There’s a bit of an odd story behind this 2000 HSV VTII GTS-R, in fact even a HSV spokesperson wasn’t too sure how it ended up in a Mecum auction.
Built as part of a limited run of rebadged VTII GTSs, this ‘GTS-R’ is essentially just a Callaway-tuned GTS 300 intended for export to the UK. Or that’s what corroborated information gleaned from the internet would suggest.
What’s not clear is how many were built. Mecum says 50 of these were produced, and that this is the only one that’s made it to America, though figures from HSV enthusiast forums tend to hover around 20.
As stated previously, the VTII GTS-R is just a GTS with an extra letter on the badge, intended for the UK, though it seems not all of them made it. One has appeared for sale a couple of times in Western Australia, for example.
The one in the auction, Mecum says, was used by Bob Lutz for a road trip and became part of the development of the 2004 Pontiac GTO.
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According to Mecum, the car made its way to America under the care of Gordon Wangers, an automotive industry executive who was CEO of marketing and promotional agency ACMI at the time.
Evidence of the car’s US presence in 2001 is available in the form of a comparison test with a BMW M5 by Car and Driver.
Though it’s wearing concept wheels by Curva, the original wheels are to be included in the sale. The odometer has recorded 42,395km.
In other news: GTS-R Maloo appears in America
A 5.7-litre LS1 putting out 300kW and 510Nm, the Callaway-tuned 'C4B' engine was a marvel of the time and was used in HSV’s GTS Coupe soon after.
Mecum estimates the car will sell at the Indy 2019 Auction in mid-May for between USD$50,000 and $75,000, or between AUD$70,900 and $106,300.