Happy 50th Anniversary – HK Holden Monaro

By: Unique Cars magazine

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50th anniversary Monaro 50th anniversary Monaro

50 since has passed since the birth of this Aussie automotive icon

This month, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Datsun 1600 – but another icon of Australian motoring history is also blew out the candles to half a century of life.

A home-grown hero, and one of our fair nation’s most iconic and beloved cars, the HK Monaro first rolled off the production line on April 30th, almost three months prior to its release into the dealerships.

Developed from the get-go to win the Australian Touring Car Championship, the Monaro was destined for Aussie motorsport royalty.

When released, it was an instant hit with buyer, and took out our sister mag Wheels’ Car of the Year award in its first year of life.

HOLDEN MONARO HK-HG V8/GTS327/GTS350 - MARKET REVIEW 2017-18

Engine choices spanned from six-cylinders, to the 307 V8, topping out the range with the GTS 327, the Monaro was an instant hit with buyers, and a mainstay on the sales chart.

The soon-updated HT saw the 327 replaced with the 350, and also introduced the Holden 253 and 308s.

One year later the HT saw its last update of the original and iconic Monaro body, with the HG.

In July 1971, the second-generation Monaro was introduced, the iconic HQ.

It was a layman’s performance car, with a drive-away price of just $3500. The HQ was extremely affordable and capable in equal measure.

HOLDEN HQ MONARO GTS 253 - READER RIDE

The initial run only saw 1500 cars distributed to dealers around the country. A second run of 1300 sold out in short order. The HQ was such a hit, demand far outstripped supply, and dealers couldn’t keep up.

The subsequent HJ shared its body with the HQ, but gained a stouter and squarer snout. The HJ also saw the 350 Chev  depart from the model range, making the HQ GTS 350 a highly sought after collectible today.

The HX of mid-1976 saw the iconic coupe body sent on hiatus with a limited run of Les, using up the remaining coupe shells.  The sedan-only offerings continued throughout the succeeding HZ, until 1998 when the curtains fell on Holden’s drop-dead gorgeous Coupe concept.

Five years later in 2003, the Monaro finally released to the public, based on the VX Commodore.

2002 HOLDEN CV8 MONARO - OUR SHED

The supercharged CV6 only available with an automatic gearbox was pulled from the lineup after just one year, leaving only the Gen III V8s. The CV8Z marked the final run out in 2005, ultimately leaving the Monaro name as a bygone icon of the local auto industry.

The nostalgia behind their passing has seen prices for early Monaros soar to new heights, though late models are more affordable.

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