Prices for 1990s HSVs have been going gangbusters in the surging second-hand enthusiast market, so what is someone to do if they want a unique 90s bent-eight Holden without selling a vital organ?
We might just have the answer.
This 1997 VS CSV Strada 5000i has popped up for auction at Grays, and if you want a car with all the flare of a HSV, but with a truly unique back story, then it’s the perfect weekend cruiser.
Corsa Specialized [sic] Vehicles (CSV) started out life in 1994, and much like HSV made itself busy by modifying Holden Commodores into hot machines as a secondary manufacturer, with bodykits, interior trim and in some cases significant power upgrades. They’re still operating today out of Mildura and do a stack of work on Mustangs.
One of its biggest achievements included the 2008 CSV GTS – in which CSV beat HSV at its own game in the race to install GM’s legendary LS7 7.0-litre from the Z06 Corvette into a Commodore-based car. While it looked like a normal VE Clubsport, the CSV GTS became the fastest accelerating Australian production car at that point, and HSV wouldn’t debut its own LS7-slung HSV W427 until some time after the CSV GTS was unleashed onto Aussie roads.
This ’97 VS CSV doesn’t quite have the same claim in the performance realm, but it more than makes up for it with the unique body kit and wheels. The front bumper has a completely filled in grille that’d be the envy of many HSV Manta owners of the same period, and the twin-exit rear exhaust tips are reminiscent of the big units seen on FC RX-7s.
Under the skin is Holden’s five-litre plastic V8 and a four-speed auto ‘box, as the Strada was the entry level model of CSV’s VS range. It was followed by Volanti and the big banger Veloce 5800i. The Veloci not only featured a stroker crank, but ran a twin-throttle body intake and massive Harrop stoppers. The Strada however, had to make do with mild engine tweaks.
While there is the addition of some aftermarket gauges and a new age head unit, for the most part the VS CSV still appears to be in mostly original condition – which is probably a good thing, considering finding CSV replacement parts would be a task we don’t even want to contemplate.
At the time of writing the bidding only sits at $10,900, which is cheap for a V8 Holden in this day and age. Bidding closes at 8.30pm AEST on September 29, and you can view the full listing here.