SAmon White’s killer HQ Monaro GTS was a huge hit when it was. Unveiled at Motorvision 36. earlier this year. The crowd loved it and the judges thought it was great too, giving it second top paint, second top bodywork and a top 10 spot. The car even made the Grand Champ Top 5 after some impressive results in driving events.
First published in the September 2022 issue. Street Machine
The white GTS stripes break up that wild candy green paint nicely. Check out how crisp and sharp those body lines are.
What set the HQ apart from your regular unveiled car was how well it was configured and how far Simon was willing to push it. It probably helps that Simon is a bit wistful when it comes to the Quiz, which he’s owned over the past few years – most recently a stunning blue four-door that ran in the mid-10s. was, which was sold as a roller to help fund. Construction of the coop.
Part of that four-door lives on in the coupe in the form of a small-block shaver, which has received a bit of fresh and top-end upgrades like a bigger manifold, carby and cam – not to mention some nitrous. . The previous combo made a naturally aspirated 513hp at tires, but Simon expects it to be closer to 550. “We’re looking at punching a 200 shot through it, to take it over 700 easily,” he says. “The goal of the build is to run the nine-second quarter.” With more power and less weight, it looks like a pretty approachable target.
The stunning candy green paint by Xclusivefx really sets off the elegant lines of the HQ coupe. The 15×8 Weld Vitesse rear wheels have 3.5 inches of backspacing and provide plenty of dish. Up front are 17×4.5 Weld V-Series rims that are suitably slim for that pro-street look. The reverse cowl is the only body mod and is needed to cover the tall single-plane manifold, nitrous plate and carb.
The engine certainly has some pedigree, as it was built and tuned by George Separovich at Blown Motorsports. It may be a small-block, but it measures up to big-block numbers, packed with Chevrolet’s excellent 427-cube SRP pistons, LPC crank and Molnar offset rods — all forged, of course. AFR 210cc heads are topped with a Super Victor II intake and a Bullet APD 850cfm carb. A heavy hydraulic roller from Comp Cams moves everything, while four-to-one headers with two-inch primaries join a twin three-inch system.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, because this car has a beautiful story behind it. If we go back to when it left the factory, you’re looking at a chrome yellow Monaro GTS with a black interior and a high-compression 253 in the engine bay. Fast forward to about 20 years ago and the old girl was looking a little different, with metallic blue paint, a WB front end, some Weld Prostars and a 308.
A lot of work went into smoothing out the inner fenders, firewall and under the bonnet. The heater box has been deleted for a cleaner look and electric dehumidifiers were installed under the dash.
“I’ve wanted an HQ Monaro all my life, but I couldn’t find one, so I bought an LX Torana SS hatchback when I was 22,” explains Simon. “The Torana was completely stripped and I put the A9X kit on it, but then I got a good offer for it. At the same time, my Monaro came up for sale. I called the guy. – I was at work – and I just told him, ‘It’s sold, man. I’ll buy it.’ I picked it up and took it home, and then one night we decided to burn it in the shed, took the axle off and it sat in the shed for the next nine years.
The decade was not without progress, although Simon was collecting parts and saving money for when he could properly tackle the project. It would be a no-compromise build, but he built four or five other cars in the meantime – all good practice when it came time to tackle the Monaro.
No prizes for guessing who built 427 cubes of small-block awesomeness in the bay. It’s loaded with forged internals to ensure it can handle 200 shots of nitrous. An 850cfm billet carby from APD sits atop a Super Victor II intake, and they flow to a twin 3in exhaust over massive 2in primaries four-to-one headers. All in all, the motor should have over 700hp to the wheels when sprayed.
The initial job was to clean the body of rust, so Simon took the car to Clive Ross at The Hammer Works. “The rust job took five years,” he says. “The right-hand quarter was made from scratch. I found a NOS left-hand rear quarter, which cost me enough, but I couldn’t find a right-hand one, so Clive made a template from the left-hand and a steel one. Made from flat sheet metal. I wanted to do everything right. I didn’t want to cut any corners, so if there was any rust in the door skin, we didn’t cut the corner – I made a brand new door. I didn’t want to fix things.”
After taking the car back from Clive, Simon let the Coy sit in the shed for another year, but then, the afterburners kicked in and the whole car was finished within 12 months. “I took the car to Neil Manipini and his team at Xclusivefx, who fine-tuned all the bodywork and spent a lot of time perfecting those perfect lines and gaps,” explains Simon. “The car came in mid-November 2020 for body and paint, and I returned it in September 2021.”
The boot has been given the same care and attention as the outside of the car, and those who look closely will notice that it’s not even a mini-tub. The car is a true GTS, and Simon didn’t want to cut it.
While the bodywork was being sorted, Simon had the interior done by Tim Rayment. It’s all been restored to early model HQ factory spec, with just a B&M Pro Ratchet shifter and a dash panel that’s completely custom but still looks like a factory piece. Simon had Craig put an insert into the OC Bullet Machine to have a full suite of Autometer gauges, and the machine-made coating absolutely kills it. OC Bullet supplied bonnet latches and catches as well as bonnet and boot hinges.
After the car returned home, Simon and a group of good mates got to work assembling it, and by early December the car was pretty much finished. All it needed was a tune-up, so it was off to Blown Motorsports for a few pulls on the chassis dyno – but that’s where things got a little messy. During the first baseline pass, the all-new 3.5-inch tailshaft gives way, damaging the HQ floor, exhaust and process differential.
Like the exterior, the interior is basically stock with a few subtle changes. The machined dash insert houses a full set of autometer gauges and joins the seats nicely with houndstooth fabric.
with Motorization Coming up fast, it wasn’t the result Simon was hoping for, but he’s not a towel-greased guy, so the floor was fixed and an even beefier four-inch tailshaft was inserted. Gone, as was a new differential center. .
After reaching motorsport, the car performed flawlessly, competing in all driving events and even skidding hard after the Grand Champ Awards. While he didn’t win the grand prize – that went to his good mate. Simon Birch in Suzuki Mighty Boy (Sm, Jul ’22) – Simon doesn’t care. So he didn’t build a car.
“My wife loves the car and is happy to see her dream come true,” he says. “She has been very supportive from start to finish and we both love touring the Monaro with our two children enjoying life in the back seat.”
1974 HQ Monaro GTS
|Glasurit Custom Candy Green
|427ci small block Chevrolet
|Edelbrock Super Victor II
|APD Bullet 850 CFM
|2.08 inches (in), 1.60 inches (ex)
|Comp cams hydraulic roller
|Brown’s radiator, AU Falcon Thermo fans
|Four to one header, 2in primaries, twin 3in system
|TCI TH400, Bullet internals
|Kwan stalls at 4000rpm
|9in, 3.5:1 gears, Truetrac, 31-spline billet axles
|King HQ Ultra Low Springs, Koni adjustable shocks
|King Torana Super Low Springs, Koni adjustable shocks
|Willwood Discs (F&R)
|Weld V-Series 17×4.5 (f), Weld Whites Bedlock 15×8 (r)
|Mickey Thompson 26×6.00R17 (f), Nankang 255/60R15 (r)
Neil Moneypenny and team at Xclusivefx; George at Blown Motorsports; Terry in Shift Transmission; Rory Smith at RS Installations; Tim Rayment for admission; Todd on Rare Spears; Freo tinting and muck on windscreen; Clive at Hammer Works; Kelvin and Rob at ABR for the break; James England in Prussia; final drive; Craig at OC Billet; All my colleagues who helped along the way. Most of all, my wife and kids supported me through the long nights in the shed and my mood, but in my journey to fulfill my dream.