Weekly Treasure: 1994 Holden Commodore Ute

Car Culture / 8 Comments

V8 power. Manual transmission. Truck bed. What's not to love?

The Holden Commodore was never directly sold in the US. There was, of course, the dearly departed Pontiac G8 America briefly had, but utes, in general, have been AWOL for years. There is no modern-day Chevy El Camino or Ford Ranchero. Perhaps the Honda Ridgeline is the closest thing on sale today despite not being a true body-on-frame pickup truck. But in any case, the country that invented the ute body style and home to the Holden brand is, of course, Australia. Those Aussies are just as V8 and rear-wheel-drive crazy as Americans are. Their domestically designed and built cars reflected this. The Holden Commodore was one of them.

The Commodore dates back to 1978 and was built on a variety of platforms throughout its 41-year lifetime. Up until 2017, it was RWD. And then something happened.

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This platform, which served as the basis for the Pontiac G8 was retired in favor of a front wheel- and all-drive setup. Truth be told, the Commodore became a rebadged Buick Regal. The Regal is a fine car and all but it's no Commodore replacement. Sadly, Holden itself is only a shell brand of what it once was. Instead of designing and building cars in Australia, it now just imports and sells rebadged GM vehicles instead. This status makes old school Holdens all the more special.

This 1994 Holden Commodore Ute is one just example. And it happens to be for sale here in America from California-based Top Rank Imports. It was part of a third of four-phase of updates from the second generation, built from 1988 until 1997.

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And despite its 122,400 odometer-confirmed miles, it's still in remarkably good shape. It's also got some serious muscle credentials. Power comes from a Holden-built 5.0-liter V8 with a little over 200 horsepower. That grunt goes to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission. And yes, this example does wear Maloo badges, hinting that it's a high-performance model, only it's not. A previous owner stuck them on strictly for show and, perhaps, a bit of deception. Both the interior and exterior appear to be in very good shape, considering the ute is now 26 years old.

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Speaking of which, its import to America was made possible because it passed the 25-year import law, meaning it's now totally legal to drive on American roads. Better get used to right-hand drive if you're interested. The price? It's actually a bit high at $17,499, in our opinion but, then again, it's certainly unique and chances are no one in your neck of the woods has one.

Sometimes a special car from a distant and far away land is worth shelling out some extra bank for.

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Source Credits: Top Rank Imports

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