Holden's V8 lives on in
Wednesday, July 7,
By BOB JENNINGS
The Holden V8 is doing a Nellie
Melba in terms of farewell appearances.
Having been given numerous official and unofficial send-offs during the past couple of
months, and with the "official" building of the last V8 engine at Fishermens
Bend last week, we now have the news that the engine will continue to be used in
production for some time to come.
Holden has stockpiled an unspecified quantity of the 5.0 litre iron block V8 engines
for use in its utes, although in passenger cars it has been replaced by the 5.7 litre
Generation III aluminium Chevrolet V8 from the US.
The Holden V8 was introduced in 1969 and Holden claims it was the first and only
Australian-designed and built V8 to be produced in volume, although the claim overlooks
the production run of aluminium V8s produced for the Leyland P76.
More than 541,000 Holden V8s were manufactured during its 30-year life.
Last week's "official" farewell was attended by race drivers Craig Lowndes
and Mark Skaife, and veteran Larry Perkins who was among the last of the touring car
drivers to use the Holden V8 before switching to Chevrolet V8s like the rest of the
Holden V8-powered cars won 12 Bathursts, the first in 1975 when Peter Brock and Brian
Sampson took the flag in an L34 Torana. The last time was in 1993, in the hands of Perkins
and the late Gregg Hansford.
The Holden V8 made its first appearance in the Holden Hurricane concept car, and in
1969 HT Holden buyers could choose between 4.2 litre and 5.0-litre versions.
The engine was re-engineered in 1986 to include fuel injection, and a limited
production of this upgraded engine powered the 210kW VL Group A Commodore in 1989.
Sales have been a fairly constant 9,000 units a year.