1.8-tonne crate arrives at Vauxhall's Luton HQ from Holden, Australia; so what's in it?
23 February 2007

It's not every day that a 1.8-tonne, car-sized wooden crate arrives at Vauxhall's Luton headquarters via air freight from Melbourne, Australia, but one day this week, that's exactly what happened. You're looking at a picture of that crate; there are more pictures like it in our gallery. Right now, we can't tell you what was in the air-freighted container; Vauxhall has sworn us to secrecy until Monday morning at 8.00am, when all will be revealed.Consider this, though. Melbourne is home to Holden, General Motors Aussie business arm, from whom Vauxhall had been waiting for a replacement for its 400bhp Monardo VXR since that car was discontinued last year. Autocar happens to know that what's in this crate cost £12,000 to fly all the way from one end of the globe to the other, and that it was flown in so that it could be here in time for 'brochure shots and show commitments'. You can therefore assume that it must be something Vauxhall wants to get hold of pretty urgently, and that's worth looking at. We also know that there are several hundred more crates whose contents are almost identical to this one currently on an ocean-going vessel somewhere at sea, bound for the UK.And here's the good bit. Although Vauxhall won't confirm this until next week, you will be able to put your name against one of those crates for less than £35k, and if you do, you'll end up six litres, eight cylinders, 414 rip-snorting rear-driven horses - and not two, but four doors - better off.

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