The concrete canyons of Surfers Paradise were reverberating to the thunder of the V8 Supercars on the weekend so we decided to head out to the legendary street circuit since it’s our local race and took along a couple of very special cars.
Given that Friday, 20 October 2017 will go down in history as the final day of assembly at the Holden plant in Elizabeth, SA, we thought we should honour GMH with what we think is one of the all-time greats from ‘The General’s’ back catalogue with an Indy Orange HG Monaro GTS 350. A matching numbers example with all the fruit including a 4-speed manual Saginaw ‘box, high comp. engine, LSD Salisbury rear end, big tank and all the usual Bathurst bits (tramp rods etc.), the car has a genuine 87,000miles and is restored to look like it’s fresh off the showroom floor. Called the ‘gentleman’s Monaro’ for the fact the HG never raced (with some exceptions) the HG was the swansong for the first shape Monaro before the bottom-heavy HQ lobbed in 1971. The purity of design was lost with the HQ along with any serious racing ability which Holden acknowledged by switching to the lighter, more nimble Torana so for us, the first gen. Monaro has always been the one to own.
The second legend gracing our marquee wears its scars as badges of honour and makes zero apologies for its scruffy appearance because this car has the hard-won character that can only be earned from having been there and done it all. And what a life this GTHO has lived. A young bloke in country NSW sees the XWs racing at Bathurst and immediately heads to the local Ford dealership to slap a deposit down on a HO. Many months go by but the young man is rewarded when his Diamond White Phase II finally arrives. Years and miles fly by with life’s changes of family and work determining the man’s destiny but he keeps the GTHO by his side all this time until the engine cries ‘enough’ and is sent to the local machine shop for a freshen up. More years go by with the car sitting idle, nearly two decades in fact, and the machine shop closes down but not before the proprietor calls the Phase II owner asking if he wants the engine back. Luckily he did and the car as it stands today is matching numbers with all mechanicals restored to new condition but with the bodywork completely untouched and proudly wearing its history for all to see.
With a love for both of the now dead icons of the Australian motoring landscape, a Holden or Ford win would’ve been equally pleasing for us but Scott McLaughlin’s victory was fitting given Lloyds and DJR are both Queensland born and bred and this is our home race. With only two rounds left before the V8-only grid is diluted next year we were proud to have brought our V8 legends to the race and for fans and enthusiasts to have the chance to get up close with these rapidly appreciating pieces of Aussie muscle. We love these cars, they’re our passion and we will continue to provide everyone the opportunity to ‘drive their dream’.