HSV HRT 427 prototype hits the market with $650k pricetag

2002 HSV HRT

When it comes to exclusive Australian muscle cars, this is one of the rarest and most desirable you’re likely to ever find – and it’s for sale.

Don’t be fooled by the blood-red HSV HRT 427’s relatively modest exterior – beneath the skin lurks a heavily-modified Monaro with a 420kW heart, bespoke suspension and monstrous brakes, all designed to allow it to compete against extreme-performance European cars like the Porsche 911 GT2.

Built in 2002, it was the first time HSV shoehorned a 7.0-litre V8 into a road car, something the Clayton-based manufacturer wouldn’t do again until the VE-based W427 touched down in 2008. The HRT 427 also went on a serious diet, purging its air conditioning, radio, rear seats and airbags in the quest for more performance.

Further modifications include a vented carbon-fibre bonnet, unique front and rear bumpers, rear lip spoiler, rollcage, fixed-back racing seats with four-point harnesses, a flat-bottomed steering wheel

2002-HSV-HRT-427-rearThe numbers were, for the day, incredible. The 7.0-litre dry-sumped C5-R engine was built by GM Racing and belted out 420kW and 780Nm when equipped with a race-style carbon-fibre airbox and inlet rams, providing enough power to take the HRT 427 to 100km/h in under four seconds and record an 11.7-second quarter mile time.

However, only the second prototype received the carbon inlet; the car on sale has a more road-friendly inlet manifold and air filter.

The suspension was bespoke, ditching the standard Monaro’s MacPherson strut front setup and installing a billet alloy double A-arm arrangement. At the back, a 4.11:1 diff ratio and beefed-up multilink suspension took power to the ground.

And it would have been a limited-run Aussie muscle car hero, had it not been killed by beancounters in 2003.

2002-HSV-HRT-427-engineHappily though, two cars made it out before the HRT 427 project got the chop – and the only privately-held example is for sale. Originally sold at auction for a whopping $920,000 before changing hands two more times, this car – which wears the ‘0001’ build number on its firewall – is now for sale.

Back in the day, HSV reckoned it would have cost around $300k if the project had actually received the green light ($412k in today’s money, adjusted for inflation). This car? The current owner won’t part with it for anything less than $650k.

And the current owner is Jim Markos, a man with an extensive collection that’s mostly made up of high-end Euros like Ferraris, Lamborghinis and classic Porsches.

2002-HSV-HRT-427-being -built“To be honest with you, among all the different cars that I own, I really enjoy driving this car,” Markos said to Wheels.

“It’s definitely one of my favourites, there’s no doubt about that.”

“They really put a lot of gear into this car, a lot of effort to develop the car and make it something special. A lot of magnesium parts, a lot of carbon fibre parts, great brakes, great lightweight wheels - the seats are perfect for the car’s purpose.”

But now it’s time for a new owner to hop behind the HSV HRT 427’s Sparco steering wheel. Who’s got the cash – and the courage – to own one of Australia’s fastest and rarest performance cars?

We're giving away the last great Aussie Holden V8! Enter here for your chance to win!

Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.