Random # 18: 308 VB Commodore SLE

Every so often, a bloke finds himself in the right place at the right time, as was the case when UMPH and GlamRock happened upon this very original, very tidy VB Commodore just out of Hobart's CBD.  UMPH had just finished taking a few iPhone snaps when its owner approached and asked if they'd like to hear it fire up.  

Naturally, the boys were keen to take up the offer and also ask a few questions.  So, with the glorious burble of its 308 cu (5.0 litre) V8 as a backing-track, this is what they learned:

It was delivered new by southern Tasmanian Holden dealers Motors Pty Ltd and spent the first four years of its life as the company car of a senior Purity (now Woolworth's) supermarket employee, before its current owner bought it.  He drove it for about twenty years, then mothballed it for ten or so while he drove something "more economical."  It's only just been re-registered.

Unlike most SLEs (then top of the line, preceding the Calais edition), this particular vehicle has wind-up windows and a centre console without the raised rear-section found on automatic transmission versions.  It does, however, feature all the other SLE accoutrements, including head-light wipers, a tachometer (as opposed the the 'economy' vacuum gauge fitted to lower-spec models), air-con, an AM / FM radio / cassette player, and velour seats.  

As touched upon earlier, it has a manual gearbox - in this case, a four-speed floor-shift - which was a much less common specification for an SLE.  As much as he loves the V8 and manual combo, its owner admits that it's actually slower than a contemporary Corolla.  UMPH know what he'd rather be driving, though!  

This one is also fitted with a four-spoke leather sports steering wheel, HDT-style alloys and a full rear spoiler.  It's otherwise unmodified and unrestored, not that it needs any work done!  All credit must go to its owner for having the foresight to have carefully stored it until now.

Here's a video bonus of the car driving off.  Enjoy!


(uppermiddlepetrolhead.blogspot.com .)

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