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The stillborn Holden supercar turned racer

Holden produced some awesome concepts during its time as a manufacturer, but one of its more recent creations did in fact create controversy on the race track.

During the early-2000s Holden was dominant in the V8 Supercars landscape and had just released the incarnated Monaro, so combining the two was obvious.

Just two of this special edition were produced by Holden as the idea was canned thanks to the exorbitant cost to make the thing, but it did represent the Lion on the tracks of Australia to great success.

Revealed at the Sydney International Motor Show in 2002, the HRT 427 was a closed circuit racer featuring the same 7.0-litre V8 racing engine from Chevrolet’s successful C5R Corvette program encompassing multiple Le Mans victories.

The Holden Racing Team was at the top of its game during this period as the ‘Golden Child’ was winning on track and the expert technicians had got their hands on the big block engine to incorporate bespoke pistons paired with a new CNC cylinder head design.

A hand built Tremec six-speed gearbox transfers the power through the rear wheels featuring triple synchros for less shift effort and lower ratios to match the Z06 Corvette.

Utilising HSV’s double ‘A’ arm front suspension system is matched with fully adjustable dampers all round, while AP Racing supply the six-pot brake calipers all round.

On the inside, Sparco Pro 2000 race seats welcome the occupants to a stripped out interior, a MoTeC instrument panel and HRT steering wheel.

Carbon fibre was littered throughout and the rims were magnesium as the HRT 427 weighed in at just 1575kg.

Although there was no luxuries such as audio and air conditioning, but 80 customers paid up deposits immediately at $215,000 a pop.

In mid-2003 HSV announced it was not producing the HRT 427 as the numbers to make the concept into a road version was not achievable at the $215,000 asking price.

However, it wasn’t lost as Holden entered the Monaro into the inaugural Bathurst 24 Hour race of 2002 using the 7.0-litre motor developed this time by Garry Rogers Motorsport. This proved controversial as the road-going Holden Monaro CV8 used the 5.7-litre Gen III V8 and regulations required the production based model’s power plant, but permission was granted to use it.

Of course, the Monaro won both 24 Hour contests alongside its full season campaigns in Nations Cup for Nathan Pretty and Peter Brock, but although it won races the title alluded the pair before the series fell over at the end of 2004.

When the Australian GT Championship was formed out of Nations Cup for the 2005 season the Monaro was effectively banned.

The two HRT 427s remain with one recently going to auction at an asking price of $1 million.