HSV VS GTS-R VIP buying experience

1996 HSV VS GTSR

“The introduction of the HSV GTS-R is much more than another new model release.” Or at least it was in 1996.

HSV’s original press release for its ’96 VS GTS-R touts it as “a new model which takes Australian road car performance to new height and introduces an unprecedented level of customer service.”

HSV wasn’t lying, as the purchase of a GTS-R included a trip to Melbourne, a tour of HSV and HRT’s facilities, as well as a few other nifty bonuses.

96-VS-GTSR-engine bay
For their $76K, GTS-R buyers in 1996 could expect:

  • A flight to Melbourne via QANTAS business class.
  • Executive welcome & VIP tours of HSV production and engineering facilities.
  • An engineering presentation including GTS-R specifications, technical background, and development program.
  • An executive luncheon hosted by HSV management.
  • A tour of Holden Racing Team headquarters.
  • Professional commemorative photograph of the visit to HSV including GTS-R and members of the HSV team.
  • Where appropriate delivery of customer GTS-R.
  • Overnight accommodation as required at Parkroyal (Parkview) St Kilda Road.

And, of course, one bright yellow 1996 HSV VS GTS-R.

96-VS-GTSR-rear
The release also outlines the car’s 5.7-litre 215kW long-stroke V8, HSV tuned sports suspension, ABS, power steering and “cassette player with auto reverse and six-speaker, totalling 30 watts”. Wow.

Unique to the GTS-R is the carbon fibre trim, charcoal black three-spoke alloy wheels, HSV and GTS-R model identification badging, plus the very, very obvious XU-3 Yellah paint colour.

96-VS-GTSR-interior seats
The GTS-R’s ‘Yellah’ colour scheme means its interior styling hasn’t aged well, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say. We can thank current Jag design boss Ian Callum for the seats.

What has aged well is the car’s nostalgia factor. With only 85 built (75 for us, 10 for NZ) the car has incredible value due to its rarity.

“The price-tag is expected to be around $76,000 with and an extra $10,500 for the optimised option,” the original HSV literatures states.

We imagine you’d be able to double that now, especially considering we saw one advertised for almost $150K last year.

96-VS-GTSR-carbon-wheel-caps
Presentation of limited edition GTS-R rally jacket, hat and vehicle compendium were also included in the purchase of a GTS-R. All individually numbered to coincide with the vehicle build number, as well as a commemorative photograph of the visit.

While the car’s value has now exceeded its original sum, we have to wonder what one would be worth if it came with the jacket.

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