Clas­sic catch

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - USED CAR -

The 21st-cen­tury Monaro lived up to the hype and shapes as a col­lectable, not just a cu­rios­ity

NEW

THERE was a lot of ex­cite­ment lead­ing up to the re­lease of the new Monaro in 2001.

Most of it was from en­thu­si­asts who’d long hoped Holden would build a new clas­sic. Oth­ers, who didn’t care or know much about the name’s his­tory, sim­ply wanted a cool, sporty car from the lo­cal maker.

As with the orig­i­nal Monaro in 1968, the new model was con­ceived as a coupe based on the con­tem­po­rary sedan. The 21st-cen­tury Monaro used the VX/VY Com­modore plat­form.

Much like the new Mus­tang now, the new-age Monaro was a huge hit and sales soared.

It was ini­tially shown as a con­cept at the 1998 Syd­ney mo­tor show to test the mar­ket de­sire for a new model. The re­sponse was en­thu­si­as­tic and Holden re­leased the pro­duc­tion ver­sion in 2001.

It looked a treat with great lines and beau­ti­ful pro­por­tions.

The Com­modore in­flu­ence was car­ried through in­side where the dash was lifted straight out of the sedan with a few mi­nor changes. From there back, it was all new.

Ini­tially there were two mod­els, the CV6 and the CV8, re­spec­tively pow­ered by a su­per­charged V6 and a V8.

The V6 was the fa­mil­iar Ecotec 3.8-litre su­per­charged en­gine (171kW/375Nm), which gave the two-door a bit of urge.

But it was the V8 that most wanted and that one was a 5.7-litre gi­ant (225kW/460Nm) that pro­vided the re­quired thrust when the pedal was pressed.

The V6 came only with a four-speed auto. There was an op­tional six-speed man­ual in the V8. Se­ries II ar­rived in 2002, shortly af­ter the VY up­date, with greater out­puts for the V8 (235kW/465Nm) and other im­prove­ments from the Com­modore .

By 2003 the V6 was gone, and a year later the last of the breed was launched with VZ un­der­pin­nings, ex­tra power, twin breathers in the bon­net and new wheels.

NOW

When the Monaro was launched, the query was whether it would be a clas­sic or a cu­rios­ity. It may take a decade or two to get the an­swer. Mean­while, any­one think­ing of a punt on it be­com­ing a fu­ture clas­sic should be buy­ing now and putting it away. Don’t run it into the ground driv­ing it ev­ery day; use it oc­ca­sion­ally and en­joy it, keep it ser­viced and main­tain it in prime con­di­tion.

The best op­tion if you’re think­ing clas­sic is to buy a V8. The blown V6 might be a can­di­date but his­tory as­so­ciates the Monaro name with a V8.

Among the V8s, it’s best to go for one with the lot, for ex­am­ple one of the ultimate CV8-Z ex­am­ples with 260kW/500Nm.

If you’re shop­ping for a fu­ture clas­sic, it’s vi­tal to ap­ply the usual checks — with even more care and thor­ough­ness. There’s a real pos­si­bil­ity of Monaros be­ing thrashed. A vis­ual check of the body, paint and in­te­rior should tell you if a car has been well cared for.

SMITHY SAYS

Likely to be a clas­sic but can be en­joyed now.

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