1976-77 HX MONARO

Unique Cars - - MONARO 50 YEARS -

If the mar­ket for and the fu­ture of the Monaro brand seemed a lit­tle shaky with the HJ, the HX did lit­tle to al­le­vi­ate those con­cerns. The coupe con­tin­ued to be rel­e­gated to also-ran sta­tus.

In the mean­time Holden (and oth­ers) was strug­gling to meet then new ADR27A emis­sion re­quire­ments with­out stran­gling the per­for­mance and econ­omy of its pow­er­plants. Road tests of the day marked this with a note of dis­ap­point­ment.

For ex­am­ple Mo­tor Man­ual pub­lished, in Jan­uary 1977, that its GTS test car had, “Flashy looks, lots of op­tions, big bur­bling V8… and vague han­dling, poor fuel econ­omy, bad fin­ish, and lazy en­gine.” Ouch! Now be­fore you stalk out­side and set fire to your HX, keep in mind that was then. The fact is most peo­ple would now be very happy to have one of these beau­ties in their drive­way.

Clearly inf la­tion had struck as GTS sedan pric­ing now started at $7016. The base model had a 253 with four-speed man­ual, though you could op­tion the M21 man­ual or Tri­matic with that en­gine. If you opted for the 308, you got the M21 or Hy­dra­matic 400.

Adding some depth to the of­fer­ing was the LE Coupe, avail­able with 308 and Hy­dra­matic 400 only. It was framed very much as a per­sonal lux­ury car. The story goes that Holden had 627 coupe bod­ies left over and wanted to see them used. Leg­endary de­signer Leo Pruneaux (the ‘fa­ther’ of the SS) was called in.

He ended up com­bin­ing the dis­tinc­tive ma­roon and gold paint scheme with the top-line driv­e­train (in­clud­ing LSD) and rich in­ter­nal fit­tings that in­cluded some States­man inf lu­ence. The LE Coupe clearly showed its roots, but didn’t have a Monaro badge on it, any where. It was also pricey, at $11,119.

In the end 580 Le Coupes were built plus 2079 GTS sedans.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.