‘Aussie Monza’ survives
DeKon designed and built Chevrolet Monza was a gamechanger in American IMSA racing as well as a pioneer in Aussie Sports Sedan competition in the hands of Allan Moffat, as outlined in issue #86. Here was a wild-looking aerodynamic silhouette of a machine with a simple spaceframe chassis and bulletproof Chevrolet small block hardware.
It was the recipe for a plethora of Monza copies downunder. Everything from the sophisticated Bob Jane Monza (with rear IRS) to, well, home-built specials created by enthusiasts like John White in Queensland. There was nothing out of the ordinary about the White Monza – spaceframe, Chevy 6 Litre V8, Muncie 4 speed and a fully floating Ford 9 inch live axle. Built in 1978-79 and first raced in 1980, it won plenty of local sports sedan events in White’s hands during the 1980s. But it is the sports sedan support race for the Surfers Paradise ATCC round in May 1981 where the White Monza had its 15 seconds of fame. Well, it would have if these photos were ever published in Racing Car News! For reasons lost in time, these dramatic photos have sat in our files for 35 years, until we stumbled across them recently and went digging for more details.
The White Monza had a total brake failure at the notorious sweeper under the Dunlop Bridge and careered through the outfield at unabated speed. It went into and over(!) a Gemini that was parked near the earthbank. Both cars were severely damaged in the melee. Here is an extract from the RCN race report.
“White was in trouble from the bridge, going off at the bottom corner... catapulting up, crashing down on Kerry Cox’s Gemini. It was a disastrous incident and the fire and rescue vehicles were soon on the scene. Iain Corness stopped his Escort to lend a hand, the rapid Doctor earning the Kaiser Stuhl ‘Man of the Meeting’ award for his unselfish efforts. White was extricated from the wreck and taken to hospital with severe lacerations.”
The Monza was repaired and raced on by White. It spent most of its life in Queensland and has been campaigned by Jeff and Danny Osborne (in Colourscan livery) and Maurie