While over in Oz scouting cars at Performance Car Mania at Winton in 2014, I heard both sides of a drunk argument of which is “the best burnout car from the factory, ever”. The contenders were the VN SS, the Tickford EL XR8, and the VS Maloo. Though the VN SS won this particular Carlton Draught-fueled debate, the VS HSV Maloo was capable of epic feats of boganism with a simple touch of the throttle. Find this 1996 HSV Maloo here for sale in regional South Australia for $AUD12,500 ($USD9,465.88 as of today) via gumtree.
Tip from Michael
The VN-VS Commodores are as common as C-word usage in Australia, however, the HSV variants are much more scarce. Based off of a wagon platform, the standard ute was pretty ho-hum. Add a handling package, a 5-speed gearbox, limited slip, and a perky V8 and you’ve added ‘Hoon’ to your ‘Bogan’ title.
It’s a shame there aren’t any pictures of the 5.0 liter V8, which was completely Australian designed and built. The 304cid V8 started life as the 253 (pronounced two-five-three) and 308, ending up at 304 for competitive reasons. Any engine in this family has a nice, snappy bark to it and a rumble that reverberates through the bed of the utes. The Maloo had the 185kW (248hp) variant of the 5.0 and, though not sounding like much, gave a more favorable power-to-weight ratio than an E36 M3.
Importation is going to be a major problem for this ute unless you live in Canada. Allow me the burden of learning this lesson for you; personal experience has dictated 25-year rule is very tricky to try to circumvent legally and the NHTSA isn’t exactly handing out Show and Display exemptions. If you’re like me and enjoy your life on this side of the razor wire and guard towers, perhaps the similar-but-eligible VG Holden ute or XF Falcon ute are formidable options. Budget about $5,000 for a two-car container or $2,500 for the far riskier roll-on-roll-off shipping.
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