North America didn’t have the monopoly on muscular V8-powered coupes in the 1960s. Across the Pacific, Australia had its own breed of muscle cars, and antipodean gearheads are getting excited with the news that one Aussie classic has been pulled out of a garage after a 45-year slumber.
The car is a 1968 HK 327 Bathurst Monaro from GM Australia’s Holden division, and though it’s not as outright fast as the legendary Ford Falcon GTHO, is still one of the most highly prized of all of the classic muscle cars from Down Under.
Regular HK Monaros came with a feeble 161 cu-in. (2.6-liter) inline-six but things got a whole lot more interesting at the other end of the range. The GTS received a 327 cu-in (5.4-liter) Chevy V8 that sent 250 hp (254 PS) to the rear wheels through a four-speed close ratio manual transmission and a limited-slip differential.
Wheels Magazine strapped its timing equipment to the side of the small-block GTS in 1968 and recorded zero to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 8.4 seconds, a 16.2-second quarter mile and a top speed of 124 mph (199 km/h). Not bad for a car capable of hauling an entire family around more than half a century ago.
But one of the main reasons the GTS is so loved by Aussie muscle fans is its success on the track. In 1968, the year this car was built, the Monaro didn’t just win at Australia’s famous Mount Panorama circuit at Bathurst, New South Wales, but took the first three places.
Beneath the thick layer of grime that’s accumulated over the last 45 years this matching numbers car seems to be in excellent condition and that means the new owner is going to have to reach deep into their pockets to take it home when it crosses the auction block with Burns & Co. in Victoria.
That said, a similar car in excellent condition and needing nothing recently disappointed some auction watchers when it sold for $330,000 AUS ($250k), rather less than the $500,00 AUS ($379k) some fans had predicted, and much less than the $750,000 AUS ($569k) someone paid for a genuine Bathurst-raced HT Monaro in June 2020.
Source: Carscoops Read More