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Golden apple of HSV's eye


The name says it all really HSV, Holden Special Vehicles, special versions of the Commodore, Statesman and Ute.

But even among HSV vehicles there are even more special cars, the SV for Special Vehicle range.
HSV builds them infrequently and often to mark a special occasion.

There was an SV in 1989, an SV5000 in 1990, and last year an SV6000, although none of the 2006 cars came to New Zealand.

And then there was the SV99, the one that HSV Car Club member Alan has for sale.

The gold-painted special edition car is his pride and joy, and has been either a consistent winner or runner-up in the show section of the annual HSV gathering at the Taupo motor racing circuit.

The SV99 had its genesis in Australian swimmer Grant Hackett's gold medal successes of 1998.
HSV decided to mark the occasion with a special Commodore.

It was painted gold a unique shade called Hackett Gold in honour of Hackett's winning swims.
The special cars were built in 1999, hence the SV99 moniker.

HSV built 99 of them, giving the first one to Hackett himself.

Seven came to New Zealand, three manuals and four autos, the latter including Alan's car.
It's car number 24 of the limited run.

He bought the car in 2001, when he went to the Australian V8 Supercar race meeting at Pukekohe.
I've cherished it ever since, he says. I've only done 18,000km in it (the car has a total of 45,000km on the clock).

Alan likes to have a unique car, and he says the Hackett Gold HJSV has many unique touches like a golden tint in the alloy wheels, gold leather upholstery and even a gold engine cover in place of the traditional red on the 5.7-litre Chevrolet V8.

The 1999 HSVs were the first cars with the Chevy V8 in place of the 5.0-litre Holden.
It wasn't a cheap car new: list price in New Zealand was a hefty $119,000. Alan says he bought the car because he wanted a unique vehicle.

There are plenty of Clubsports around, but I'd rather have something that every man and his dog doesn't have. That's the appeal of something like this.

Alan loves the car but says he has a special reason for selling it.

He had a good mate, a fellow member of the HSV club, who died suddenly after a day's golfing.
He had a 1997 Senator and he and I used to go to HSV events together, and he died suddenly at the age of 42.

I've been a bit sort of vacant ever since. Things haven't been the same.
I've never owned a car for as long as (I've owned the SV99).

It's a nice car, a unique car but I've just reached the point where it might be time to move on, especially with my mate no longer being around at HSV Club events.

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