Iconic special edition Holden Commodores may break price records

THEY ARE two of the lowest kilometre original mid-80s Holden Commodores left in Australia, and the VL Walkinshaw and VN SS Group A cars are expected to fetch over $1 million at auction this weekend.

“Who knows what these cars will sell for? They are already fetching well into six figures due to their limited build and extremely low kilometres, but we must remember the effect of the Holden closure in Australia where we have seen a trend of records broken since they closed,” Lloyds Auctions chief operations officer Lee Harmes said. 

“When selecting cars for their potential to increase in value it is important to tick several boxes, namely, rarity, heritage, and desirability. The VN Commodore SS Group A up for auction ticks all those boxes."

The iconic VN Group A SS is build number 180 of only 302 constructed in Australia, making it a highly sought-after Holden.

The VL Walkinshaw is in complete original condition and is arguably the most collectable VL Walkinshaw in the country, Mr Harmes said, having travelled just over 1400km.

It was known that in Group A racing any carmaker wishing to compete had to build a run of at least 5000 production cars after which they could then spin off a special racing mode. It had to be built and sold to the public but could possess several special features aimed at making it a better car -- and this was such a car, according to Mr Harmes.

"These were built for racing and highly desirable as it was the last so-called ‘homologation special ‘Holden built for Group A before the rules were changed to the current Supercar V8 formula, which doesn't require any special models to be built in production," he said.

This car along with another 120 American, European and Australian classic cars are up in a national auction on Saturday the April 24 from midday. 


Battery World powers up Aussie Racing Cars

TWO UNIQUE Australian success stories, Aussie Racing Cars and Battery World, have joined forces. Battery World has become the naming rights partner of the Aussie Racing Cars Super Series. 

In 2021 and beyond, the category will now be known as the Battery World Aussie Racing Cars Super Series.

The deal will also see Battery World take prominent branding on all of the ‘pint-sized rockets’ which make up the scaled-racecar Aussie Racing Cars field.

As part of the major partnership, Battery World’s associated company, Yuasa, will become the official battery of the Super Series and all Aussie Racing Cars will now be fitted with a Yuasa high performance battery.

The deal has come about as Aussie Racing Cars gears up for its 22nd season with a new, modern logo that reflects the rise in popularity of the race series. Evolving from its modest beginnings at Oran Park, Sydney, Aussie Racing Cars has wowed millions of spectators and television viewers nationwide at Australia’s biggest and best sporting events.

Appropriately, the 2021 calendar is jam-packed with marquee events, including a season-opener at the Mount Panorama 500 and a finale on the streets of the Gold Coast. 

Category manager Brad Ward said he was thrilled with Aussie Racing Cars’ new look and its new partner, Battery World.

“After a tough 2020 for everyone, we’ve put together one of our best calendars ever for 2021 and now, we have even more reason to celebrate the return of Aussie Racing Cars to tracks around the country,” Mr Ward said.

“We are proud to welcome Battery World to the Aussie Racing Car Super Series as Naming Rights Partner and Yuasa as our official battery.

“As we also unveil a new, modern logo, it’s only appropriate that the category which started 20-plus years ago from something small and has grown to be the nationwide success story that it is today teams up with Battery World, which has a similarly colourful and successful history, spanning over 20 years.

“In Mount Panorama, we couldn’t have a better place to open the 2021 season, and in the Gold Coast, we couldn’t have a better place for a finale.

“Everyone’s itching to get back to a race track and there’s no better time to watch or get involved in the Battery World Aussie Racing Cars Super Series.”

Battery World general manager Johnny Kennedy said, “It makes commercial sense that Australia’s largest battery retailer fits each of these iconic racing cars with only the best Yuasa batteries. 

“This exciting partnership further cements Battery World’s positioning as Australia’s leading battery retailer.” Mr Kennedy said. “With 2021 being an extremely successful year for Battery World, our 110 stores are extremely excited to see what this partnership will deliver to the business in 2021.” 

