History of HDT

VC_HDTThe Holden Dealer Team (aka HDT) was Holden’s semi-official racing team from 1969 until 1987, primarily contesting Australian Touring Car events but also rallying, rallycross and sports sedans during the 1970s. From 1980 the Holden Dealer Team, by then under the ownership of Peter Brock, diversified into producing modified road-going Commodores and other Holden cars for selected dealers via HDT Special Vehicles Pty Ltd.

Holden ceased its association with Brock’s businesses in February 1987, and for the remainder of that year the race team became known as HDT Racing P/L, which name was later dissolved when Brock secured a contract with BMW Australia to operate a BMW M3 race team (formerly JPS Team BMW) in 1988. Further into 1988, Brock sold off his HDT Special Vehicles road car business, which has nevertheless, under various ownership, continued to modify Holden vehicles to this current day.

The cars built by HDT Special Vehicles for road use quickly gained an enthusiastic following. The cars were built under Peter Brock’s direction and had approval from Holden. Several versions of modified high-performance road-going Commodore sedans were produced through the early and mid-1980s, with some being “homologation specials” produced to meet the prevailing Group A racing regulations. These vehicles were all individually numbered with only 4246 Brock HDT’s made and are considered to be collectors’ items due to their rarity.

HDT and Brock’s association with Holden ended sensationally in 1987, after Brock began fitting a device known as the “Energy Polarizer” to HDT vehicles. Regarded as pseudoscience by Holden and the VL_HDT_Directorvast majority of the Australian motoring community, a new VL series “Director” model was then released in February 1987 which incorporated not only the Polarizer but also a new independent rear suspension system developed by HDT without Holden’s approval. Holden ended its association with Brock as he had refused to supply a Director for test purposes and Holden was therefore unwilling to honour warranties on any cars thereafter modified by Brock’s HDT operation.

Holden, in a partnership of sorts with TWR, then set up Holden Special Vehicles, which business took over the role of producing factory-approved modified Commodores for general road use as well as for Group A racing homologation.

The HDT Commodores have a substantial place in Australian motoring enthusiast history, and thus they are highly collectible. It is not uncommon to see these vehicles selling for over $60,000 for a clean genuine example or even between $80–150,000 for an extremely low km example.

Enthusiasts in many Australian States have formed HDT Owners Groups, having regular concourse events, showcasing the many fine examples that HDT produced over the years.After the death of Brock, HDT vehicles became more collectible than ever. According to the Australian 5/2007 Wheels Magazine showroom condition cars are generating prices as high as $200,000 AU.

Vehicle types manufactured in partnership with Holden :

  • VC COMMODORE HDT – 5.0 ltr

  • VH COMMODORE ADP – various sedan and wagon vehicles – 4.2 ltr, 5.0 ltr

  • VH COMMODORE SS GROUP ONE – 4.2 ltr

  • VH COMMODORE SS GROUP TWO – 4.2 ltr

  • VH COMMODORE SS GROUP THREE – 4.2 ltr, 5.0 ltr

  • WB STATESMAN DE VILLE MAGNUM – 5.0 ltr

  • WB STATESMAN CAPRICE MAGNUM – 5.0 ltr

  • VK COMMODORE LM5000 – 5.0 ltr

  • VK COMMODORE ADP – various sedan and wagon vehicles – 5.0 ltr, 4.9 ltr

  • VK COMMODORE ADP (SL GROUP A) – 5.0 ltr, 4.9 ltr

  • VK COMMODORE SS – 5.0 ltr, 4.9 ltr

  • VK COMMODORE SS GROUP THREE – 5.0 ltr, 4.9 ltr

  • VK CALAIS DIRECTOR – 5.0 ltr, 4.9 ltr

  • VK COMMODORE SS GROUP A – 4.9 ltr

  • VK COMMODORE SS GROUP A GROUP THREE – 4.9 ltr

  • VL CALAIS LE – 3.0 ltr, 3.0 ltr Turbo, 4.9 ltr

  • VL CORSA (COMMODORE LE) – 3.0 ltr, 3.0 ltr Turbo

  • VL COMMODORE SS GROUP A – 4.9 ltr

  • VL COMMODORE SS GROUP A “Plus Pack” – 4.9 ltr

Vehicle types manufactured following dissolution with Holden :

  • VL HDT DIRECTOR – 4.9 ltr, 5.6 ltr

  • VL HDT GROUP THREE – 4.9 ltr

  • VL HDT DESIGNER SERIES – various sedan and wagon vehicles – 3.0 ltr, 3.0 ltr Turbo, 4.9 ltr

  • VL HDT AERO – 4.9 ltr, 5.6 ltr

  • VL HDT BATHURST – 4.9 ltr, 5.6 ltr

In addition to the Holden/HDT mainstream editions listed above, various ‘one-off’ vehicles were manufactured by HDT Special Vehicles during the 1980-1988 period, perhaps the most significant of those being the HDT MONZA hatchback coupe that was displayed around Australia in 1985 with hopes of production that unfortunately did not eventuate.

Credits :

  • HDT Special Vehicles – “The Story”

  • HDT Special Vehicles – “Current Releases”