1968 Holden HK GTS 327 'Bathurst' Monaro Coupe
With the advent of the all-new HK model, Holden introduced a two-door fastback version, badged the Monaro. The new Holden’s purpose was twofold – firstly to appeal to a younger demographic influenced by the burgeoning muscle car trend in America and secondly to provide General Motors with a frontline weapon on the racetrack. The HK range had the option of two imported V8 engines sourced from Chevrolet, the larger 327-cid unit the same small-block motor used to power the Corvette. With 250 horsepower at its disposal, the HK 327 needed a beefed-up transmission so Holden fitted the close-ratio Saginaw four-speed manual gearbox, along with a limited slip diff and power disc brakes up front. Various suspension components were homologated for racing, including stiffer springs and shock rates at the front, bigger stabiliser bars, four-leaf semi-elliptic springs and radius rods at the rear. Another important component contributing to the Monaro’s track success was the 25-gallon long-range fuel tank. All Monaro 327s came with the GTS cosmetic package that included unique offset stripes and interior enhancements like the console-mounted tachometer. The combination of Detroit iron and a close-ratio four-speed gearbox endowed the GTS 327 with electrifying performance, the quarter mile dispatched in just 16.2 seconds on the way to a top speed of 200km/h. Driving a privateer entry, Bruce McPhee secured victory for Holden driving his HK Monaro 327 over the vaunted Falcon GTs, guaranteeing a place in history for the model. Just how many Bathurst HK Monaros were made remains unclear, although reliable sources usually quote a production figure of 1192, while the number of genuine survivors is likely to be considerably lower. Combine this rarity with the HK’s Bathurst winning heritage and its place in the pantheon of Australian muscle cars is assured, with values set to continue their upward trend for years to come.