In this week's episode, Fletch tells the story of Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) and the long term association with Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) a motor racing team and engineering firm founded in 1976, in the UK. It was only in 1985 when Tom Walkinshaw entered Bathurst in a Jaguar, that he appreciated Australian's passion for performance V8's and the association began with Holden and the Holden Racing Team. After the demise of the Holden Dealer Team (HDT) in 1987, Tom Walkinshaw and Holden joined forces to create Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) in 1988, taking a standard production V8 Holden Commodore and building the first Holden HSV VL SS Group A SV, a purpose-built vehicle for Group A touring car racing. In 1990 TWR took this HSV to Bathurst 1000 and won.
HSV in conjunction with TWR went on to modify a range of Holden vehicles including the SWB Commodore, the Holden Caprice and spiced up the Holden Ute for the domestic and overseas markets.
Global economic conditions and motor manufacturing changes in recent times have had a significant impact in Australia and around the world. But HSV and the Walkinshaw Group took the situation head-on with an aggressive program to import American performance brands, convert them to RHD and re-engineer them for the Australian market to the delight of HSV enthusiasts. The results are models like the HSV Colorado SportsCat, the Chevrolet Silverado Pick Up and the much awaited Chevrolet V8 Camaro (rear wheel drive) a joint project for Holden & GM requiring re-engineering and manufacturing In Australia. The Camaro is still to be released, but sales projections indicate that 75% of the initial 550 vehicles to be produced are already pre-sold.
HSV lives on.