WHEN HSV launched the GTS-R W1, its last VF Commodore-based production car, it asked buyers for $170,000, which seemed insane – though the company had no dramas shifting all 300 of them. And now W1s are fetching the price of a small home as collectors scrap over what is already an Australian motoring icon. Lloyds Auctioneers and Valuers in Queensland expect to sell a W1 this weekend for a whopping $300,000.
If you’ve been living under a rock and have no idea what the W1 is, it’s not just another tarted-up Commodore; there’s real substance to the work HSV has put in to transform it from the base car into the $170,000 last-of-the-line monster. For starters it uses an entirely different LS-series V8 engine from previous models. The W1’s LS9 may still be a 6.2-litre, but it has a larger supercharger than the LSA fitted to GTS and ClubSport models, along with forged pistons and rods, titanium valves and a dry-sump oil system. Peak power is 635hp, and the noise it makes is unlike anything else HSV has built.
It almost didn’t happen; HSV had to scour GM warehouses to locate enough LS9 engines left over from the Corvette ZR1 program to bring the W1 into existence. And once they had engines, they needed a gearbox, as the Corvette used a transaxle. So HSV modified the Tremec six-speed manual to make it all work.
Suspension and brakes were also heavily modified for the W1. HSV redesigned the front end, including the guards, to accommodate the wider front tyres and the unique SupaShock suspension. Previous Gen-F HSVs used magnetically adjustable shocks; however, the more track-focussed W1 uses fixed-rate suspension from a company that supplies to V8 Supercar teams. The bigger AP Racing brakes are also new.
Essentially, HSV shoehorned an entirely new driveline into the W1, making it arguably the greatest Australian-made car ever built, and no doubt a future collectible. Of the W1s that are currently listed for sale online, prices range from $245,000 up to $320,000. However, none have the red hue of the Lloyds auction car (build no. 36) you see here – possibly the most desirable colour for an HSV. The car is brand new and has just 21km on the odometer.
Lloyds expects the car to sell for over $300,000, which could be a new record for a W1. A black W1 was passed in at auction at $257,000 in August, but is believed to have sold for significantly more after further negotiations.
For Ford fans, Lloyds also has an FG-X Falcon XR6 Sprint up for auction. Finished in Ford’s iconic blue, the car has travelled 1200km and is build number 86 of 500. Ford’s final Sprint series is yet to really appreciate drastically in value, with cars listed online for between $50,000 and $70,000.
For more information and to see the full list of cars up for auction this weekend, check out Lloyds Online.