Taking a look at Holden’s Winged Warrior – The ‘Walky’

23. August 2016 14:26 by Rare Spares in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

When it comes to iconic cars, Holden has produced plenty, but it wasn’t until they developed their first fuel injected V8 along with a partnership between HSV and Tom Walkinshaw Racing that the Walkinshaw VL Commodore SS  Group A SV was born. After the parting of ways of Holden and Peter Brock’s Holden Dealer Team, The Walkinshaw was scheduled for release in November 1987 but did not arrive until March 1988 in showrooms. A limited initial run of 500 units were produced to meet race homologation rules with a further 250 units ordered after some early success with sales. The cars were assembled in Dandenong then modified in Clayton here in Victoria. Ticket price was initially $47,000 back in 1988.

It’s heart was a Highly Tuned 308 with Delco EFI, High flow intake ports, Roller Rockers, 4 bolt mains backed by a Borg Warner T56 5 speed Transmission. It pumped out 180kw @ 5200rpm, 380nm @ 4000rpm of torque and was capable of 0-100kmh in 6.5 seconds. ‘Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday’. The exhaust system comprised of eight primary pipes each with a join adjacent to the head, this made it possible for the exhaust system to be free from the first join whilst still complying with race regulations.

The Walky had one of the most complex body kits implemented in a production car. There are around 22 pieces that make up it’s fibreglass kit. A bonnet bulge was required to make room for the twin-throttle body intake manifold. Due to it’s garish appearance it earned a few unfair nicknames like ‘Plastic Pig’, ‘Winged Warrior’, ‘Batmobile’ and ‘Plastic Fantastic’. Despite a slow start in motorsport after the changeover from HDT to HRT/HSV the pinnacle race success for the vehicle was achieved  in 1990. The stout VL SS Group A (Allan Grice and Win Percy at the wheel) secured a win at the 1990 Tooheys 1000 which silenced some of  the cars non-believers and left the Ford Sierras in the rearview.

The VN Commodore was released in August 1988 which hampered sales on the second Walkinshaw batch of 250 units. A highly collectable car now a recent Shannons auction this year saw a VL Commodore SS Group A sell for $81,000.

Have you got a story to tell about the VL Walkinshaw? What did you think of the car when you first laid eyes on it? Head over to the Rare Spares Facebook page and let us know in the comments!