It’s been 10 years since Holden launched its final Australian-made model, and now everyone can afford to park one in their garage … or desk drawer.
An early look at an upcoming Matchbox toy car series shows the scale-model brand is preparing to release a version of the VF Holden Commodore, just in time to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the model’s release.
While it wasn’t the last car to wear the Holden name, the VF – first released in 2013 – would go on to be the final Australian built car, with Holden ceasing local production in October 2017 before switching to a fully-imported model, which was a rebadged version of the Opel Insignia.
Documentation released alongside the preview images refer to the VF SS Commodore as a ‘2016’ model, however the front end design replicates that of the original Series I VF Commodore produced between 2013 and 2015, and not the Series II update which would have been in production by 2016.
Series II changes included slimmer intakes on the outer front bumper and with running light mounted at the upper edge of the intakes, and not in the middle. Other detail changes that purists may spot are the lack of outboard driving lights, suggesting the model is based on an SS, not an SS V as the “SSV-P” front number plate suggests.
The early release info was posted in Instagram by Matchboxworld, alongside other upcoming releases including a Lexus LFA, Nissan Ariya, Lexus LX, and Chevrolet Tahoe.
The initial release wears a Highway Patrol livery which is a crude mash-up of the design used by NSW Police and the design of South Australia Police vehicles, including the “Keeping SA safe” motto. Images available so far do not show the rear of the vehicle, but it appears the 000 emergency number doesn’t appear on the model, unlike Matchbox versions of American police vehicles, which display the 911 emergency number.
Matchbox has produced miniature versions of Holden vehicles before, with the most recent being the VE Commodore SS V ute, released in a variety of editions and paint schemes between 2010 and 2012, before being re-released for a second run between 2018 and 2021.
Interestingly the VE casting, includes a 70th anniversary Holden Ute edition, designed to celebrate 70 years since the release if the first Holden FX (or 50-2106) ute, released the year after GM officially shut down the Holden brand, despite branding that suggest it was designed to be part of an official brand commemoration.
Earlier versions of the new VF casting, without paint of livery have been shown previously (below), as reported by Matchbox Leno. The new release, which does not feature cast-in roof bars, or apertures for police lights, suggests subsequent releases may be made available without the Highway Patrol tampos.
The cast-in disc for the holden badge in the grille, however, suggests a Chevrolet SS-badged version – the name the Commodore was sold under in North America – is unlikely.
The new VF casting marks the first time since the 1990s that Matchbox has built a Holden sedan, with the VR-VS Commodore released with a variety of liveries including a ‘Commodore race team’ design, Olympic torch relay car, a Hawthorn Hawks AFL release, and a somewhat conceptual police representation, among others.
The VF Commodore will be released as part of the Matchbox ‘mix 8’ release, set for July 2023. Regular release Matchbox cars in Australia retail for around $3 each, making this one of the more affordable pieces of Holden memorabilia.