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Maloo gets supercharged 6.2-litre V8

Holden on to the past: the modern Maloo and old-timer FX

on September 12 2014 | in Industry news, Latest news | by | with Comments Off

Will the Holden Special Vehicles’ GTS Maloo ute be largely a museum piece in 60 years’ time when the oil runs out? Will its supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine be a dinosaur, in a world of cars using compressed air and hydrogen to get around? One thing’s for sure, the ute that is 60 years the GTS Maloo’s junior doesn’t have to worry about its future – it’s got such a glorious past.

Mark Grey and his 1953 Holden FX ute

Mark Grey and his 1953 Holden FX ute

The 1953 Holden FX ute pictured here is Aucklander Mark Grey’s pride and joy and forms part of Holden New Zealand’s 60th birthday celebrations, in which a restored 1969 Monaro coupe is up for grabs. Under the bonnet of the FX is a 2.2-litre straight-six engine generating 45kW (60bhp) and 135Nm and mated to a column-change three-speed gearbox. In a pinch, the 1035kg ute can get from 0-100km/h in just under 20 seconds. The boosted V8 in the GTS Maloo delivers 430kW/740Nm and comes with the choice of six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes. In the right hands the 1875kg carry-all can do the 0-100km/h run in 4.5 seconds. The automatic version gets a twin-plate clutch to deal with the significant torque, while manual versions get a launch control system for lickety-split bursts off the mark. The only thing the FX and GTS Maloo have in common – apart from the load bay at the back – is they are collectors’ items. HSV will build 250 Maloo GTS utes as a swansong before its parent stops manufacturing in Australia. Holden has stuck with Aboriginal names over the years: Maloo reportedly is ‘thunder’; Torana is ‘to fly’; and Monaro is ‘mountains’.
HSV GTS Maloo ute ... only 250 will be built

HSV GTS Maloo ute … only 250 will be built

HSV was going to limit production of the GTS Maloo to 165 units but decided to increase numbers after it became apparent some of its best customers had missed out. HSV NZ will get 10 examples out of the 250. The GTS Maloo goes into production in November and the NZ cars will arrive in December. HSV NZ general manager Andrew Lamb says all 10 will be sold ‘pretty soon.” “Six have been firmly sold and four have probably been sold”. He said the price should be known in the next few weeks. It is expected to sell across the ditch from A$85,000. It is the first ute ever with ‘torque vectoring’, a computer-controlled stability control system which varies the power to each 20-inch wheel and can prevent skids in corners. Mark Grey’s FX ute had 15-inch rims that were only 89mm wide when it first appeared in 1953. That’s not as wide as some motorcycle rims. Later in production the rims were ‘fattened’ to 102mm. Grey is a founding member of the Early Holden Club and has owned eight Holdens over the years. He spent five years restoring the FX Ute and says it drives “like brand new”. “My family bought me a dust cover for my ute but it never goes on it because I like coming out to the shed and just looking at it,” he said. Grey is one of a handful of contenders in line for Holden’s ‘most devoted fan’ award, part of the 60th celebrations. Details can be found at Holden NZ managing director Jeff Murray said the celebrations give New Zealanders the chance to trip down memory lane. “Kiwis have some great stories about their Holden experiences”, he said. “We thought this would be the perfect opportunity to unearth the best yarns, pull out the old photos, dust off the memorabilia and relive the legendary road trips.”

  • The best story teller will win a fully restored 1969 Holden Monaro. Holden bought what was left of the Monaro from Thames (below) and is now putting it together again.

GTS In The Yard copy

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