Clas­sic mus­cle val­ues bounce back

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle News -

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

Those

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.

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