August 9th, 2020 by mcowner | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized |

What if Holden had stuck with its proven Monaro GTS 350 for the 1970 Bathurst 500. Could a Monaro have won Bathurst that year? Was it a mistake by Holden in switching to the smaller, lighter six-cylinder Torana GTR XU-1? It’s these questions that Australian MUSCLE CAR magazine explores in the latest issue, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the HG model Monaro GTS 350.

Premature emasculation

The Monaro had won the Great Race the previous two years but had been quietly retired from competition by Holden just a month or so before the 1970 race. Colin Bond’s startling debut win for the XU-1 at Warwick Farm – where the dynamic little coupe beat a fleet of Monaros – just four weeks before the 1970 Bathurst classic seemed to confirm to everybody that the big V8 Holden coupe had passed its use-by date.

But when it came to the very different challenge of the Mount Panorama circuit, the Torana fell short. Not only did it not prove to be the giant killer Holden hoped it would be against the bigger, more powerful V8 Falcon, but at Bathurst the new XU-1 was several seconds slower than the Monaro it was meant to be superseding.

This issue of Australian MUSCLE CAR takes a close look at the 1970 Series Production racing season that saw Ford introduce a vastly improved though not-any-faster Phase II version of the XW Falcon GT-HO, while its opposition chose to and Holden choose or race a new car that was as much as four seconds a lap slower than the Holden model it was replacing.

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