Classic muscle values bounce back
will be the first time the Commodore has gone four-pot since the first generation model and the first time a diesel engine will be offered.
It will also be the first time in 40 years that Holden will shift from the front-engine, reardrive formula that has served the Commodore so well. The Insignia-based Commodore will keep its engine up front, but will instead drive the front wheels across most of its variants. The exception will be top-spec models fitted with a 230kW/370Nm 3.6-litre V6 featuring all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission.
The all-wheel-drive system, what GM is calling ‘Twinster’, replaces a traditional differential with a pair of clutches that splits drive between the rear wheels according to demand.
One last all-V8 Bathurst
yearning to see Craig Lowndes win Bathurst one last time in an Australian-shape Commodore V8 better hope he triumphs in 2017.
Holden Motorsport has confirmed its factorybacked Triple Eight Race Engineering-prepared entries will be new-shape Commodores powered by a turbo six from the start of the 2018 season.
The new Commodore racer will adopt the look of the imported road-going replacement – a rebadged version of the next Opel Insignia – and powered by a twin-turbo V6 developed by GM Racing in the US.
Holden’s internal designers have been working for several months on the Supercar-spec body panels which will be draped over the current rear-wheel drive control chassis.
As previously reported, the Red Lion is committed to staying in Supercars for at least another three years, with the Holden Racing Team (HRT) brand attached to the two Red Bull-backed Triple Eight machines, sister cars to the Lowndes’ Caltex-backed entry. While the all-conquering Triple Eight team will race the next generation V6 Commodore at the Mountain from 2018, other Commodore-equipped teams are likely to continue with their tried and proven current generation V8s. This sets up the fascinating scenario of the factory team cars not being the crowd favourites at Bathurst that year.
The next generation Commodore is expected to have its public unveiling at the 2017 Bathurst 1000, ahead of its March 2018 race debut at the Adelaide season-opener.
Holden’s renewed commitment to Supercars from 2017-19 maintains the brand’s involvement since 1968. The 2017 Bathurst 1000 will be the 50th consecutive year Holden-supported entries have contested the Great Race. Values
of classic Australian muscle cars are again on the rise, if recent auction results are any guide.
The standout result of 2016 came at Shannons’ Sydney Spring Classic Auction in November when $225,000 was paid for a one family owned 1969 Holden HT GTS 350 Monaro presented in unrestored ‘survivor’ condition. The Verdoro Green ‘Bathurst’ Monaro from NSW’s Riverina region surpassed its pre-auction $150,000 high estimate by a massive $75,000.
On the Ford side of the ledger, a twoowner Yellow Ochre 1970 Falcon XY GT sold at Shannons’ Melbourne Spring Auction for $176,000, a price not seen for this model at auction since the pre-GFC days. Meantime, an Ultra White 1971 Ford XY GT Falcon 351 V8 automatic sedan presented in good, authentic condition exceeded its $100,000-$125,000 guiding range by selling for $127,000 in Sydney in December. While this is almost $50K short of its yellow counterpart, automatic transmission was a differentiating factor.
The same auction saw a Purr Pull LJ Torana GTR XU-1 sell for $112,500, while a recentlyrestored Vermillion Fire 1971 Ford XY Fairmont GS 302 sedan went for $65,000. The latter was fitted with the rare factory 4-speed manual gearbox option. This is a reflection of greater interest in non-GT early Falcon models.