By RON HAMMERTON
IS IT really 30 years since Peter Brock,
dressed in a tuxedo and bow tie, pulled a satin cover from his controversial
HDT Director performance sedan at a nondescript reception centre in the
Melbourne suburb of Caulfield to trigger a chain of events that resulted in
Holden ripping up HDT’s car construction contract with The
Holden had warned the race ace, both verbally from senior
Holden executives and finally in a legal letter from its lawyers, not to launch
the car, based on Holden’s VL Commodore, as GM engineers believed it breached
the sacrosanct Australian Design Rules (ADRs).
As Holden’s name was on
the car as the manufacturer, it felt its business was at risk of facing the
wrath of Canberra.
In the end, Brock went ahead, and so did Holden, severing
To fill the void, Holden went searching for a new
performance car partner.
Enter stage left Tom Walkinshaw, the gruff
Scottish-born ex-racing driver and car-enhancer from the United
Enlisting Holden director John Crennan and Brock’s former
right-hand man at HDT and racing partner John Harvey, Walkinshaw created Holden
Special Vehicles 30 years ago this year, although the new entity did not
produce any cars until 2008.
Even then, that first car, the VL Group A SS race
homologation Commodore, was sold under Holden badges.
Still, HSV came
into being in 1987, and to celebrate, HSV has produced a run of 30 Year
specials that, sadly, will also become the last big Aussie V8s to come from the
company’s factory in Clayton as Holden folds its manufacturing tent in
To celebrate the long line of HSV V8 models, we drive the
GTS, the hottest of the standard range and arguably the HSV variant that many
fans will remember long after Aussie muscle cars are dead and buried.
Click here for the full review...
Model release date: February 2017