Brock Commodore #001 on P1 at Shannons Sydney Winter Auction

HDT Commodore prototype is expected to bring $85,000-$95,000  gaycarboys

HDT Prototype No 001 has been in the hands of its current owner for more than 20 years gaycarboys‘Brock’ HDT Commodore prototype being auctioned by Shannons in Sydney on August 10 is its original ‘warmed over’ 5.0 litre V8 engine gaycarboys

 

  • Very collectible pre-production Brock Commodore
  • Chrysler Charger E38 R/T ‘Big Tank’ in cosmetically original condition

The first prototype of what became a legion of famous ‘Brock’ HDT Commodores is already on ‘Pole Position’ with Holden enthusiasts before it crosses the block at Shannons Sydney Winter Auction on August 10.

Starting life as a 1979 Holden VB Commodore SL/E, the two-tone Malachite and Sage Green sedan was given to the Holden Dealer Team for racing legend Peter Brock to develop into a sophisticated, high-powered road car to challenge the best from Europe.

Brock and his HDT team totally transformed the car and given its high-performance brief, the car’s original 4.2-litre V8 was replaced with a 5.0-litre V8 mated to a Turbo 350 three-speed automatic transmission, while this was matched to a bigger rear end housing with limited-slip differential.

To ensure that the HDT Commodore was a BMW beater, its engine was suitably warmed-over and the suspension uprated with Bilstein shock absorbers, while distinctive German-sourced Irmscher wheels, two-tone paintwork and a full body kit completed the conversion from family car to Bahn-stormer.

By the time the HDT prototype was completed, the original VB Commodore had given way to the VC, so the grille and taillights of production models were suitably updated although the prototype uniquely retains its original VB side mouldings.

As a result, this unique Commodore has a very special place in the history of the Holden Dealer Team and Peter Brock in particular.

The current owner’s long-lasting relationship with the car dates back to 1982, when he was employed at Les Vagg Holden in Pennant Hills, one of the founding HDT dealers.

While racing at Sydney’s Amaroo Park in August that year, Peter Brock and John Harvey left ‘001’ with the Vagg dealership to be sold on their behalf and the current owner was the sales person responsible for the sale to a mate’s stepfather.

Eleven years later he bought the car back and subsequently carried out a total restoration over an extended 15-year period. This included an engine rebuild and repaint in the original two-tone colour combination using correct two-pack paint.

Amongst the extensive documentation included with the car is a Certificate of Authenticity from HDT confirming the car as the original ‘VB HDT Prototype’ along with all numbers (including the engine change), several magazine articles featuring the car and more.

Because of its unique place in both HDT and Brock history, Shannons expect this very special Commodore to sell in the $85,000-$95,000 range.

For Australian Chrysler/Mopar enthusiast, there is a very desirable ‘Big Tank’ Charger R/T E38 in Shannons Sydney Winter Auction.

Finished in the model’s trademark ‘Hot Mustard’, the Charger was delivered in 1971 fitted with the model’s top-performance ‘Bathurst spec’ consisting of its triple Weber carburetor 265-cid straight six engine, three-speed manual gearbox and the optional long distance ‘Big Tank’ – the form in which the original Chargers competed against their Ford and Holden arch-rivals at Mt. Panorama in the era.

However after being acquired by the current owner in 1997, the gearbox was upgraded to the four-speed manual transmission fitted to later model E49 ‘Bathurst’ Chargers, while it was fitted with a newly-rebuilt genuine E38 engine in April last year.

While not a ‘matching numbers’ car, which would greatly enhance its collectible and sale value, the E38 being auctioned is a very attractive, well-presented and quite original car in all other resects, according to Shannons.

At its estimated $70,000-$80,000 guiding range it will offer Charger enthusiasts the opportunity to experience the full pleasure and charisma of E38 ownership for a much more realistic price than a totally original car would command.

For more information on all lots, including registration for Shannons Online Bidding, visit www.shannons.com.au

For more auction information contact: Stuart Roberts (02) 8019 4179, or Ian Clayton (02) 8019 4180

For media information and publication-quality photos, please contact:  Michael Browning 0418 324 328

For access to all the latest industry news, market and auction trends, please enrol to receive Shannons eNews directly

Holden Astra and Cascada: From Opel with Love

 

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ABOVE: Cascada

 

No one can figure out just why the Opel experiment failed but it certainly isn’t because “the market segment is tight” as was the excuse at the time. If so, Holden would not now be selling the Opel models with Holden badges shoved on the front. We always said the Opels should have been sold through Holden’s dealer network or rebadged and sold as Holden models. Opel Astras were previously sold here and did just fine. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

This Astra debuted in Europe 2008 and was first sold there in 2009 (the Cascada in 2013) making this vintage over 6 years old. In car terms that’s almost pension time. Even so, the exterior crisp and clean and cutting-edge. The engines are smooth and silky but the auto is like stirring porridge. No diesels are available which is probably just as well as this is Holden’s sporty range. No doubt they did not want to cannibalise their Cruze sales.

Holden is only bringing in the 2 door Astra versions which first went on sale on in 2011. They are the GTC /VXR and the Cascada convertible (Spanish for waterfall). In fact the Cascada is achingly beautiful in an “I’ve got to have you” kind of way and is definitely my preference for looks, because convertibles are always my preference for looks.

Sadly Cascada gets a very modest 125kw turbo 4. Why, oh why, oh why? For some stupid reason all of the car makers seem to think putting the low powered engine in a droptop will sell it. To add insult to injury, Cascada only gets that hateful auto transmission, while the VXR only a manual. The GTC and GTC sport get a choice of either transmission. Why limit buyers to that kind of choice? Why not just have a GTC, GTC Sport, VXR and Cascada with a full choice of engines and transmissions and let the buyer decide how much they want to spend?

The Drive:

We took the convertible through some bends that would put the most thorough of breds through their paces. Kept in manual, the plucky little engine sings along nicely and every last kw can be wrung from its scrawny little neck. The chassis doesn’t feel quite as tight as the VXR coupe but that isn’t where the strength of Cascada lies. The secret weapon is the roof which slides quickly away in a matter of seconds at up to 30kph. If you’re feeling flash you can watch it from outside the car by pressing the lock or unlock button on the fob, then pressing and holding that same button. You can open or close all the windows and if you keep your finger on the pulse, the roof follows, handy on a hot day. The roof folds into a compartment in the top of the boot space. While the roof is up, extra space can be had in the boot by raising the stowage compartment floor. The roof won’t lower until the compartment is back in its original position again. This feature makes the car more flexible than it otherwise would be.

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On the road, the Astra and Cascada feels stuck to the tarmac. Even the roofless Cascada sticks itself down beautifully. The GTC is “entry level” 3 door hatch with sharp steering and 147kw of power. All models have decent ride but the VXR has the firmest and also the sharpest handling. It is my pick for drivability.

The reason I dislike the auto so much it is slow. The changes are slow in both directions, and the 6 speed box tries to get into top gear as fast as it can. It always feels in the wrong gear and won’t change unless you give your right foot a real stab into the carpet. I know I like shift-em-yourself gears but there are many auto gearboxes I could easily live with. This one I just couldn’t.

