Australian Government Approves Holden Race Car For Sale
The recent sale of one of the most significant race cars in Australian history has pulled in a record price. And it may not have happened at all had the threat of the Australian government itself stepping in to intervene for nationalist reasons not been pulled at the last minute.
This 1969 Holden HT Monaro 57D sold over the weekend for $715,000 AUD (around $492,000 USD), a record for a road-legal Holden. That high price was driven by the fact that this was the first ever factory-built race car for the Australian marque, delivered to the Holden Dealer Team.
The Dealer Team was Holden’s way of getting around General Motors, which owned Holden and forbade the Australian carmaker to enter motorsports. A collection of Holden dealers officially formed the team, but it was bankrolled entirely by the carmaker and went on to great success in the next two decades.
The Monaro was raced just once, at the 1969 Sandown 300, but a fiery crash at the 45-minute mark ended its day. Holden, however, improved its cars based on findings from the crash, and later that year Colin Bond and Tony Roberts claimed victory at the Bathurst 500, with Des West and then-rookie Peter Brock finishing third.
This Monaro’s provenance did not go unnoticed. Prior to the sale, Lloyd’s Auctions, which handled the deal, received word from the Australian government’s Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications that the Holden might be an ‘Australian protected object’, and as such could be subject to an export ban. Thankfully, the winning bidder, who wished to remain anonymous, is an Australian and vowed to keep the Monaro in the country.
*Images courtesy of Lloyds Auctions