History For Sale: 1988 HSV Walkinshaw SS Group A

Noted auction house Pickles has come up with another gem. It’s one of the 500 or so (500 initially, then an extra 250 after the first lot sold out) built to homologate the Holden VL Commodore SS for motorsport duties. It was born at a time that saw Holden’s favourite son, Peter Brock, on the outer due to his decision to build a similar car with a device that he believed would improve the car’s performance. Holden disagreed and thus Holden Special vehicles, HSV, was born.Their first effort was a beast of a machine with looks that quickly earned it the nickname “The Batmobile”. Clad in a slightly greenish hued silver, the VL was given a substantial exterior makeover, with aerodynamic body parts giving the sleek VL an assertive yet heavy look.Inside was an interior now terribly dated but typical of the time. Slabby plastics, hard edges, grey hues to the cloth seats, and a a plastic leather look steering wheel and gear selector for the five speed manual.It was underneath the normally flat and featureless bonnet, now sporting a massive air intake system, that lurked a reworked version of Holden’s venerable 5.0L engine. For the Group A regulations that the car would compete in, it was brought back to just under five litres, to a 4,987cc capacity. Fuel injection had given new live to the old donk. Peak power was a then decent 180kW, torque a once massive 380Nm, and a top speed of north of 230kph. Four bolt main bearing caps, reworked heads, and a redesigned exhaust system helped the “Walky” breathe in and out. Wheels were 16 inches in diameter and were clad in 205/55 rubber from Bridgestone.A fine example of these cars, build number 514, is up for auction at Pickles on Friday, November 8. A never registered version was sold at auction in April, 2018, for $340K. Follow this link for details.


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