The end of local production for our Aussie legends Holden and Ford (Toyota doesn’t really count, does it?) and the continued homogenisation of models across the globe in the name of cost cutting (read; profiteering) means those of us who appreciated these home-grown hot sedans, utes and the occasional coupe are still mourning the loss of ‘our’ performance cars. Fortunately, there is light at the end of the tunnel with auctioneers, Lloyds Auctions on the Gold Coast, serving up what is probably the last chance we’ll have of buying the best of what HSV had to offer from the last decade in basically ‘brand new’ condition. This ultimate HSV/Holden collection features cars which mostly have delivery kilometres only and present in new or nearly new condition with the variety of models on offer far rarer than a standard ClubSport or GTS.
Starting at the top of the tree is the mighty GTSR W1 with its 6.2-litre LS9 pumping out 474kW of supercharged goodness, which is enough to propel HSV’s final fling to 100km/h in just 4.2sec on the way to a quarter mile time of 12.1sec making it the quickest locally made car ever. Being the last and greatest of the breed the W1 is the Holden model most likely to challenge Ford’s GTHO Phase III for ultimate ‘god’ status in Aussie muscle folklore in the future. In fact, demand for the car along with the end of local car manufacturing has probably put it on par with the hero Falcon already. Whether it has the lasting appeal of the GTHO only time will tell but the ingredients for the W1 to equal and even surpass the aging Ford legend are all present. But HSV is probably wishing it had pumped out more than the 300 units it planned for in the GTSR W1 production run (275 for Aus. and 25 to NZ) given that demand has seen prices shoot up to more than $100,000 over the $169,990 sticker price lately. All this is great news for collectors who will wrap their W1s up in an air-conditioned plastic bubble and not touch them for the next 20 years for fear of someone breathing on the thing wrong, but it also means that there’ll be fewer owners who will be willing to enjoy actually driving the ultimate HSV. It seems that some buyers are more worried about their return on investment than experiencing how hard the W1 can shift. And that’s a shame because make no mistake, the W1 is a road-going race car and as such represents not only the ultimate Red Lion product but a unique instance in Australian automotive history. Never before has an Australian road car come so close to the specification of its derivative race car. Yes, the likes of the GTHO, Monaro and Torana models were designed to be driven off the showroom floor and onto the race track but all that stopped more than four decades ago and since then road and race cars have been developed down very different paths so that the end results often only share similar body styling. This W1 is number 36 of 275 and has only 21km on the clock and comes with an extensive array of W1 memorabilia so we are sure Lloyds will have no trouble finding this one a good home.
So with all the W1s sold and now being locked in secret underground vaults, the next hottest available HSV would have to be the W427. Had this 7.0-litre LS7-powered brute been born in 2017 instead of nearly a decade earlier there would be the same levels of hysteria around the demise of HSV driving W1 prices through the roof and a halo so bright around this ‘golden child’ that the $155,000 ask HSV wanted for the W427 in 2008 would seem like peanuts. But the fact is the all-alloy big-banger was a hard sell when new with only 137 units made and sold from a planned production run of 427. Given that it lobbed in the middle of the Global Financial Crisis and was priced more than $70,000 over the next most expensive HSV, success wasn’t really on the cards. Scarcity is a great marketing tool but will only get you so far, and HSV found that out the hard way with the W427. And that’s a shame because the W427 could probably be the best HSV ever to roll out of the Clayton works, better even that the W1. Blasphemy you say? Think about this, the atmo big-block engine in the W427 cranks out 375kW and 640Nm of twist both coming quite high in the rpm range meaning you have to give it a boot full to realise its full potential. The benefit of this is hearing the wail from that angry-eight every time you get up it whereas the supercharged lump in the W1 has massive stonk from down low which is great for stump pulling and for cruising in one gear riding the wave of torque when overtaking, but stomping on a W1 really is a track only indulgence if you want to keep your licence. Couple this with the fact there are fewer W427s in existence than W1s means that now Holden has shut for good they are next in line for legend status (and deservedly so) for what they are but also serve as a hot HSV alternative for everyone who missed out on a W1. All of this means you can be assured that the W427 is a bankable future classic with a pedigree far rarer than the W1. Lloyds said that this W427 is number 22 of 137 and is in almost new condition with only 2167km on the clock. The red leather interior is perfect and the paint is also in excellent condition. If you put this in a HSV showroom, you would think it’s a new car. Perfect for the collector, this W427 comes with a mounted and framed HDT racing jacket (no. 22) signed by Garth Tander and Mark Skaife, along with other associated W427 memorabilia.
While the big number cars are sure to be the W1 and W427 the other HSV and Holden models Lloyds is auctioning offer similar levels of performance and rarity with the cars all being the best possible examples of the limited edition models they represent. The 2015 HSV ClubSport R8 25th Anniversary is a great example of this being that it is car number 1 of only 100 made to commemorate its great grand-daddy the VN-based ClubSport. With the 340kW LS3 V8 under the bonnet and AP Racing 4-piston calipers up front this thing is a long way from the original 5.0-litre iron block donk in the old VN Clubby. Lloyds says this car has only 14km on the clock and is in brand new condition and comes with the HSV promotional box only available to new HSV buyers on their first anniversary of ownership. Next up is the 2012 HSV 25th Anniversary GTS with the 325kW, 6.2 litre V8 engine. A whole heap of car and very rare with just 125 units available for Australia with this one number 2 of 125. With only 105km on the clock, Lloyds says this one looks, feels and smells like a brand new HSV. The 2011 HSV ClubSport Black Edition was launched as an exclusive HSV model based around the ClubSport, Maloo and R8 wagon, with the Black Edition adding more than $7000 worth of extras over the cooking ClubSport model when it launched in 2011. The data logging system in this car was a cool bit of tech that contained a map of every race track in Australia so you could time your hot laps! This one is number 71 of 100 and is finished in stunning Sting Red and has travelled a mere 643km. We reckon with the data logger it’s a great car to use on the race track! Going on from there the 2008 HSV GTS 40th Anniversary is a fantastic piece of HSV history with only 100 made to commemorate the famous GTS name which made its debut on the HK Monaro in 1968. Finished in Sting Red this is car number 17 of 100 and has only 353km on the clock. Finally are a pair of 2015 limited edition Sandman models in both wagon and ute guise. The cool thing about these, besides being brand new, is the amount of related Sandman promotional extras included which were only available to Holden dealers. These include Sandman flags and Sandman branded surfboards which themselves are sure to be collector’s items. Both cars are finished in Phantom Black, with 12km on the wagon and only 9km on the ute’s odometer making them the perfect promotional pieces for a business.
So dream no more about owning a new HSV because Lloyds Auctions is set to put this collection of HSV and Holden models on the block 16 December. This could be the very last chance to get a pick of the best of what a HSV showroom could offer over the last ten years all under one roof. We think the HSV advertising slogan just doesn’t cut it with these cars. I just want one? Hell no, I just want them all!
Words and Photos Ben Dillon