Holden Australia donated $807,000 to charity over the weekend, of which $307,000 was raised by the 'Commodore Collection' auction that coincided with the 'Holden Dream Cruise' celebrations commemorating the Elizabeth factory closure this Friday.
The 'Commodore Collection' consisted of three limited-edition Commodores – Director 05, Motorsport 05 and Magnum 111 – that were among the last to roll off the production line in Elizabeth, South Australia.
The Calais-based Director wore build number 05 and was sold to an online buyer for $130,000, with 50 per cent of its proceeds ($65,000) given to The Lighthouse Foundation on behalf of Beverly Brock, former partner of the late Holden racing legend Peter Brock.
Alternatively, the remaining auction proceeds ($242,000) were bolstered by a $500,000 donation from GM Holden itself, with a total of $742,000 given to The Smith Family's 'Learning for Life' sponsorship program.
According to GM Holden chairman and managing director Mark Bernhard, the sizeable donation is an acknowledgement to the support the carmaker has received from the local community for over half a century.
“This is the city where our company was born. We want to show Adelaide that we appreciate the support the community has given Holden, particularly over the past 55 years of manufacturing in Elizabeth,” he said.
According to Manheim director of sales Adrian Blackwell, bidding for the the limited-run Commodores was unprecedented, with interest coming from all corners of Australia and overseas.
The Smith Family general manager SA and NT Graham Jaeschke said the money will go towards supporting the education of more than 1000 disadvantaged students over a five-year period.
Based on the SS sedan, the Motorsport special sported build number 05 and was sold to an excited Jamie Lockett from Ballarat, Victoria for $93,000.
“The unique build numbers added a lot of value to the cars under the hammer. To now own the number five of the late Peter Brock, the King of the Mountain himself, now that’s a piece of history to own,” he said.
Michael Steinborner from Gawler, South Australia was equally ecstatic with his purchase of the SS ute-based Magnum (build number 111) for $84,000.
“I’ve been a Holden fan for decades, and I love utes, so to own the last limited-edition Magnum is incredible,” he said.
The auction was run by Manheim and simulcast online. According to Manheim director of sales Adrian Blackwell, bidding for the the limited-run Commodores was unprecedented, with interest coming from all corners of Australia and overseas.
Yesterday's 'Holden Dream Cruise' event saw more than 25,000 Red Lion fans turn out across the streets of Elizabeth, with a parade of more 1200 Holden vehicles proceeding through the city.
The procession included models ranging from the original 48-215 – dubbed 'FX' – to the most recent VFII Commodore.
“It was truly inspirational to see the passion from the Holden fans and our employees past and present. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face from start to finish,” Mr Bernhard said of the celebrations.
On October 20, the production line at Holden's Elizabeth factory will grind to a halt for the final time, with local car manufacturing also coming to an end alongside it following the exits of Ford and Toyota.
Have you snapped up one of the last Aussie-built Holden Commodores? Tell us in the comments below.