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Special Commodore for special buyer (copyright image)

Sgt Gleeson and her new Holden Commodore SS-V

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26th August, 2011

Bay City Holden, Frankston (Victoria), has handed over the keys of a unique Commodore to a special customer who placed the order all the way from Afghanistan.

HSV Sales Consultant at Bay City Holden, Jarrod Brettell thought it was a joke when he received a call from a customer overseas enquiring about purchasing a brand new Series II Commodore SS-V in the livery of the Toll Holden Racing Team.

But Mr Brettell soon found out that it was no hoax.

The call came from Sergeant Tara Gleeson, currently serving in Force Support Unit 4 with the Australian Defence Forces in Afghanistan who has been a Holden fanatic since her brother taught her to drive in an FJ Ute while growing up in Queensland.

The 15-year Army veteran and V8 Supercar enthusiast wanted something special that reflected her 'petrol head' passion.

Sergeant Gleeson ordered a brand new VE Series II Commodore SSV that, without lowering or modifying, was as close to a direct replica of the car that Garth Tander and Will Davison drove to victory in the 2009 Bathurst 1000.

Luckily, Mr Brettell was one of a handful of Holden Sales Consultants who had been supplying “special” cars for years and knew exactly what to do in order to turn the customer's dream into reality.

A special vinyl wrap was ordered and the dealer had the wheels powder coated white and the windows tinted black to complete the picture with e-mails bouncing between Frankston and Afghanistan at every stage of the process.

Holden’s Design Manager, Peter Hughes who designed the original paint job for the HRT V8 super car said it was amazing to see it reproduced on one of Holden’s road cars.

“We always take a great amount of pride in presenting the HRT V8 Super cars each season, but this is something very unique and unexpected,” Mr Hughes said.

“Tara is definitely going to stand out at the lights.”

Now complete, Sergeant Gleeson returned from Afghanistan to collect her car which had been sitting in Bay City Holden’s new car showroom, attracting attention.

“I’m so excited that I finally get to see it in the metal and get behind the wheel,” Sergeant Gleeson said.

“Home leave permitting, I’ll be driving it to the V8 Supercar rounds at Phillip Island and Bathurst – it should turn a few heads.”

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“It definitely makes the days go by a bit faster when you’ve something as good as this to look forward to at home.”

“And when I’m back on duty again it can keep my 1954 Holden FJ special company in the garage.”

Mr Brettell said it’s fantastic to finally hand over the keys to his unique customer, who he feels he knows well, but has never met before today.

“It’s always good to meet and talk with another petrol head,” Brettell said.

“Because of our shared passion, we’ve created this very special SSV Commodore together.”

Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander was thrilled when he heard about Sergeant Gleeson’s special tribute to his Bathurst win.

“HRT’s got a lot of dedicated fans who do some crazy things to show their loyalty, but this has to be up there with the best,” Tander said.

“When I was first told about someone wrapping their brand new Commodore in the livery in which Will and I won Bathurst with I have to admit I was pretty chuffed.”

“But it was definitely made even more special when I learnt Tara was serving with the Australian Defence Forces in Afghanistan.”

“Those guys (and presumably he means girls as well) are the real heroes and I’m looking forward to meeting Tara and seeing the car in person at Philip Island in September.”


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