The Very Last Monaro
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6th February, 2006
The last VZ Monaro coupe built by Holden has been painted with a custom colour and modified by Holden's Design and Engineering departments to reflect its iconic place in Australian automotive history.
The vehicle will be unveiled by Holden at the Melbourne International Motor Show on 9th February.
This car will mark the end of domestic Monaro production in Elizabeth, South Australia after more than four years and 47,000 sales in Australia and overseas representing four General Motors brands.
The final Monaro was built on 13th December last year and customised by Holden Design and Engineering to cement its position as an automotive collector's classic.
The "Torque" custom paint is an orange-yellow with fine metallic highlight, developed as an interpretation of the classic colours for which the original late 1960s Monaro coupes were famous.
A Very Last Monaro project team made various changes to reflect the car's unique status including special embossed wheels, leather seats and colour accents.
The architect of the new generation Monaro, former Holden Design Director Mike Simcoe, was recognised through the use of Data Dot technology which applied microscopic copies of Simcoe's signature and the ISOVIN number to the vehicle's underbody, panels and major components.
GM Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Denny Mooney, said the car was a fitting end to the latest chapter of the Monaro story.
Mr Mooney said Monaro symbolised Holden's heritage in Australia, providing a nameplate which inspired passion and respect across the car community.
Monaro was unveiled by Holden as a concept vehicle in 1998 and launched as a production vehicle in late 2001. It was Australia's best selling sports car for each of the past four years.
Vehicles based on the Monaro were subsequently sold in the United States as the Pontiac GTO, United Kingdom as the Vauxhall Monaro and the Middle East as the Chevrolet Lumina Coupe.
Holden Special Vehicles also released several variants.
"Monaro is symbolic of our success locally by showcasing Holden's strength in innovation and design," Mr Mooney said.
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HOLDEN MONARO - DOMESTIC AND EXPORT VARIANTS
Australia: Holden Monaro
The new millennium Monaro was sensationally unveiled as an un-named concept at the Sydney International Motor Show in 1998, developed as a project by Holden designers led by then Design Director Mike Simcoe. The coupe made the transition from concept to Monaro reality in just 22 months and was shown as a production vehicle at Sydney in October 2001 before being sent to showrooms. Embracing advanced design, engineering and flexible manufacturing processes, it showcased Holden's commitment to technological and creative leadership. The Monaro was fully designed and validated 'virtually', using Simultaneous Math Based Process (SMBP) technology, considerably reducing turn-around time and expense. Monaro was released with V8 and Supercharged V6 performance, with the V6 model discontinued in 2003.
New Zealand: Holden Monaro
New Zealand followed the Australian lead and introduced Monaro as part of a full-range Holden offering, included as part of GM Holden's export program to that country. Similar interest around the vehicle followed. Despite not having the same heritage around the marque as Australia, demand exceeded supply for Monaro for the first eighteen months it was available. With a strong V8 Supercar following in New Zealand, the Monaro symbolised everything that a performance orientated buyer was looking for and was unmatched in the local market.
Middle East: Chevrolet SS Lumina Coupe (LHD)
The Chevrolet SS Lumina Coupe injected even more excitement in the Chevrolet brand across the Middle East. The coupe was positioned as an extension of the Holden-sourced Lumina range, already including several Commodore variants. It particularly appealed to young locals and expatriates in the United Arab Emirates and added to Chevrolet's performance credibility in the Middle East alongside an American performance car legend, the Corvette. The vehicle was offered with a 5.7L V8 (SS Coupe) or 3.8L V6 (S Coupe). The V8 was the overwhelming favorite and the V6 was withdrawn from market in mid-2004.
United States: Pontiac GTO (LHD)
Holden's performance car icon also became an opportunity to re-introduce an American legend, the Pontiac GTO. GM's Chairman for North America and Vice-Chairman for product development, Bob Lutz, requested during a February 2002 visit for Holden to deliver the car as a Pontiac. The new generation GTO was unveiled as the hero of the Los Angeles Motor Show in January 2003 and released in late 2003 as a 2004 model. The GTO was offered with a 5.7L V8 engine which was also shared with the Chevrolet Corvette. Modifications were required to meet or exceed mandatory US legal requirements, environmental conditions and design cues for Pontiac. A 6.0L, 298kW engine and more aggressive styling were introduced for the 2005 model.
United Kingdom: Vauxhall Monaro (RHD)
Vauxhall chief Kevin Wale, a former Holden executive, secured an agreement to import the Monaro under the Vauxhall badge along with a smaller programme to introduce the Vauxhall VXR performance brand using HSV GTO coupes. The British embraced the concept of an affordable, high output Aussie coupe along with all the Australian jokes they could find. Notably, UK title Top Gear named Monaro "Best Muscle Car" for 2005.