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I dont have idea of the engines in a Commodore VB but why did Holden not use the European Opel engines??
It was much cheaper for Holden to adapt the Commodore to accept the engines already being manufactured here. In addition, in the late 70's, V8's were still popular and it was considered essential that the Commodore be available with V8 engines.
Generally, the characteristics of Australian and European engines in the late 70's were quite different. Holden engines were reasonably large capacity, low revving and torquey, which suited Australian driving habits. Euro engines tended to be smaller, higher revving and less suited to Australian conditions.