A Holden factory worker bought what is claimed to be the last locally-made Commodore – even though the carmaker says it kept it as a museum piece.
The incredible story – reported exclusively by WhichCar – revealed how Holden in fact prepared a number of red Commodore sedans in its final days, but the last one to be allocated a vehicle identifying number (VIN) was in fact sent to a dealer in Melbourne.
A red Holden Commodore SSV Redline with a black roof had a “Last Car” sign on it for the final production line ceremony on 20 October 2017.
It was indeed the last vehicle to be completed and driven off the production line.
But the last car to be “framed up”, sent through the paint shop and to be allocated a VIN was another red Holden Commodore SSV Redline with a red roof, now owned by a former factory worker, reports WhichCar.
The report reveals Holden factory workers were taken by bus to Adelaide Oval for a private send-off, with Jimmy Barnes playing, as well as other musical guests. And then a number of factory workers kicked on at a hotel.
At the hotel afterwards, the WhichCar story explains, one of the factory workers, Alex Kyriakopoulos, was told by an engineer the last Commodore to receive a VIN – 333644 – had been allocated to a dealer but not a buyer.
With some savvy searching, Kyriakopoulos located the dealer and negotiated over the phone to buy the car from Booran Holden in Dandenong before the showroom had even received it.
He asked the dealer to make sure the delivery stickers and wrapping be left on the vehicle, which is now wearing FINL01 number plates.
For his part, Kyriakopoulos told WhichCar he believes both he and Holden can accurately claim to have the last Commodore built in the factory at Elizabeth.
“With my car the last to be framed up, last to be allocated a VIN and last through the paint shop, and the media car being the final vehicle to be completed and come off the line, both are the ‘Last Car’ in their own respects,” Kyriakopoulos told WhichCar.
“Some would argue the media car holds that title, some would say it’s mine. All I know is that together, both cars are for the workers, Holden fans, car lovers and anyone interested in Australian automotive history.”
So which of the two red Commodores is the last of the 7,687,675 vehicles to be made locally by Holden? That’s now a debate for the ages.
The one kept by Holden was the last completely built up vehicle. The other was the last to be framed, painted and allocated a VIN – and is now owned by a former factory worker.