Holden WB

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Holden WB

1980 - 1985
202 6 cyl.; 253/308 V8
2840/5740 cc
3/4 spd man, 3 spd auto
Top Speed:
Number Built:
2 star
The WB is an often forgotten model in the Holden lineup, but there was a moment in time when GMH intended the WB to play a much bigger role in their sales strategy.

Originally the WB was intended to be another facelift to the HQ/HJ/HX/HZ lineup, that had gained renewed popularity with the HZ since the introduction of Radial Tuned Suspension.

In fact, the once utalitarian Kingswood was to inherit the floorpan of the HZ Statesman, while the Station Wagon would carry over the existing HZ body, but would receive a revised front end treatment.

This strategy would have ensured Holden maintained a broad lineup, dealerships able to offer the more traditional large Holden sedans should buyers not be accepting of the smaller European influenced Commodore.

But it was never to be, the bean-counters at the General deciding such a strategy would be far too expensive for the relatively small Australian market, and so all effort was put into convincing the buying public that the Commodore was a much more suitable Family sedan.

But what of the ever popular commercial vehicles and the up-market luxury Deville and Caprice, models that could not be tooled-up from the new VB Commodore.

To fill this important market segment, a much watered-down WB model release was put into place, the line-up to consist of the Ute, Panel Van, Statesman Deville and Statesman Caprice.

Very little was carried over from the HZ, the notable exceptions being the front quarter panels, windscreen, front side windows, front doors and bonnet.

The WB Statesman's roofline was extended by 3 inches, providing improved leg-room for rear seat passengers, along with better head-room and even more space in the boot - all despite the fact that the WB Statesman wheelbase was shorter than the HZ Statesman.

The popular 308 5 liter V8 received some minor revisions, and the equipment list now included the first cruise control fitted to a local car as standard, along with power windows, central locking, high-end audio system and leather upholstery. There was even a HDT Holden Statesman Magnum by Peter Brock, perhaps aimed at any aging rev-heads.

The Magnum had a Group Three HDT Commodore engine transplant, with modifications to the heads, inlet and exhaust systems, ignition and air cleaner. The suspension was lowered and stiffer springs and shocks helped keep the beast stay somewhat light-footed through the twisty stuff. Adhesion was aided by the fitment of Momo 7x15 inch alloys shod with Pirelli P6 235/60 VR15 tires.

By 1985 however, the WB was showing its age, and the last of the long wheel base Holdens was finally phased out - for a time. By 1990 GMH wanted to re-claim the local luxury car market, and so extended the wheelbase of the Commodore to re-introduce the Statesman and Caprice names. No Holden fan was disappointed to see these names grace the roads again.

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Also see:

Holden WB Specifications
HDT Holden Magnum Brochure
Holden Red Motor
Holden History
Holden Car Commercials
Nasco Holden Accessories Commercials
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