Lusting after something special that Peter Brock once owned? His HDT-tuned Opel Monza could be yours.
PETER Brock enthusiasts have the opportunity this evening to own a piece of motoring history close to the legendary race driver’s heart. The 1984 HDT Monza Coupe – the only one ever built – will go under the hammer at Shannon’s in Sydney tonight, where it’s expected to fetch around as much as $120,000.
The V8-powered two-door was a car that Brock thought his Holden Dealer Team (HDT) road-car business could turn out as a globally competitive vehicle, but it was stillborn as it was expected to cost around $50,000 – about the same as a Porsche 911 at the time.
The Monza Coupe is an Opel that, in 1984, Brock had experienced while in Europe. Opel’s version was powered by a fuel-injected 3.0-litre six-cylinder.
At the time, Brock was imagining how good the Monza would be with a V8 under the bonnet, and that’s exactly what this car is. With one of his highly-tuned 5.0-litre V8 engines under its bonnet, making 180kW/430Nm, the coupe not only served as a potential two-door Commodore, and in a way a precursor to the reborn Monaro that Holden introduced in 2001, but also boasted independent rear suspension at a time when both the Commodore and arch-rival XD/XE/XF Ford Falcon were using live-axle rear ends.
Rumours of the forthcoming 1988 EA Falcon having an independent rear end (in the end, it didn’t) prompted Holden to use the Monza as a development car for its own IRS. Brock used the company’s Lang Lang proving ground to develop the more sophisticated set-up with the hopes of fitting it into the Commodore.
Brock did just that with the VL Director, but Holden did not offer an independent rear-end until 1990, with its long-wheelbase version of the VN Commodore, the VQ Statesman and Caprice models. The Monza also had ABS, another feature that arrived with the Statesman/Caprice range.
Brock’s plan, as reported in the May 1983 issue of Wheels, centred on importing the Monza in body-in-white from, with changes including replacing the Opel’s recirculating ball steering with the Commodore’s superior rack-and-pinion set up, stronger front struts, local Commodore dash and the 5044cc V8 from the hottest Brock Commodore at the time, the VH Group SS Group III. The work was to be carried out at HDT’s then North Melbourne headquarters.
The one-off Monza graced the cover of the May 1984 edition of Wheels, but it’s not the only vehicle with a personal link to Brock at tonight’s auction. Hiss personal 1984 VK SS Group III is also up for sale, and is expected to fetch as much as $100,000. This car, build number 1354, appeared on the cover of Wheels in October 1984.
It follows a recent spate of Brock rarities being traded, with an example of the controversial 1987 VL Calais Director sold in April for an undisclosed amount – believed to be hundreds of thousands of dollars – to a private collector. Last year, the prototype model for what became the first HDT Commodore – a test mule based on a VB SL – was sold for $125,000.
The Monza goes under the hammer as Lot 26 at Shannon’s Sydney Late Autumn Classic Auction.