Around this time of the year back in 2017, Holden’s manufacturing plant in Elizabeth, SA dismissed its manufacturing staff for the day for the last time, marking the end of the long and proud legacy of car manufacturing in Australia.
For some, it meant the end of a certain kind of national independence, for others it portended a shift in the industries we’d rely on in a changing global marketplace. But for others still, whether they were genuine car lovers or protectors of unique local history, saw an opportunity.
In the run-up to the plant closure (as well as the immediate period after), there was a rush of purchases by punters looking to secure a part of the country’s history, to get a hold of one of the last ever production cars manufactured in Australia. Some intended to hold onto and cherish these rare vehicles, while others were surely thinking of resale value down the line.
After an initial flurry of notable sales in the months after closure that saw the value of Holden’s final production vehicles skyrocket to record heights, all went quiet on the blogosphere. That was until this HSV W1 popped up for sale on Driven.
Looking to fetch a whopping $259,990NZD, the vehicle appears to be practically untouched, having only 157kms recorded on the odometer. Converted to AUD, the roughly $242,500 asking price still doesn’t quite reach a December 2017 sale of the same vehicle that reached $269,000.
For those wondering, the RRP for the HSV W1 was set at $170,000 at time of production.
The real tragedy here is not, as you might imagine, an iconic piece of Australian history being sold in Waikato, NZ. It’s that this W1 hasn’t yet been given the chance to get out on the road and stretch its legs.
Acknowledged as Australia’s fastest, most powerful production car, it produces a toe-curling 474kW of power and accelerates to 100km/h in just 4.2 seconds. No wonder, given what’s under the bonnet — a supercharged 6.2L LS9 Generation IV alloy V8 more frequently found launching Chevrolet Corvette ZR1s off the mark.
According to the pictures available on the listing, the interior of the vehicle has seen such little use that many items are still wrapped in their original plastic wrapping. Seats, touch screens, footwells, all completely untouched and unmarked.
It remains to be seen whether this W1 will find a buyer at the price listed, but there’s no denying it’s a unique vehicle in the storied past of Australia’s car manufacturing, or that it sits at the pinnacle of production vehicle performance.
For those of you out there holding onto a spare couple hundred thousand dollars that aren’t sure what to spend it on, you might have just found what you were looking for.