Aussie Racing Cars are pure-bred race cars designed and built in Australia. Their compact size enables thrilling four-wide braking, overtaking and quick acceleration on regular racetracks to speeds in excess of 200kmh.  The cars are powered by 1.3 litre, 125bph, twin-cam, 16 valve engines that rev to 11500rpm. Despite the vehicles being about three quarters the size of a Supercar they produce extreme power and competitors say they are the most exhilarating race cars to drive -- and provide some of the world's most exciting racing to watch.

Round 1 of the 2021 Battery World Aussie Racing Cars Series supports Supercars at the Mount Panorama 500 on February 26-28.

2021 Battery World Aussie Racing Cars Series Calendar






26-28 Feb

Mount Panorama 500

Supercars Championship


10–11 Apr

Tasmania Supersprint

Supercars Championship


1–2 May

Sydney Motorsport Park

Motorsport Australia Nationals


25–27 Jun

Morgan Park Raceway

Motorsport Australia Nationals


10–12 Sep

Sandown International Raceway

Motorsport Australia Nationals


3–5 Dec

Gold Coast 600

Supercars Championship


Abandon electric car taxes? Or abandon 2050 zero emission target?

THE Electric Vehicle Council is urging state governments to clarify whether they intend to push forward with electric vehicle taxes or hold to their 2050 zero greenhouse gas emissions targets.

New research from the University of Queensland shows the decision by the governments of Victoria and South Australia to slug electric vehicles with new taxes will prevent these states from reaching their goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Dr Jake Whitehead's research on the impact of such taxes suggest that the move will reduce electric vehicle uptake by 50 percent. But 90 percent of cars on the roads must be electric by 2050 for zero emission targets to be viable. 

Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari said state governments need to pick a position.

“State governments need to decide, do they want to introduce a tax on electric cars or do they want to commit to zero emissions by 2050? The research shows unequivocally they cannot do both,” Mr Jafari said.

“You don’t need advanced economics to understand that applying a big new tax on something discourages its consumption. These proposed state taxes will badly stunt Australia’s electric vehicle uptake before it even had a chance to get started.

“These taxes are like replacing declining tobacco excise with a new tax on nicotine patches. They are madness. And that’s why a few Australian states are so far the only jurisdictions in the world silly enough to flag this policy approach at this point in global history.

“What this research makes clear is that we cannot allow State Treasurers to continue deceiving the public. You’re either for an electric vehicle tax or you’re for a 2050 zero target. You cannot be for both.”






Original 'Fast and Furious 4' Chevelle SS muscle car under auction in Australia

THE ORIGINAL 'hero car' of the cult movie Fast And Furious 4, driven by action star Vin Diesel, is up for auction in Australia.

It is the original 1970 Chevelle SS from the blockbuster movie and represents a rare opportunity for collectors. 

“This car was in fact the actual original ‘hero car’, driven by Vin Diesel himself on the set of the Fast and Furious 4 movie and was the principal car used while shooting the film,” Lloyds Auctions chief operations officer Lee Hames said. 

“We expect this car to reach six figures this Saturday, but what the final figure will be is anyone’s guess as it will be a car to treasure and will go down in history forever." 

In true Fast and Furious style, the four-speed manual car features a V8 Chevy engine, nitrous bottle, drift brakes and alloy wheels.

The current owner purchased the car from singer Jerry Wallace, also known as an avid car collector, and the car was then imported from America into Australia in late 2012.

The car has been left ‘as is’ to honour its role in the original film. It comes with the Universal Studios Certificate of Title.

“The car was even signed by Cody Walker, Paul Walker’s brother back in 2015 and has also been submitted with the Universal Studios Certificate of Title,” Mr Hames said.

He said the 2009 action movie from the phenomenon worldwide franchise is, to this day, one of the highest grossing sagas in Hollywood movie history, and now the opportunity presents itself for an Australian car enthusiast to own a piece of that movie history.

This car features as part of a major online classic car auction happening this Saturday at Lloyds Auctions, consisting of more than100 classic cars and bikes, ranging from Honda and Kawasaki classic bikes to Porsche and Ferrari classic cars.  


Andrew Birkic gears up as Ford president and CEO for the region

FORD now has Andrew Birkic in the driving seat as president and CEO for the Australia and New Zealand region.

