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Which classic Holden cars should you buy?

The very first Commodores were a big step up from the Kingswood in dynamic terms.

With the impending implosion of the Holden brand, it’s worth having a look to see if any of the lion products will be worth hanging onto as investments in the longer term.

But before we go too much further, know this: You can’t simply point at your HQ Kingswood and proclaim, `They won’t be making these anymore’. And that’s simply because Holden already hasn’t been making that model for 45 years.

So there are no get-rich-quick tips here. But it’s equally true that some landmark models will become highly collectible in years to come. So which ones still have some room for fiscal growth?

1978 – 1981 VB/VC Commodore SL/E

The very first Commodores were a big step up from the Kingswood in dynamic terms and in SL/E form were the top-rung models with lots of late-70s/early 80s fuzzy trim and kitsch like wipers on the headlights and single-spoke steering wheels.

Anything with a V8 engine from the factory and all the nick-knacks remaining will be the one to buy, but a six-cylinder SL/E is also worth a look as a cheap way into the game.

Values have started to climb but, we suspect, have a long way to go.

1975 – 1979 TX/TC/TD Gemini Coupe

The very first global model to be sold as a Holden, the early Gemini was a decent little car with modest performance but quite good handling for the day. But when it landed as a swept-back coupe, everything changed.

Our pick now would be a TD model which was available with a five-speed manual and benefitted from Holden’s work in developing Radial Tuned Suspension.

Check out how the values of rotary-engined Mazdas and even early Toyota Celica coupes have gone and you can chart the Gemini’s future.

2001 – 2005 Holden Monaro CV8

The two-door version of any car is the smart investment and when it looks as sexy as a latter-day Monaro, it’s a no-brainer. The two-door version of any car is the smart investment and when it looks as sexy as a latter-day Monaro, it’s a no-brainer.

The story of the born-again Monaro is legend these days, but at current prices, these collectible cars are a real bargain. That they’re actually pretty good to drive, too, is just a bonus.

Historically – regardless of the brand or badge – the two-door version of any car is the smart investment and when it looks as sexy as a latter-day Monaro, it’s a no-brainer.

The supercharged V6 version will also eventually get itself noticed by collectors, but it will take a lot longer.

1977 LX Torana A9X

Already an expensive car thanks to its winning ways at Bathurst, the A9X is the ultimate expression of the Torana concept, even if it was simply an option pack rather than a model in its own right.

In hatch form it’s probably the best-looking Aussie car ever made, and performance is a given thanks to the big-engine-in-a-small-car thing.

Prices for mint examples of the 450-odd made (and who knows how many remain) have tripped the $250,000 mark, but when you compare that with the price of its most natural opposite number, the Ford Falcon Phase 3 GT-HO (three times that), you can imagine that there’s still some growth potential.

2000 – 2002 HSV VX Clubsport

A much more subtle styling exercise than some later HSV cars, the VX Clubsport is still very much an Aussie performance car, and one that can back up the looks.

The 5.7-litre V8 by this stage had shed its troublesome reputation and, with either the automatic or manual transmission, the Clubsport was a great long-distance car.

The earlier shape seems to have aged better than the later VY-VZ Commodores, too, especially in the muscular HSV package.

1956 – 1960 Holden FE/FC

The FE/FC twins took the brand to a more modern place and are now being recognised for their style. The FE/FC twins took the brand to a more modern place and are now being recognised for their style.

Something has happened recently and suddenly made these second-gen Holdens cooler than an ice hotel.

They’ve become the local equivalent of a ’55 Chevy, which isn’t hard to accept since they were basically three-quarter scale versions of that very car.

While the earlier FX and FJ Holdens are near and dear to our hearts, it’s the FE/FC twins that took the brand to a more modern place and are now being recognised for their style.

1991 – 1993 VP Commodore SS

The previous-model VN Commodore SS has already hit its straps as a collectible, and the VP has been largely forgotten.

True, the VP doesn’t have the righteous simplicity of the VN, but in many (most?) ways, it’s the superior car.

The build quality was definitely better in the VP, and the independent rear suspension was a real step up over the previous live-axle stuff. And to hear the injected, Aussie-developed V8 is to remember what proper engines once sounded like. Buy a manual.

1986 – 1988 VL Commodore Turbo

A lot faster than the same car with the V8 engine back in the day, the Commodore Turbo will still feel perky to drive even today. A lot faster than the same car with the V8 engine back in the day, the Commodore Turbo will still feel perky to drive even today.

These are cool enough to have already started to climb in price, but new enough that they’re still not considered a `classic’ model. But they will be.

A lot faster than the same car with the V8 engine back in the day, the Commodore Turbo will still feel perky to drive even today. They were also available in everything from the base model to the flagship Calais. A Calais would be the pick.

Make sure you buy one that hasn’t been butchered in the name of `improvements’.