Proto power two prototype Holdens

Proto power two prototype Holdens

Two prototype Holdens have recently come out of the woodwork and are commanding some big dosh

The undying demand in the classic car market has brought some incredible pieces out of hiding and put up for sale of late, including two prototype Holdens. The first is a VH SL/E styling prototype (pictured top right) with only two – yes, two! – kilometres on the ticker, which sold at auction for $108,000. The car is said to be the only remaining survivor of three prototype mules, with the other two destroyed by Holden. GM-H donated this last example to a TAFE institute to be used as a teaching aid, before the seller, Barry Fielding, took possession of it when the school closed and kept it hidden away in country Victoria.

The rare gem is built on a 1979 VB body, with myriad handmade features that we’d later see fitted to the real-deal VH SL/Es when production kicked off in 1981. The bonnet is fibreglass, and the front grille is made of wood, along with the dummy radio.

What isn’t just a mock-up, though, is the thongslapper and auto gearbox combo, which has barely turned a wheel.

The second car to hit the market is a genuine VN SS Group A prototype (pictured above and bottom right), currently listed for a whopping $550,000. Unlike the 302 production Group A VNs that left the factory in the signature Durif Red (with three being repainted black, two of which were Tooheys giveaway cars), this car is the only surviving road-going example to be built in white.

It was used by HSV for driveline development, which meant it got full road compliance and registration. After doing 36,000km of testing in the car, HSV commissioned John Fitzpatrick and his team to run it in the 1992 12 Hours of Bathurst. As part of that program, the car received a hand-built HRT engine (stamped 92E001), and finished 13th overall in the race. Shortly afterwards, it was sold off and used as a Strathfield Racing Team promo car, before eventually finding its way into the current owner’s hands. He had the car restored to its original pilot vehicle specification, complete with a full interior and uniquely un-numbered Group A dash badge.

To add to the car’s unique history, it was used by diecast model car company Biante to recreate the rare prototype as an exact 1:18 scale model. While it may seem ludicrous to pay anywhere near $100K for a VH and bonkers to shell out over half a mill for a VN, the history of these machines truly cannot be replicated. Spurred on by the pandemic, the classic car market is showing few signs of easing up.

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