Hero Holdens to go under the hammer
Thursday 15th April, 2021 - 7:48am
The hot market for classic Holdens is showing no signs of cooling down. A pair of historically important and low kilometre examples are set for sale at the latest Lloyd’s Auction – a 1988 VL Walkinshaw Group A SS and a 1990 VN Commodore Group A SS.
The former is the first road-going product of Tom Walkinshaw’s partnership with Holden that spawned Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) alongside the original Holden Racing Team (HRT).
The latter is the company’s early ‘90s hero sedan, which was used as the foundation for the Holden touring car of the era; raced by the likes of Peter Brock, Larry Perkins and Win Percy.
Both are homologation specials, effectively racing cars for the road that the then Group A touring car regulations required. Car makers have to produce 5000 road cars before a racing version could be made; hence the low-volume Ford Sierra Cosworth and Nissan GT-R of the day.
These particular examples are expected to fetch top dollar thanks to their immaculate condition. The VN has just 182km on the odometer in the 31 years it has existed, which Lloyds’ believes could make it the lowest kilometre example in the country. It’s also rare, build number 180 of just 302 VN Group A SS that were manufactured.
The Walkinshaw SS Group A has done more kays, but only slightly, with the odometer reading just 1479km on this 33-year-old sports sedan. Tom Walkinshaw stepped in and established HSV in the wake of Brock’s high-profile split with Holden which forced the successful HDT road car operation to close.
HSV built just 750 examples of this 5.0-litre fuel-injected V8 during ‘88 to ensure it was eligible for the Bathurst 1000. The Walkinshaw Commodore’s iconic aerodynamic bodykit, which gives it a unique appearance in the pantheon of fast Commodores, was designed by a young Ian Callum, who went on to head the design teams at Aston Martin and then Jaguar.
Naturally, given the heritage and condition of these two hero Holdens, Lloyds Auction chief operating officer, Lee Hames, is expecting top dollar for both. The auction is set to finish on Saturday April 24, at the time of publication (nine days ahead of conclusion) the VN Group AA SS was already sitting at $185,000 and the Walkinshaw at $220,000.
“Who knows what these cars will sell for, they are already fetching well into six figures due to their limited build and extremely low kilometers, but we must remember the effect of the Holden closure in Australia where we have seen a trend of records broken since they closed,” said Hames.
“When selecting cars for their potential to increase in value it is important to tick several boxes, namely, rarity, heritage, and desirability. The VN Commodore SS Group A up for auction ticks all those boxes,” Hames explained.
Already in 2021 there have been record-breaking prices for special Holdens. In January an extremely rare (one of four) HSV GTSR W1 Maloo ute became the most expensive Australian-made car sold at auction when Lloyds sold it for $1,050,000. The same auction saw what is believed to be the final Holden ever made, a VF SSV Redline, fetch $750,000.