If you were to mention the brand ‘Holden’ to American enthusiasts, many of them would think of the recently departed Pontiac GTO and G8, and yet others still haven’t heard of them. Although our specialty here at Street Legal TV is hot rods and classic American muscle, we do have a hard time ignoring the awesome machines from the Land Down Under.
Prior to the 21st Century Holdens being used as Pontiacs, they were known Down Under as the go-to brand for the Australian GM set. Not only are they used for drag racing and drift cars, but they have their own line of racing organizations, such as the V8 Series, and the Targa Challenge. While the V8 Series is sort of like the Australian version of NASCAR (with left and right turns), the Targa is a race set throughout small towns and rural areas of Australia.
Racers from all over Australia and New Zealand participate in the Targa and their cars are no joke, despite being based on production models. Such is the case with this 1988 Hunter Holden VL Walkinshaw. The Walkinshaw is basically a 1980’s version of today’s current Commodore HSV, a Holden in-house tuner model, and this particular example fielded by Adam and David Kaplan is packing over 750 hp.
With its vintage racing paint scheme, it’s a perfect replica of the 1990 Bathurst winner. The Kaplans admit that it was built with the intention of having fun, not necessarily to win an event. The crowds love it, and so do the Kaplans. With close to 800hp on tap and the narrow rear wheels, it might make a better drift machine than a Targa racer, but the Kaplans prefer to go sideways.