Will This 2017 Holden HSV GTSR W1 Maloo Ute Reach $1,000,000?

As the clock ticked over at midnight on New Year’s Eve, heralding 2021, a significant event in Australian automotive history took place. It went largely unnoticed, except by die-hard enthusiasts and a few individuals within the motoring press. At that moment, Holden, General Motors’ brand Down Under, joined Pontiac and other badges from the automotive giant in being retired permanently. It marked the end of the line for the brand acknowledged to have developed Australia’s first home-grown automobile, and possibly the beginning of a new era of collectibility for some of their rarer offerings. That’s where this 2017 HSV GTSR W1 Maloo Ute fits into the equation. This was a model that never “officially” existed, and it is 1-of-4 built for selected customers. The owner has decided to part with it, and it has generated an incredible level of interest since it was listed for sale here at Lloyds Auctioneers. Bidding has skyrocketed to an incredible A$715,000, and there’s plenty of time left before this auction ends. That raises the question of whether this one can break the “magic million” barrier.

HSV, or Holden Special Vehicles, was formed in 1987 as a joint-venture company between Holden and the late Tom Walkinshaw. The relationship was designed to operate in a similar way to the Mercedes/AMG model. HSV took over the design and build of performance Holdens following the acrimonious split between Holden and the late Peter Brock’s HDT Special Vehicles. The company produced various unique high-performance Holdens, with more than 80,000 cars rolling out of their facility in Clayton, Victoria. This Maloo is one of their more secretive vehicles. They never “officially” existed in the HSV range, and the four that were built were completed as special orders. The company states that they never went to any lengths to hide their production, but they never promoted their existence either. With such a low build total, that makes this one of the most desirable in a range of cars that are already highly-sought by Australian performance car enthusiasts.

The Maloo is finished in a color called Light My Fire. It is a stunning shade, and the paint condition is all that you might expect from a car that has been stored carefully and has less than 500 miles showing on its odometer. The Holden features an enormous front spoiler, along with side skirts, an aerodynamic rear bumper skirt with a diffuser, and a hardcover for the bed. The front spoiler includes cooling vents for the enormous front brakes, while you will find some splashes of carbon-fiber trim around the vehicle. Everything with the W1 seems to be on a grand scale because it rolls on its original 20″ alloy wheels. As you will see, those wheels are a necessity due to the Maloo’s mechanical configuration.

The Maloo W1 might be based on the humble Holden Commodore ute, a vehicle that was primarily designed as a workhorse. That doesn’t mean that interior appointments are found wanting. The seats are upholstered in Alcantra, with the same material to be found covering the chunky reach-and-height adjustable wheel. The driver’s seat is 8-way power-adjustable, while there are a host of airbags designed to keep occupants safe if things should happen to go horribly wrong. Throw in climate-control air conditioning, power windows, keyless entry, cruise, a Bluetooth entertainment system with GPS, and splashes of leather and carbon-fiber, and this is an interior that feels anything but agricultural.

All of this has merely been an entree for what hides below the surface with this HSV monster. This rates as one of the most potent vehicles produced by HSV, and it should possess performance levels to satisfy almost anyone. Powering the Maloo GTSR W1 is a 6.2-liter LS9 V8. This brute has been hand-built using titanium conrods and inlet valves and has a twin four-lobe supercharger bolted to the top of it. It sucks its air through a carbon-fiber cold-air intake, and the resulting power and torque figures would knock your sox off. Any road car that pumps out 635hp and a staggering 601 ft/lbs of torque is going to set you back in your seat when you bury the right foot. There have never been any official performance figures produced for this model. However, the “garden variety” Maloo GTSR was capable of storming the ¼ mile in 12.19 seconds with 580hp at its disposal. You would have to think that this one would come close to posting a sub-12-second pass in the right conditions. All of those horses need to go somewhere, so they are sent to the rear wheels via a Tremec TR-6060 close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission. Springs, shocks, and roll bars have all come in for significant upgrades utilizing a SupaShock suspension system, while the 20″ alloy wheels are wrapped in Pirelli rubber. These should provide tenacious grip and allow some pretty astounding brakes to do their thing. The fronts are 2-piece cross-drilled 16½” monsters that are clamped by AP Racing 6-piston monoblock calipers. The rears are a “mere” 14½ inches and feature 4-piston calipers. With ABS as part of the equation, stopping distances would be mind-blowing. Forget what your local authorities say about stopping distances for road cars because the Maloo W1 would rewrite the rule book.

When the first Holden rolled off the production line in 1948, it would not be an understatement to say that an Australian legend was born. For the first time in its history, the country had its own home-grown car, and the buying public reacted accordingly. Holden sales accounted for more than 50% of all new car sales in Australia at the height of its power. It was seen as an icon, and it was warmly embraced as “Australia’s Own.” Times and market taste changed, and when manufacturing ceased in 2017, Holden lost what little was left of its “home-grown” marketing advantage. The public’s reception for the imported Commodore replacement could best be described as lukewarm. There are plenty of people who believe that General Motors should have retired the Holden brand when local manufacturing ended. I fall into that category because Holden’s demise was ultimately an undignified death by a thousand cuts. At least there are cars like this 2017 HSV GTSR W1 Maloo to remind us of what the company could achieve. Will the bidding reach A$1,000,000? That’s a lot of money, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it does.

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    Neat car. I. Wonder if GM had brought this to our shores like the Pontiac GTO if they would have sold rebadged as the new El Camino. 1 million Australian dollars. Isn’t that like 100K over here😂

    Like 4
    • Steve R

      More like $780,000 US dollars.

