WE SPOTTED Bradley See’s retro-tastic, flame-jobbed HK Monaro GTS at 5, and instantly had to know more. Where did it come from? How did it survive? And could it be any more 80s?
This article was first published in the October 2020 issue of Street Machine
How did you come across the Monaro?
It was about 2005. My wife Katrina and I were living with my brother, Clayton, in a town near Mackay. He was looking at a classifieds paper we had there and circled this ad that said “HK GTS” and not much else. I assumed it would be a sedan with GTS stuff installed, as it certainly didn’t say it was a Monaro. We went out to Marian, about 30 kays away, and I bought it on the spot. The seller’s wife had been using it as a daily driver. I’m not sure when it was built up like this, but I reckon it was the early 1990s. I’ve since met a guy who knew the car; I’m surprised I haven’t met more, to be honest.
It’s certainly different by today’s standards. What’s it had done to it?
Obviously it’s got the flame job, an HT grille and the Dragway Tri-Ys. Inside, it’s got blue velour trim, which is still in good nick. It runs a Chev 350 and a Turbo 400 trans. It came with a different 350, but that one spat out the harmonic balancer, so I went to town with a 383 stroker. That one never ran right thanks to a dodgy piston, and one day it turned inside out in the bore, hit the head and that was it. So I sourced a crate motor out of the Gold Coast, and now it’s sweet. It’s a bit warm, with a Holley 650 on top.
We’re scared to ask, but is a resto or update on the cards?
I had always planned to restore it back to original one day, but I’ve got five kids to raise; if I start splashing cash on it, they might say it has to go. That’s not going to happen, so it’ll stay like this for a fair while yet. It’s definitely a genuine HK Monaro. It’s an 80737 code, so it either came with a 186 or a 307. Matching numbers and restos didn’t really matter to the thousands of people lining the RCN parade route last year, though. The older blokes were falling over themselves to chuck the metal horns or give me the thumbs-up, while the kids would yell: “Fire car!” I love how people react to it. It just makes them happy.
Brad hit up RCN #5 in his rad HK Monaro GTS, bringing along son and unofficial apprentice mechanic, Zakobie
Five kids! Any of them chips off the old (small) block?
My 10-year-old boy Zakobie is in the early stages. He understands the technical side of cars just so easily and lends a hand on the maintenance. Today, he changed the coil on my stocker 202 HZ One Tonner. I know it’s not a big job, but he loves to help out. The eldest, 16-year-old Tahlia, will be going for her Ls soon, but she needs to get some skills up before I let her drive the Monaro. I got her to move the Tonner around the front yard a while back and she put it into the verandah! I’d planned to hit a cruise night a couple of weeks ago with the three boys, Yarron (13), Zakobie and Jahrel (7), but Jahrel wasn’t keen. But my four-year-old daughter Ellariah had her socks and shoes on before anyone else; she loves it! My wife Katrina has always been supportive, although she did ask me recently if I’d consider swapping it for a decked-out motorhome. I’m afraid I had to disappoint her on that one.