is rarely seen today, originally fitted with a 4.2 L V8 and paired to a four-speed manual transmission. Find it here on eBay with a listed price of AU $55,000.

Built-in limited numbers, the SS makes the E28 BMW M5 look like a spring chicken in terms of the number of years it preceded the arrival of the car most often thought of as the purest interpretation of the sports sedan. Aero enhancements, manual gearboxes, and V8 power: the key ingredients for a high-performance four-door that lets you know with a whisper that it’s packing. The SS seen here has been modified from stock, both under the hood and cosmetically, with the latter including a Momo steering wheel and super cool period-correct 15″ Irmscher alloy wheels. The bodywork looks tidy with its original SS graphics still in place.

The original 4.2L has been replaced with a larger 5.0L mill. Now, while this may seem sacrilegious for a limited production sports sedan, but there’s likely a good reason why a previous owner made this switch. Holden offered buyers a path towards greater horsepower with the help of Peter Brock’s HDT Special Vehicles company, which took the SS and provided a few different stages of tune, including a “Group 3” option that incorporated a 5.0L V8 and other enhancements. A front strut bar has also been added, and despite 122,000 miles on the odometer, the Holden presents very well under-hood.

The interior was super basic, with surprisingly flat-bottomed cloth buckets and a bare-bones cockpit. The steering wheel is a great, period-correct upgrade, and adds some color to the otherwise spartan interior. But that’s not what matters in a car like this: it’s the drivetrain and the sleepy looks that keep the guy in the two-door next to you completely unsuspecting until it’s too late. While it seems unlikely that this car will end up stateside, what an awesome way to justify spending the freight costs to get it into the country. The Holden SS and the Mercedes 6.9, in that showdown, which do you choose? Which would win?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    At “pre-coffee” first glance, I thought that this was a tricked out Cavalier! The Aussie car world is SO interesting, with all the “so familiar, yet unfamiliar” looking cars. This one could really sneak up and surprise someone!!
    GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 15
  2. Steve Bush Member

    Exactly Moparman, I too thought Cavalier initially, though the rear panel looks similar to that of a Pontiac 6000. Shame that it wasn’t available here.

    Like 2
  3. Vegaman Dan

    Cavalier. It has that shape, but then even with mild body panel mods, it’s not really there. Plus rear wheel drive pretty much excludes this from the Cavalier body entirely.

    So if this got to the US, people would assume a craptastic Cavalier until you hit the gas- VROOM!

    Like 2
    • Troy s

      Craptastic !! I would concur on that observasition. Hahaha!

      Like 1
  4. CCFisher

    Looks to be related to Opels of the day.

    Like 6
  5. BlackTa

    I lived in Germany in the late 80’s. I owned a similar car, an Opel Commodore. No v8 in mine, a straight 6 with 4 speed, likeable car.

    Like 3
  6. local_sheriff

    CC is correct – this Holden definately shares body with the Opel Rekord E, however Opel never offered anything near this Aussie engine in this body! Opel also used the Commodore nameplate, but only as a posh 6cyl Rekord. It’s interesting to note that while Holden did have access to GM’s parts bin they still offered a unique Aussie V8. Looks to be a fun understated car!

    The Cavalier some suggest above is a smaller FF layout car, based on that shell it was built as Opel Ascona C and Holden Camira (+ many others)

    Like 5
  7. John Taylor

    That looks like a Group 3 Brock car, so if that is the case it would have come with the 308 engine and not the 253. The group 3 also was the only one with the fender edges on the front mud guards ( Fenders ). I bough supposedly the very last V8 VL Berlina with the 304 Engine which had been back through the plant for a few modifications. When I picked it up the car was for al intense in purposes the same as a Walkingshaw special but without all the flares etc and in fact it sat about a 1/2″lower because it was parked beside a new Walkingshaw when I picked it up. The factory build was really pretty poor but they went like the wind.

    Like 4
  8. Peter

    so much want!

  9. Genemak1

    An Opel by any other name is still an Opel. The V8 variant as a Holden makes it special.

    Like 1
  10. JoeNYWF64

    & i thought the Cimarron, & some of the domestic car decals of the late 70’s looked tacky. I bet this & the disgraceful “Caddy” share some parts & architecture! If you sent this car back to ’62, Milner, Falfa, & the Toad would be cruising alone, drivin these – all nite – & i would walk out of the theater.
    I just shake my head every time i see a rear spoiler on ANY 4 door, especially on the hi po cars of you know what make/car company, STILL not offering a 2 door variant here – after decades!
    Good luck finding a heater core or clear headlight housings.
    A/C out of commision too.
    I doubt it was that empty under the hood originally.
    Single exhaust does not impress – especially on a V8 car that runs on leaded gas. Roof too high. An early vega or pinto TWO door WAGON looks lot better than this.
    Surprised tho at the good clearance between the high wide shock towers & the spark plugs, compared to say on a ’60s mustang.
    A four door hi po car should IMO always look like a sleeper, like the Chevy Bel Air in “DMCLarry”. They do not wear musclecar addons well, as does that 4 door shaker hood falcon GT also with rear spoiler that reminds me too much of my 4 door frumpy ’69 domestic falcon. lol

    • Rob G

      Check out the Lotus Carlton from the 80’s UK

  11. steve d

    Has all the roots of my 2015 Chevy SS aka Holden Commodore redline V.
    Four doors, six speed Tremek, little bigger 6.2L engine ect..

    Like 1

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