Holden’s history is full of iconic vehicles. Most, like the Torana SLR5000 and HSV GTS-R, are fairly obvious picks. But, some of the most sought after Holdens are also some of the weirdest.
Case in point is the oddly mythical Commodore ‘BT-1’. Built exclusively in Absynth Yellow in the 1980s VK and VL era, these were specifically produced for police interceptor duty.
The ‘mythical’ side of these Commodores unsurprisingly stems from all the rumoured changes they supposedly featured under the skin. According to urban legend, VK Interceptors came with Brock-fettled versions of the trusty period 5.0-litre V8. But, it’s the VLs that are more curious.
They came with the Nissan-sourced turbocharged RB30ET straight six which some have suggested came with a special ‘cop chip’ for added performance. It’s also been said that they got a limited-slip diff, suspension lifted from an SS, and several other tricks.
This air of mystery has seen prices for genuine, good condition BT-1 Commodores increase to amazing amounts, particularly when you consider that, at its core, we’re talking about a humble family car from the 1980s.
With the history lesson out of the way, here’s the latest coveted BT-1 to be spotted for sale online; a 1987 VL. The ‘Turbo’ badge on the dashboard denotes that it comes with the Nissan inline six, although sadly that’s paired to a slushbox and not a stick.
Listed in Australia with Just Cars, it appears to be in superb condition. The paint looks pristine, as does the cabin, with the seller asking for a price of AU$120,000 ($124,000).
The car’s description is barely one line long. It notes that the car was used by the Queensland Police, states that it’s “genuine and original” and “untouched”, adding that it’s only done 133,000km in its 34 years on the planet.
That mileage is an impressive feat given that the car would’ve likely had several years in service with the police. It’s entirely possible that most of those 133,000km were done while in service.
As Holden values continue to rise, expect more former police cars to come out of the woodwork from more recent Commodore eras. There will be other lion-based cop cars that came with interesting little changes here and there. Although none will be quite as bright on the eyes as either BT-1.