A 'Million Dollar Monaro' that was up for auction may be deemed a 'national treasure'. The 1969 HT Monaro 57D race car in the end fetched three quarters of a million at auction this weekend selling under the hammer to an Australian enthusiast.
In a last minute development before the auction Lloyds Auctions received contact from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications to state that the rare Monaro could be an Australian Protected Object.
Aimed towards preserving and keeping history within Australia, Mr Lee Hames, Chief Operations Officer for Lloyds Auctions commended the government’s stance in protecting Australian motoring history for the future of Australian enthusiasts. “We have been recommending general motors buys this car and donates it to an Australian Museum as a parting gift for them leaving the country.”
It’s the very first factory-built race car to bear a Holden badge and is credited with launching the Holden Dealer Team’s racing dominance in the 70s and 80s, cementing the Holden vs. Ford rivalry that still divides the nation today.
The car is a significant piece of Australian motorsport history, not only shaping the success of Holden as a company, but also setting the stage for the domination by Holden and Peter Brock for the following two decades.
This particular HT Monaro is the first Holden prepared by motorsport legend Harry Firth, which debuted at the 1969 Sandown 300, but a fiery crash at the 45-minute mark ended the race prematurely. Findings from the crash were used to homologate changes for other HDT Monaro’s which led to Colin Bond and Tony Roberts claiming victory at Bathurst the same year, with Des West and rookie Peter Brock finishing third. Thus the legendary success of Holden’s Dealer Team was launched, and Holden’s ongoing rivalry with Ford cemented.
Lloyds Auctions said it was the highest price for a road registerable Australian Holden ever sold at auction.
Chief operations officer Lee Hames said there were seven bidders, and in the end it came down to two enthusiasts who fought it out, both with the intention to keep the car in Australia.
The winning bidder wished to remain anonymous.