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Holden farewell raises $800k for charity

All a dream: Former Holden V8 Supercar champion Mark Skaife (left) and Holden chairman and managing director Mark Bernhard at the Dream Cruise on the weekend.

Dream Cruise auction hits $307k as Holden tips in an extra $500k to charity

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Holden logo16 Oct 2017

By TIM NICHOLSON

HOLDEN has raised more than $800,000 for charity through an auction at the weekend’s Dream Cruise event in Elizabeth, as more than 25,000 loyal fans gathered to pay their respects and show off their metal ahead of the plant’s closure this Friday.

Three of the final Australian-built Commodores were auctioned off on Sunday afternoon at the event, with bidders pushing the total to $307,000, with the car-maker committing an additional contribution of $500,000 to The Smith Family’s Learning for Life sponsorship program.

Of the three special-edition Commodores up for auction on the day, the Director V8 automatic sedan captured the highest bid, with an online fan beating out other enthusiasts with a $130,000 final bid.

Half of the $130,000 raised for the Director that carries the 05 build number as a nod to Holden’s most successful driver, Peter Brock, will go to his former parter and friend of Holden Bev Brock’s chosen charity, The Lighthouse Foundation.

One bidder paid $93,000 for the Motorsport sedan, which also has the 05 build number, while the Magnum V8 Ute (111 build number) was auctioned for $84,000.

All up the auction and Holden’s extra contribution raised $807,000, with $742,000 going to The Smith Family’s educational scholarships for children, which is based in Adelaide’s northern suburbs – the same area as the Elizabeth factory.

Holden fell short of the $360,000 it was hoping to raise solely from the auction of the three special Commodores, and it was shy of the $353,000 Ford raised for the final examples of the Falcon following the closure of its operation in October last year. Ford auctioned four vehicles to Holden’s three.

The winning bidder of the Motorsport V8 sedan, Jamie Lockett, drove from Ballarat in Victoria for the event and said he was thrilled with his win.

“The unique build numbers added a lot of value to the cars under the hammer,” he said. “To now own the number five of the late Peter Brock, the King of the Mountain himself – now that’s a piece of history to own.”

Michael Steinborner from Gawler, SA won the Magnum V8 Ute auction and said he was happy to own one of the final Australian-built Commodores.

“I’ve been a Holden fan for decades and I love utes, so to own the last limited-edition Magnum is incredible!” he said.

The auction was managed by automotive auction specialist Manheim who broadcast it on the internet via its Simulcast online auction software to ensure an international audience.

GM Holden chairman and managing director Mark Bernhard said the proceeds from the auction would give back to the community that has supported Holden.

“This is the city where our company was born,” he said. “We want to show Adelaide that we appreciate the support the community has given Holden, particularly over the past 55 years of manufacturing in Elizabeth.”

The Smith Family’s general manager for SA & NT Graham Jaeschke said the money from the auction would help children in the area for years to come.

“With this generous financial package, we will be able to support more than 1000 students over five years through our Learning for Life sponsorship program,” he said.

“Learning for Life provides families with financial support for school essentials, such as books and uniforms, and allows access to critical out-of-school learning programs. By giving these students the support they need to succeed at school, we’re giving them the best chance to break the cycle of disadvantage.”

Holden said more than 25,000 fans, supporters and employees attended the Dream Cruise on Sunday, with more than 1200 Holdens involved ranging from the original 48-215 ‘FX’ Holden to the latest VFII Commodores.

Mr Bernhard said: “It was truly inspirational to see the passion from the Holden fans and our employees past and present. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face from start to finish.”

The Dream Cruise is based on a similar event, the Woodward Dream Cruise which is held biennially in Detroit, and kicked off in central Elizabeth before participants drove 10km past the Holden factory and ended up at the home ground of the Central District Football Club in Elizabeth South.

After the parade, there was a show ‘n’ shine competition that was run as part of a family fun day that included music and activities.

Holden also had a presence at the Motorclassica event in Melbourne over the weekend, showing an example of its new imported Commodore liftback in VXR guise alongside 23 heritage models including the Efijy, 48-215 prototype, Hurricane and Torana GTR-X.

The car-maker’s Elizabeth factory closes this Friday, October 20, after almost 70 years of Australian manufacturing.

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