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The legendary hot Holdens from Mildura

Situated far away from Melbourne, Mildura is the unlikely setting for a famed tuning company devoted to the Holden brand.

Corsa Specialised Vehicles has been tinkering with Holdens since 1994 when it was founded by drag racing identity Peter Dichiera, nicknamed the ‘Mildura Maverick’.

CSV obtained government approval in 1996 under the Australian Design Rules (ADR) scheme and launched its own range of models based on a variety of Holden nameplates similar to the manufacturer supported HSV brand.

Launching with the Holden VR Berlina-based Corsa 220i, it caused a stir when the performance exceeded the HSV equivalent. This led to two specially produced models being built and CSV exhibiting at motor shows across Australia.

Going on to release the Volanti, Strada and Veloce through the VR to VX generations of Holden’s Commodore in sedan or wagon body styles, CSV peaked at the turn of the millennium. It continued to expand across the Holden range by releasing the La Classe as a modified Statesman/Caprice in VS-WH specification, the Mondo as CSV’s Monaro equivalent and the Bullet being the Commodore utility from VS to VU.

Many options were available for each model depending on the engine specification as CSV offered at its peak a 400kW 5.7-litre LS1 motor featuring other modifications included enhanced Harrop brakes and suspension.

Luxury interiors and exterior body kits significantly different to those being offered by HSV differentiated CSV as it formed a niche market.

CSV holds the distinction of being the first to fit a LS7 motor into a HSV GTS producing amazing results in terms of power output and torque.

Having since moved away from producing its own models to modifying a variety of manufacturers including Ford as it developed a couple of Mustangs in 2017.

Even as of 2023, a Mondo has been entered in the Australia Production Car Series proving it is still a worthy weapon compared to modern performance models.