You can opt to change gears yourself then at least you’ll be in the gear you want to be in. There are no steering wheel paddles so changes are via the floor selector. The hardest part is remembering which is up and which is down. Racing cars once had sequential shifters on the floor but they moved to paddles during the Hawke administration. Why? Right is up and left is down. You’re only confused when turning corners and the damned paddles aren’t where you left them because they’re glued to the wheel rather than the steering column.

None the less the ride is pleasing and the seating comfortable. The seats adjust with buttons and on chilly days are heated for the Cascada. This car is set up for grand touring not going for blats through windy mountain passes and certainly not a race track. “Horses for courses”, are my words du jour. City traffic is a snip because Cascada feels light and nippy, rubbish auto notwithstanding. Because having the roof of a ragtop up is punishable by death, the roof spends most of its time down where the optional wind deflector comes in handy. It has to be said that on really cold days even seat and steering wheel heating are sorely tested and you’ll probably find yourself reaching for the scarf and gloves. Roof-up is a fairly quiet place with a triple layered affair overhead. It is nowhere near as quiet as Audi’s A3 with its acoustic material on board, but that’s part of the charm. You feel part of the environment and I like that. Even creeping along in a CBD crawl takes on a charm all its own.

Although the range has the newest version of Holden’s excellent My Link system, it is hamstrung by a ridiculously complex array of 34 buttons. As if that wasn’t enough, there are 4 dials and a ring-shaped selector as well. What we they thinking? Perhaps it wouldn’t matter so much if the 7” LCD display was a touch screen. As it is, inputting Satnav addresses is like trying to write the Gettysburg address on the back of an angry Death Adder with a meter wide texta, while balancing on a one legged chair, after drinking a litre of vodka. It is stupidly difficult, and the unnamed “enter” key is the selector ring around the outside of the joystick. It needs pressing after each letter then a wind to find the next letter or function. It’s just daft. Clearly this console was made for another system. GM cheaped out by keeping the same buttons and not giving Astra the same touch screen which appear in other Holden’s. Why? The centre stack reminds me of a 90’s coffee table. You were always reaching for wrong button in what was a sea of buttons on a dizzying array of controllers.

Ford had the same problem with the Sony system in Focus and Falcon. They got rid of the messy buttons when they gave the cars a facelift in the case of Focus, and Falcon and a new model for Mondeo. Very few buttons are left with most functions banished to a menu. Input is via the 8” touch screen. It leaves the console neat and clear of clutter. As it stands, using the Astra’s system while you’re moving is pot luck, even to change the radio station. The buttons are too close together so there is no way you can select little used functions without looking. Luckily you can perform some of the functions from the steering wheel too. You find yourself trying to avoid the centre stack as much as possible. I found the system easier to use after a while but we will never be BFFs.

Unforgivably, there is no rearview camera. This crime is punishable by death. There also no blind spot detection, no smart entry and start, no automatic parking, no lane departure and no low-speed accident avoidance. It is with some consolation then that there are little arms which bring the seatbelt out once you start the engine. They first did this back in the 80’s in a Mercedes Coupe. This is all a bit odd in a car costing $46,542 (drive away in NSW). I realise you pay a premium for a convertible, but a Golf is only a few thou more and is hard to beat. A VXR Cascada might be a different story but there is no such animal. Even a manual would make the 125kw setup more attractive.

On the whole, the interior feels classy. The two tone caramel/black of the test car was tasteful and the driving position is comfy. I love the Cascada for its look and feel. The drive was OK if you persist with changing the gears in manual mode. I can’t help but feel this stunning body is wasted on this engine/auto combo when VXR’s 206kw/400Nm can be had. OK, this is a tourer not a racer, I get it. The thing is the rear seats are decorative only and the superb Mazda MX5 is 6 grand cheaper, and it has a manual.

The VXR goes some way to fixing the issues I had with the Cascada. The manual gear change feels crisp and clean and the VXR is a right little firecracker when you stick the boot in.

As much as I loved the look of the Cascada, it has no manual so it’s the VXR for me. Handling is similar throughout the range so the buyer will choose roof or not, auto or not and take the rest from there.

For similar money I’d consider a Golf Cabriolet, or a Ford Focus ST/Golf GTi if I wanted performance.

The Opposition:

Focus has 2 extra doors and can be optioned with blind spot detection, city safe braking, active lane guidance and the Ford Sync II which has eliminated most of the centre console buttons. Golf gets most of those things as well as automated parking at extra cost of course.

Would I buy one?

If I was forced to choose right now it would have to be Golf Cabriolet, Golf GTi or Focus ST. I just couldn’t live with Cascada’s sloppy automatic transmission, and the centre console is just too busy. Having said all that, Astra and Cascada are beautiful to look at and great to drive other than the issues I’ve already mentioned. They are certainly the best handling Holdens and have a similar classy finish inside compared with Commodore. Some don’t care about how gears change and some don’t care for a powerful engine so I have no doubt there are plenty of buyers.

My gut tells me Holden should have waited for the new model but perhaps they thought that too far off so have taken a risk. Time will tell.

The Range pricing is:

$30, 943 GTC :1.6L turbo petrol, 6.9L/100k, 147k/280Nm, 6sp man

$34,033 GTC Sport :1.6L turbo petrol, 6.9L/100k, 147k/280Nm, 6 sp man

$44,482 VXR :2.0L turbo petrol, 8.0L/100k, 206kw/400Nm, 6 sp man

$46,542 Cascada :1.6L turbo Petrol, 7.5L/100k, 125kw/260Nm, 6 sp auto

Classic GM on Display at Pentrith Panthers.

42nd annual  GM Display Penrith Sydney GAYCARBOYS (6)

1930 Phaeton V16 (138kw) front

 

On a freezing cold day in July, Australia’s GM community of car clubs got together to celebrate, communicate and salivate.

Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Holden, Corvette, Camaro and many more clubs brought out their very best to sparkle in the sun albeit on a slightly soggy field at Penrith Panthers, Sunday the 12th of June, 2015.

Out of the many beautiful restorations, the standout was the 1930 Phaeton. Stunning inside and out, her proud owner braved the cold in a ¾ length chocolate brown fur, of course. This car was used in Leo DiCaprio’s The Great Gatsby and the owner was proud to show the pictures of their car on set. I would be too if I owned a beauty like that. However this isn’t their only Phaeton, well of course it isn’t. How could a person have only one Phaeton. I smiled inwardly when told that as soon as the car was driven into the garage they would give her a light cleaning. “The whitewalls get done with spray and wipe because grass marks easily” she said. The owner made a smart set of calico covers to keep the tyres toasty warm once the Phaeton is back on her blocks. When was the last time you saw a 1930 Phaeton, or any 1930 car for that matter?

Among the Corvettes from all decades, there were Firebirds and Trans Ams as well as a smattering of cars from the 20’s and 30’s.

The 60’s and 70’s were well represented in the Cadillac display with the 50’s dominating at the Chevrolets including a stunning Resto-mod. The “Fooose” name will be known to those family with Chip Foose of American TV fame. Although this is not his work the owners were thrilled when Chip signed their personalized plates as they are great fans. This car recently completed a 13,000k trip averaging 10L/100k (or 10k per Litre) which isn’t bad. Purists will be appalled that a nice shiny new V8 was installed along with a speedo in showing kilometres, and a reversing camera.

