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Commodore VK


Last of the Group C "Big Bangers" and also the last of the "Red" motor which first saw service in the 1963 EH.
Commodore VK 1984
The VK used the same body as the 3 models before it but used large plastic trims plus larger front and back bumpers to alter the shape so much that it looked almost like a new a new body. The only other major alteration being the rear side windows.  This was the new way of adding a slice of style to the old bodies and in fact the Calais was quite stunning in looks.  The Calais name replaced the SL/E and Berlina replaced the SL/X but the SL was kept.  The Calais 5.0 V8 was a class act and still holds a respectable resale value and to compliment the range was a new dressed up 3.3 six cylinder that was fuel injected.  This gave the now 20+ year old six cylinder engine a new lease of life but the writing was on the wall as new regulations were being sort to stamp out all that leaded fossil fuel with unleaded fuel.  The Black coloured six cylinder fuel injected engines came standard with a steel crank and as about advanced head as you could possibly get with it still being a mass produced item with the machinery that Holden had.  The Bosch fuel injection wasn't the only new change as internal changes were made with a high lift camshaft, larger inlet valves and better flow through head. Stainless steel extractors were added to this to produce the very flexible tourqey and powerful six.  Fuel injection wasn't a total new concept for Holden however as they had experimented with this in the 60's among other things.  The VK was a very good handling car and didn't sacrifice passenger comfort to get this. 
Police specials sold well at the police auctions as most people knew that they were buying a Commodore which was using the Brock Group One engine.  Something you may not know is how can you tell if you have the Brock engine?  Ok you will most likely need a mirror so you can see the 'B' welded into the back of the cylinder head and no prizes for guessing what the B stands for.  Another little thing that was peculiar was that the Calais used both of these engines so make sure you know what you are looking at if buying a second hand one.  I believe that all the manual Calais were V5H engines or the improved engine but they were heavily strangled by not allowing this engine to breath properly.  Just by adding a twin exhaust system this engine would pick-up a perky 10kW.

Another first for the VK was the new Touring car format called Group A, this model saw the last of the big bangers as they often referred to as, the Group C's.  The Group C was a real evolution of a race car and was the result of adding this there and adding that there until it became so completely different from the road going vehicle that it was supposed to be based on.  The new Group A format allowed alot more makes to compete on a level playing field and soon we had BMW's,  V12 Jaguar XJS's, 3.5 V8 Rovers, Ford Mustangs, Ford Sierras, Alfa's, Volvo's and Mazda's all competing for outright honours.  Overseas teams began to look at bringing there European cars over to compete in the big one on 'The Mountain' and this was good for the overall exposure of Australian motorsport.

Year of Introduction: 
February 1984 

3.3 litre 6 cylinder 
3.3 litre EFI 6 cylinder 
5.0 litre V8 

4 speed manual 
5 speed manual 
3 speed Trimatic 

3.3 Berlina 0-100 km/h 9.7 secs. 
5.0 Berlina 0-100 km/h 8.88 secs 

Standing 400m: 
3.3 Berlina 16.78 seconds 
5.0 Berlina 16.23 seconds 


Engine specifications:

1.9 Four Cylinder
Bore & stroke : 88.9mm x 76.2
Cubic Capacity : 1892 cc
Power : 54 kW @ 4400
Torque : 138 Nm @ 2800
Contact Breaker Ignition
Compression ratio : 8.7:1

2.85 Six Cylinder
Bore & stroke : 88.9 x 76.2
Cubic capacity : 2838 cc
Power : 73 kW @ 4400 
Torque : 187 Nm @ 2800
Electronic ignition 
Compression ratio : 9.0:1

3.3 Six Cylinder 
Bore & stroke : 92.1mm x 82.5 
Cubic capacity : 3298 cc 
Power : 86 kW @ 4200 
Torque : 232 Nm @ 2400 
Electronic ignition 
Compression ratio : 8.8:1 

3.3 Efi Six Cylinder 
Bore & stroke : 92.1mm x 82.5 
Cubic capacity : 3298 cc 
Power : 106 kW @ 4400 
Torque : 266 Nm @ 3200 
Electronic ignition 
Compression ratio : 8.8:1 

5.0 V8 Cylinder 
Bore & stroke : 101.6mm x 77.8
Cubic capacity : 5044 cc 
Power : 121 kW @ 4200* 
Torque : 343 Nm @ 2400* 
Electronic ignition 
Compression ratio : 9.2:1 
* The 5.0 power figures varied depending on spec. and the above  was the minimum power! The SS used the 177kW engine, figures started being measured in net instead of gross and this accounts for the lower kW than earlier models.

Performance figures:
Calais 5.0 V8 
Auto figures are in brackets 
Maximum speed in gears: 
1st 80km/h (104km/h) @ 5500 rpm 
2nd 111km/h (165 km/h) @ 5500 rpm 
3rd 147km/h @ 5500 rpm (190 km/h @ 4350 rpm) 
4th 203km/h @ 5500 rpm 

Standing start (seconds) 
0-80 km/h 6.3 (7.0) 
0-100 km/h 8.8 (9.9) 
0-120 km/h 12.2 (13.3) 

Standing 400m 
16.35 seconds (16.75 seconds) 

Fuel consumption:
average of city/country 
Not an economy drive, but driven briskly! 
6.0 km/l - 16.9 mpg (6.1 km/l - 17.2 mpg)


Vehicle Identification:
The Serial Number is located under the bonnet on the bulge of the passenger side suspension mount. You will find the Body option and safety compliance plate under the bonnet on the passenger side in front of the suspension mount. It will look like this. The VIN plate is in the centre in front of the radiator.

8X 19  T  D  J6  12345K

8 =GMH Designation
X =Luxury Level (K=SL, L=Berlina, X=Calais)
19-6 =Body Style (19-6 Window Sedan, 35=Wagon)
T = Engine code (N=1.9, D=2.8, L=3.3, K=3.3 EFI, T=5.0)
D =Model year (D=1984, E=1985)
J6 =Assembly Plant (J1-J9 Melbourne, L1-L5 Adelaide)
12345 = Serial Number
K =Model Code (K=VK)
Please note the 1.9 and 2.8 motors were export only.

Engine Numbers:
Apart from the engines individual number they also have a model ID, these are stamped on a flat pad above the drivers side engine mount. The V8 number is near the front on the left cylinder bank.
VK=3.3 EFI

Transmission Options:
3-speed 1st:2.31  2nd:1.46  3rd:1.00  Rev:1.85
4-speed M21  1st:2.54  2nd:1.83  3rd:1.38  4th:1.00  Rev:2.54
4-speed MC6  1st:3.50  2nd 2.02  3rd:1.41  4th:1.00  Rev:3.57
5-speed M76  1st:3.24  2nd:1.96  3rd:1.26  4th:1.00  5th:0.79

Rear axle options:
G70 - 2.60:1
GV4 - 3.08:1
GU4 - 3.36:1
GU8 - 3.90:1