Vauxhall Monaro: end of an era

Vauxhall Monaro: end of an era
Vauxhall Monaro: end of an era

This used example of Vauxhall’s 5.7-litre V8 bruiser might turn out to be a nifty investment as well as a thumpingly good drive

The Australian car manufacturing industry, as now represented exclusively by Holden, has closed down. Here’s your chance to celebrate that – and maybe make yourself a bit of money at the same time – by buying a used example of one of the best cars that ever came out of the Holden stable, the Monaro coupé.

First seen in 1968, the Monaro evolved from its Chevrolet roots and then a 20-year hiatus to re-emerge as a performance version of the Holden Commodore VX. That 5.7-litre V8 car grabbed the attention of Vauxhall in Luton, who decided to test the waters in the UK with a low-profile import run in 2004.

The project offered so much horsepower per pound that it sold out pretty much immediately to a bunch of old-school enthusiasts who very much liked the idea of a big engine with rear-wheel drive.

In 2005, Vauxhall upped the ante by bringing in the facelifted VZ version which was also available as a 6.0-litre VXR. The car that’s currently being advertised here is a base-spec 5.7-litre CV8 model from that same year. It has the Corvette-sourced Gen III 354bhp motor whose DNA can be traced back to the iconic small-block Chevy V8.

As such it’s not a raw-edged screamer, more a woofly baritone with loads of midrange grunt and super-high gearing for easy cruising. This particular 72,000-miler (nothing for one of these) seems like good value at £8,250, with the red paint and relatively low tax band you want. Get in quick while you still can.

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