Available for pre-order online or at any authorized stockist
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.