1970-71 HG MONARO

Unique Cars - - MONARO 50 YEARS -

By the time Holden got to the HG – which was sold July 1970 to July 1971, the old body shape was not the main game. At least not be­hind the scenes.

Holden was con­cen­trat­ing on the fi­nal touches for the big­gest tech­ni­cal and styling make-over in some years – the HQ. So re­ally, we’re talk­ing a tran­si­tion model, chief ly with cos­metic up­grades that leaned to­wards a sim­pler and bolder look.

The Tri­matic trans­mis­sion had made its way into the range by now, though it had also been fit­ted to a few of the late HTs. Re­ally, the big news (if there was any) on the me­chan­i­cal front was that disc brakes were now stan­dard on all the V8s.

More sig­nif­i­cantly, the brand’s per­for­mance man­tle had passed to the new and compact kid on the block, the Torana GTR-XU1. It was quicker in a straight line (5.6sec ver­sus 6.6 to 100km/h) and had the big­ger car for lunch around a race cir­cuit.

Holden had in fact toyed with the idea of up­grad­ing the Monaro’s hero pow­er­plant to some­thing like a Ca­maro Z/28 unit, with 360 horses, to make it a more con­vinc­ing top or­der Ford GT chal­lenger. How­ever it was not to be.

In the end the GTS 350 sol­diered on with sub­tle me­chan­i­cal al­ter­ations and some­what more lux­u­ri­ous sus­pen­sion set­tings. In a straight line it dis­played a lit­tle less ac­cel­er­a­tion than an HT but a slightly higher top speed at 130mph.

Though the orig­i­nal shape Monaro was qui­etly be­ing wound down as a cruiser rather than a racer by this stage, it was still en­joy­ing mod­est ex­port suc­cess to South Africa. Early cars (from HT se­ries) looked very sim­i­lar to Aus­tralian mod­els and some of them have been repa­tri­ated over time. How­ever there was also a Chevro­let SS ver­sion, built with CKD packs at Port El­iz­a­beth, that fea­tured a unique Chevro­let SS-branded nose cone with quad head­lamps.

To­tal pro­duc­tion reached 6147 ex­am­ples.

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