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

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


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


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.

Full story


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


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

Sign up to our free weekly newsletter for more unique car reviews and features plus see the latest unique and classic cars for sale.

Subscribe to Unique Cars magazine
- Print edition
- Digital edition