There were many luminaries of the car world present and we spoke about having mutual love for “barn finds”. I was directed to a white Malibu which was restored to her former glory after being wheeled from a barn covered in dirt and bird droppings. Considering how bad it could have been, that was probably a very good day. The restoration was fabulous.

Edgar Naidoo from Holden presented the final few prizes. A chat with him later revealed a little on where Holden might be heading in the future. Hinting at the next generation Insignia will be the new Commodore. The All Wheel Drive VRX looks stunning and with the next model being a little larger, the Commodore nameplate can be retired and left in good hands. Or, will Holden rename the Insignia? No probably not. Both Holden and Ford seem to be moving toward world cars being sold in all markets under the same name as in the USA. Edgar tapped his lips and said “watch this space” and a suitably cryptic and slightly 1960’s spy-thriller kind of way. Let’s wait and see since we don’t have much choice.

A studious writer would have collected the names of the prize winners but the list could not be gotten. The GM Display runs on paper and pen in our digital society which is both refreshing and infuriating in equal measure, but that’s classic car people through and through. There were far too many to list each one so please enjoy the shots, such as they are. Of course we forgot our camera so enjoy the Iphone 6 pics. No more words, just pics.

 

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1930 Phaeton V16 rear seat with rear windscreen, 1930 Phaeton V16  front seat

 

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1930 Phaeton V16  Front, 1930 Phaeton V16 on the set of The Great Gatsby

 

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1930 Phaeton V16 rear 3/4, 1930 Phaeton V16 display card

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1930 Phaeton V16  rear with folding trunk shelf

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Below: Buick

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Buick Riviera, Buick

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Cadillac and Pontiac

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GTO and Centurian

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trans Am

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Hold’n you in my Holden (Trax), at least until you drive it.

Holden Trax LTZ  gaycarboys (1)

 

Yes Yes Yes oh Yes: great infotainment system

Oh dear me no: everything else

Remember that old ad? No nor do I but I’ve seen it many times on the electric television. Here it is

GM, Holden’s owner, bought Daewoo to manufacture their cars cheaper and this is one of the plants manufacturing Trax. GM is trying to flog Trax in many countries under a few different names, Here in Australia we have been slow to take small SUVs despite over 30% of all vehicles sold being SUVs. It seems Australians aren’t hold’n anyone in their Holden as sales slip further and further. And if they keep flogging us stuff like this no one will be surprised.

Outside:

 

Holden Trax LTZ  gaycarboys (2)

Trax is a bit cheeky, even cute in a funny kind of way. The 5 door design is pert and upright giving easy access to the cabin. The front end is chunky in a Tonka toy kind of way and is one you either like or don’t. The rear is high, very high and the overall affect almost muscular. For me, it is mostly OK, but for the front to be a success it either needs to be chunkier, or sleeker. At the moment it is just a bit too like a slab of meat. The LTZ has 18” wheels which look very smart. Overall, OK but nothing exciting.

Inside:

“Neat” is my word dujour. Most of the surfaces and materials feel a bit cheap but this is an entry level car Holden Trax LTZ  gaycarboys (3)isn’t it? Yes, but not with an entry level price.

The range is priced from $23,990 for the LS (special offer, drive away in NSW) to $32,479 for the LTZ. The problem is that at 32 grand an astute buyer will have many choices which are preferable in every way. And all of those choices will have better quality. It’s an entry level car but the price? Not so much.

For example in this price range you can have:

Subaru’s laudable Forrester, Kia’s excellent Sportage or Mazda’s fabulous CX3 or CX5, Honda’s HRV and CRV, the Hyundai IX30, Jeep’s Compass, Peugeot’s 2008 and 4008, Nissan’s QUASHQAI, the Skoda YETI and Renault’s Captur to name but a few. Who in their right mind would buy a Trax over any of these? All are bigger and everything you see and touch feels better quality. You could even buy Holden’s own Captiva coming from the same factory but it also suffers from the Trax’s feeling of cheapness. It’s as if these cars were built by accountants.

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The buyer will compare all the brands at a price point which why I suspect that despite this segment increasing in sales by 30.6% this year, Trax has decreased by 15.3%. In fact Holden sales are down by 9.6% over all. Except for Colorardo 7 which is up by 62.9%, all other Holden models are down. Not surprisingly the awful Malibu is down over 40% and wonderful Volt is a huge 62% down and is being discontinued when the new model is released in the USA. The Malibu is just a mess of a car and its weak sales have gone further south just like the Epica it replaced. How many Malibus do you ever see on the road? The Volt suffered from an outrageous price of $65,000 and that’s a shame because Volt is a great car that could have worked wonders. That must be worrying GM no end.

Although the interior is well laid out and reasonably well equipped, buyers are preferring other brands. The top model has partial leather seats with heating. The My Link infotainment system is brilliant. It’s easy to use and very intuitive. You can pair your phone by voice prompts in a few seconds. The sound is acceptable and the LCD has a reverse camera across both models. But none of it is worth the money. This is a sub 20k car at best.

The interior does not come up to snuff when compared to the opposition. The 20-30 grand range is hotly contested and many are worthy and indeed a pleasure to behold.

The Drive:

This is where my confusion intensified. There are 2 engines and both are 4 cylinders of 103 kw. The Holden Trax LTZ  gaycarboys (4)103kw/200nw 1.4 L turbo is available on both LS and LTZ and only with the 6 speed auto. The 103kw/175Nm 1.8L petrol is only available on the LS but can be had with a 5 speed manual if desired. But why would you want a 5 speed when most manuals are now 6 speed, and why would you choose the 1.8 if it has the same power and less torque than the 1.4turbo? Holden’s website is a bit confusing on this point. The specs show only a 1.8L on both models unless you look carefully at the specs for the LTZ where it shows a 1.4L turbo as an option in very tiny writing. The 1.4L engine is by far the better engine but both feel “buzzy”. Neither feel cutting edge like Ford’s amazing Eco Sport. So see if you can figure it out.

Both take 91ron unleaded so less dosh spent on fuel which is the only saving grace. The handling is acceptable for a 14 grand car but not crazy great on something costing from 23k. Anyone who likes a good drive will find Trax disappointing. There is a bit of torque steer so when you put your foot down at lights, the Holden Trax LTZ  gaycarboys (5)steering wheel pulls a little. You can live with it because most front wheel drives have the same problem.

So far, not so good.

The brakes deserve a special mention. They feel quite soggy and you’ve got to really give them a shove in order to get any kind of affect from them. The steering feels fairly vague too and both are way behind others in this price range. It makes less and less sense. Drive a Ford Eco Sport and you’ll feel like you’re in a little brilliant handling hot hatch. It isn’t that it is super quick but it is a delight in every way. You can throw it into corners in exactly the same way the Trax can’t be.

The drive was barely adequate for a 1999 hatch, and at $23, 990 but much better options are available.

