Last year when COVID struck, I was working in Canberra while my family remained in WA. My workplace kindly allowed me to return to WA to my family for a few months when the border situation went silly. The problem for me was that my car (VFII SS-V Redline) and motorbike remained in Canberra, and I needed some wheels when in WA for work as my wife needed her car. This was a great excuse to buy a mid-life crisis hobby car!
I had been looking at the V8 Holden market for some time, as I missed the VN BT1 5.0 and VR SS manual that were the cars of my youth from 1990 to 2003. I also couldn't help but notice that 80's V8 Holden prices were still reasonable but on the increase, so it was time to buy or be left behind.
There were not many in WA for sale at the time, as I was keen on a VN or VP BT1, but there was this stunning 1995 VS Executive 5.0 located an hour or so from where I lived. So, I had a look and paid the very reasonable asking price.
As you can see from the pictures, it was in excellent condition for a 25 year old car. It was an original condition Executive 5.0 manual, optioned with dual airbags, ABS, air-con (none of these were OE on Executives), full SS interior, LSD and a long range fuel tank. It still had the Executive wheel covers! The only modifications were Pacemaker headers and a 2.5-inch exhaust and tinted windows. The original owner was a Holden employee in Melbourne and he obviously loved this car.
Since purchasing, I had factored in that it would need some love so I got the original radiator re-cored, the air conditioning system overhauled, a new clutch, new tyres, a new stereo (Kenwood head unit - the original speakers still work just fine), new rear shocks and bushings all round and a full service. It still needs some gaskets replaced which I will do at its next service.
How does it drive? God bless it, it drives beautifully and brings back those fond memories of my VR SS. We took it down to Albany and back for a run, and found it consumes 11 litres per 100 kilometres and it pulls away enthusiastically in a surprisingly healthy manner and with a mighty V8 roar - even with 200,000km on the clock.
The interior is still in very good condition and is comfortable to sit in. Its very different to the VF with a much smaller dash and the windscreen is much closer - it seems like a small car compared to the VF. It starts first time, every time and seemingly can't wait to get out on the road.
Its bright Diablo Red paint job is still in good condition, with the boot lid the only part that is starting to powder up a bit, and a rear window frame that needs a re-paint. I get thumbs up everywhere I go in it and have been offered considerable sums for it around town. Sorry, he's not for sale.
I have managed to obtain a set of 16-inch VS SS wheels in good condition that I will put on at some stage as the original steel V8 spec (15 x 7JJ vice 15 x 6) wheels will need a respray due to wear and tear from the wheel covers. Once the new gaskets stop the minor leaks from the sump and valley cover, this old beast will be gracing the roads for many years to come!