Holden HK Monaro

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Holden Monaro

Holden HK Monaro

1968- 1969
Country:
Australia
Engine:
6 cyl. & V8
Capacity:
2640/3050/5035/5363 cc
Power:
108-250 bhp 80-186 kw
Transmission:
3/4 spd. man & 2/3 spd. powerglide auto
Top Speed:
n/a
Number Built:
n/a
Collectability:
5 star
The sleek, pillarless two-door was introduced six months after the rest of the HK range and soon took pride of place in Holden dealer showrooms across the country.

Its 'boy racer' appeal was universal - a tribute to the foresight of the then GMH Managing Director Max Wilson, who was instrumental in the development of the Monaro design and engineering concept and who recognised its long-term potential.

The Monaro's shape was the result of a brand new Holden design studio, although it was unashamedly based on the muscle cars of the US.

The pillarless two-door design was a new concept for Australians, and with a choice of three models (Standard, GTS and GTS 327) and six engines, Holden were catering for anyone who aspired to own a sporty coupe.

Most importantly, almost all but the most staunch Ford supporters fell in love with the design.

It boasted potent performance and looked every inch the part with its long, wide body, flared wheel arches and sweeping roofline (modelled on the Oldsmobile Toronado).

In GTS form, the Monaro sported black rally stripes, unique wheel trims, paint finishes and a tail panel strip that replicated a full-width tail light.

In fact, all but the Belmont was to inherit the "tail light strip styling" along the rear of the bootlid - after pressure from GM in the US.

The designers choose to increase the width of the mock tail lights in proportion to the status of the vehicle, and so it naturally increased in size depending on whether it was a Kingswood, Premier or Monaro.

Only the Monaro GTS had a full width strip, but unfortunately the Aussie sun was to quickly bleach away the red accents and reveal the fake tail light for what it was. Regardless, this was a far preferrable option to sticking with the Belmont's tail lights, that remained smaller than that of the insipid HB Torana of the time.

The standard Monaro was powered by a 3.05 liter 186 six-cylinder engine teamed with a column shift three-speed manual. Other engine choices included a higher-spec 186S six and an imported 5.0 liter 307 V8, matched with four-speed console mounted manual or two-speed Powerglide auto transmission. In fact, there were some 19 Monaro engine and transmission combinations, from the 161 2.6 liter right through to the awesome (for the time) 327 5.4 liter Chevrolet V8.

Although the car was destined to be a sales success, the Monaro also signalled to Ford the Generals clear intention that it would be a serious contender in production car racing - with the saying 'What wins on Sunday sells on Monday' being just as relevant in Australia as anywhere else in the world - perhaps even more so given the Aussie apetite for V8's.

It wasn't long before the racing Monaro made its debut - and what a debut! - with a first race win by Tony Roberts and Bob Watson in a GTS 327 Monaro at the 1968 Sandown 3-hour enduro. That year, the Monaro caused a Ford blood bath at Mt. Panorama, sweeping all contenders aside with a 1-2-3 finish. First was the car of Bruce McPhee and Barry Mulholland (privateers), with Jim Palmer/Phil West coming second and Tony Roberts/Bob Watson coming in third place.

The Monaro had staked its claim on the Mountain, but with Ford winning the year before (1967) it was billed as "The Decider" in 1969. The Monaro maintained its winning form, when piloted to first position by Colin Bond and Tony Roberts. The GTHO of McPhee/Mulholland was always in close contention however, coming in 2nd place. And in third place was another Monaro, driven by Des West and a new up-coming driver, one Peter Brock, who had recently joined Harry Firths team.

The Ford verses Holden rivalry has never diminished.
HK Holden Monaro Identification
Engine Number: (Located at right front near cylinder bank)
327
HK 327 GTS Monaro
Body/Chassis Numbers: (located on plate attached to right hand side of firewall)
80337
Monaro Coupe
80437
Monaro Coupe
80737
Monaro GTS Coupe
81837
Monaro GTS 350 Coupe
Series Code:
"K"
Identifies as "HK" Monaro
Manufacturing Plant ID:
H1 - H4
Brisbane
H5 - H9
Sydney
J1 - J9
Melbourne
L1 - L5
Adelaide
L6 - L9
Perth
5 Digit Serial Number:
The last 5 digits in the sequence are used as a serial number, based on the plant where it was manufactured, and each in numerical sequence.

Visitor Rating:

Also see:


Holden HK Specifications
Holden Red Motor
Holden History
Holden Car Commercials
Nasco Holden Accessories Commercials
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