Car: HG GTS 350 Monaro Hometown: Auckland, NZ
What is it?
“A Monaro HG GTS 350 in Rally Red with Sandalwood interior and 3.08:1 diff ratio (3.36:1 was optional).”
When did you buy it?
“1974. At the time I was an apprentice mechanic at a large Ford dealer, would you believe, working on, among other things, XW, XY, XA and XB GTs! First Monaro I ever drove was a Silver Mink 327 back in ’68. It was love at rst sight. It wasn’t until 1974, however, that I was in a position to buy one. That delay worked in my favour because, in my opinion, they saved the best till last – a sentiment echoed in AMC #51.”
Why did you buy it?
“Although I’m an enthusiast who appreciates all good cars, rst and foremost I am a Holden man and, if you were a Holden man in the late ’60s, you just had to have a Monaro. Apart from the fact I think the HG is the best looking of the HK- HG series (just love those sidewinder stripes and 350 decals) the constant ravings about the HG 350 from Peter Robinson and Mel Nichols in Wheels and Sports Car World just reinforced what I already knew. Amongst other things, they called it, ‘One of the all-time greats’ and who was I to argue?”
What do you know about its history?
“First owner was someone from the American Embassy in Wellington. I’ve never been able to track him down but assume he was a GM fan posted out to NZ and wanted the closest thing he could nd to a Camaro. I’m the third owner. I’ve spoken to the second owner who, not surprisingly, regrets selling it.”
How does it go?
“Being a late ’70 build, it has the McKinnon engine (see AMC #51 also), so it’s a very strong performer and I just love its tractability. You can go down to virtually a standstill in top then just pull away so smoothly. I’ve had some magni cent drives in this car particularly in my early years of ownership when there was a lot less traffic on the roads and I was, shall we say, a tad more reckless than I am today. Point to point these cars are just so strong – people wouldn’t believe some of the average speeds these cars were/are capable of.”
Anything you’d like to add?
“With all the windows down, that classic coupe shape and the fabulous burble from the fourbranch exhaust on the overrun, life doesn’t get much better!”