Auc­tion up­date

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle maniac -

While

Al­lan Mof­fat made the Monza name fa­mous on Aus­tralian race­tracks in the 1970s, the fol­low­ing decade it was Peter Brock through his HDT Spe­cial Ve­hi­cles op­er­a­tion who tried to bring it to Aus­tralian roads. Same name, but very dif­fer­ent car.

Brock was loaned an Opel Monza when in Europe to race in the Le Mans 24 Hour in June 1981. The 3.0-litre six-cylin­der may well have been suit­able for the Ger­man au­to­bahns, but Brock’s thoughts were on the op­por­tu­ni­ties for an Aus­tralianised V8 ver­sion.

This was very early days for HDT Spe­cial Ve­hi­cles, but the seed had been planted. It wasn’t un­til late 1983 when the plan fi­nally made some se­ri­ous progress with a sin­gle An­thacite Grey car ar­riv­ing into HDT’s work­shop. The in­de­pen­dent rear sus­pen­sion that set the car apart from the Com­modore range re­mained, but the rest of the me­chan­i­cals were re­moved.

As the car shared the same ba­sic floor­pan as the Com­modore, the Holden K-frame/ sus­pen­sion, com­plete with rack-and-pin­ion steer­ing to re­place the Opel re­cir­cu­lat­ing ball sys­tem, was a bolt-in job. A VH Group 3 en­gine was fit­ted, backed by a T5 five-speed gear­box. Front brakes were up­graded which in­cluded the fit­ment of Corvette calipers that Aus­tralian com­pany Gir­lock were ex­port­ing to the US, while the stan­dard Opel discs re­mained at the rear.

Brock en­vis­aged a low-vol­ume pro­duc­tion with 25-50 cars an­nu­ally sug­gested, with the car to be pitched as a pow­er­ful yet re­fined al­ter­na­tive to the Euro­pean brands. This pro­to­type made its pub­lic de­but at Can­berra’s mo­tor show in March 1984 (right), and de­spite pro­duc­tion not be­ing con­firmed, the or­der bank be­gan to build.

Fur­ther pub­lic in­ter­est was gen­er­ated when the car ap­peared on the May 1984 cov­ers of both Wheels and Mod­ern Mo­tor mag­a­zines. Spec­u­la­tion ex­ists re­gard­ing the rea­sons – sources close to Brock have been quoted as say­ing this was the first time Holden said ‘no’ to Brock – but the car never went into pro­duc­tion.

So, what price do you put on a unique pro­to­type that rep­re­sents an un­ful­filled dream of Peter Brock? We’ll have the an­swer when that very car goes un­der the ham­mer at Shan­nons’ Syd­ney auc­tion on May 30.

In the mean­time, Shan­nons has auc­tions sched­uled for Mel­bourne (Fe­bru­ary 22) and Syd­ney (March 14). Of spe­cial in­ter­est in the first Vic­to­rian auc­tion of 2016 are a 1974 To­rana SL/R 5000, a 1969 Mus­tang Mach 1 and a range of nu­meric num­ber­plates. Fast Fords head­line the March 14 Syd­ney auc­tion, namely a 1965 Cortina GT 500, a 1970 Mach 1 Mus­tang and a 1969 Torino Talledega 428.

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