Conclusion:

Holden sales are way down, even the fabulous Commodore is doing a Titanic and sinking beneath the waves. In order to make any headway the top price would need to be cut substantially and even then, the Yeti is a much better buy. It is fun to drive and has a quality cabin with great steering and fabulous brakes. By comparison Trax feels old and tired saved only by some of the gadgets. In fact comparing any of the models listed above sees Trax at the bottom. The last Holden I disliked this much was the Malibu and its dismal sales proved first impressions were spot on. This time last year 1,525 people had bought a Malibu but this year only 1,292 examples have found a home. Yes this is Korean, but it is old Korean. Kia and Hyundai now feel brilliant to drive and have classy interiors loaded with gear. Trax feels like old cash-strapped Daewoo languishing somewhere at the end of last century

I don’t know what’s going on in Detroit but it is not doing Australia’s Holden any favours. Whilst Commodore and Volt are brilliant and dare I say innovative, the rest of the range is not. Hopes hold that Astra and Cascada might see an improvement in sales figures. They are from GM’s Opel division in Germany and are light years ahead of Malibu, Cruze and Trax. Perhaps it is for that reason Holden are only importing the top spec models. I reviewed the Astras when Opel did its one year stint in Australia, and they were fabulous. The Opels always should have been sold here as Holdens like the old Astras were. Maybe it wouldn’t have been such a disaster.

Holden and Ford combined sell fewer cars than Toyota and if Holden doesn’t do something soon they will be in deep strife. Once Commodore is gone in a few years’ time their range will be just plain sad. GM is bringing in a few US models but since Malibu was such a disappointment I don’t hold out much hope. To put it in perspective, Holden has sold 27,419 vehicles this year. Ford is even worse off with only 20,128 sales. Toyota, the brand people seem to buy by default, has sold 48,986.

The Australian market is a tough one and our buyers have much perspicacity and are not fooled by gimmicks. They want value and quality. They don’t want cheap and nasty and that’s why the Chinese brands have failed miserably. Trax may have done better were it $10,000 cheaper but it can’t compete in the $20,000 – $30,000 range, it just can’t.

Would I buy one? Not on your Nellie. I’d buy any of the models list above. All of them are better drives, look better, are better quality and are better value. This is one of the biggest disappointments in years.

Holden SSV Ute: The last of the Australian Built hairy chested Two Door V8’s

Holden VF ute and sedan gaycarboys (8)

 

For this argument, all prices are drive away, in NSW.

You can get a V8 ute for as little as $39,990 drive away in Holden’s special “Please buy us PLLEEEEEEASE” campaign. The normal price for the SS is $43,757 That’s still insane for a V8. Can anyone show me another V8 sports coupe for that money? I say sports coupe because that’s what most of them are used as. Most tradfies won’t take their babies onto a muddy rock-strewn building site. The SSV Redline is the top model for $53,863 so you could get 3 top model V8 Utes for the same price as an M3 or AMG or S, or if you’re feeling like Japanese, RC-F. Let’s think about that for a bit, while all those letters are digested.

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Many will have dropped their gin and tonics at the thought of a tradies vehicle gracing their upper middle class gravel drives. They prefer the badge engineered hard-on that comes with a German and it’s big throbber up front. Of course the cabins are nicer and the build quality probably better but none of them can carry a new mattress home from the Mr Snooze “I’m always on sale” sale. None of them can carry camping gear, and they’d look silly towing a skiing boat to Lake Macquarie for a weekend’s water sports. No, Holden have been very clever, and a bit dumb. They’ve not cashed in on the fact that their V8 tray-back coupe is flexible, desirable, useable and way under the luxury car tax limit. For that, you get 260kw in the auto, 270kw in the manual, and a huge 530Nm of torque. Once upon a time the Victorians thought 15MPH might rip a person’s face off so I’m not sure what they would make of 0-100 in under 6 seconds.

Holden VF ute and sedan gaycarboys (5)

It isn’t until you’re behind the wheel that you really appreciate the fun which can be had at the expense of the environment. Sinking the boot in sees the fuel spit out the back in vast unused clouds as you rocket the road at an Olympic pace. Going around corners is fun too. With little weight over the back wheels, the tail is Holden VF ute and sedan gaycarboys (4)as happy as a Liberal pollie at a taxpayer funded wedding. The stability control gives the driver and amazing amount of leeway before it sends its nannies in to wrap you over the knuckles. It feels like good old fashioned driving, the way Peter Brock loved it. It is thrilling in the real sense of the word. The manual is the best. A sports exhaust makes the lion roar but you’ll have to sort it out yourself if you want more noise. As they come from Holden, you feel way more than you hear unless your foot is permanently welded to the floor. Only when the flood gates are fully open does the magnificence of a million push-rods make their presence felt. If you have the auto, you can shift gear via the steering wheel. The top model gets a Heads Up Display which is utterly brilliant because you can decide what is on it. It even tells you what directions to go in once the Satnav is programmed.

The interiors are shared across the Commodore range. The ute scores a couple of neat bins behind the seats for secreting  big butch tools and other such things public eyes must not view.

Holden VF ute and sedan gaycarboys (3)Holden VF ute and sedan gaycarboys (9)

The good thing about it is with the hard cover on the back, you can secure your groceries in a couple of milk crates not knicked from Coles. There are a couple of fastening points inside the tray for straps. If you don’t fix them in place, your groceries will be sliced and diced by the time you get home. If you don’t opt for the hard cover you have to make do with the soft cover which takes quite some time to master, and can’t be locked. The last thing you want is someone rooting through your privates while you’re at the boozer. After you leave the boozer, with your not-trollied mate at the wheel, you appreciate the Brembo brakes helping to give your ute a 5 star safety rating. It’s probably the only time it will occur to you.

Holden VF ute and sedan gaycarboys (2)Holden VF ute and sedan gaycarboys (6)

The top models get the same gadgets as the Calais. Huge 19” wheels, blind spot warning, lane departure, automated parking both end in and parallel, plus the brilliant My Link infotainment system. You can use Siri to do your evil work while you keep your hands on the steering wheel. The rest of the gadgets make sure you don’t hurt yourself or your car when you’re distracted by a pretty face walking along the pavement. It is about as perfect as it can be, so why the hell are GM closing down their plants here.

Gone will be the Commodore and the little lamented Cruze. Ford will lose their Falcon and Territory, and Toyota will no longer build the electric Camry here. This is what happens when a government favours whom they support or not. Had Ford, Holden and Toyota been coal diggers, money would have been thrown at them with gay abandon. However, since they employ fay more people than mining and have many associated suppliers, clearly the government thinks they shouldn’t support the auto industry as they do mining and fossil fuels. If you think that thinking is a bit eggy you are not alone. Clearly the auto makers didn’t throw enough brown paper bags and bottles of Grange at the MPs concerned. It’s a great shame as the previous government had supported the auto workers and therefore the Australian made cars.

Holden VF ute and sedan gaycarboys (1)

What this means is you have less than two years to snag a bit of Aussie Hairy-chested brawn. After that, who knows what will becomes of us? I suspect the rear wheel drive brigade will shrink to the size of a LNP MPs moral guide book and we will all be in Front Wheel Drive performance hatches. Their torque steer will try and kill us and the lack of space will cause mass deep vein thrombosis.

