Holden Monaro GTS HK

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Keywords: Holden Monaro GTS HK

Description: 1968 Holden HK Monaro GTS fitted with aftermarket wheels.First generation 1968–1971 Named after the Monaro region in New South Wales...

Named after the Monaro region in New South Wales although pronounced differently, Holden’s new coupé was introduced in July 1968 as a two-door pillarless hardtop coupe available in three models: Monaro base model, Monaro ‘GTS’ and Monaro ‘GTS 327’. The GTS versions had “full instrumentation” which included a tachometer mounted on the centre console. This proved to be a bad location as the drivers knee would obstruct the view and it often rattled Spotlight on Holden Monaro Page 6-7. The cars could be ordered with a choice of six-cylinder engines of 161 in   2,640 cc capacity base only or two versions of 186 in 3,050 cc capacity GTS with the uprated 186S only, or a 307 in 5,030 cc capacity Chevrolet-sourced V8. The exclusive ‘GTS 327’ model was powered by the 250 bhp 186 kW Chevrolet 327 in 5,360 cc V8.

Uniquely styled by Holden, the Monaro nevertheless featured styling cues derived from Chevrolet designs; in paricular, from the Camaro, Corvair and Nova coupés of the late 1960s.

After Holden engineers had originally claimed that the Monaro’s engine bay was too small to house the 327 Chevrolet V8, the decision was made to speed up development of Holden’s first ever Australian developed V8, the 308 in 5,050 cc capacity Holden V8 engine, and the smaller 253 in   4,150 cc V8. However, as this engine project ran behind schedule, this led to engineers re-measuring the engine bay and finding that the original measurement calculations had been incorrect, thus allowing the use of the imported Chevrolet engine afterall.

The HK Monaro GTS327 gave Holden its first victory in the Bathurst 500 in 1968 at the hands of Bruce McPhee and co-driver Barry Mulholland. Whilst Mulholland only drove one of the total 130 race laps, McPhee drove the remainder and also scored both pole position and fastest lap of the race.



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