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Lucy Murphy 2017 COMMODORE MOTORSPORT

SO FAMILIARITY DOESN’T ALWAYS BREED CONTEMPT. IN LUCY’S CASE HER INSIDER-KNOWLEDGE BREEDS LOVE

The Commodore is such a great family car, and I absolutely love driving a manual. To me, purchasing a VFII was a no-brainer, and we’d originally planned on getting a SSV Redline Reserve Edition, before we heard rumblings of the Limited Editions. When it came to choosing which model to get, there was no other option for me than the Motorsport – as I absolutely had to have a manual, and I need four seats to fit the family in. I love the fact that the limited editions pay homage to the last 39 years of Commodores.

I worked on the VE Commodore in the CAD (Computer Aided Design) office, been Durability Engineer for all of the VE prototypes built for testing at the proving ground. I was a Validation Engineer working on VEII and was Design and Release Engineer for the coil springs for the VF model. I have worked with so many amazingly passionate and talented people, and the VFII Commodore is the result of all of their hard work. It is such a great car, and I think all Australians should be incredibly proud of what we’ve been able to produce.

The build number of my car is 605 of 1200, the significance being that this is the street address for the Holden Proving Ground – 605 Bass Hwy, Lang Lang.

I was also fortunate enough to visit the Vehicle Assembly Plant in Elizabeth with some work colleagues to watch our cars being built. Everyone I met in Elizabeth was so warm and welcoming and so enthusiastic and proud of their work. I honestly cannot put into words the appreciation I feel for the amazing opportunity I was given to watch my vehicle in production. I fell in love the minute I saw my car roll off the line. This experience cemented the fact that we don’t ever intend selling this car, and will pass it down to our kids to enjoy.

I love the SSV Redline and honestly thought that the only way that car could be improved upon was by adding heated seats!

The Motorsport gives us that and then trumps it with the MR suspension. The only other option I considered was the upgrade to the larger spoiler. In the end, I decided to go with the bootlid spoiler as there seems to have been a trend since VE for smaller spoilers, and I thought that it was design staffs’ intent for the car to have the smaller spoiler.

Our Motorsport will initially be a daily drive for us. We can’t afford to have it sitting in the garage, but we absolutely just had to have one. Hopefully in five years we will be able to afford to garage it and use it as a weekend warrior. Longer term, this car will be passed on to the kids to enjoy.

My poor family has listened to my excitement about this car since last year when we first put down a deposit on the vehicle.

They know how special it is to me and, if anything, I think it has fostered a relationship for them with the car too.

It is such a great car that I want everyone in the family to enjoy driving it. My saving grace is that my husband prefers driving automatics, so I won’t lose it to him permanently!

We sold the cars we used to own, and have been driving Commodores on the Holden Employee lease scheme since VZ.

With the end of the Zeta Commodore approaching, we didn’t want to stop driving such a great car so we knew we had to buy one for ourselves. This is the first new car we have ever purchased!

Brendan Patullo 2017 COMMODORE DIRECTOR

THE BROCK FACTOR MEANT THAT THE DIRECTOR WAS ALWAYS GOING TO BE BRENDAN’S CHOICE My history with Holden cars goes back to my childhood. As one of five children (at the time), our family car was a sky blue HG Kingswood wagon. My father bought it new and it was our family car until I was old enough to drive.

Of course, my first cars consisted of Holdens: Geminis, Camiras and Commodores. Growing up I loved Peter Brock, Bathurst, V8 Toranas and HDT Commodores. In a way it was the culmination of a childhood dream to finally work at Holden. At the ripe old age of 36, I started work as a test engineer at the Holden Proving Ground in 2000.

When the expressions of interest were announced for the Limited Edition Commodores, I tentatively put my name down. A decision not taken lightly, with a mortgage and four children still at home, we had to constantly watch our money.

But this car represented a piece of not only Holden history, but Australian history. The VFII Commodore was the swansong of Holden manufacturing in this country, and the best Australian car ever produced. Yet to me, it was more than just a car, I have been lucky enough to work closely with a lot of passionate and talented people at Holden, I can name the engineers who owned the brakes, the wheels/tyres, the suspension, the steering etc. However, despite working at Holden for the last 17 years, I had never owned a brand new car. For me it was not just a financial decision to buy a Director, it was an emotional one.

It was hard not to get swept up in the infectious excitement and hype surrounding these limited edition cars. Workplace conversations would be dominated by Motorsports, Directors and Magnums. Which one? What colour? What build number? Tentative thoughts soon became certainty.

I would kick myself later if I missed this opportunity

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– there seemed no way back from here. I was going to buy a Director.

Why the Director and not the Motorsport or Magnum? The obvious link with Peter Brock appealed to me. In my early 20s I drove around in a Gemini panel van that I restored myself, but lusted after a VK Brock Director. Just like the VK Director that preceded it 30 years ago, the VFII Director has an understated but purposeful stance. But under the skin is an awesome V8 engine, performance brakes, sports suspension and of course rear-wheel drive! I thought I would have missed not having a manual transmission, but the auto works so well, it is the perfect choice for the Director. And I love the little blip the auto gives on down shifts.

At the end of August, I took annual leave to visit the Elizabeth manufacturing facility to watch my car being built. This was one of the best experiences of the whole process. I was blown away by how friendly, co-operative and dedicated the people at the Adelaide plant were. They even gave me the opportunity to fit the A pillar trim myself – the line workers have eight seconds to fit it, I think it took me about three minutes! And apparently there is no warranty on that part now.

They are a talented bunch of people who take great pride in producing the VF Commodore – evident by producing Commodores to quality standards equal to, or better than the best in the GM world.

I was pretty calm on the morning of picking up my new car, and I remember just hoping for dry roads so the car would stay clean. But once at the dealer, seeing my very own Director on the showroom floor, with my number plate on it, I couldn’t hold back the smile. Driving the Director away from the dealership, with the V8 purring away was an experience I will never forget.

The best part of the car is undoubtedly the LS3 engine and that gorgeous exhaust note. Living in a state where it is virtually impossible to use this car anywhere near its potential, that exhaust note just brings a smile to the face every time I drive it. I love this car and have no regrets at all in buying it. Like the HG Kingswood wagon I grew up in, hopefully the Director will stay in the family for a long long time.