Nis­san’s new broom

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - CRUISE CONTROL | -

Mr Emery cites ris­ing Pathfinder sales and a back­log of or­ders for Y62 petrol Pa­trols as ex­am­ples of how and where the brand can grow.

“I’ve said be­fore I thought the Y62 was priced ar­ro­gantly (when it launched in 2013) … we did a dis­ser­vice to that car.

“When we repo­si­tioned it (trim­ming $23,000 from the price), it took off and now we’re hav­ing prob­lems get­ting enough.

“Four years ago we were sell­ing 250 Pathfind­ers a month and I was hav­ing to spend on pro­mo­tions and in­cen­tives to do it. Now Pathfinder is up around 500 a month.”

Mr Emery is still keen to sell Nismo per­for­mance mod­els but says global de­mand for the go-fast Nis­sans means the fac­tory needs time to tran­si­tion from be­ing a race and com­po­nent sup­ply out­fit to be a ma­jor car maker.

“Nismo could be here as quickly as six to nine months or as long as 15,” he says. The HDT Com­modore that Peter Brock drove – and the one he wanted to build – are both go­ing un­der the ham­mer at Shan­nons up­com­ing Syd­ney Au­tumn auc­tion on May 30.

Nearly 10 years af­ter his shock death in the Targa West tar­mac rally, Brock fans and col­lec­tors are al­ready lin­ing up to bid on the 1984 Holden VK Com­modore ‘SS’ Group 3 Sedan that was the nine-time Bathurst win­ner’s per­sonal car for a pe­riod while he ran HDT Spe­cial Ve­hi­cles.

How­ever the HDT car that Brock wanted to build – the 1984 Opel Monza Coupe he de­vel­oped as the pro­to­type of a fu­ture HDT Spe­cial Ve­hi­cle – is also go­ing un­der the ham­mer at the auc­tion and is re­garded as a more collectable car, ac­cord­ing to many HDT en­thu­si­asts.

As con­firmed in a let­ter on HDT let­ter­head signed by the late rac­ing champ, the white VK Com­modore SS be­ing auc­tioned was orig­i­nally his Gen­eral Mo­tors-pro­vided com­pany car that he im­me­di­ately built into a Group 3. It was then used for stu­dio pho­tog­ra­phy and be­came the HDT press ve­hi­cle.

HDT Spe­cial Ve­hi­cles then bought the Group 3 SS Com­modore (build No 1354) at the end of its me­dia du­ties and it be­came Brock’s per­sonal trans­port for some time.

It is now be­ing of­fered for sale by its sec­ond owner, who pur­chased it di­rectly from Brock, ac­com­pa­nied by the let­ter con­firm­ing its prove­nance.

Be­cause of its sig­nif­i­cance as the foun­da­tion model of the HDT Group 3 Com­modore and Brock’s per­sonal own­er­ship, Shan­nons ex­pect it to sell in the $80,000 to $100,000 range.

Equally fas­ci­nat­ing for Brock fans in the auc­tion is the 1984 Opel Monza Coupe that Brock helped de­velop as the pro­to­type of a fu­ture HDT model, at­tracted by the car’s in­de­pen­dent rear sus­pen­sion com­pared to the Com­modore’s live axle.

While HDT’s plans were thwarted when GM-Holden de­cided against the project, the Monza re­mains a trib­ute to Brock’s for­ward think­ing.

Be­cause of this con­nec­tion it is ex­pected to find will­ing bid­ders in the $100,000 to $120,000 range on May 30.

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