It seems to be a natural fit – Mr Birkic has played an integral role in the global success of the Australian-developed Ford Ranger and Everest vehicles – as former regional president and CEO, Kay Hart, gears up for a new global role as enterprise product line manager (EPLM) for Ford Van and Bus, based in Europe.

Mr Birkic, whose title changed today from chief product marketer for Ranger and Everest, will be based in Melbourne and report to Ford International Markets Group president, Mark Ovenden. 

“Andrew is a highly experienced and engaging leader who brings a wealth of insights into the evolving needs of customers,” Mr Ovenden said. “Andrew’s passion for bringing vehicles to market that truly serve our customers, his breadth of understanding of the local market, and his global expertise will serve as a strong foundation for the continued progress of the business. I am delighted to welcome Andrew into this role.”

Customers have been at the centre of each of Andrew Birkic’s roles with Ford in Australia, Asia and the US over the past 26 years. As chief product marketer for Ranger and Everest, Mr Birkic represented the needs of global customers in key product decisions, ensuring the unique requirements of customers from each region were considered.

He also has global responsibility to develop pricing, series and positioning strategies for future vehicles, working in close collaboration with the Ford Product Development team based in Melbourne.   

Prior to his current role, Mr Birkic spent three years in Detroit as global advanced consumer experience platforms manager, and two and a half years in Shanghai as Ford Asia Pacific director for dealer development and consumer experience. Working with dealers and Ford teams in each country to develop tools and strategies to better serve their customers was at the heart of both roles.

Before this, Mr Birkic held a variety of leadership positions across marketing, sales and the Ford Customer Service Division at Ford Australia, where he began his career in 1994.

“I am thrilled to be re-joining the fantastic team in Australia and New Zealand,” Mr Birkic said.

“I know how passionate and accomplished the team is, having spent the past two years working with the Ranger and Everest development team to grow the brands across more than 180 markets. I look forward to working closely with our team and dealers to serve our customers.”

Mr Birkic will now be responsible for Ford’s National Sales Company (NSC) in Australia and New Zealand, including marketing, sales and service, dealer relations, and customer satisfaction.

Mr Birkic’s appointment comes at an exciting time for Ford Australia and New Zealand, as the company prepares to launch the all-new Ford Puma and Escape SUVs, including the brand’s first electrified vehicle, the Escape Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV).


Kay Hart, in a new global role as enterprise product line manager (EPLM) for Ford Van and Bus, based in Europe, will report to Jim Baumbick, EPLM vice president. She will now be responsible for the Van and Bus product lines in addition to carrying forward Ford’s Commercial Vehicle alliance with VW. Ms Hart has also been appointed a member of the Ford Otosan board of directors, and will be based out of Dunton, UK.

Ford’s EPLM organisation comprises cross-functional teams that manage distinct product lines as end-to-end businesses and leverage Ford’s human-centred design, advanced product marketing and user experience teams to create breakthrough products and customer experiences.

“Kay’s contribution to our business in Australia and New Zealand over the past two years has been outstanding, from delivering Ranger’s overall 4x4 leadership in Australia, to further strengthening our focus on customer satisfaction,” Mr Ovenden said. “We congratulate Kay as she transitions to her new global role.”

Ms Hart joins the EPLM team after holding a number of key roles in New Zealand, Thailand, China, the Philippines, the US and Australia over her 21 years at the company.

“I’ve loved my time in Australia and New Zealand,” Ms Hart said. “I have every confidence that our Ford team – both employees and dealers – will continue to strive to create an even better experience for our customers and introduce great vehicles to this rapidly evolving market.

“I am proud of our commitment to Australia, and the work of our 2,500-strong team who design and engineer world-class vehicles like the Ranger and Everest and look forward to following their progress in my new role.”

Ford is now Australia’s largest automotive employer, with more than 2,500 engineers, designers, technical, automotive and other specialists working at four locations across Victoria. Australia-based engineers and designers led the development of award-winning vehicles such as the Ford Ranger pickup and Everest SUV.

Australia is a key product development hub for Ford, with the company investing more than $1.9 billion in research and development in Australia between 2016 and 2019. More than $500 million of investment is planned for 2020.

Ford Motor Company of Australia Limited (Ford Australia) is a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company, founded in Geelong, Victoria, in 1925.


