HSV Maloo R8 LSA models are a fairly common sight in Australia but in the United States, they are forbidden fruit and the news of one hitting the used car market always gets enthusiasts talking. One particularly attractive 2016 R8 LSA is being sold by Mecum Auctions at its Chattanooga sales event running from October 13-14 and should comfortably sell for over $100,000.
The Maloo R8 LSA was one of the final iterations of the beloved ute built in Australia and prices have soared since the Holden brand was axed. The car is powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged LSA V8 churning out 550 hp (410 kW) and 509 lb-ft (691 Nm) of torque through the rear wheels while coupled to an automatic transmission. But how did this example end up in America?
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HSV models like the Maloo cannot be legally imported into the United States as they do not comply with the 25-year rule. However, this Maloo appears to have been brought in by Left Hand Utes, a company based out of Denver, Colorado. To get around the 25-year rule, Left Hand Utes imports Holdens then proceeds to completely strip them back and rebuild them with certain U.S.-spec parts from the Pontiac GTO, G8, and Chevy Caprice, including the powertrain, fuel tank, and headlights. Left Hand Utes then converts each car to left-hand drive.
Details about this particular Maloo R8 LSA are limited, including when it was imported into the United States. A photo of the interior shows that it has 19,988 miles (32,167 km) under its belt and it looks to be in good condition. It is painted in Sting Red and the cabin nicely complements the exterior with red leather inserts on the seats.
Mecum notes the car has had just one owner and that the 6.2-liter V8 has been upgraded with a cold air intake, new headers, an upgraded pulley, and tuned on a dyno to deliver 625 hp.