- Written by webmin
Hemmings has readers in Australia who are clearly well versed in what U.S. car enthusiasts are up to.
Meanwhile, I’m woefully ignorant about Australian cars, with the exception of the two (I know of) that have been sold here: the 2008-2009 Pontiac G8, aka Holden VE Commodore, and the 2004-2006 Pontiac GTO, aka the Holden Monaro coupe.
I recently received a press release from Sotheby’s Australia, written in uh, Australianese (Australianish?): “Sotheby’s Australia is pleased to present a special exhibition from November 12-15 of a select group of important collectors’ motor cars by public tender,” (Translation: Sotheby’s Australia is conducting a collector car auction November 12-15.) I thought it might be a chance to teach myself something.
Sure enough, one of the consignments is a 1987 Brock VL Director, which Sotheby’s tells me is “arguably, the most exciting and sought-after car ever built in Australia.”
Prior to the G8 and the GTO, I would’ve thought that owning the most exciting and sought-after car built in Australia would be like being the skinniest kid at fat camp or the tallest of the Seven Dwarfs. But now I know better. And this Director sure has an interesting story to tell.
The Brock VL Director was a product of Holden Dealer Team Special Vehicles, a successful venture founded by Australian auto racing legend, the late Peter Geoffrey Brock. HDT built modified high-performance versions of Holden street cars and sold them through special Holden dealers similar to the way Carroll Shelby sold Shelby G.T. 350s and 500s in the 1960s.
The Director should’ve been Brock’s crowning achievement, equipped to take on Europe’s best sedans with the buyer’s choice of a 4.9- or 5.6-liter V-8; T-5 manual or GM four-speed automatic; Corvette disc brakes; 16×8 Momo or Simmons wheels; Recaro seats; a Momo steering wheel; optional independent rear suspension and a 21-piece body cladding kit that screamed, “I’m from the 1980s!” louder than a Men At Work concert shirt.
But there was one feature that Holden didn’t like about the Director, and that was Brock’s DB Energy Polarizer. The Energy Polarizer, Brock claimed, was a device that would align the car’s molecules and mysteriously improve its handling, allow it to run on low-grade fuel, and so on. Apparently, Holden wasn’t convinced of all this and tried to prevent Brock from selling the car, saying they wanted more time to test the Director.
Brock went ahead and unveiled the car anyway, against Holden’s wishes, and Holden pulled all of its support, ending Brock’s factory-backed racing efforts and perhaps his chances of becoming a world class tuner. Without Holden, Brock went on to build only nine Directors.
There’s a great vintage news report of the whole fiasco posted on YouTube.
Especially enjoyable is the montage at the end to the tune of John Denver’s “Some Days are Diamonds.”
Incidentally, HDT is back in business, and you can read about the Director on the company’s web site – minus any mention of the Polarizer.
The Sotheby’s auction where the car is slated to cross the block is scheduled for Novemeber 12-15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 7 Anderson Street, Double Bay, NSW, Australia. For more information, visit Sotheby’s Australia’s website.