It might not be the head-turner it once was, but the Holden HSV lineup still has its fans, and a few of them have some serious cash. An ultra-rare 1996 HSV VS GTSR has just broken an auction record for its model, selling under the hammer for an incredible AUD$1 million. Clean, crisp, and practically brand new, this is the pinnacle of Australia’s golden age of performance vehicles.
On the outside, it carries the very aesthetic we’ve come to associate with burnouts and AC/DC, but beneath the surface, the 1996 HSV VS GTSR is an incredible feat of automotive ingenuity. Originally designed to be the flagship in HSV’s VS Commodore-based range, the model was polarising, in more ways than one. A striking boy-racer body-kit, coupled with the iconic bright yellow finish and a $75,000 price tag, at the time the most expensive Holden ever built, made the 1996 HSV VS GTSR a strange release. But its legacy has continued to grow.
Holden HSV ‘Bogan-Buster’
Only 85 of the vehicles were ever produced, each receiving a beefy 5.0-liter V8, with a Harrop crankshaft boosting capacity to 5.7 liters. It was also one of the only HSVs to cop some outside influence, adding pistons courtesy of ACL. On the outside, the GTS-R also copped thinner exhaust valve stems and polished ports, helping boost outputs to 215kW and 475Nm, according to WhichCar.
For Holden fanatics, any iteration of the iconic car is generally snapped up quickly, but over the weekend, Lloyds Auctions had the ultimate edition. Build #001 off the production line, still wrapped in its original plastic and with only 86kms on the vehicle went under the hammer.
Considering most iterations have met their demise and the few that remain in working order have a few hundred thousand KMs on the book, a practically brand new model is truly remarkable. And it showed. After accepting online bids for nearly two weeks prior, competition on the day ramped up royally, finishing at the insane result of AUS$1 million.
This classic is incredibly hard to find for Holden enthusiasts, it is 1 of 85 ever built, rarer than the 2 doors A9X Torana and it has had only 86kms on it since 1996, which is equivalent to less than 6km per year since its making,” Lee Hames, chief operating officer for Lloyds Auctions said. “Because of its collectability and the interest, we have had on the vehicle since it publish we are not surprised this vehicle achieved seven figures.”
It wasn’t the only rare Holden release to hit the auction block over the weekend, either. Lloyd’s also offered an HSV GTSR W1 4 Door Build #017 which went for $750,000 and an HSV GTSR W1 Maloo Ute which reached a hammer price of $1,250,000.
“Just nine months ago we saw a W1 Maloo Ute achieve 7 figures at auction alongside a high six-figure amount for a W1 Sedan and nine months later they have held if not increased in value and we expect this trend to continue,” Hames said.
With records continually shattered, the interest in Aussie-built performance cars from the 80s and 90s is steadily growing. What was once seen as bogan by design is now the height of exclusivity. Better start checking those barns, you never know what you’ll find.