Holden Commodore VK

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Holden Commodore VK

Holden Commodore

Holden Commodore VK

1984 - 1986
6 cyl. & V8
3.3 & 3.3EFI L6; 5.0 V8
4/5 spd. man; 3 speed Trimatic
Top Speed:
Number Built:
0 star
Holden Commodore VK
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 3


The VK Commodore represented the first major change to the Commodore since the release of the VB in 1978., but it didn't arrive until March 1984 - probably about 12 months later than it should have been launched - but it did have a number of big changes to try to make it more competitive with the Falcon.

The most noticeable difference was in the body. The cabin now had its glass area extended further to the rear in 'six-window' fashion (three windows on each side of the car). The styling at the front and rear was bolder than before and the dash area was completely redesigned. The latter wasn't a success as many owners considered that the VH's dash was more attractive and easier to read, but the more masculine lines of the VK's exterior met with almost universal approval.

Again, in keeping with the bolder image of the car, the smaller versions of each engine were dropped. That meant the 2.85-litre six and the 4.2-litre V8 were no more. The 5-speed manual became optional with the 3.3 engine. That engine could be had with fuel injection for greater efficiency. The automatic was still of rather ancient 3-speed design. Model names were changed - yet again - with the introduction of the VK.

The Commodore SL remained the same, but the SL/X became the Commodore Berlina and the SL/E became the Holden Calais (not Commodore Calais, even though the Calais shared all its important components with the Commodore). An even more powerful turbocharged version became optional a few months later.

Behind the Nissan six was either a 5-speed manual gearbox, or a sophisticated 4-speed automatic. Also missing from under the bonnet with the release of the VL was the Holden V8 engine; unlike the Holden six it was just resting and would be revived in October 1986 with a sophisticated fuel-injection system for greater power with no real loss in fuel economy.

Sporting an all new and more agressive look than the previous models, the additional side windows helped make the VK look longer, and by reworking the rubber seals the GMH engineers were able to give the VK a squarer, more prominent look.

The pick of the VK range was always the SS or Calais (V8 equipped) models. Interestingly, the L31 5.0 litre V8 was replaced by the LV2 4.9 litre midway through the life of the VK in June 1985. Designed to help the Commodore in Group A racing, the new motor was considerably lighter (shedding 75kg) although most still refer to it as a 5.0 litre. V8 engined cars also had the advantage of being equipped with a much better braking system, including 4 wheel discs and increased brake booster capacity.

The VK also had success at Mount Panorama, winning in 1984 (Peter Brock/Larry Perkins) and 1986 (Allan Grice/Graeme Bailey), only missing out in 1985 due to rule changes to the Jaguar XJS of Armin Hahne and John Goss. Did anyone notice that the 1.9 litre 4 and 2.85 litre 6's were dropped from the Commodore lineup? Not really.
1985 VK Calais

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Also see:

Commodore VK Specifications
Calais VK Brochure
Commodore VK Brochure
Commodore VK V8 SS and SS Group 3 Brochure
HDT Special Vehicles Brock VK
Reader Reviews page 1 of 1
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Blair Sauer
Posted Recently
I quite like the VK commodore for its styling and performance. as for the instrument clusters, being square, it probably wont grow on me entirely. but the thing about the speedo on SL, Exec and Berlina I hate is that its calibrated at 20km/hr . there is no 0 to start off with which you'd expect in every other instrument cluster. I could imagine going 5-10km/hr and the bloody thing wont leave the 20 until you've gone above 20km/hr. how silly. it'd be very off putting and confusing. thank goodness that wasn't the case with the Calais and its digital instrument cluster which looks like an instrument cluster that's out of a bloody fighter jet!! in saying that I'd rather a Calais with a 5 litre V8 and auto tranny.
Posted Recently
I've got a straight six 3.3 sitting in the back yard, well cared for only 77,000kms on it rusted a bit need suggestions for a colour I'm considering 2 toning it with silver and a yet to be announced colour which I would like any ideas and a picture please and thank you
Posted Recently
I hade a green and silver Calais with 5L V8 auto loved the dash,trim and the look of the car I lowered it put front and rear skirts on it very good looking car. I was so sad the day I sold it. Oh please don't pay someone to rip you off fix it your self.
As for Ford's they are all gutless *** box's please tell me how they get so little power out of a big engine.
Posted Recently
VK's is a hot car!
Yet, looks mean and coooool!
scott forrest
Posted Recently
not the worst car
vk berlina
Posted Recently
This is great. I'm looking for info on interior trim codes for vk commodore. Anyone know where I can find them?
Posted Recently
my VK Beast after a respray in the original blue turns heads wherever I go. He purrs after having found a good mechanic, and my upholsterer daughter is busy revamping the seats and door linings. He has the black motor with the red efi. Looks good inside, outside, and under the bonnet.
Posted Recently
I have a VK 6cyl it has plenty of new & performance parts and is reasonably tidy & straight. Am looking at options to sell or wreck as no one is interested in buying old carby car.
David L
Posted Recently
i am the owner of a 1985 vk group A. The quality of build is CRAP. Parts are getting hard to get. ( dont rely on rare spares to have what you need). And leaks oil like its that time of the month
On a good note, People give you alot of attention where ever you go, and its good for cruising9Its a weekend cruiser) . as for performance. I own a BF XR turbo, and the ford kicks the holdens arse all the time. Thats 25 years difference in automotive technology.
Posted Recently
the calais i had was a total lemon first the electrics died i fixed that then the engine went but it found a good home in the wreckers and i got a vh ss never had any problems
Posted Recently
i hate f3ds rx7s because they sell for 30grand commodores sell for 20grand
vk guro
Posted Recently
i own a vk berlina efi 3.3 straight six brown holden ve ssv rimes 19inch
bridgestone front nitto back
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