Holden Commodore racing 1978-1988

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Holden Commodore racing 1978-1988

This topic is for racing versions of the first generation Commodore.

while this thread is about the group A specification VK, the most famous guise for the VK was the group C spec ‘big banger’. this is the most famous and most iconic race car in australian motorsport history, coming home 1-2 at the 1984 bathurst 1000. nicknamed the ‘last of the big bangers’ as it was the last of holden’s 5 litre V8’s until they came returned in the late 80s. the iconic dayglo orange marlboro livery is one that’s is totally fitting for the cars legendary status.


the holden commodore V5M, a prototype race car designed for le mans, and developed by holden dealer team in the late 70s/early 80s. also known as “project carra-carra”.

this thing was destined to race in group 5, putting it up against legendary cars such as the BMW M1, porsche 935, the ferrari 512 BB LM, and even the nissan skyline ‘super silhouette’.

and as if the idea of a 5.0 holden commodore V8 racing at le mans wasn’t cool enough, the car made use of ground effect aerodynamics, as seen on the famous lotus F1 cars of the late 70s.

the idea was likely canned due to GM’s global ban on factory backed race cars across their portfolio, and lacked the funding for further development from GMH. it’s a massive shame as the engine work was pretty much complete, since it was very similar to the touring car motor, as you can see in the pictures the aero package is pretty well sorted out in clay model.

while the car may have never made it to fruition, i think that’s what makes it such a perfect car for forza motorsport. being able to race in race cars that never came to be would be such a thrilling and unique experience for the game.

and just a cheeky bit of fun i had in photoshop, applying the HDT touring car livery to the render

for more information on the car, from the guy who brought this thing to light after 40 years: The obscure Holden Le Mans race car we never got - YouTube


back in 1979, when the VB commodore first came out, the marlboro holden dealer team entered three cars in to the repco reliability trial, a rally that ran through some toughest terrain australia has to offer. the VBs finished the rally in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, completely rinsing the rest of the competition. the first non-holden was a volvo in 4th, who finished almost 4 hours behind 1st place, and over 3 hours behind 3rd place. the mighty holdens beat out cars such as cortinas, celicas, datsuns, and even the porsche australia factory team, running a 911 and a 924.