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GALLERY: Holden Commodore

For the original model, Holden replaced the long-serving Kingswood and Premier large executive cars developed in Australia, with another rear wheel drive (RWD) platform that was, however, based on a smaller European design by Opel , re-engineered for Australian conditions. Subsequent series became larger, culminating with the fourth generation Commodore, fully developed in Australia and based on the GM Zeta platform .

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Introduced in October 1978, the VB Commodore development covered a period with the effects of the 1973 oil crisis still being felt. Hence, when Holden decided to replace the successful full-size HZ Kingswood with a new model line, they wanted the new car to be smaller and more fuel efficient. Originally, Holden looked at developing a new WA Kingswood, however, this project was later dismissed. With no replacement in development, Holden looked towards Opel for providing the foundations of the VB, basing it loosely on the four-cylinder Rekord E bodyshell with the front grafted on from the Opel Senator A, both constructed using GM's V-body platform. This change was necessitated to accommodate the larger Holden six- and eight-cylinder engines. Holden also adopted the name "Commodore" from Opel, which had been using the name since 1967. Opel went on to use Holden's Rekord-Senator hybrid as a foundation for its new generation Commodore C, slotting in between the two donor models.

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