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A turbo Commodore before the VL

Before the now sought after and arguably legendary Holden VL Commodore Turbo, Australia’s favourite family model already got the blow dryer treatment.

Using a base VC SL/E Commodore, Normalair-Garrett hand built turbo models in limited production introducing the new technology to Australia and had claims to output 85 a month as orders filled were on ‘as received’ basis.

It was a high specification vehicle for the time powered by a 3.3-litre turbocharged engine featuring waste gate, oil cooler, thermostatic fans, heavy duty radiator and tougher clutch to handle not only extra power, but necessities needed to ensure the system ran smoothly. 

This led to the performance being a credible 0-100km/h in 8s and fuel economy at 11.5L per 100km, which was claimed to be faster than the V8 SS. It was stated 24,000 man hours had been spent developing the turbocharger package as it was targeted against imported luxury models.

Suspension was another focus led by the inclusion of ‘De Carbon’ gas shock absorbers all round and adjustable at the rear, rerated sway bars and a heavy duty rear axle with limited slip diff insured the VC somewhat handled.

Four-wheel-disc brakes and 15-inch alloy wheels made sure it stopped.

It appeared sharp on the outside too as two tone black and white paintwork individualised it compared to other Commodores. A front air dam, bonnet vents, headlamp wipers and washes, tinted windows and bumper overiders made this a one of a kind model.

The interior was full kitted out too, as a sports wheel, stereo AM/FM radio blasted through Dolby speakers and cloth seats ensured a performance cockpit.

Optional extras including the choice of an automatic transmission, air conditioning, sport alloy wheels, Recaro front seats and power steering.

Normalair-Garrett’s VC Commodore was sold through Holden dealers and are now very rare, but was a forerunner to future turbos such as the VL or the Falcon Grand Prix developed during the mid-1980s.