What's So Unique About The Holden HSV Maloo And How Many Were Made?

Cars have been a societal staple for well over a century, with them now being essential for most individuals. Thus, numerous automakers have cropped up, from Ford to Subaru to Audi, hoping to provide drivers with their ideal vehicle while reaping the financial benefits of such a venture. While many have found great success, others have struggled to maintain a place in the marketplace. Maker of several of the coolest Australian muscle cars ever built, Holden, is one such name, having gone defunct in 2020 after almost 200 years in existence. Despite its demise, though, some of its vehicles maintain a place in the history books.

One of Holden's branches, the Clayton, Victoria-based Holden Special Vehicles, specialized in performance cars. Founded in 1987, it only took a few years for HSV to produce one of its most impressive and talked-about models of all time: the Holden HSV Maloo. Sleek, fast, and powerful, these vehicles aren't easy to come by, with production numbers based on the version in question ranging from a few hundred to somewhere in the single digits. These utility vehicles were produced from 1992 to 2017, with such variants as the Maloo R8, Malo GTS, Maloo GTSRW1, and more coming to fruition in that time.

So, what exactly makes this ute so special?

The HSV Maloo is the fastest utility vehicle ever made

To call the HSV Maloo one of the best utility car-trucks of all time isn't hyperbole. In their day, different models were outfitted with several varieties of V8 engines, with the Maloo R8 LSA, for example, boasting 410kW of power and 691Nm of torque. It goes without saying that these utes have some impressive power behind them, making them stand out among their contemporaries. Not to mention, the Maloo set an incredible speed record for its class that has yet to be surpassed nearly two decades after it was set.

Back in July 2006, HSV's Mark Skaife took a Maloo R8 out for a drive in hopes of entering the Guinness World Records. He put the pedal to the metal in near Woomera in South Australia's outback, getting the vehicle up to a top speed of 271.44 kph. Doing so set the record for the fastest land speed reached by a production standard utility/pick-up truck, which had previously been reset only two years prior. A Dodge Ram SRT-10 set the old record in February 2004 by reaching a top speed of 248.783 kph. That's still a remarkable feat, but the Dodge Ram was no match for the HSV Maloo.

A Maloo once set an enormous sale price record

As noted previously, the HSV Maloo isn't a very common vehicle in any form. Their production numbers were rather low, and they haven't been in production for years as of publication, so they've become quite desirable for car enthusiasts. The rarest of the bunch is the 2017 HSV GTSR W1 Maloo, of which only four were officially produced and given directly to those within HSV and a lucky few of its customers. Two unsanctioned ones were later constructed. As one could imagine, one of these utes demands an unbelievably high price in the event they're listed for sale.

As reported by CarExpert, one of these immensely rare cars went up for auction in January 2021, and the sale price was nothing short of astronomical. The orange ute went for a staggering $1.05 million, which made it the most expensive Australian car sale of all time until a 1971 Ford XY Falcon GT-HO sold at auction shortly after for roughly $1.15 million. Fast forward a year, and another one of these vehicles went up for sale. The owner listed their yellow HSV Maloo GTSR W1 for $1.5 million, with it previously going for $1.15 million at auction in September 2021 (via Drive).

Though it's not quite one of the most expensive cars of all time, the HSV Maloo still demands huge prices, and it's not hard to figure out why. With impressive specs, standout speed capabilities, and such limited availability, they're unique pieces that most gearheads could only dream of seeing in person, let alone owning.