Rundown Holden VL ‘Walkinshaw’ could sell for insane figure

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Words: Matthew Hansen
22 Feb 2021

In a time where auctioneers are going deeper into the world of barn finds and cars littered with patina, here’s one of the most interesting listings of 2021 to date — quite possibly the worst HSV VL Group A ‘Walkinshaw’ in Australasia.

Now, the game has changed a little bit in recent years. There are days where a listing like this one would be completely laughable, perhaps only really of the interest of those handy enough to perform a huge rebuild back to factory fresh. Now, though, there’s a thirst for cars that have stories behind them.

This helps to explain why this Walkinshaw, which is listed for sale by Aussie auctioneers Grays Online, has been bidded up to AU$121,309 ($130,884) with just over a day remaining. For your money, you get a car that’s sat in a barn for more than two decades and is in dire need of a full restoration.

In the auctioneer’s words, “the car was originally delivered new in Queensland and has the logbooks to verify the details. Although it is in need of a restoration, these are a very desirable HSV & probably one of the most collectible Commodores of all time.” Just 750 were produced new, with this one being number 619.

Through some form of minor miracle, the engine still runs. Yes, the race-tuned 180kW 5.0-litre V8 — Holden’s first to feature electronic fuel injection and the motor that helped Holden win the Bathurst 1000 in 1990 — turns over and runs. Grays labels it one of the most original engine bays of any Walkinshaw it’s seen, with a bevy of original stickers and plates in place.

Just about everything else, though, is rooted to some degree. The steering wheel has had a chunk chewed out of it, the manual gear stick is cocked over on almost 90 degrees, and the bodywork is looking more 50 Shades of Grey than Panorama Silver.

The state of the body is indeed going to be the biggest challenge. Rust is present everywhere, including the roof. Maybe the most interesting element is the rust in the rear — leaks under the rear windscreen seeing that area rust out, before the subsequent moisture rusted out the floor in the boot. So while it’s been in a barn for a long period, it’s also clearly been exposed to rain.

The front end clearly needs some extra TLC, too, given that it doesn’t have any shocks, as evidenced by the empty shock towers and the way it’s been propped up in the photos.

The other thing that’s curious is the kilometres indicated on the odometer. This Walkinshaw has travelled 175,000km, meaning that it’s likely to have been someone’s daily driver for quite some time before being parked up in a barn. Very few ‘Walkys’ have anywhere this many miles on them, which only further adds to this one’s story.

Still, we wait with bated breath to see what it sells for. In the current climate for classic limited edition Holdens with pedigree, AU$200,000 doesn’t seem out of the question whatsoever.

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