Holden a rare muscle car
NOW here's a real rarity for you. Just 580 of these Holden HX Limited Editions were built back in 1976, all in striking metallic crimson paintwork with gold pin-striping and “LE” lettering on their coupe bodies.
Owner of this beautiful example, Susanne Laird, said she was unsure how many survive today, but one thing's for certain, after a lifetime of wanting to own one, she won't be parting with hers any time soon.
“She's my superannuation that can only increase in value and I can enjoy it in the meantime,” she said.
Susanne is no stranger to rare and powerful Australian muscle. She's already owned an SLR5000, two four-door Monaros, a two-door LS Monaro and a Falcon XC Cobra.
But the HX LE has been a long time coming. “I saw one in my local Holden showroom in 1976, tried to buy it, but it had already been sold to the manager. I bought a four-door Monaro instead, but I always wished I'd got the LE,” Susanne said.
The Little Mountain resident eventually bought her beloved LE four years ago; agreeing on a price for the coupe with its owner before even seeing it.
The owner assured her his example was in very good condition after being stored for 17 years. “When it turned up on a truck my jaw just dropped,” Susanne said. “It had been in a barn, was filthy, had pieces missing, cobwebs were everywhere and the chrome needed re-doing. His idea of very good condition and mine were completely different.”
It wasn't all bad news, however. Once cleaned, the carpets and seats – which would be practically impossible to replace – were in fine condition, and after a good polish, the bodywork has come up beautifully. Not immaculate, this is a car to be used and enjoyed by Susanne, and not simply for showing.
The 5.0-litre V8 has just been rebuilt, and after a quick run around Little Mountain, proved itself to be in fine form. It sounds and pulls like a 1970s V8 should and the level of comfort in the big cloth seats and leather cabin gives today's luxury cars a run for their money.
“It's built for cruising and I think is more comfortable than modern cars,” Susanne said. “It had a lot of special features for 1976, including air-conditioning and it still has its eight-track music system in there.”
The passion Susanne has for her LE is a joy to see. Her ownership is a dream realised after years of longing, and best of all, she's an enthusiast owner not afraid to put her foot down and enjoy the LE.
Owner: Susanne Laird, Little Mountain.
Model: 1976 Holden HX Limited Edition (LE).
Details: Two-door coupe produced in 1976.
Number produced: 580.
Engine: 308cu in (5.0-litre) V8 OHV producing 161kW @ 4800rpm and 400Nm @ 3100rpm.
Transmission: Three-speed Turbo-Hydramatic 400 and Salisbury LSD.
Value today: $45,000-$60,000.
Did you know? Although the HX LE never wore the hallowed ‘Monaro' nameplate, most Holden fans regard it as a genuine member of the breed, with its high value reflecting this.
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