Would I buy one? HELL YES! These things are crammed full of kit, a heap of fun to drive, very practical, and with only two seats, prevent unwanted hangers-on.

European Invasion: Holden Astra and Cascada Launch

 

 

Holden Astra VXR gaycarboys (3)Holden Astra VXR gaycarboys (4)

Holden Astra VXR gaycarboys (5)Holden Astra VXR, Insignia VXR, and Cascada gaycarboys

Holden astra VXR gaycarboys (1)Holden astra VXR gaycarboys (2)

Top: Astra VXR, Above: Astra GTC

Below: Cascada Convertible

Holden Cascada convertible gaycarboys (3)

Holden Cascada convertible gaycarboys (1)Holden Cascada convertible gaycarboys (2)

 

After the ill fated Opel experiment, Holden rebadges the Opel Astra as a Holden. The Euro sourced Astra will bolster Holden’s ailing Korean based small car range.

  • Holden launches European-sourced Astra GTC, Astra VXR and Cascada convertible
  • Astra available in performance focused 1.6L turbo and 2.0L turbo engines
  • Cascada convertible introduced with a Special Launch Edition

Holden’s introduction of the stylish and sporty Astra alongside the elegant Cascada convertible marks the beginning of an exciting product onslaught by Holden, promising to deliver 24 major vehicle launches and 36 powertrain combinations in the next five years.

The European manufactured Astra and Cascada are both designed and engineered in Germany, at Opel’s Russelsheim base, and exhibit the exceptional build quality and refinement synonymous with European cars.

Engineering integrity and the promise of outstanding road performance is ensured after long, demanding validation testing – 10,000kms of which for VXR was completed at the iconic mecca for all driving enthusiasts; the Nurburgring Nordschliefe track.

Holden’s Executive Director – Sales, Peter Keley, said Astra and Cascada would act as aspirational, halo vehicles to Holden, and Holden Dealers were excited to finally take delivery of the cars.

“Astra and Cascada exhibit all the hallmarks of premium European manufactured cars.  Both are visually stunning with great road presence and exceptional build quality.” Mr Keley said.

“We are confident these are the right cars for Australia, giving buyers a vehicle to aspire to own and this is something echoed by our Dealers.

“Dealers nationwide have expressed interest and excitement in Astra and Cascada and are looking forward to getting their hands on them.”

ASTRA

The Holden Astra nameplate became a firm favourite with Australian drivers and resonated with those looking for European performance when it was first launched in 1996.  The refreshed 2015 Holden Astra is introduced in GTC and GTC Sport trim levels in addition to the ultra-sporty VXR, exuding exceptional road presence and a stylish, unmistakably European design.

ASTRA GTC AND GTC SPORT

Astra GTC and GTC Sport are stylish, progressive looking sports hatches that effortlessly blend drive comfort with a sports look and feel.  Both come equipped with a lively 1.6 litre turbocharged engine coupled with a responsive six-speed manual or automatic transmission. 

The automatic transmission is accompanied by active select and when combined with the 1.6 litre turbo engine provides 125kW power and 260Nm torque, ensuring an exciting and engaging driving experience.  In the even sportier, manual transmission, Astra offers an increased 147kW power and 280Nm torque, targeted at those wanting a more dynamic drive.

The European engineered Astra comes with a high-tech HiPerStrut front suspension to offer improved handling characteristics and direct steering response.  With a shortened spindle length and reduced kingpin inclination, Astra’s HiPerStrut helps prevent the torque steer so often seen in powerful front-wheel-drive cars.

Inside Astra GTC and GTC Sport the European design and engineering excels with Sportec bolster sports seat (leather appointed in GTC Sport) and the award winning Holden MyLink infotainment system taking centre stage.  The MyLink system comes with a seven-inch colour screen display, integrated Pandora®, Stitcher™ and TuneIn Radio apps as well as satellite navigation.

In addition to the impressive list of features already available on Astra GTC, GTC Sport adds 19-inch alloy wheels, alloy sports pedals, leather sports seats and a sports body kit to earn the ‘Sport’ name it proudly bares.

ASTRA VXR

Sitting at the top of the Astra model range, Astra VXR is the ultimate ‘hot hatch’, boasting a 2.0 litre turbocharged engine which is able to unleash 206kW of power and a staggering 400Nm of torque.  Brembo front brakes provide a security net to accompany the Astra VXR’s unbridled power, in addition to electro-hydraulic steering for a direct, engaging steering feel, allowing drivers to put the car precisely where they want it.

Astra VXR is a ‘no holds barred’ sports hatch that is as at home on track as in the city.  Key to its versatility is the acclaimed FlexRide tuning system which allows drivers to choose from three pre-configured ride settings according to their environment: 

  • Standard – all-round performance with comfort
  • Sport – stiffer chassis, improved agility and more direct steering
  • VXR – more direct steering, more responsive throttle, and tuned for maximum performance

Supporting Astra VXR’s impressive dynamic setup is its unmistakable appearance and superior road presence.  VXR wears 20-inch alloy wheels, coupled with VXR sports body kit, alloy sports pedals and VXR steering wheel.

Like its calmer siblings, VXR is well equipped inside too.  As well as offering the same MyLink infotainment system as GTC and GTC Sport, it also shows off eight-way adjustable VXR leather appointed sports seats with power bolsters and lumbar support for both driver and passenger. 

CASCADA

Setting a new benchmark in attainable luxury, Cascada is an elegant, yet responsive, full size four-seat convertible designed for beachside cruising and the open road.

Formally known as Astra Convertible, Cascada has established a name in its own right with its ability to appeal to a completely different type of buyer.

Cascada will be available in two guises from launch; Cascada and a special Cascada Launch Edition, of which only 50 units will be available.

CASCADA

Cascada comes with a versatile 1.6 litre turbo engine, which when coupled with its smooth six-speed automatic transmission, delivers an easy and enjoyable driving experience, on urban and regional roads.

Dynamically, Cascada has been engineered with strength and rigidity in mind, ensuring drivers get the perfect balance between solid cornering performance and the freedom associated with driving a convertible.

Stunning exterior design is complimented with 18-inch alloy wheels and a secure, triple-layered acoustic power hood able to be retracted in just 17 seconds whilst on the move at speeds of up to 50kph.

Cascada’s perforated leather appointed seats and intuitive MyLink infotainment system provide a luxurious touch on a flexible, four seat interior design.

CASCADA LAUNCH EDITION

A limited number of just 50 special, Cascada Launch Edition vehicles will be available to celebrate the return of the convertible body style to the Holden range.

Cascada Launch Edition dials up the luxury even more by adding premium Nappa leather appointed and ventilated front seats and a leather sports steering wheel.  There is also significant differentiation on the car’s exterior with 20-inch alloy wheels, Adaptive Forward Lighting and Bi-Xenon headlamps with LED DRL’s (Daylight Running Lamps).

SERVICE

Holden’s commitment to delivering excellent customer value extends beyond the purchase of Astra and Cascada, with the recently launched and ground-breaking Holden Lifetime Capped Price Servicing (CPS) program.

And with Holden’s extensive dealer network offering Australia’s largest CPS program Astra and Cascada buyers get peace of mind with transparent service pricing for life.

