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Classic Cars: HDT VK "Blue Meanie".

VK Blue MeanieA certain bank has a singer reciting the refrain “Three Little Letters”. There’s three little letters that resonate with fans of Australian motorsport; they are H D T, Holden Dealer Team. The origin of this goes back to the late 1960s, with the legendary Harry Firth putting together a team of star racing drivers. Amongst them was a young bloke by the name of Peter Geoffrey Brock.Fast forward to the late 1970s and Holden have released their new car, called Commodore. The first model was the VB, followed by the VC, in 1980. As part of a deal  organised by Brock in order to get solid finanical backing, he’d agreed to put his name to smartened up versions of the VC and thus was HDT SV (Special Vehicles) born.

In 1984, the VK Commodore was released; marketed as a world class car, it became the basis for what has become, possibly, the most famous car from the HDT factory. Australia had moved to follow the international Group A motorsport classification and Brock’s magic wand was about to be waved over the VK. A process called homologation was in place, effectively a way of showing that cars that could be raced were to be sold to the public and not specifically developed just for racing;  with 500 needing to be sold the HDT team swung into action. The venerable Holden 5.0L (308 cubic inches) was, under Group A regulations, destroked to 304ci (4987cc), a body kit was bolted on, consisting of a deep front air dam, side skirts, huge rear spoiler, “letterbox” grille and silver or white painted aero wheels with the car itself based on the SS model available. The engine pumped out a decent, at the time, 196kW and had  a massive 418Nm of torque at a usable 3600 revs, breathing through a HDT specific cold air intake and a Rochester 4 barrel carbie mounted on a port matched intake manifold. Power was put down through the rear tyres VK Group Avia a four speed M21 manual transmission and single plate dry clutch however a five speed was optional. Bridgestone supplied the rubber, their Potenza 225/50s on those luscious 16 inch diameter wheels and the car rode on the tried and proven McPherson struts/Panhard rod suspension. Stopping power was provided courtesy of the 281mm discs, vented at the front. The colour that would be the seed for the car’s now legendary status, Formula Blue, coated the VK’s flanks and close to thirty years after it was released, still looks fantastic. SS Group A decals, complete with the Brock signature, were placed on the front quarter panels and badges were placed inside confirming that your car was, indeed, one of the (in this case) 502 built.

Performance was considerable; with a body weighing just 1340 kilograms, first gear would see 87 km/h on the clock, on the way to 100 km/h in just seven seconds. The grunt of the 4.9L would ultimately propel the slippery beast through to a top speed of 215 km/h and cover the standing 400m in a then rocket like (for a non racing car) 15 seconds. The price for all of this performance? There was a premium over the standard car, to be sure, at a lick under $22000, plus aircon was a $1035 option… but it’s the car that has firmly implanted the HDT SV name into the Australian automotive consciousness. After Brock died in that terrible crash in 2006, his good mate, Peter Champion, bought the HDT SV business and continues to build excitement, including the VE Commodore based “Blue Meanie”.VE Blue Meanie