The death sentence for the Holden Commodore could be commuted in 2016 for the SS hero car.
Plans are being hatched for the SS V8 to live on beyond the lifespan of the upcoming VF Commodore, which now is just around the corner, provided that performance-car fans in the USA and Australia are still prepared to pay.
Holden admits it could continue with a low-volume VF SS on its production line in Adelaide after the cut-off date for the current Commodore, which is set to be replaced by an international model with local tweaking.
That would mean three models in the same factory, with the compact Cruze running alongside the SS and the new car. "We are considering all options going forward but won't discuss specifics at this stage," the chairman of Holden, Mike Devereux, admits to Carsguide this week.
But one of his predecessors as Holden boss, Mark Reuss, believes a long-term SS is possible if export demand for the car is as strong as expected in the USA. Reuss led the push to take the SS to America as a Chevrolet - as well as Chevy's NASCAR racing spearhead - and also knows what is possible at the Holden factory in Elizabeth.
"We can sell this for as long as we can make it and sell it," Reuss, who know heads General Motors in the USA, says of the rear-wheel drive muscle car. He is a long-term fan of the Commodore SS and knows the pulling power it has in Australia, as well as its potential to bring buyers to Chevrolet dealerships in the USA.
"What if we have a really cool, loyal buyer base? What if we had that? What if it becomes the reason to go into a Chevrolet dealership?", Reuss says.
"What if we say we're not going to do it any more and there is an uproar saying that we want these? What if that happens, what would you do?"
The decision for an ongoing SS does not have to be made for some time, probaby not until 2015, but Reuss is already keen to find a way to keep the Commodore going. "I think that is a pretty good idea," he says.
"You need another body shop to keep it going, so what? There are two body shops in a place people said we could only have one, they said we couldn't do it but we did do it.
"It is paid for, it's all there."