Astra and Cascada will go on sale 4 May 2015 and are available in a wide range of exterior colour choices to suit a range of personalities.

PRICING

Recommended retail prices, excluding dealer delivery and government charges are as follows:

  • Astra GTC, manual                                                     $26,990
  • Astra GTC, automatic                                                 $29,190
  • Astra GTC Sport, manual                                           $29,990
  • Astra GTC Sport, automatic                                       $32,190
  • Astra VXR, manual                                                     $39,990
  • Cascada, automatic                                                    $41,990
  • Cascada Launch Edition, automatic                           $44,990

PRODUCT DETAILS

ASTRA

Astra GTC and GTC Sport colours

  • Summit White
  • Power Red
  • Carbon Flash Black*
  • Sunny Melon Yellow
  • Buzz Blue*
  • Silver Lake*

Astra VXR colours

  • Summit White
  • Power Red
  • Carbon Flash Black*
  • Sunny Melon Yellow
  • Arden Blue*

*Prestige paint at $550 premium

GTC

  • 1.6 litre SIDI turbo engine
  • Six-speed manual / six-speed automatic transmission
  • Dual front, side and curtain airbags
  • ESC and ABS
  • Hill start assist
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • 17-inch steel space saver spare wheel
  • Cloth Morrocana sports seats with Sportec bolsters
  • Satellite Navigation
  • Air conditioning with particle filter
  • Electric Power Steering (EPS)
  • Front and Rear Park Assist
  • ISOFIX child seat anchorage system (two positions)
  • Auto headlamps
  • Projector headlamps (halogen)
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Start/stop (MT only)
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Enhanced multi-function display (one colour) with:
  • Vehicle information menu
  • Trip information menu
  • Fuel economy menu
  • Warning/messages
  • Holden MyLink Infotainment System with seven-inch colour screen display
  • Integrated apps
    • Pandora
    • Stitcher
    • Tune In Radio
  • DAB digital radio
  • Single CD player with MP3 capability
  • Universal hands free with Bluetooth phone
  • Bluetooth® audio streaming, USB and auxiliary input jack

GTC Sport (above GTC)

  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • LED tail lamps
  • Perforated leather appointed Mondial trim
  • Eight-way adjustable driver seat with power lumbar control
  • Heated front seats
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • Dual zone climate control
  • Leather sports steering wheel
  • Sports body kit (front bumper lower spoiler edge, rear bumper lower spoiler edge, rocker moulding)
  • Electric park brake

Astra VXR

  • 2.0 litre turbo engine
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Dual front, side and curtain airbags
  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Performance brakes – Brembo front calipers, front and rear cross drilled rotors
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • FlexRide with continuous damping control
  • Electro-hydraulic power steering
  • Start/stop
  • Rear park assist
  • ISOFIX child seat anchorage system (two positions)
  • Sports performance chassis
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • ESC and ABS
  • Auto headlamps
  • LED tail lamps
  • VXR roof spoiler
  • VXR sports seats
  • Perforated leather appointed Nappa trim
  • Eight-way adjustable heated driver and front passenger seat
  • Power bolsters and power lumbar – driver and passenger seats
  • Satellite navigation
  • VXR Leather steering wheel
  • VXR floor mats
  • Dual zone climate control
  • Enhanced multi-function display with:
  • Vehicle information menu
  • Trip information menu
  • Fuel economy menu
  • Warning/messages
  • Holden MyLink Infotainment System with 7” colour screen display
  • Integrated apps
    • Pandora
    • Stitcher
    • Tune In Radio
  • DAB digital radio
  • Single CD player with MP3 capability
  • Universal hands free with Bluetooth phone
  • Bluetooth® audio streaming, USB and auxiliary input jack

CASCADA

Cascada colours

  • Summit White
  • Carbon Flash Black*
  • Phantom Grey*
  • Deep Sky Blue*
  • Nitrate Silver*

*Prestige paint at $550 premium

Cascada

  • 1.6 litre SIDI turbo engine
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Dual front and side airbags
  • ESC and ABS
  • Hill start assist
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • 17-inch steel space saver spare wheel
  • Electric folding acoustically insulated roof
  • Sports suspension
  • Electric park brake
  • Heated power outside mirrors
  • Heated front sports seats
  • Leather appointed trim perforated Siena seats
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • Satellite navigation
  • Cruise control
  • Rear view camera
  • Dual zone air conditioning
  • Electric Power Steering (EPS)
  • Front and Rear Park Assist
  • ISOFIX child seat anchorage system (two positions)
  • Auto projector headlamps (halogen), DRL’s and front fog lamps
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Heated leather steering wheel
  • Enhanced multi-function display (one colour) with:
  • Vehicle information menu
  • Trip information menu
  • Fuel economy menu
  • Warning/messages
  • Holden MyLink Infotainment System with 7” colour screen display
  • Integrated apps
  • Pandora
  • Stitcher
  • Tune In Radio
  • DAB digital radio
  • Single CD player with MP3 capability
  • Universal hands free with Bluetooth
  • Bluetooth® audio streaming, USB and auxiliary input jack

Cascada Launch Edition (50 units)

  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Premium nappa leather appointed sports seats
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Leather sports steering wheel
  • Adaptive Forward Lighting and Bi-Xenon headlamps with LED DRL’s
  • Holden launches European-sourced Astra GTC, Astra VXR and Cascada convertible
  • Astra available in performance focused 1.6L turbo and 2.0L turbo engines
  • Cascada convertible introduced with a Special Launch Edition

Holden’s introduction of the stylish and sporty Astra alongside the elegant Cascada convertible marks the beginning of an exciting product onslaught by Holden, promising to deliver 24 major vehicle launches and 36 powertrain combinations in the next five years.

The European manufactured Astra and Cascada are both designed and engineered in Germany, at Opel’s Russelsheim base, and exhibit the exceptional build quality and refinement synonymous with European cars.

Engineering integrity and the promise of outstanding road performance is ensured after long, demanding validation testing – 10,000kms of which for VXR was completed at the iconic mecca for all driving enthusiasts; the Nurburgring Nordschliefe track.

Holden’s Executive Director – Sales, Peter Keley, said Astra and Cascada would act as aspirational, halo vehicles to Holden, and Holden Dealers were excited to finally take delivery of the cars.

“Astra and Cascada exhibit all the hallmarks of premium European manufactured cars.  Both are visually stunning with great road presence and exceptional build quality.” Mr Keley said.

“We are confident these are the right cars for Australia, giving buyers a vehicle to aspire to own and this is something echoed by our Dealers.

“Dealers nationwide have expressed interest and excitement in Astra and Cascada and are looking forward to getting their hands on them.”

ASTRA

The Holden Astra nameplate became a firm favourite with Australian drivers and resonated with those looking for European performance when it was first launched in 1996.  The refreshed 2015 Holden Astra is introduced in GTC and GTC Sport trim levels in addition to the ultra-sporty VXR, exuding exceptional road presence and a stylish, unmistakably European design.

