The Case For An Aussie Muscle Car In Malaysia

Want a muscle car that works in Malaysia? Forget America and perhaps try Oz instead. 

As much as the rational side of our brains may rather rightfully claim that these are just brash gas-guzzlers that gives off the image of their owners to be compensating for something, there is nevertheless still that tiny hidden part in all of us which would absolutely adores the idea of owning a muscle car. 

And thanks to the American auto industry being more cognisant in recent time to the fact that other countries exist, the idea of owning a muscle car is therefore actually not that unrealistic a possibility. The Mustang has after all been one half of a lowly two model lineup that has keeping Ford Malaysia afloat for quite some time now, thanks in part to many Malaysians having jumped at the opportunity to own one of these iconic pony cars with a full warranty and its steering wheel on the right side of the road. 

General Motors too have recently finally relented in putting the steering wheel on the right for the first time ever in a Corvette, but this rather unfortunately about ends the list of official right-hand drive American muscle cars to have ever been made. Want a Dodge Hellcat or a Chevy Camaro over here? Hope you like struggling at the McDonald’s drive-through then. 

Though for those who actually do crave a muscle car but don’t want to get one of those claw-grabber arm-extension devices out at every parking lot ticket booth, there is happily a rather simple solution. And that is rather than looking to the good ol’ U S of A for a V8 fix, maybe perhaps try procuring one from the land down under instead. 

Australia, the land perhaps better known for its beautiful beaches and deadly animals does after all boast a rather strong muscle car culture of its own. A relic from when Ford and General Motors first set up shop over there in the turn of the last century, the Aussies could widely be considered second only to the Americans for their love of the V8. 

But because Oz was also a colony of the Brits for the longest times and have since adopted some of their sensibilities too, all of their cars hence have the steering wheel on the correct side of the road. Meaning then that driving around in an Aussie muscle car could be said to be no different to any other large sedan around town over here. 

Now granted, an older Aussie muscle car doesn’t perhaps have the iconic cool factor that is the main push for many to procure its vintage American brethren over here. Ultimately, no one will likely take a classic Holden Monaro over an equivalent-era Chevrolet Camaro or even a Ford Falcon (alá Mad Max) over a Mustang, and there are even perhaps more than a few now having to click on the links to figure out just what these cars look like in the first place too.  

Things though become less clear cut when the topic transitions to modern muscle cars, as there could be a better case there for picking something up down under instead of bringing back home a recent example of V8-powered slice of Americana. This is especially considering that some of these current-era muscle sedans over in the land of the free originally started life in Australia in the first place, before being repatriated and rebadged to be sold in the states.  

Featuring an 6.2-litre LS3 V8 straight from a Corvette and made available with the option of a 6-speed manual transmission, a Holden VF Commodore SS sedan (that that was rebadged as the Chevrolet SS in America) does make a really tempting red-neck alternative to a BMW M5. While those who desire something even more wild can go for a HSV (Holden Special Vehicles) GTS, which had stuffed a 6.2-litre supercharged LSA V8 under the saloon body which is good for 585 PS and presumably mile-long tyre-shredding burnouts. 

Those who prefer a Blue Oval badge up front meanwhile could track down a Falcon XR8 or FPV (Ford Performance Vehicles) Falcon GT sedan, which features various Ford V8s with varying degrees of supercharged-ness. And as for those who are hard set on a coupe on the other hand should look no further then than the reborn Holden Monaro and its wilder HSV coupe counterpart, which was incidentally so impressive that Top Gear had crowned it as its Muscle Car of the year back in 2004. 

Being Australia too, it would be remissed to mention that ute versions of these aforementioned muscle sedans are also available in the form of the Holden Maloo and Ford Falcon Pursuit respectively. So for those wanting to procure a work truck that can both haul cargo and ass at the same time, look no further than these single-cab supercar slayers. 

Just being absolutely crystal here though, these aforementioned Aussie muscle cars and utes are unfortunately not fresh off the factory floor, and most are in fact about a decade-old now. That is as thanks to emissions regulation and the subsequent swift demise of the native Australian auto industry in recent time, the V8 flame down under is sadly all but extinguished already. 

Then again, these examples mentioned here could still to be considered modern and sophisticated enough that driving one on a regular basis shouldn’t really be an issue. Besides, doesn’t the charm of a muscle car come from it being a bit more rough and ready anyway?

So to those who want a taste of a good ol’ American V8 before the inevitable era of electricity but don’t want to suffer the pains of driving an American car over here, Australia then could be the answer to your worries. What more too is while Mustangs are a dime a dozen already over here and even the odd Corvette does occasionally make an appearance on Malaysian roads, it is all but certain that anyone who brings in a muscle ute would likely be in an exclusive club of 1 over here. 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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