FAC­TORY CON­NEC­TION

THIS YEAR MARKS THE END OF HSV AS WE KNOW IT. WHILE THE BRAND WILL LIKELY SOL­DIER ON, WE PAY TRIBUTE TO THREE GLO­RI­OUS DECADES OF HOLDEN-BASED HAULERS

NZV8 - - CONTENTS - WORDS: CON­NAL GRACE

HSV’S HERO CARS UNITED

If you’re read­ing this, it is more than likely that you were ex­posed to Holden–Ford ri­valry from a young age. If your dad or ex­tended family didn’t ham­mer loy­alty to one — and only one — brand into you, your school­mates would have. The ri­valry was kept alive through the in­tense heat of mo­tor­sport com­pe­ti­tion, spurred on by the old man­u­fac­tur­ers’ motto of ‘win on Sun­day, sell on Mon­day’. Some you win, some you lose. That ap­plied to both Holden and Ford, and the win that meant the most was the Bathurst 1000 — the 1000km race at Mount Panorama Cir­cuit, re­garded as the pin­na­cle of mo­tor­sport down un­der. Through­out the hey­day of Aus­tralian mo­tor rac­ing, the Holden Dealer Team (HDT) — a Holden-backed race team — was one of the big­gest play­ers in the field and scored nu­mer­ous on-track vic­to­ries be­tween 1969 and 1986. Peter Brock, widely con­sid­ered to be the bestever Aus­tralian rac­ing driver, took over HDT in 1980 as Holden looked to cease its sup­port of the team. Brock’s idea was sim­ple: in ex­change for fi­nan­cial back­ing from Holden deal­ers, HDT would man­u­fac­ture a num­ber of spe­cial high­per­for­mance Com­modores, avail­able only through the deal­ers that were back­ing HDT. That set the stage for Holden Spe­cial Ve­hi­cles (HSV) — not that any­one re­al­ized it in the early ’80s. It was only around 1986, when Peter Brock began push­ing some se­ri­ously crazy ideas such as his ‘En­ergy Po­lar­izer’ — a box con­tain­ing crys­tals sur­rounded by mag­nets, which he be­lieved would en­hance per­for­mance and han­dling by ‘align­ing the mol­e­cules’ of the car — that things began to fall into place for a new per­for­mance divi­sion to come to life. Seek­ing to dis­tance it­self from Brock’s con­tro­ver­sial claims, Holden part­nered with Tom Walkin­shaw Rac­ing in the late ’80s to cre­ate HSV, ef­fec­tively cut­ting any re­main­ing fac­tory back­ing of HDT in the process. Since then, a queue of col­lec­tors has lined up to pur­chase the lat­est and great­est HSVs as they have rolled off the pro­duc­tion line, each gen­er­a­tion raising per­for­mance and tech­nol­ogy. While the HSV GTSR W1 is the most pow­er­ful and highly specced HSV ever built, it’s also the fi­nal HSV to be pro­duced on the Holden Com­modore plat­form as we know it. With the HSV era end­ing, we set about get­ting to­gether some of HSV’s big­gest hit­ters from the years gone by. Spe­cial thanks to the HSV Own­ers Club, for mak­ing it pos­si­ble, and to Turn­ers Cars, Pen­rose, for giv­ing us the room to pack in so many iconic ma­chines.

PHO­TOS: ADAM CROY

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.