Holden HQ Monaro: Bob Jane’s magnificent GTS 350

21 July 2014
Bob Jane’s new HQ Monaro GTS 350 Improved Production car was a stunner from the moment it hit the track in 1972. Jane’s hired gun John Harvey put in a great drive at the 1972 ATCC final at Sydney’s Oran Park, here leading Allan Moffat’s Trans-Am Mustang.

Tyre retailing giant Bob Jane owned and raced some of the fastest and most exciting sports cars and sedans in Australia. Arguably the most successful and fondly remembered was the HQ Monaro GTS 350 which the Bob Jane Racing Team campaigned with great success throughout the 1970s.

Although it was conceived as a state-of-the-art Improved Production car, the demise of that class at the end of 1972 saw it reassigned to a new career in Sports Sedan racing where Jane and his mighty Monaro continued to be one of the toughest combinations to beat for six consecutive seasons.

The fact that this broad-shouldered coupe clung to its traditional front engine/live rear axle muscle car roots highlights how fundamentally ‘right’ it was from the moment it hit the track.

As mid-engined rivals became increasingly radical and sophisticated, the Jane team’s never-ending process of engine and chassis refinements kept it at the top of its game until it was sold at the end of the 1978 season.

This is how the new Monaro looked when nearing completion in the Bob Jane Racing Team workshop in 1972. Australia’s unique Improved Production rules meant what they said - just the right amount of ‘improvement’ for racing without losing the integrity of the series ‘production’ road cars on which they were based. Image: www.theroaringseason.com