Victoria Police has released a video commemorating the final two Australian-made Holden Commodore patrol cars, which have officially been retired from the fleet this month after more than six years of active duty.
Narrated by patrolman Sergeant Jason Doyle – who also finished up on highway patrol on the same day as the vehicles – the video is a sentimental yet upbeat tribute to the 42 years of service that the iconic Holden series has provided to the Victoria Police.
“We’re here at Dawson Street (Police Complex in Brunswick, Victoria) for the last patrol of the V8 Australian-made VF II Commodores in highway service,” Sergeant Doyle said.
“I think we got our first ones in 1979 and they’ve been a staple of highway patrol service ever since.
“These cars have been excellent servants for Victoria Police Highway Patrol over a number of years. They accelerate well, they brake well, they handle magnificently on the road, no matter what we throw at it, they can handle it. They are also very robust.”
The last pair of Commodore patrol cars used by the state’s highway patrol department are 2016-built examples of the specially-prepared VF II SS V8 sedans, thought to be powered by a modified version of the US Chevrolet-sourced 6.2-litre LS3 V8 engine, in Slipstream Blue (Victorian registration 1LZ-7AO) and Phantom Black (1MF-3QR).
Staying on script, Sergeant Doyle said that while the Holdens will be missed, their BMW replacements (introduced in 2017) remain worthy successors – though the Commodore’s significance was not underplayed.
“They’ve stood the test of time and it’s a sad day to see them go, even though we have magnificent replacements in the BMWs,” he said.
“I can honestly say I love these cars. I am a huge rap for them. I think they are magnificently suited for the purpose. It is a sad day for me, and it happens to coincide with my last day on highway patrol, so I think it’s quite fitting as well.
“It’s an end of an era.”
In the Victoria Police video, several images of past Commodore patrol cars are shown, including a VL (1986-1988), VX (2000-2002), VZ (2004-2006) and VE (2006-2013), as well as a couple of late (VZ) Monaros, complete with their controversial Pontiac GTO bonnet nostrils.
Note, however, that the video erroneously states that Commodore sales started in Australia in 1977, when the model was actually launched in October, 1978.
No mention was made of that other locally-made stalwart of Victoria Police highway patrol car, the Ford Falcon V8.
The final Victoria Police VF II highway patrol cars video follows on from a social media post three weeks earlier of the end of the Melton Highway Patrol's VF II Commodore SS.
According to the post, that car, known as 'Thomas', served the western suburb of Melbourne from February 2018 to November 30, 2021. Along with policing the highways, it was deployed in bushfire emergencies, COVID-19 border checkpoints and in other community services.
“All members that have worked in the SS Commodore will have fond memories of their time behind the wheel, whether the VF was their first or their last of several generations of Commodore over the last 30+ years,” according to the Melton Highway Patrol.
“Our boss, who has driven every VicPol Commodore since the VK rates the VF Series 2 as the best of them all, closely followed by the VL Turbo. The replacement will be a BMW X5 which you should see on the roads around Melton in the very near future.”