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The Holden Monaro is a rear wheel drive coupé that was produced by Holden between 1968 and 1977 and between 2001 and 2006. Three generations of the Monaro have been produced, with the last spawning an all wheel-drive variant, export models and various concept cars.
1969 Holden Monaro
In June 1969, the HK Monaro was replaced by the facelifted HT Monaro. The ‘GTS 327’ became the ‘GTS 350’ with the replacement of the Chevrolet 327 in (5.4 L) V8 by the 300 bhp (224 kW) Chevrolet 350 in (5.7 L) V8. As the Monaro was Holden’s main car in Series Production racing, this was primarily in response to Ford who had released the Ford XW Falcon GTHO Phase I in 1969 which was powered by the 351 Windsor V8 engine (5.8 L).
1969 Holden Monaro – An Australian Classic Icon
Holden’s original sports coupe, badged the Monaro, proved so popular in its original HK guise there was no question it would continue when the facelifted HT model was announced in May 1969. The most obvious external changes made to the HT were the plastic grille and squared-off rear sheet metal with distinctive stacked tail lights, while the interior also came in for some revision, including redesigned seats and door trims, while the instrumentation saw the HK’s strip speedo replaced with conventional round dials. Although the HT Monaro range remained much the same, Holden employed Chevrolet’s legendary small-block V8 motor in a local product for the first time, replacing the Bathurst 327 with the a new GTS 350 model.
Holden also broadened the appeal of the 350 GTS by making it available with automatic transmission, these cars having a slightly lower compression and detuned engine. In manual guise, the 350 was a real rocket ship, with a 10.25:1 compression ratio and 300 bhp on tap, making it the most potent Holden yet.
The GTS package gave the Monaro real road presence, adding bonnet scoops, stripes and unique wheel trims, along with the option of houndstooth trim. Nobody is certain exactly how many HT 350s were made but the best estimate seems to be around 700 and each of the survivors is regarded as a Blue Chip Aussie muscle car today.
1969 Holden Monaro GTS 350 Specifications
– Manufacturer: Holden
– Model: Coupe
– Year: 1969
– Body Style: 2-door coupe
– Engine: 300 bhp (224 kW) Chevrolet 350 in (5.7 L) V8
– Transmission: 4-speed Manual
– Length: 4694 mm / 184.8 in
– Width: 1824 mm / 71.8 in
– Height: 1390 mm / 54.7 in