Avail­able for pre-or­der on­line or at any au­tho­rized stock­ist

Australian Muscle Car - - News -

25-50 cars per year, in­di­ca­tions were that all cars would be sold be­fore the ac­tual re­lease.

The pro­to­type car was tested by Wheels and Mod­ern Mo­tor mag­a­zines and ap­peared on the cover of May ’84 is­sues of each. Both mag­a­zines were ex­cited at the prospect of the Brock Monza hit­ting the mar­ket, with Wheels’ Pe­ter Robin­son writ­ing: “The ride, firm and yet to­tally con­trolled and far flat­ter than and pro­duc­tion Com­modore, is ob­vi­ously as­sisted by the Opel’s ful­lyin­de­pen­dent semi-trail­ing arm rear-sus­pen­sion, which gives the car far bet­ter trac­tion than even the well lo­cated live axle of the Holden sedan. The Monza’s abil­ity to put the power to the ground is prodi­gious; it squats mildly, in­stead of squirm­ing, and sim­ply bar­rels up the road.”

Un­for­tu­nately, de­spite all the en­thu­si­asm for the car, or­ders placed went un­filled as the HDT Monza never reached pro­duc­tion. Dif­fi­cul­ties in gain­ing ADR com­pli­ance were put for­ward as the rea­son, yet Mod­ern Mo­tor’s Barry Lake re­ported in pe­riod that, “Pe­ter said that he’d been to Can­berra to dis­cuss it with the var­i­ous de­part­ments and was pleas­antly sur­prised at the re­cep­tion he re­ceived. Aus­tralian De­sign Rules have to be com­plied with on safety fac­tors, de-fog­ging, rear vi­sion, noise lev­els, seat­belts, light­ing, ex­haust emis­sions and so on – but the use of parts that al­ready com­ply has made this task eas­ier.”

The real rea­son? Former HDT PR man Tim Pem­ber­ton re­mem­bers that Holden didn’t want HDT build­ing the Monza in its en­tirety and that this episode was the first time Holden said ‘no’ to Brock. His­tory shows he was de­ter­mined to pro­duce a car which he re­garded as ‘world class’, equipped with IRS, but that saga was still a few years away.

In­deed, as AMC is­sue #40’s ‘VH Monaro SS’ cover story high­lights, Holden had its own plans to marry Monza and VH Com­modore and in­volve HDT SV in the process. But Fish­er­mans Bend ul­ti­mately placed that project in the too-hard bas­ket.

You may ex­pect that a Brock pro­to­type would have found its way into a mu­seum, but I’m pleased to be able to say that I’m the lucky owner of the car, hav­ing pur­chased it in 2005.

It’s easy to see why Brock was so ex­cited about the prospect of sell­ing the HDT Monza. The IRS gives it ride, han­dling and the abil­ity to soak up bumps un­like any live axle Com­modore of the era. This is com­ple­mented by re­vised front-sus­pen­sion ge­om­e­try cour­tesy of front strut tow­ers of a dif­fer­ent de­sign from the lo­cal Com­modore, giv­ing the Monza a unique over­all feel.

Long dis­tance trips are its forte. It was quoted as hav­ing a top speed of 250km/h. While I’ve not con­firmed that, gear­ing of 50km/h/1000 revs means that 5000 revs in fifth would, the­o­ret­i­cally, see it achieve that speed. More prac­ti­cally, it means that at a le­gal 110km/h it’s tick­ing over at just 2200 revs. That may not be un­usual in to­day’s V8 Com­modore, yet it was al­most rev­o­lu­tion­ary in 1984.

There’s no doubt the V8 HDT Monza would have been a suc­cess story and it would have been fas­ci­nat­ing to see the cars in var­i­ous colours and op­tions. And per­haps even a ver­sion on the race­track, too.

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