Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Monaro is a vehicle produced by Holden, the Australian branch of General Motors. The Monaro was produced from 1968 to 1979, and then re-introduced onto the Australian and New Zealand markets in 2001. Since 1968, three generations of the Monaro have been produced.
It was originally introduced as a two-door coupe based on the HK series Kingswood sedan in base, 'GTS' and 'GTS 327' models. It continued through minor facelifted HT (though 'GTS 327' became 'GTS 350' following an increase in engine displacement from 327 in³/5.4 L to 350 in³/5.7 L) and HG series' and then a new body emerged with the HQ series in July 1971 including a new 'LS' Luxury Sport model. A heavy facelift adding optional front and rear spoilers and the dropping of the base and 350 in³ (5.7 L) engined models characterised the HJ series in late 1974, until coupe production ended with 600 HX series 'LE' coupes in 1976. A four-door sedan version (basically a rebadged Kingswood) was also introduced in early 1973 when a large number of changes were incorporated into the whole HQ series, and then carried on through HJ, HX and HZ series' to 1979, though some of the later ones only had the 'Monaro' name on brochures and not on their badging.
Some HT series Monaro 'GTS' coupes were exported to or produced in South Africa from imported parts. Later they were sold under the Chevrolet SS name instead. Some or all of these had 350 in³ (5.7 L) engines.
The Monaro is regarded as one of Australia's greatest muscle cars, alongside the Ford Falcon GT, Chrysler's Valiant Charger, and high-performance versions of Holden's own Torana, but it was also produced in much more 'standard' and luxury versions, powered by a variety of lower powered six-cylinder and V8 engines. The most prized models are the original HK Monaro 'GTS 327' and HT and HG Monaro 'GTS 350' coupes, which were homologation models built for the Bathurst endurance race from 1968 to 1971, and were powered respectively by Chevrolet's 327 and 350 in³ (5.4 and 5.7 L) 'small block' V8. The Monaro was Wheels magazine's Car of the Year for 1968.
Some 20 years passed before a Commodore Coupé show car was shown at the Sydney Motor Show. Journalists quickly christened it the Monaro, encouraging Holden to build it. The show car was designed for production and by 2001, the V2 series Monaro was launched after General Motors spent a mere A$60 million over a brief 22-month gestation (although 12 to 18 were targeted). It was available in CV6 and CV8 models with a supercharged 3.8 L V6 and a 5.7 L Gen III V8, and choice of a 6 speed manual or 4 speed automatic. A series 2 model debuted in early 2003 with a revised dashboard from the VY series Commodore, a new wheel design and some colours dropped and new ones added. The CV6 model was dropped after disappointing sales (reputedly 10 times as many were built as CV8s) when a Series 3 model appeared in 2004.
A HSV version (not called Monaro but Coupe) in 'GTO' and 'GTS' versions debuted soon after the "series 1" Monaro editions, with higher output 5.7 L engines and unique body kits. Later the 'GTS' version was dropped but a four wheel drive version called 'Coupe4' appeared.
Most recently, the current Monaro has been exported to overseas markets. It is sold, in left hand drive, in the Middle East as the Chevrolet Lumina Coupe, and in the United States as the Pontiac GTO, reviving another classic muscle car icon. It is also sold in the United Kingdom as the Vauxhall Monaro.
Complaints about the Pontiac GTO's sedate styling from American consumers saw the addition of two bonnet scoops in 2004, with the VZ series Monaro, to recall the later muscle-car variants of the late 1960s' models. The bonnet scoops serve no functional purpose. In the eyes of the Australian press, the scoops have spoiled the lines, while the American media seem to accept them. The GTO also received a Gen IV 6.0 L engine putting out 400 hp (298 kW); the Australain HSV GTO coupe got a similar engine in its Z series.
Holden's PR says that the scoops recall the HG Monaro.
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