1970-71 HG MONARO
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.