The Holden Monaro was a rear-wheel sedan and coupe produced by Holden from 1968 to 1977. It endured a 20-year absence from the market and was revived in 2001, surviving five years after which it again went into hibernation.
The last Holden Monaro-badged coupe was sold for $187,355.55 on eBay in February of 2006, which was three times the standard retail price of the coupe when it was still in production.
First Generation (1968-1971)
The HK was introduced in 1968 as a two-door pillarless hardtop coupe. It employed the "coke bottle" look similar to that of the Camaro coupe. It was available in three models, namely, base model, Monaro GTS, and Monaro GTS 327. Holden offered the Monaro with two engine options:
- (5,030 cc), 5.0L V8 petrol engine (157 kW)
- (3,048 cc) 3.0L 6-cylinder petrol engine (108 kW, 248 Nm)
Holden paired the 3.0-litre engine with either a three or 4-speed manual gearbox and 2-speed automatic transmission as an option. The 5.0-litre engines teamed up with a 4-speed manual gearbox.
The HT replaced the HK in 1969. It comes with a plastic grille as opposed to the metallic grille used in the HK. A round speedometer replaced the previous strip-styled device. Rubber front suspension bushes replaced the front sintered bronze suspension. The taillights gained in size in the new model.
A 4.1L V8 petrol engine (138 kW, 355 Nm) and a 5.7L V8 engine (205 kW, 488 N.m) were added to the range. The GTS 3327 became the GTS350, which won the 1970 Australian Touring Car Championship.
The HG Monaro was unveiled in 1970. It was the last of the original coupe design concept built by Holden. The redesigned Monaro now sported different stripping, which ran along the top edge of the fenders, under the windows and finishing right before the rear pillar. Some of the mechanical changes included a softened suspension and thicker power front disk brakes.
Second Generation (1971-1977)
The HQ series featured a completely different body styling departing from the sporty look of the first generation. The series now had larger rear windows with a squarer rear quarter window and rectangular taillights integrated into the rear bumper. This series also introduced the new Monaro LS model, which featured four headlights. The 6-cylinder versions of the Monaro GTS were discontinued, with the locally manufactured 4.L, 5.0L, and 5.7L variants remaining in the market. The base model was now fitted with an enlarged 2830 cc engine. The Monaro LS was powered by either a 3,310 cc or the 5,700 cc V8 engines.
The HJ, which was introduced in 1974, received a substantial facelift. It had its front-end redesigned to look similar to the 1970-1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The GTS 350 V8 engine was discontinued, and so was the base Monaro coupe.
Interesting fact: There were only 337 and 606 units of the HJ Monaro LS coupe and HJ Monaro GTS coupe produced, respectively.
The 4.1L V8 engine was now rated 138 kW with a torque of 354 N.m. The larger and more powerful 5.0L V8 engine was rated 186 kW with a torque of 434 N.m. You had the option of choosing a model with either a 4-speed manual gearbox or a 3-speed automatic transmission.
The HX was distinguishable with the splashes of black contrasting against the range of body colours.
The Monaro nameplate survived until 1977 through the HX Monaro GTS sedan. The coupe was no longer available, and Holden decided to discontinue the Monaro name altogether. Holden introduced a variant of the HZ model known simply as the Holden GTS. It featured four-wheel disc brakes, four-headlight grille, and a 4.1L V8 engine rated 120 kW with a torque of 325. A new (5,044 cc) 5.0L V8 engine rated 161 kW with a torque of 398 N.m expanded the range in 1978, becoming the standard engine for all models.
Third Generation (2001-2006)
The third-generation Monaro was reintroduced in 2001 after a 20-year absence from the market.
The V2-series Monaro was based on the VX-series Commodore. It was available in three model variants, namely, CV6, CV8, and CV8-R, which was a special edition. The CV6 was powered by a (3,791 cc) 3.8L SV6 engine rated 171 kW with a torque of 375 N.m. The CV8, on the other hand, was fitted with a (5,665 cc) V8 engine that attained peak power of 225 kW and a torque of 460 N.m.
The VZ Monaro debuted in 2004. It was powered by a Gen III 5.7L V8 engine used in the V2 but now with a 15 kW increase in power. It came in four colours—Devil, Quicksilver, Turismo, and Phantom. A Fusion colour was introduced only for the final limited-edition model.
The VZ Monaro CV8 featured a 10-speaker audio system, which came with two subwoofers, dual exhaust system, and new rear and front bumpers. The final Monaro on production was the Monaro CV8-Z. In 2006, Wheels magazine tested the Monaro CV8-Z, and the results were promising—it was faster than the Ford Mustang and the Nissan 350Z. That’s reason enough to get one! If you already have one and need spare parts, you may contact us at Carpart.com.au, browse our website, or send us a parts request message.