The Very First HSV

Holden Special Vehicles, or HSV, was the performance division of Holden, and many great models have received the HSV magic over the years. But the very first HSV model was the 1988 Walkinshaw Racing VL Commodore Group A homologation special. A total of 750 road going cars were sold, all in Panorama Silver, after Mt Panorama. So, a super rare car you thought you could never own. Well now you can, as this genuine NZ new example is being sold by Turners Christchurch. Read on...

Before HSV there was HDT, or the Holden Dealer Team, and in the 80s it was owned by the great Peter Brock. HDT at this time did basically what HSV did later, and that is build hot Holdens for the road. However, due to rift between Holden and Brock, caused by a box of crystals (see my article on that here) the relationship ended in 1987 and Scotsman Tom Walkinshaw stepped in, creating HSV. And this was the first of many great HSV cars.

Now, the Walkinshaw VL Commodore can’t be described as pretty or beautiful. Indeed it was dubbed by some as the plastic pig. The rear spoiler resembles a banquet table and the rest of the body-kit is maybe a tad over the top. But is was purported to reduce drag by 25% and the TWR VL did go on to win the 1990 Bathurst 1000 at a time when wins against the Skyline and Sierra were hard to come by. The road cars are more than just a body kit and spoiler, too. The engine was developed to withstand the demands of racing and was also fitted with the Walkinshaw developed twin throttle body inlet manifold. This was a road going racecar and nothing like the standard VL Commodore.

This particular example is one of a handful sold in NZ and is number 722 of 750. HSV originally limited production to 500, the number required for homologation purposes, but decided to build another 250 to satisfy demand. This demand turned out to be a bit less than the extra 250 built meaning many sat around in dealer showrooms for a long time. It may be why this example ended up in NZ. It has ticked off just 76,853kms by 4 private owners and is just the way it left the HSV factory in Clayton, Victoria nearly 36 years ago. 

Turners Christchurch are auctioning this car on Trade Me starting Friday 22nd March. More details here.

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