Now that General Motors has decided to scrap the Holden brand, the question being asked by many is whether they are a good collectors-item investment or a money pit which will soon be worthless.
Some classic old Holdens, made when Peter Brock was a Bathurst fixture, can now command six-figure sums.
Surprisingly, however, the Holdens fetching the highest prices on carsales.com.au aren’t necessarily the early post-war models, known as the FX and the FJ.
While a 1955 FJ ute is selling for $79,000, it is rarer Australian-made and designed models built during the 1960s and 1970s that are worth the big dollars.
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Classic old Holdens made during the era when Peter Brock was a Bathurst fixture are now selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Pictured is a 1972 Holden Torana GTR selling for $109,990
An original 1968 Holden HK Monaro GTS with just 42,000km on the odometer is selling for $175,000 in the northern Victorian town of Wangaratta
Holdens to hold on to
– Monaro (HK and HQ series)
– Torana (LJ, LH and LX series)
– Kingswood (HK, HQ, HG and HZ series)
– Brock Commodores
– Early model FX, FJs
– EH, EJs
Holdens best forgotten
– Last Commodore made in Germany
Forgettable Holdens built from the 1980s onwards don’t fetch that much – with Camiras hardly deemed desirable as a locally-made version of GM’s unloved global J-car.
Leo Pruneau, Holden’s chief designer during the 1970s and 1980s, said he particularly disliked the Gemini, an Isuzu model from Japan that was made in Australia.
‘That always made me cringe,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘They weren’t designed by Australians, that’s what bothered me.’
Rebadged Toyotas, like the Apollo and Nova, generic Chevrolets sold as Holdens, like the Cruze and the Captiva, and European Vectras are hardly setting price records.
Conversely, Mr Pruneau said homegrown Holdens with a V8 engine were particularly loved.
‘The Australians, they didn’t want to be a wimp: they liked those big V8s and they still do,’ he said.
‘They were the halo cars, the GTSs and so on.’
A Holden with a GTS badge is worth a lot, whether it has six or eight cylinders.
An original 1968 Holden HK Monaro GTS with just 42,000km on the odometer is selling for $175,000 in the northern Victorian town of Wangaratta.
‘This car is priced to sell quickly at $175,000,’ the ad said.
A rare 1973 Holden LJ Torana XU-1, with just 47,000km, is retailing for $129,500 in Western Australia.
It was made the year after Brock won his first Bathurst victory in a similar GTR XU-1 Torana – the first of his nine titles at Mount Panorama in the New South Wales central west.
Panel vans, a car that epitomised Australia’s beach culture, are also worth a mint with a 1975 Sandman selling for $98,650, despite having 250,000km on the clock
Peter Brock’s Bathurst victories
1972: Holden LJ Torana GTR XU-1
1975: Holden LH Torana L34
1978: Holden LX Torana A9X SS
1979: Holden LX Torana A9X SS
1980: Holden VC Commodore
1982: Holden VH Commodore
1983: Holden VH Commodore
1984: Holden VK Commodore
1987: Holden VL Commodore SS Group A
Coupes are particularly sought after with a 1976 Holden Torana SS LX manual priced at $118,000, despite having 193,592km on the clock, in the eastern Victorian town of Longford.
It was far from the only Torana selling in the six figures with an unregistered 1972 LJ series GTR coupe, with 127,682km, selling for $109,990 at a West Australian dealer.
This is apparently a ‘massive drop’ from the previous asking price of $224,590.
Panel vans, a car that epitomised Australia’s beach culture, are also worth a mint with a 1975 V8 Sandman selling for $98,650, despite having 250,000km on the clock.
Then there are the luxury sedans.
A 1968 Brougham, with 84,414 km, is selling for $69,999 in the northern Melbourne suburb of Pascoe Vale.
Rarer and upmarket Holdens aren’t the only ones worth a mint.
While a 1955 FJ ute (pictured) is selling for $79,000, it is rarer Australian-made and designed models built during the 1960s and 1970s that are fetching the big dollars
A Holden record was set in December 2017 when a red HSV GTSR W1, with 474 kilowatts of eye-watering V8 power, was sold by Lloyds Online for $269,000
A 1970 HG Kingswood sedan with just 18,000km on the clock and an original 186 motor is selling for $45,000.
For the same price, it is possible to buy a modified 1972 HQ Kingswood with 244,000km.
Holdens derived from the Kingswood and Torana, built before unleaded petrol was introduced, are commanding more than Commodores built during the 1980s onwards.
Nonetheless, the record for a Holden was set in December 2017 when a sting-red HSV GTSR W1, with 474 kilowatts of eye-watering V8 power, was sold by Lloyds Online for $269,000.
The auction benchmark was set two months after the last Australian-made Holden, a VF-series Commodore, rolled off the production line at Elizabeth, in Adelaide’s north.
General Motors announced on Monday that the Holden brand will be killed off in 2021, ending a motoring legacy that began in November 1948 with the first 48-215 model.
Forgettable Holdens built from the 1980s onwards don’t fetch that much – with Camiras hardly sought after. Pictured is a 1988 model selling for $4,200
During the late 1980s and 1990s, the Toyota Camry was rebadged and sold as a Holden Apollo. This version built in 1992 is selling for $900