Australian Muscle Car - - Mail -

Mo­tor rac­ing is a com­plex sport, es­pe­cially at the pro­fes­sional level. The rea­sons man­u­fac­tur­ers spend so much money risk­ing their rep­u­ta­tions on the track are many and var­ied. For some, just be­ing in­volved in com­pe­ti­tion is it­self enough: a chance to show off their prod­ucts in a sport­ing light, and in a very public way, and to at­tach a sense of ex­cite­ment and glam­our to their brands.

But in the end it usu­ally comes down to one sim­ple thing: win­ning. And for Ford and Holden in the late 1960s and early ‘70s, win­ning was the pri­mary ob­jec­tive of their not in­con­sid­er­able in­vest­ments in Se­ries Pro­duc­tion car rac­ing – es­pe­cially when win­ning also meant de­feat for your di­rect mar­ket­place com­peti­tor. This was never truer than at Mount Panorama, Bathurst, ev­ery Oc­to­ber. Bathurst was what it was all about. Win­ning at Bathurst was ev­ery­thing.

Which makes the 1970 sea­son one of the most cu­ri­ous on record.

Holden was fresh from a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive vic­tory at Bathurst with its V8-pow­ered Monaro. This was by any mea­sure an ex­cep­tional achieve­ment from a man­u­fac­turer with no pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence in rac­ing. Since join­ing the Se­ries Pro­duc­tion fray in 1968, Holden had achieved a 100 per­cent suc­cess rate at Bathurst against an arch en­emy, Ford, which had won four of the ve Bathurst 500s held be­fore Holden had fronted on the Moun­tain for the rst time with the HK Monaro GTS 327.

The 350 Chev-V8 pow­ered HT Monaro had seen off the threat of the XW Fal­con GT-HO in 1969 just as the HK model had trumped the Fal­con XT GT the pre­vi­ous year. The Holden Dealer Team’s lead driver (and 1969 Bathurst co-win­ner) Colin Bond went on to win the Lake­side 1500 later that year and then the Surfers Par­adise 12 Hour in early Jan­uary. The fol­low­ing month Bond won again, this time de­feat­ing Al­lan Mof­fat’s works Fal­con XW GT-HO in a 34-lap Se­ries Pro­duc­tion race at War­wick Farm.

That was Colin Bond’s last race win in a Holden Dealer Team Monaro. His next vic­tory with the Holden Dealer Team would also be at War­wick Farm, seven months later, but at the wheel of a very dif­fer­ent type of Holden.

The sweet sell of suc­cess... on-track glory for the Monaro was gold for Holden’s ad men. Harry Firth kept his cool at Ford but at Holden in 1970 his new To­rana GTR XU-1 arguably wasn’t hot enough. Right: A fake-news front page to make even Don­ald Trump blush, but it mightn’t have been far from re­al­ity had Holden stuck with the Monaro for 1970.

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