LOST IN TIME

Clayton’s C4B-pow­ered ex­ec­u­tive bruiser flew un­der the radar

Motor (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

HSV’s SV300 was a Call­away-pow­ered brute-in-a-suit

SCIENCE SAYS WE ARE wired to re­mem­ber the be­gin­ning of some­thing, and the end, but not so much the mid­dle.

In terms of HSV and the used car mar­ket, early ex­am­ples – along with all chrome-bumper Iron Lions – are boom­ing, and we all la­ment the fact that we don’t own one of the last thump­ing Gen-F2 GTSRs. But the VXII-gen­er­a­tion SV300 seems to ex­ist in mil­len­nial limbo: not yet old enough to be ‘clas­sic’, but not new enough to be front of mind.

It had the mak­ings of a great ve­hi­cle: lim­ited pro­duc­tion (100 units of­fi­cially; 134 in ac­tu­al­ity), a 300kW 5.7-litre V8, and a manda­tory man­ual trans­mis­sion (the six-speed T56). The SV300 was just the fourth HSV to wear the SV nomen­cla­ture, usu­ally re­served for the brand’s most com­plete and sig­nif­i­cant per­for­mance pack­ages.

The SV300 bor­rowed the then-ab­sent GTS’s Cal­loway­de­vel­oped LS1 (dubbed the C4B), an alu­minium block vari­ant with CNC-ma­chined bil­let throt­tle body, steel roller rocker arms, ti­ta­nium valve spring re­tain­ers, stain­less steel valves, CNC-ported heads, high-flow ex­haust and Hy­dra­trak lim­ited-slip dif­fer­en­tial. The SV300 also in­cor­po­rated the new ‘Tour­ing 2’ base­line sus­pen­sion as part of the VXII range, which added ex­tra toe con­trol links at the rear to aid and im­prove han­dling.

But while some thought of it as a mere GTS re­place­ment, the SV300 was a more rounded and com­plete pack­age, blend­ing the mod-cons found in the Sen­a­tor and VX Sen­a­tor 300 – and loaded to the gills with lux­ury kit. This era, around the turn of the mil­len­nium, saw HSV make great strides as a com­pany, reaching un­prece­dented pro­duc­tion volume, and in­creas­ing com­par­isons with the Euro­pean sedan was some­thing the en­tire fra­ter­nity could get be­hind.

The SV300 is al­most an archetype for this boom­ing era of Holden Spe­cial Ve­hi­cles and – as a col­lectible – may yet have its day in the sun.

ABOVE SV300 came in three colour choices, Phan­tom Black, Hack­ett Gold and HSV Rac­ing Green

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