HSV "Walkinshaw" Commodore VL

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HSV "Walkinshaw" Commodore VL

1988 - 1989
5.0 ltr.
up to 231kW (Director "Stroker")
5 spd. man; 3 spd. auto
Top Speed:

230 km/h

Number Built:
500 SS Group A, 150 SV88
5 star
HDT VC Commodore
Following the split with Peter Brock, Holden formed their own Special Vehicles operation, aptly titled Holden Special Vehicles (HSV).

Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) from the UK was contracted to carry out wind tunnel development of a radical body kit designed to improve aerodynamic efficiency of the racing Commodores.

HSV was established in October 1987, a 10 year agreement being struck between Holden and Tom Walkinshaw Racing, and their first iteration, a Group A, was produced in March 1988.

Such was the hurried development of the car the HSV were unable to display the actual vehicle at the 1987 Sydney Motor Show, instead opting for a life-size cardboard cut-out.

To be eligible for Group A Touring Car racing, Holden needed to manufacture 5000 examples, which is exactly what they did, with some 500 sporting versions among the number.

The Group A’s engine was now fed electronically, which was just as well because it now had to lug around an additional 65kg’s of fiberglass aerodynamic body kit.

Like the proverbial “dogs balls”, the Walkinshaw inspired HSV’s were anything but subtle, prompting then HSV managing director John Crennan to state at the vehicles launch;

“…to some people it may be over the top, but everything on the vehicle is there for a good reason. In many ways this is the most advanced car ever produced in Australia”.

Soon dubbed the “Walkinshaw Commodore”, it was at first rather difficult to sell. For starters, it was not a “Brock Commodore”, and the price was almost as over the top as the gregarious body kit. Holden had undeniably got it wrong, deciding that instead of producing the required 500 units they would instead produce 750.

Meanwhile HSV set about creating a more sedate Calais SV88 model, which was released in April 1988. Using the standard Calais V8 as a donor car, they set about performance tuning the engine and suspension, while making subtle interior trim modifications. On the exterior, new front and rear spoilers were fitted, along with a louvered grille.

Today the Walkinshaw Commodore, complete with “bird-bath” rear spoiler and over-the-top body kit is a highly prized collectors car - just don’t be tempted to add fluffy dice.

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Also see:

Walkinshaw VL Group A Brochure
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