Even though Holden stopped building cars in Australia two years ago, it will nevertheless be possible to buy an Australian-built car from the Australian arm of General Motors when Holden auctions off a handful of vehicles from its heritage collection later this month.
Just prior to the end of Holden production at the company’s Elizabeth, South Australia, factory in October 2017, Holden announced that it would retain a portion of that plant for its heritage museum. However, it appears that the company didn’t quite leave enough room for the whole collection, judging from comments Holden’s heritage curator, Vic Garra, made to Australia’s Motor magazine.
“We would keep them all if there was room to do it sensibly, but the fact is some of them have to be found new homes,” Garra said. “It has led to some difficult decisions, but when we have two examples of the same car, a first and last built for example, the decision is almost always the keep the last one built.”
Or maybe not always. Of the eight Holdens on offer (not counting another Holden – a 1982 Holden Commodore VH SLX – that appears not to originate from the heritage collection), four are indeed first-built examples: the 2002 Holden Monaro V2 CV8, the 2013 Holden Calais VF V-series, the 2017 Holden Commodore SS-V Redline Motorsport Edition, and the 2017 Holden Valais V VFII Director edition. However, one – the 2013 Holden Commodore VEII SS Z series – is the last VE to go down an assembly line, according to the Manheim descriptions.
Aside from the name on their badges, the remaining three all have one thing in common: The 1980 Holden VC Commodore L, the 1990 Holden Barina MF, and the 1995 Holden Commodore VRII rally car have all circumnavigated the island continent.
The first, with journalists Matt Whelan and Evan Green (the latter the same journalist at the heart of the Supercar Scare saga of 1972) at the wheel, covered the entire distance in 10 days and appears more or less untouched since then. The second, which participated in a world economy record run and reportedly set 17 Guinness records for fuel economy in the process. The third, with Ed Ordynski and Ross Runnalls at the wheel, won the the 1995 Round Australia Trial after completing its 11,500-mile Brisbane-to-Gold Coast route.
Starting bids for the eight cars range from $4,000 for the Barina to $65,000 for the two 2017 model year cars.
The auction does not mean that Holden is shuttering its heritage collection. According to Garra, the company is looking for two other cars to round out its collection after it makes space with the Manheim sale.
Bidding for the cars will open November 18 and close November 22. For more information, visit Manheim.com.au.