Family heirloom 1971 Holden HG Monaro GTS makeover pt.1

By: Mick McCrudden

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Tom Georgas Tom Georgas

The family heirloom gets a make-over

 

HG Monaro makeover

We thought we’d try something a little different and follow a build that’s currently in the workshop. It’s a 1971 HG Monaro GTS, owned by Tom Georgas, and it has a long family history.   "It’s my late brother John’s car, he bought it in 1977," explains Tom. "He found it in the Trading Post and we went and saw it. His first words when he saw it were, ‘I’m buying that car!’

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"He was 19 and it was his first car, along with being the first car in the family. It was a big occasion, and it was a GTS Monaro!

"It had the 308 with Trimatic and it stood out, the old girl. I was just 14 at the time and learned to drive in this car.

"A little later, when I was 15 or 16, I’d come home from school, pinch his keys while he was in the shower, start up the old girl, take it for a spin around the block and put the keys back before he was out of the shower!

holden-hg-monaro-gts-resto-2.jpgMcDonald Brothers front end is special

"We parked it up in 1987-88 and talked over whether we should restore it to original, or do something different.

"We decided to delete the GTS blackouts, alter the colour slightly to give it a bit more oomph. All the body work was done at JTM Restorations. It had rust in the usual places and some of the panels were out of whack, and we’ve mini-tubbed the rear. But when you look at it, it looks factory.

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"It was my brother’s dream to go to town on this car, which is what we’re doing."

While the car will end up looking not far off stock on the outside, it will be running some pretty big modifications. The engine will be a small block 400 from a Rambler Hornet, stroked to 427. Behind that we intend to source and install a Turbo 350 transmission.

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The chassis is getting some major updates, including a McDonald Brothers Racing front end, with coil overs plus a fresh rack and pinion and Wilwood brakes. For the time being we’ll probably stick with leaf springs on the rear, but with a TrueTrac diff.

We’ve just had a trial fit of the front end in the car, and it’s very close – there will be a few minor tweaks to get it spot-on.

Tom-Georgas.jpgTom learned to drive in this car

Something we did early on – and I reckon this is worth doing with any build – is grab all the original bolts and get them cleaned up and plated. While we’ll probably also use some new fastener kits, it’s really useful to have the original gear on stand-by. If nothing else, it can reduce silly delays. Watch this space…

Note: Mick runs Glenlyon Motors in Brunswick, Vic. Tel (03) 9380 5082.

 

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