Racing Holden Monaro snares record price

AN AUSTRALIAN AUTOMOTIVE record was broken over the weekend with the iconic first Bathurst-winning Harry Firth-engineered Holden HT Monaro race car achieving the highest price for a Holden sold at auction.

The 1969 HT Monaro 57D race car fetched $750,000 at auction, selling under the hammer to an Australian enthusiast who has vowed to keep the car in the country. 

“We are extremely excited that the car will remain within Australia," Lloyds Auctions chief operations officer Lee Hames said. "This important Holden achieved the highest price for a road registerable Australian Holden ever sold at auction,

“There were seven bidders on the Holden Monaro which came down to two Australian enthusiasts who fought it out, both with the intention to keep the car within Australia,” Mr Hames said.

After the car being flagged last minute as a potential export ban from the Australian Government, where it may have been unable to leave Australian soil, the scenario ended up being voided.

The winning bidder of the Monaro wishes to remain anonymous.

“The auction had a 95 percent sell-through rate of cars all with very strong prices showing that the market is as strong as ever,” Mr Hames said.

Australian market cars weren’t the only ones set to break records with both American and more particularly European luxury car sales indicating that markets were extremely strong at present, he said.

“It was fantastic to see the amount of people that tuned into the auction online from all over the world to watch the five-hour live event,” Mr Hames said.  

“The strong bidding and prices achieved for these cars and even the bikes in particular was great. I think it is fantastic that the majority of bidders were Australian, meaning the cars remain on Australian soil,” he said. 

Australia's former Formula One world champion race driver, Alan Jones said, “I am not particularly surprised at the prices achieved in this auction or the records broken over the weekend attracting all of the international attention.  It’s a testament to the cars and the passion of car enthusiasts.” 

Mr Hames said with the Holden Monaro remaining on Aussie soil and the majority of bidders being Australian it is safe to say that enthusiasts nationwide are extremely proud and passionate people, fighting to keep their beloved cars in their country where they can enjoy them.


Holden’s first racing Monaro’s auction could be affected by ‘export ban’

TODAY’S AUCTION of Holden’s first racing Monaro, expected to fetch around A$1 million, may be impacted by a last-minute notice that it may not be allowed to leave Australian soil.

Lloyds Auctions received contact from the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications to state that the rare Monaro could be an Australian Protected Object.

Aimed towards preserving and keeping history within Australia, Lloyds Auctions chief operations officer Lee Hames commended the government’s stance in protecting Australian motoring history for the future of Australian enthusiasts. 

We have been recommending General Motors buys this car and donates it to an Australian museum as a parting gift for them leaving the country,” Mr Hames said before the auction.

The iconic Holden HT Monaro is projected to sell for more than $1 million at auction today, set to break records and double the previous record for a Holden vehicle sold at auction.

It is the very first factory-built race car to bear a Holden badge and is credited with launching the Holden Dealer Team’s racing dominance in the 1970s and 80s, cementing the Holden-Ford sporting rivalry that still divides the nation today in Supercars..

The car is a significant piece of Australian motorsport history, not only shaping the success of Holden as a company, but also setting the stage for the domination by Holden and Peter Brock for the following two decades.

“While we’re seeing rare classic cars like Holden Toranas and GT Falcons selling for hundreds of thousands, none have the colourful backstory or cultural significance of this Monaro, which is what makes it so rare and special,” Mr Hames said. 

“The enquiry on this car is massive from all over the country. We expect that this incredible piece of history will break seven figures – making it the most expensive Holden ever.”.

This particular HT Monaro is the first Holden prepared by motorsport legend Harry Firth, which debuted at the 1969 Sandown 300, but a fiery crash at the 45-minute mark ended the race prematurely.

Findings from the crash were used to homologate changes for other HDT Monaros which led to Colin Bond and Tony Roberts claiming victory at Bathurst the same year. Also in Monaros, Des West and rookie Peter Brock finished third.

So it was that the legendary success of Holden’s Dealer Team was launched, and Holden’s ongoing rivalry with Ford cemented.

Last year marked 50 years since the HT Monaros commenced the Holden dynasty, a new era for the Holden Dealer Team on the mountain. 

The auction commences at midday today and is currently open taking online bids.


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