      The SS/Caprice was the US version of the Holden Commodore. It’s too bad the SS didn’t sell well in this country. They were really good cars that flew under the radar for the short period of time they were imported.

      Steve R

      Like 9
      • ADM

        For whatever reason, GM never promoted it. I saw a Doug Demuro review of one, and it was quite a car. Hats off to the owners.

        Like 2
      • Steve Carnes

        I have one, 2014

        Like 1
    • Brian Berger

      Before the dawn of Government Motors and the cancellation of Pontiac, there was discussion of importing 25K Pontiac ST – Left-hand drive version of this ute in the basic finish. The sport enhanced version would have never passed the bean counters or the EPA.

      Like 3
    • BGinAK

      Today’s rate of exchange is Au$ 1.75 to US$1.00, so the magical AU $1,000,000 is equivalent to $571,248.00.
      Not chump change in anyone’s money,
      as it’s already broken the US$400,000 barrier.

      Like 4
      • Steve R

        The current exchange rate on 1/10/2021 is .78 Australian dollars per US dollar. It takes less than 30 second to look the information up on Google. Where did you come up with your number?

        Steve R

        Like 4
  2. Superdessucke

    RWD? Light rear end? 580 horses? This has a very good chance of coming into contact with some fixed object while leaving a cars and coffee at some point.

    Like 3
    • Paul Tully

      Nah mate,Australians know how to skid, it’s part of the driving exam ;)

      Like 1
  3. Skorzeny

    Weird mix of styling elements. Subaru headlamps, Toyota/Lexus style front lower grill, Lincoln Navigator taillamps… Really thick bed cover throws me off too. Hate the black wheels, but it’s not too bad overall. The price? Not for me, but if you are a RARE Holden fan this might be one to run after. Impressive numbers and performance for sure!
    Agree with you completely on the SS/Caprice Steve, that was a shame…

    Like 3
  4. Racer-X

    Love my 2016 Holden Caprice.

    Like 4
  5. JoeNYWF64

    Typical cheap looking contemporary plastic exterior addons. & can you imagine how cars from the 60’s would be ruined if they had those so wrongly mounted cheap plastic mirrors like above?
    I remember that 1 could recently buy a normally aspirated 600+ cube big block that put out 810 hp on pump gas for around $12k using ancient HEI, mechanical fuel pump & carb. Not impressed then with the numbers on the LS9.
    “Showing off” rusty brake rotors through such wheels after a good rain is not smart.

    Like 6
    • ace10

      You think this vehicle will be driven a lot in the rain?

      Like 2
  6. Jcs

    Fascinating.

    Like 3
  7. Kel

    Based on the comments above, this doesn’t appeal to American taste, much the same as current Yank stuff doesn’t appeal to Aussies.

    Like 5
    • Superdessucke

      No I don’t think appeals in the US. The three Holdens that GM tried here, the GTO, G8, and SS, just didn’t sell,

      Like 3
    • Steve R

      The Australians have an interest in current American performance cars, just not the price. There is a lack of available right hand drive models, those that are, like the base Mustang with 4 cylinder start at over $50,000 and $70,000+ for a Mustang GT, taxes/registration.

      Steve R

      Like 2
    • Solosolo Member

      Current Yank stuff doesn’t appeal to many Yanks either, judging by some of the comments on this site. This Hoden is hardly a Barn Find either.

      Like 5
  8. Steve Clinton

    $715,000? You’ve gotta be kidding!

    Like 2
  9. Tooyoung4heyday Member

    These Holden cars have a unique look, that’s for sure. When GM brought them here they were all ahead of their time. The GTO which never shouldve been called that was a nice car, but the market wasn’t yet calling for it. The SS just after is a now popular car but again didnt sell well back then. There are Chargers everywhere you look now. A car that should’ve been named something else as well. Anyone ever see a 4 door Charger in the 60’s of 70’s?!? Didn’t think so….. As seen above there were comments about the powerplant. Yes big blocks are cool and have their own thunderous tone but you can take an LS engine and have similar or more power and still get better economy. They’re lighter, rev better & easy to obtain. Im not big on LS swaps but I certainly don’t deny their capability. This car being a 1 of 4 from an extinct maker and low miles will probably get it to the high dollar mark. There’s a butt for every seat. Some poor seats never even see anything but dust. We’ll see what happens here…

    Like 3
    • DG

      I was one of the few that didn’t have a problem with GM selling the Holden Monaro as a Pontiac GTO. It was the closest Pontiac had come to selling a mid size coupe with a performance V8 and RWD since the Can Am in 1977. it would have helped that the “new” version would have more styling reminiscent of past GTOs and that it didn’t resemble something that came out in 1996.

      Like 2
  10. Dave, Aust

    Don’t lean on it, it is very thin.
    Way over priced, you wouldn’t even notice it if it drove past you, would sound like a golf cart.

  11. PeterfromOz

    Someone else might confirm this but I thought Walkinshure did not start the special vehicle division but came in later when it had financial troubles. You could buy a hot holden before the Walkinshure monica was put on Holden cars. Also, some dealers offered their own mods including turbochargers but without factory approval.

    Like 1
  12. Stan Marks

    This is beyond my pay grade.

  13. Stephen Carnes
  14. JoeNYWF64

    You guys remember seeing this back in ’89? …
    http://www.carstyling.ru/en/car/1989_chevrolet_xt_2/

  15. Adam Clarke Staff

    A quick update: The auction closed on this with a winning bid of A$1,050,000 (US$802,500)! It seems that some people wanted this quite badly.

    Like 1
  16. ADM

    Like the guy who paid $440,000, all in, for a ’69 340 Barracuda notch back, at a Mecum auction……because it had a mod top.

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