The road to design brilliance is paved with innovation, and the Holden Monaro has navigated it with unmatched style.
The Holden Monaro stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of Aussie muscle cars, leaving an indelible mark on automotive history. From its bold debut in 1968 to the sleek iterations of the 1970s, the Holden Monaro captured the hearts of enthusiasts with its powerful performance and timeless design. The hiatus and subsequent revival in the early 2000s demonstrated the model’s ability to adapt to changing automotive landscapes while maintaining its essence.
As we reflect on the Holden Monaro’s journey through time, we celebrate not just a car but a cultural icon that continues to evoke nostalgia and admiration.The big, beefier sibling of the speedy Torana, the Holden Monaro offered a prestige high-end addition to the Holden line up.
Though the production has ceased, the legacy of the Holden Monaro lives on in the hearts of enthusiasts and the pages of automotive history, reminding us of an era when the open road beckoned with the promise of power, style, and the unmistakable roar of a true legend.
Timeless Origins 1968 – 1971
The first-generation Holden Monaro was born in 1968, introducing a new era of Australian muscle cars. An instant classic, the Holden Monaro burst onto the scene, introducing a design language that set it apart in the world of Aussie muscle cars.
HK Holden Monaro
The name ‘Holden Monaro’ comes from one of the indigenous Australian languages, and translates into ‘high plain’. When Bedford hurried back with his idea, it was instantly approved by the board, and history was made.
Te Holden Monaro was introduced in July 1968 as a two-door pillarless hardtop coupe available in three models: the basic Holden Monaro coupe, Holden Monaro ‘GTS’ coupe & Holden Monaro ‘GTS 327’ coupe. The GTS versions had “full instrumentation” which included a tachometer mounted on the centre console. In early 1969 the HK Holden Monaro won Wheels magazine’s Car of the Year 1968.
HT Holden Monaro
The HT Holden Monaro flaunts a stylish upgrade from the HK, boasting plastic grilles, a chic round speedometer, plush rubber front suspension bushes, and larger tail lights with captivating integrated turn indicators. Elevating classic charm with a touch of modern sophistication.
HG Holden Monaro
Launched on July 26, 1970, the HG Holden Monaro marked the culmination of the original coupe design concept. Featuring cleaner lines, reduced brightwork, and redesigned elements, the HG introduced distinctive “sidewinder” stripes along the fenders and windows. The iconic “Holden Monaro” badge adorned both rear pillars across all models, enhancing its timeless allure.
2nd Generation 1971 – 1977
HQ Holden Monaro
The July 1971 HQ series heralded a new era with a redesigned body, introducing the Holden Monaro ‘LS’ model. The Holden Monaro GTS no longer offered six-cylinder options, exclusively featuring 253 or optional 308 V8s, or the premier GTS350 coupe. The base Holden Monaro engine expanded to 173 cu in (2,830 cc), while the Holden Monaro LS boasted a diverse range, from a 202 cu in (3,310 cc) six to the powerful 350 cu in (5,700 cc) V8. A testament to innovation and performance in classic automotive design.
HJ Holden Monaro
In October 1974, the HJ Holden Monaro underwent a substantial facelift and model rationalization. The 350 V8 engine option and the base Holden Monaro coupe were discontinued. The Holden Monaro GTS persisted, offered as a coupe or sedan with a 253 cu in (4,150 cc) V8 or an optional 308 cu in (5,050 cc) V8 engine. Notably, the GTS sedan became its own model, a departure from its status as an optioned Kingswood in the HQ series. A transformation reflecting both style and efficiency.
HX Holden Monaro
In July 1976, the HX Holden Monaro GTS faced a mild facelift due to new emissions regulations. Easily distinguishable with vibrant body colors, bold contrasts of black paint outs, and a choice between traditional chrome or body-painted bumper bars. Surplus HJ coupe bodyshells led to the creation of the Holden Limited Edition (LE), a testament to resourceful innovation in response to changing regulations.
HZ Holden Monaro
AIn 1977, while the Holden Monaro name endured with the HX Holden Monaro GTS sedan, the coupe bid farewell. Holden, pioneering Radial Tuned Suspension, redefined their full-size sedans. The Holden Monaro name was omitted from the new Holden HZ range, making way for the introduction of a dynamic variant – the Holden GTS, unveiled on October 5, 1977. A bold evolution marking the shift from classic to contemporary performance.
1977 marks the end of an era with the conclusion of the OG Holden Monaro production.
3rd Generation 2002-2005
V2 Holden Monaro
After a two decade hiatus, the Holden Monaro made a triumphant return as the Holden Commodore Coupé prototype, codenamed ‘Matilda,’ unveiled at the 1998 Sydney Motor Show. Promptly dubbed the Holden Holden Monaro by journalists, public demand surged, prompting Holden to bring it to life. The Matilda underwent a redesign for production, leading to the launch of the V2 model in 2001. A remarkable resurrection fueled by nostalgia and contemporary automotive innovation.
VZ Holden Monaro
In late 2004, Holden introduced the VZ range of Commodore vehicles which in 2005 were upgraded to feature the 6.0-litre L76 V8 engine in SS sedans and other variants. The Holden Monaro CV8 was similarly upgraded and also received revised front and rear bumper assemblies, to be now referred to as the VZ Holden Monaro CV8. The revised rear bumper and new ducted bonnet pressing would soon find their way onto the export Pontiac GTO.
Win A Rare 1971 Holden HQ LS Monaro
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Rev up your life with the chance to snag the keys to the 1971 Holden HQ LS Monaro – an Aussie legend with more charisma than your uncle at a backyard BBQ! This bad boy, straight out of the groovy ’70s, is ready to hit the road and turn heads.
We’re talking about a fully restored 308ci V8 engine beast that’s more pumped than your morning coffee. It’s got power steering to make maneuvering as smooth as your best pick-up line, and a 4-speed manual transmission that’ll have you shifting gears like a rockstar. Plus, it’s sitting pretty on 15” Weld Draglite wheels – because why roll with anything less?
Inside, it’s not just a car; it’s a black vinyl haven of cool. The seats and headlining got a makeover, and the door trims are so fresh they make your grandma’s apple pie jealous. The engine? It’s got more upgrades than your last software update – a mild cam, Edelbrock Performer intake, MSD Pro-Billet distributor, and a Holley 600cfm carburettor. Yeah, we’re serious about performance.
Take a peek at what makes this Monaro truly great:
1971 Holden HQ LS Monaro, valued at $200,000
🔥 Fully re-built 308ci V8 engine with mild cam
💥 15” Weld Dragline wheels
🎱 Retrimmed interior with Bluetooth stereo
♦️ Highly detailed exterior finishing
⚙️ 4-Speed manual transmission with hydraulic clutch
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