1975 Holden HJ GTS Monaro: Reader Ride

By: Dave Parry, Photography by: Dave Parry

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Owning a '70s Aussie V8 muscle car was a long-held dream for Dave Parry and it has finally become a reality with his 1975 HJ GTS Monaro

 

Dave Parry's 1975 Holden HJ GTS Monaro

In the mid to late 1970s a few things would make my young heart jump with excitement – the sounds and smells of a World Series Cricket summer, the blue and gold jersey of the mighty Parramatta Eels, and the unmistakable rumble of an Aussie V8 muscle car.

I was 11 years old when my HJ GTS Monaro Sedan rolled of the production line at the Adelaide plant in October 1975. I couldn’t have dreamt that one day I would own one, it just seemed a bridge too far. Fortunately, however, in late 2012, that day did come when I spotted this beauty online, and it was just what I had been looking for. After a very short negotiation period (the chap wasn’t too interested in negotiating), I decided that I was going to buy it no matter what, and as I was unable to go and inspect the car myself, I took a huge gamble and bought it sight unseen. With my very understanding wife to thank for allowing me to part with the $32k to buy it, my long-held dream was becoming a reality!

The car was hidden away in the mining town of Kalgoorlie and I had to wait just "8-14 working days" for it to be transported to my home near Coffs Harbour. This proved to be a very optimistic expectation, as it actually took a nerve-wracking 47 days to finally arrive via depots in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. My nerves were frayed even more when it rolled off the truck with a damaged front spoiler. Despite all this, it has all been very much worth the wait!

The colour probably wouldn’t have been my first choice, but I wouldn’t have it any other way now. The wheels have been meticulously chromed and blacked out, and have been shunted to 15" from the original 14’s. The original 253c.i. engine had been unceremoniously dumped for the bigger 350 Chev, and a 3 speed Turbo 350 transmission replaced the old four speed manual. All this I don’t mind so much, but I still take exception to the holes that a previous owner cut into the original door trims, in order to install a couple of Kenwood speakers. A B&M quick shifter was preferred to the usual Holden Trimatic T-Bar also, which I simply don’t understand, but one of these days I’ll get around to rectifying these anomalies.  

The most amazing thing about this car is how it has been preserved in such great condition for 40 years, despite it’s modifications. The original stickers in the boot are still legible in their instructions on how to use the jack, and I even found a 1979 two cent piece under the back seat.

The original black slate vinyl upholstery with the golf ball inserts and the iconic red stripe through the middle is in near perfect condition, as is the very functional GTS dash, showing a mere 138,000km on the clock. The standard GM white needle AM radio was replaced with a 1970’s top-of-the-range AM/FM cassette player, and the sunroof was more than likely installed as an option available from the dealership at the time of purchase.

For the most part, the four-door Monaros have been flying under the radar in terms of desirability and value, but they are just so much more practical, and I feel their time is coming. There is a huge market for these Monaros being used as weddings cars, as well as school leaving dinners etc. The extra doors serve this purpose far better than the uber cool Coupes. I haven’t committed to carting newly weds or pimply faced schoolies around just yet, however.

I am so glad I took the plunge and bought my Monaro, and I hope I never have to part with this beautiful car – I could never give up the thrill of bringing smiles to people’s faces, both young and old, every time I drive past.

 

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