ASTRA GTC AND GTC SPORT

Astra GTC and GTC Sport are stylish, progressive looking sports hatches that effortlessly blend drive comfort with a sports look and feel.  Both come equipped with a lively 1.6 litre turbocharged engine coupled with a responsive six-speed manual or automatic transmission. 

The automatic transmission is accompanied by active select and when combined with the 1.6 litre turbo engine provides 125kW power and 260Nm torque, ensuring an exciting and engaging driving experience.  In the even sportier, manual transmission, Astra offers an increased 147kW power and 280Nm torque, targeted at those wanting a more dynamic drive.

The European engineered Astra comes with a high-tech HiPerStrut front suspension to offer improved handling characteristics and direct steering response.  With a shortened spindle length and reduced kingpin inclination, Astra’s HiPerStrut helps prevent the torque steer so often seen in powerful front-wheel-drive cars.

Inside Astra GTC and GTC Sport the European design and engineering excels with Sportec bolster sports seat (leather appointed in GTC Sport) and the award winning Holden MyLink infotainment system taking centre stage.  The MyLink system comes with a seven-inch colour screen display, integrated Pandora®, Stitcher™ and TuneIn Radio apps as well as satellite navigation.

In addition to the impressive list of features already available on Astra GTC, GTC Sport adds 19-inch alloy wheels, alloy sports pedals, leather sports seats and a sports body kit to earn the ‘Sport’ name it proudly bares.

ASTRA VXR

Sitting at the top of the Astra model range, Astra VXR is the ultimate ‘hot hatch’, boasting a 2.0 litre turbocharged engine which is able to unleash 206kW of power and a staggering 400Nm of torque.  Brembo front brakes provide a security net to accompany the Astra VXR’s unbridled power, in addition to electro-hydraulic steering for a direct, engaging steering feel, allowing drivers to put the car precisely where they want it.

Astra VXR is a ‘no holds barred’ sports hatch that is as at home on track as in the city.  Key to its versatility is the acclaimed FlexRide tuning system which allows drivers to choose from three pre-configured ride settings according to their environment: 

  • Standard – all-round performance with comfort
  • Sport – stiffer chassis, improved agility and more direct steering
  • VXR – more direct steering, more responsive throttle, and tuned for maximum performance

Supporting Astra VXR’s impressive dynamic setup is its unmistakable appearance and superior road presence.  VXR wears 20-inch alloy wheels, coupled with VXR sports body kit, alloy sports pedals and VXR steering wheel.

Like its calmer siblings, VXR is well equipped inside too.  As well as offering the same MyLink infotainment system as GTC and GTC Sport, it also shows off eight-way adjustable VXR leather appointed sports seats with power bolsters and lumbar support for both driver and passenger. 

CASCADA

Setting a new benchmark in attainable luxury, Cascada is an elegant, yet responsive, full size four-seat convertible designed for beachside cruising and the open road.

Formally known as Astra Convertible, Cascada has established a name in its own right with its ability to appeal to a completely different type of buyer.

Cascada will be available in two guises from launch; Cascada and a special Cascada Launch Edition, of which only 50 units will be available.

CASCADA

Cascada comes with a versatile 1.6 litre turbo engine, which when coupled with its smooth six-speed automatic transmission, delivers an easy and enjoyable driving experience, on urban and regional roads.

Dynamically, Cascada has been engineered with strength and rigidity in mind, ensuring drivers get the perfect balance between solid cornering performance and the freedom associated with driving a convertible.

Stunning exterior design is complimented with 18-inch alloy wheels and a secure, triple-layered acoustic power hood able to be retracted in just 17 seconds whilst on the move at speeds of up to 50kph.

Cascada’s perforated leather appointed seats and intuitive MyLink infotainment system provide a luxurious touch on a flexible, four seat interior design.

CASCADA LAUNCH EDITION

A limited number of just 50 special, Cascada Launch Edition vehicles will be available to celebrate the return of the convertible body style to the Holden range.

Cascada Launch Edition dials up the luxury even more by adding premium Nappa leather appointed and ventilated front seats and a leather sports steering wheel.  There is also significant differentiation on the car’s exterior with 20-inch alloy wheels, Adaptive Forward Lighting and Bi-Xenon headlamps with LED DRL’s (Daylight Running Lamps).

SERVICE

Holden’s commitment to delivering excellent customer value extends beyond the purchase of Astra and Cascada, with the recently launched and ground-breaking Holden Lifetime Capped Price Servicing (CPS) program.

And with Holden’s extensive dealer network offering Australia’s largest CPS program Astra and Cascada buyers get peace of mind with transparent service pricing for life.

Astra and Cascada will go on sale 4 May 2015 and are available in a wide range of exterior colour choices to suit a range of personalities.

PRICING

Recommended retail prices, excluding dealer delivery and government charges are as follows:

  • Astra GTC, manual                                                     $26,990
  • Astra GTC, automatic                                                 $29,190
  • Astra GTC Sport, manual                                           $29,990
  • Astra GTC Sport, automatic                                       $32,190
  • Astra VXR, manual                                                     $39,990
  • Cascada, automatic                                                    $41,990
  • Cascada Launch Edition, automatic                           $44,990

PRODUCT DETAILS

ASTRA

Astra GTC and GTC Sport colours

  • Summit White
  • Power Red
  • Carbon Flash Black*
  • Sunny Melon Yellow
  • Buzz Blue*
  • Silver Lake*

Astra VXR colours

  • Summit White
  • Power Red
  • Carbon Flash Black*
  • Sunny Melon Yellow
  • Arden Blue*

*Prestige paint at $550 premium

GTC

  • 1.6 litre SIDI turbo engine
  • Six-speed manual / six-speed automatic transmission
  • Dual front, side and curtain airbags
  • ESC and ABS
  • Hill start assist
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • 17-inch steel space saver spare wheel
  • Cloth Morrocana sports seats with Sportec bolsters
  • Satellite Navigation
  • Air conditioning with particle filter
  • Electric Power Steering (EPS)
  • Front and Rear Park Assist
  • ISOFIX child seat anchorage system (two positions)
  • Auto headlamps
  • Projector headlamps (halogen)
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Start/stop (MT only)
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Enhanced multi-function display (one colour) with:
  • Vehicle information menu
  • Trip information menu
  • Fuel economy menu
  • Warning/messages
  • Holden MyLink Infotainment System with seven-inch colour screen display
  • Integrated apps
    • Pandora
    • Stitcher
    • Tune In Radio
  • DAB digital radio
  • Single CD player with MP3 capability
  • Universal hands free with Bluetooth phone
  • Bluetooth® audio streaming, USB and auxiliary input jack

GTC Sport (above GTC)

  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • LED tail lamps
  • Perforated leather appointed Mondial trim
  • Eight-way adjustable driver seat with power lumbar control
  • Heated front seats
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • Dual zone climate control
  • Leather sports steering wheel
  • Sports body kit (front bumper lower spoiler edge, rear bumper lower spoiler edge, rocker moulding)
  • Electric park brake

