Our top 5 HSV yarns

By: Guy Allen, Unique Cars magazine

Presented by

HSV monaroFront HSV Monaro HSV monaroFront
HSV ute47916 HSV Maloo ute HSV ute47916
HSV Clubsport 1 500 HSV Clubsport HSV Clubsport 1 500
HSVmonaro 427 3 1 HSV Monaro HSVmonaro 427 3 1
HSV VL SS Group A 3 HSV VL HSV VL SS Group A 3
HSV VS GTS R 1 HSV VS GT-R HSV VS GTS R 1

We’ve had the chance to play with lots of them – here’s the pick of the features

With the recent unveiling of HSV’s final take on the rear-drive Commodore, we thought this was a good time to share some of our favourite HSV stories. Enjoy!

1988 HSV VL SS Group A Walkinshaw

With its outrageous aerodynamic body additions developed to increase vehicle stability and reduce drag at high speed, the 1988 Holden Commodore SS Group A SV arrived like a slap in the face.

Like many before it, right back to Holden’s EH S4 of 1963, this car was a racing special – a ‘production’ vehicle developed and built to get a gaggle of high-performance hardware accepted for racing. It was truly a car built on the ‘win on Sunday, sell on Monday’ mantra that was the symbiosis for Australian new car and sales and racing for decades.

Full story

HSV VS GTS-R

Seven years after the '88 VL Commodore SS Group A, came an also outrageously styled performance car, the HSV GTS-R. But its reason for being was different to that of the Walkinshaw. With Australian racing regulations dumping the international Group A racing formula and the change to the two-make Holden vs Ford V8 Supercars format, there was no need for specially developed factory-fast evolution specials to make high performance hardware legal for racing. So the GTS-R was a celebration of performance rather than a technology trail from road car to race track.

Full story

2002 HOLDEN MONARO HSV HRT 427 CONCEPT CAR

One of only two HRT 427 Monaros ever made – and the only one in public hands – is up for sale, listed just shy of $600k. Yep, that’s a lot, but still less than it sold for in 2008.

Long-term road-tester Dave Morley – yep, the bloke who does our workshop column – drove the car for Motor magazine in 2004. Here’s what he had to say at the time: "The HRT 427 is destined to become the next Phase IV GTHO; the big fish that got away.

"See, despite the projected price tag of around 200-large, the bean counters at HSV just couldn’t see how the mutha was ever going to make money. So they scrapped that whole glorious idea.

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BUYING USED: HSV CLUBSPORT

The VN Clubsport arrived in the nick of time to save a struggling HSV from the tentacles of a recession that engulfed many enterprises during the 1990s. Almost a decade later, with the world in slightly better financial shape, HSV’s survival was assured – or so we thought – and significant improvements always on the cards. Unexpectedly and halfway through the VT model’s production cycle a new engine was introduced, allowing Holden to claim dominance in its performance war with Ford’s struggling Tickford Vehicle Engineering.

Full story

VU-VZ SERIES HSV MALOO

Its name comes from an Aboriginal word for ‘thunder’ but early Maloos barely raised a rumble in the sales charts. People who wanted an HSV generally chose a sedan and those that needed a ute didn’t want something knee-deep in body-kitting and ‘steal me’ stickers.

Only 1000 Maloos were made during the first decade of its existence, but then came the rise of V8 ute racing and a cultural shift that made recreational commercial vehicles more desirable than at any time since the 1970s panel van era.

Full story

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