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Commodore VB



VB Commodore 1978
The Commodore was finally here after waiting and hearing about it for so long GMH released the all new car and it soon became the top selling car in Australia. There were a number differences with this Holden compared with the preceding models with the most significant being its size.  The fuel crisis of the 1970's saw Holden looking towards a smaller physical size to help with fuel economy but also wanted to keep it as a family car.  As the 80's started to draw nearer the average size family was shrinking so the need for a 6-seater car was becoming less important for the average person.  Holden looked overseas for a new body to put it's locally produced running gear into and found one that was of modern construction and met high standards of safety. It was a derivative of the German Opel, with the mechanicals being Australian the body/chassis had to be strengthened to accept the torque of the 5.0 litre V8.  The suspension and steering geometry of this new car caused some concern with many drivers as one of the first things people noticed was the car went exactly where the wheels were pointed.  This may sound rather strange to people these days but after driving so many cars before this time they were almost all soft steering and you would turn the wheel and shortly after the car would turn.  The Commodore brought a whole new feeling to many drivers with some being quite alarmed by this direct steering and it was even commented by some as having a sneeze factor of zero.  After a while though it was found by many to be extremely advantageous to have such an immediate control of there car especially over rough roads or irregularities which were still plentiful.  I can still remember those adds on TV of the glass of water on the bonnet of a Commodore as it went around a race track then over a series of wooden batons without spilling a drop.  It wasn't all good though for the Commodore as the old red six cylinder was almost sophicated by ADR27, (Australian Design Rule #27) which made all car manufacturers use anti pollution devices.  The carburetor was sealed and reset along with a milder than standard cam which caused a drop in power and an engine that become hungry for fuel especially when under load.  Just a small mention here about my automatic VB which returned arounf 19 miles per gallon as a standard car then I replaced the head with a Yella Terra, exhaust was replaced with a set of extractors, carburetor was 350 Holley on a redline manifold and a ram flow air cleaner. This increased the fuel economy by over 1/3 and 30 mpg was easily achieved on high-speed trips and the acceleration was increased substantially.
 Specifications

Year of Introduction: 
October 1978 

Price:
$6513 L six cylinder L sedan
$10,513 six cylinder SL/E sedan

Engines: 
2.85 litre inline 6 cylinder 
3.3 litre inline 6 cylinder 
4.2 litre V8 
5.0 litre V8 
125 kW @ 4200 rpm (5.0 litre)
352 Nm @ 2600 rpm (5.0 litre)

Performance:
Standing 400m 16.4 secs (5.0litre man.)
0-100 km/h 9.0 seconds (5.0litre man.)
Top speed 202 kmh @ 5500 rpm

Fuel economy:
5.0 = 23 mpg (economy run)
5.0 = 14 mpg (mixed driving)
Capacity: 63 litres

Transmissions: 
4 speed manual 
3 speed Trimatic 
3 speed Turbohydramatic 350/400 

Gears:(5.0 V8)
1st 2.54 79km/h @ 5500 rpm
2nd 1.83 110 km/h @ 5500 rpm
3rd 1.38 146 km/h @ 5500 rpm
4th 1.00 202 km/h @ 5500 rpm
Differential 3.08:1
Km/h per 1000rpm 36.7

Brakes:
Front: Disc
Rear: Drum (Disc optional)

Suspension:
Front: Struts, coil springs, sway bar.
Rear: Live axle, locating links, sway bar.

Steering:
Type: Rack and pinion.
Turning circle: 10.8 metres
Turns lock to lock: 3.5

Production: 
95,906  (total)
92,445 (domestic)

Models available:
Commodore L sedan
Commodore L station wagon
Commodore SL sedan
Commodore SL station wagon
Commodore SL/E sedan

5.0 litre V8 SL/E
OHV Longitudinal V8
Compression ratio 9.4:1
Bore/Stroke 101.6mm/77.7mm
Capacity 5044 cc
Weight: 1400kg

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