1969-70 HT MONARO

Unique Cars - - MONARO 50 YEARS -

In­cred­i­bly, the HK had been on the mar­ket a bare 12 months when it was su­per­seded by the HT. This was a whole lot more than just a facelift model, though there were the in­evitable changes to trim and graph­ics.

How­ever the big news was the new range of en­gines com­ing through. The US-sourced 307 was to be phased out, while the lo­cal 253 joined the line-up, even­tu­ally fol­lowed by the 308.

Thanks to the on­go­ing per­for­mance wars, par­tic­u­larly with Ford’s Fal­con, a GM-sourced 350 V8 be­came the pre­mium pow­er­plant.

For many, the 253 was a rev­e­la­tion. Some 36 ki­los heav­ier than a 186, it claimed 185 horses ver­sus 145 for the S ver­sion of the six. The 308 mean­while claimed 240 horses and the 350, when mated to a man­ual trans­mis­sion, some 300hp.

The auto ver­sion of the 350 ran lower com­pres­sion and some 25hp less. De­spite the power drop, the auto was widely praised as a quick and easy-go­ing road car.

Holden also got stuck into the chas­sis, with some changes in­tended to pro­vide a smoother ride. Most sig­nif­i­cant ac­cord­ing to the Holden re­lease of the day was “the new Y-frame en­gine cra­dle which iso­lates the en­gine trans­mis­sion assem­bly from the pas­sen­ger com­part­ment, and the new front end ge­om­e­try set­ting which gives an im­proved steer­ing feel and greatly im­proved di­rec­tional con­trol”.

In­cred­i­bly, the 161 en­gine re­mained as the base pow­er­plant for the Monaro. As with the HK, the or­ders must have been few given the up­grade to 186 was not a lot of money.

A year had seen the prices rise a lit­tle, but not so much that you’d be pick­et­ing the fac­tory gates. The base price was now $2651, while the base GTS with 186S en­gine and Opel four-speed man­ual was now $3183. The mighty GTS 350 with its dis­tinc­tive bon­net ‘nos­trils’ started at $3995 – sub­stan­tial money but still some­thing of a bar­gain.

Pro­duc­tion num­bers reached 14,172, in­clud­ing ex­port cars.

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