Lot 40: Holden Commodore VX GTS
There ain't no substitute for cubes, the American tuners used to say, and Holden, Vauxhall's Australian cousin, took a leaf out of their book when it created the V8 Commodore in 1989. But it was a bit more scientific than just dropping in a huge engine, as all Holden HSV cars have a racing heritage, with suspension and brakes to match their breathtaking power. Holden Special Vehicles, the company's officially designated performance vehicle division, was founded by racing legend Tom Walkinshaw in 1988 - and he also ran its racing team. The VX's predecessor the VL Commodore was built as a homologation package for Group A racing, and won the 1990 Bathurst 1000 race in the hands of Allan Grice and Win Percy. Cross-company synergy dictates that performance mods developed for racers will always improve the street cars. Based on the rear-wheel drive Commodore, itself a relative of the UK-market Carlton, the GTS's spectacular power comes from the fitment of the Chevrolet/General Motors 'smallblock' V8, which in this 350cu in (5735cc) 'Generation III' form produces 309bhp and a stonking 350lb ft or torque at 3600rpm. Getting this prodigious output to the ground, transmission is the six-speed T56 manual borrowed from the Corvette. A General Motors-sponsored parallel import, one of approximately 100 cars released by HSV Limited, this car is build no. 015, to a specification believed unique in the UK. The LS1 V8 engine has been mildly improved with upgraded inlet, electronics and exhaust, while the Commodore also boasts factory-fitted four-pot vented cross-drilled brakes and full HSV suspension plus it has always been serviced by the same dedicated Holden specialist. As well as the leather interior, there is factory-fitted climate control. The vendor describes this saloon with a Corvette's punch as being in "good" condition with regard to its engine, gearbox, electrical equipment, interior trim, bodywork and paintwork and explains that it is only being sold because it has been succeeded by a current Vauxhall (nee Holden) VXR8. He adds: "The high gearing gives remarkable cruising, economy, yet 0-60mph is available in circa 5 seconds, with a top speed of 160mph (unproven!)".
H&H Sales Limited, Stoneleigh Park
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||-|
|Registration number||Y61 XGS|
|Engine capacity (cc)||5700|
|Engine - cylinders|
|Number of doors|