Astra VXR

  • 2.0 litre turbo engine
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Dual front, side and curtain airbags
  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Performance brakes – Brembo front calipers, front and rear cross drilled rotors
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • FlexRide with continuous damping control
  • Electro-hydraulic power steering
  • Start/stop
  • Rear park assist
  • ISOFIX child seat anchorage system (two positions)
  • Sports performance chassis
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • ESC and ABS
  • Auto headlamps
  • LED tail lamps
  • VXR roof spoiler
  • VXR sports seats
  • Perforated leather appointed Nappa trim
  • Eight-way adjustable heated driver and front passenger seat
  • Power bolsters and power lumbar – driver and passenger seats
  • Satellite navigation
  • VXR Leather steering wheel
  • VXR floor mats
  • Dual zone climate control
  • Enhanced multi-function display with:
  • Vehicle information menu
  • Trip information menu
  • Fuel economy menu
  • Warning/messages
  • Holden MyLink Infotainment System with 7” colour screen display
  • Integrated apps
    • Pandora
    • Stitcher
    • Tune In Radio
  • DAB digital radio
  • Single CD player with MP3 capability
  • Universal hands free with Bluetooth phone
  • Bluetooth® audio streaming, USB and auxiliary input jack

CASCADA

Cascada colours

  • Summit White
  • Carbon Flash Black*
  • Phantom Grey*
  • Deep Sky Blue*
  • Nitrate Silver*

*Prestige paint at $550 premium

Cascada

  • 1.6 litre SIDI turbo engine
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Dual front and side airbags
  • ESC and ABS
  • Hill start assist
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • 17-inch steel space saver spare wheel
  • Electric folding acoustically insulated roof
  • Sports suspension
  • Electric park brake
  • Heated power outside mirrors
  • Heated front sports seats
  • Leather appointed trim perforated Siena seats
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • Satellite navigation
  • Cruise control
  • Rear view camera
  • Dual zone air conditioning
  • Electric Power Steering (EPS)
  • Front and Rear Park Assist
  • ISOFIX child seat anchorage system (two positions)
  • Auto projector headlamps (halogen), DRL’s and front fog lamps
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Heated leather steering wheel
  • Enhanced multi-function display (one colour) with:
  • Vehicle information menu
  • Trip information menu
  • Fuel economy menu
  • Warning/messages
  • Holden MyLink Infotainment System with 7” colour screen display
  • Integrated apps
  • Pandora
  • Stitcher
  • Tune In Radio
  • DAB digital radio
  • Single CD player with MP3 capability
  • Universal hands free with Bluetooth
  • Bluetooth® audio streaming, USB and auxiliary input jack

Cascada Launch Edition (50 units)

  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Premium nappa leather appointed sports seats
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Leather sports steering wheel
  • Adaptive Forward Lighting and Bi-Xenon headlamps with LED DRL’s

Naff or Fab? Holden Sandman Reborn: Let the Good Times Roll … Again

As an EX-Sandman owner I’m not at all sure about this idea but here it is:

Press release:

 

2015 holden sandman wagon and ute (4)

Sandman Mambo concept

HJ Sandman Panel BodsHJ Sandman Panel Bods (2)

2015 holden sandman wagon and ute (5)2015 holden sandman wagon and ute (6)

2015 holden sandman wagon and ute (2)2015 holden sandman wagon and ute (3)

2015 holden sandman wagon and ute (1)

  • Iconic Holden Sandman reborn to be launched 4 April in Torquay, VIC,  in line with the Bells Beach Ripcurl Pro surf competition
  • To celebrate the launch, Holden interactive surf live site at Elephant Walk Reserve, Torquay will feature a live screen beaming out classic surf reels, music, car display and beach side games
  • Sandman available in Ute and Sportwagon – on sale in June

Eating up the road and shredding the surf, the Holden Sandman has become an Aussie icon in the 40 years since the original legend made its debut in 1974. Now it’s back, with a modern twist and nose for performance. 

The 2015 Sandman Special Edition is derived from the award winning VF Commodore SV6 and the sporty SS-V, and is available as a ute and or sleek Sportwagon.  Whilst the Sandman is much more advanced than its predecessor it still retains the instantly recognisable surf livery and the groovy, orange shagpile floor rug as an additional accessory.

Holden’s Executive Director of Sales, Peter Keley, said the opportunity to revive the legendary Sandman was too exciting to resist.

“The Holden Sandman has been synonymous with the great Australian surf safari for decades and perfectly reflects our country’s laid back, yet adventurous attitude to life.  When the opportunity came to revive Sandman, we jumped at it,” Mr Keley said.

“The reborn Sandman is a statement and reflection of the Australian way of life. Most importantly, it’s about having fun.”

Originally launched in a time when cassette players were all the rage and Alvin Stardust topped the charts, the Sandman personifies Australian culture with its unique styling and adventurous attitude.

Popular with surfers, lovers and bohemians alike, Sandman stays true to its roots with its first public display taking place on the sands of Torquay, giving beach goers and car lovers the chance to get up close and reminisce about days gone by … and days to come.

The Holden Sandman surf live site will take place on Saturday 4 April from 11am – 4pm at the beautiful Elephant Walk Reserve, Torquay Esplanade, and will feature a live screen beaming out classic surf reels, chilled out tunes, sausage sizzle and beach side games.  The Sandman live site is an interactive display that allows people to take a picture with the cars and upload to their social media accounts #entersandman
Holden’s Director of Communications, Sean Poppitt said the interactive live site is the perfect platform for a car that is sure to evoke old memories and create new ones.

“The interactive live site at Torquay is the perfect opportunity for people to come and see Sandman whilst enjoying the surfing, food and great atmosphere.  The Sandman is the reincarnation of an icon, born from the most iconic car company in Australia,” said Mr Poppitt.

“Holden knows Australia and Australians better than any other company and the Sandman is a perfect reflection of the Aussie culture and attitude. I’m sure it will spark great memories for a lot of Australians and help create new memories for others. Let the good times roll again,”

Sandman History

Sandman was originally launched on the HQ Holden in 1974 as a panel van and ute in a bid to increase Holden’s presence and appeal in the expanding recreational market.  What ensued was a car that captured the imagination of a generation, and continued to be offered on the HJ Holden (1974-76), HX Holden (1976-77) and HZ Holden (1977).

After over twenty years in the darkness, Sandman was finally revived as a concept car at the Sydney International Motor Show, 2000.  Based on VU Commodore, this Sandman was a Holden built, Mambo designed project that won wide acclaim.

The Sandman will go on sale in June, however people are advised to contact dealers early to avoid disappointment.

#entersandman

The 2015 Holden Sandman Special Edition, a $2,950 premium on SSV and SV6 models, includes:

SV6 and SSV Sportwagon

  • 20” gloss black wheels
  • Black fender vents
  • Black grille package
  • Black roof racks
  • Sandman decals
  • Sandman dashboard stitching
  • Sandman sunshades
  • Sandman floor mats
  • Unique Sandman build plate

SV6 and SSV Ute

  • 20” gloss black wheels
  • Black fender vents
  • Black grille package
  • Black sports bar
  • Sandman decals
  • Sandman dashboard stitching
  • Sandman rear sunshade
  • Sandman foot mats

Optional Accessories

  • Orange rear shag pile cargo rug (Sportwagon)
  • Orange sheep skin seat inserts

Colours Available

  • Heron White
  • Nitrate Silver
  • Phantom Black