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  • hi form oz

    g'day guys
    my name is darren
    i come from australia
    and im trying to track down as much info & pics as i can on an ex HDT commdore which was sold to john cleland & race in the thunder saloon championship in 1986.
    it was raced in the uk as vauxhall senator.
    can anyone help me out with anythink or point me in the direction.
    this should be the car, it was returned to australia in 2002.
    thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Welcome to the site, i am sure someone swill dig something up..


    • #3
      Welcome to the vxdc mate As Thumper said somebody will be along to help you out soon


      • #4
        thanks guys any advice would be great.


        • #5
          hello and welcome dont know much about that mate sorry try John Cleland dot net
          Last edited by ; 1 August 2009, 06:44 PM. Reason: url added


          • #6
            Welcome mate, plenty of info on Cleland but hard to track down an individual car.

            Will keep looking though


            • #7
              Hello and welcome to VxDC

              I had a bit of a search and found this photo of this car from the European Touring Car Championship Tourist Trophy at Silverstone in 1986.

              Taken from


              • #8
                Looks like it is the correct car according to this information.



                • #9
                  thats for the pics guys, that appears to be one of the factory HDT commodores that ran in a few rounds of the european touring car championship, im after the ex group c HDT commodore, cleland ran it for a few seasons than it went where......??
                  would like to know its history & any pics from about 87-88 onwards, it was brought back to australia in 2002.
                  this is how it would have arrived in the UK.

                  heres a pic of it painted back in malboro warpaint date of this pics is unknown but signwriting is all incorrect from orginal.

                  is there any other old race car forums where someone might know??



                  • #10
                    I'm sure someone on Autobahnstormers has some information on this car.

                    You need to be a member to view the forum, so i'll copy your first post and see what info i get.

                    If that doesn't turn up any information, i do have another option.

                    Welcome to VxDC too.
                    My Lotus Carlton Car of the Month Aug 2009 - Nova GSi Dec 2010 - Meriva Aug 2013 - Astra 1.8 TwinTop Design Aug 2015
                    Vauxhall Drivers Club - Facebook page


                    • #11
                      Hi and welcome


                      • #12
                        Some info/pics

                        Originally posted by 720 Sean Boucher
                        Originally posted by 1586 Keif
                        Originally posted by 126 Trevor Miles
                        Ah Sean Boucher could be your man here!!
                        Why me?? :shock: That looks like one of my pics too Trev! :lol: :lol: :lol:

                        And those pics above are the Thundersaloon ones that go with it Trev! :wink:

                        These pictures are of Peter Brock and his VK Commodore in Australia before it was shipped off to Europe were its bodywork was heavily modified and wheels changed before it became the V8 Thundersaloons Opel Senator A....

                        There is not alot of information about these days regarding that V8 Opel Senator A, but what does exist says that it was an ex-Peter Brock racing Holden VK Commodore that was shipped over here by GM (around late 1985-ish??) to allow Vauxhall/Opel to compete in the new Thundersaloon championship.

                        I posted up a topic on Nev's Opel forum about this 500PS 5.9L V8 Senator and all it did was cause trouble because of this German magazine article from late 1985/early 1986 (showing the car looking nothing like it did when Brocky drove it) featuring Works driver Guy Fréquelin....

                        (I do hope you've all brushed up on your German reading skills ready for "The white travels" article below!)

                        My initial understanding was that they made the car look more like the standard Opel Senator A when it first raced over here in Europe and then later in its life it had its front end changed back to the Commodore item and more of the HRT/HDT developed Commodore racing kit added back to it too aid its performance.

                        But the Kiwi's and the Aussies don't agree and started arguing that these were two different cars with the one being an Opel Senator A and the other being a VK Commodore, But why would Opel use a RHD version of its Senator A if it was only to compete in races in Europe I argued.....No Omega 3000 24v or Omega Evolution 500 was ever RHD for the DTM and the DTM even raced on some of Blightys racetracks!!! :? :? :?

                        Anyway totally unconvinced by the two completely different cars claims because GM has always been tight with their racing purse strings, I still personally think that its the same car in that German magazine article in 1985/86 and then later in 1989/90 when its pictured back with its flared racing Commodore arches, wider original wheels & bigger wings compeating in the Thundersaloon championship (in the four colour pictures above at the start of my post) alongside other beasts like the V8 Stars & Stripes Manta 400 when the V8 Senator A was driven by Neil Facey & Pete Stevens because the factory backed team replaced it in 1987 with the newer V8 Carlton TS6000 that was driven by works drivers, John Cleland & Vince Woodman! 8) 8) 8)

                        Sadly I don't have an English magazine review of the V8 Senator but I do have a couple on the Stars & Stripes Manta 400 and the Carlton TS6000.

                        Originally posted by A guy called Nik on Nev's Opel forum
                        This car is the exHDT VK Group C "Last of the Big Bangers". The car (then car 25) pictured finished second at Bathurst '84.
                        In '85 it was sent to the UK. Its now back in OZ owned by Peter Champion, restored back to HDT/Marlboro, though the car bears the number 05 instead of 25.
                        Out of interest, '85 was the year the ATCC went to Group A rules, hence why the Group C cars were know longer required.
                        And this is what the car looks like today....

                        Sean's going to try to contact someone who knows the owner for more information.
                        My Lotus Carlton Car of the Month Aug 2009 - Nova GSi Dec 2010 - Meriva Aug 2013 - Astra 1.8 TwinTop Design Aug 2015
                        Vauxhall Drivers Club - Facebook page


                        • #13
                          thats very intersting can anyone interpret german?
                          so your saying the car picture above was the ex HDT car, what year was this magazine article from?
                          were these pics before or the opal before or after the commodore based pics early in your post?
                          gets more interesting by the minute.


                          • #14
                            has anyone got an engine bay picture of an opel senator like the one pictured??
                            what size motor did they race, did they use a holden v8 or a chevy v8??


                            • #15
                              that theroy sounds like the ones i have heard regarding that before it was brought back to aus it didnt look like a commodore.
                              but from the small picture avaiable there
                              and this one the c pillar looks bigger on the opel compared to the commodore.
                              any more pics of this car anywhere? what series & year did this run in, my german is up ****!!

                              Last edited by ; 14 August 2009, 01:12 PM.