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1969 Holden HT Monaro 81837
Year: 1969
Make: Holden
Model: HT Monaro
Body: Coupe
Engine: V8 350ci Chevrolet
Transmission: Manual Saginaw 4-speed
VIN/CHASSIS: 81837TJ185331
ENG No: 350M47106 T0402
Odometer Indicating: 24,670miles
Seats: 5
Colour: Cashmere White
Description/extras: First Factory prepared race car for the Holden Dealer Team, as prepared by legendary driver/team manager Harry Firth.

This is the car entered into the Sandown 300 in 1969 to be driven by Spencer Martin and Kevin Bartlett. The car failed to finish after a brake failure led to a fiery crash, but had it not been for the crash, the three other HDT Monaros would not have tasted Bathurst glory a short time later.

57D was used to homologate several changes to the HT model which aided the three Bathurst entries for 1969 and resulted in success for Colin Bond and Tony Roberts at the Hardie-Ferodo 500 taking first place, with Des West and rookie Peter Brock in third.

This car is a hugely significant piece of Australian motorsport history which not only shaped the success of Holden as a company but also set the stage for domination by Holden and Peter Brock for the next two decades.

Icons come no larger in Australian motor racing than this 1969 Holden Dealer Team Monaro, the very car which launched the HDT story along with the careers of countless drivers including the legendary Peter Brock.

Factory involvement in HDT was kept quiet so cars were taken from dealers and delivered to Harry Firth’s workshop in Auburn with this HT Monaro the very first of four cars with Ian Tate and Frank Lowdnes tasked with the job of readying it for the Sandown 300 where Spencer Martin and Kevin Bartlett were to pair for the race.

During engine testing for Sandown it was found that the piston rings were deteriorating and not sealing properly, leading to oil use and loss of power. Tate and Lowdnes realised this and honed the bores, changed the rings and took the car for a test drive which it performed faultlessly on and the car was ready to tackle Sandown. No other team using Monaros found out about the piston ring issue until it was too late.

While the HDT Monaro now had power and reliability in spades the Sandown race proved too much for the car with brake failure leading to a fiery crash with Spencer Martin at the wheel only 45-minutes into the three-hour event. Firth blamed Spencer Martin for the crash but Lowdnes many years later said that the car was still wearing its road pads from testing instead of the race pads it was supposed to wear. Tate cited heat soak from non-vented wheels and the lack of high-temperature brake fluid as the culprits as after the crash he tested to brake pedal and much to his surprise found some resistance had returned.

After Sandown the Holden Dealer Team travelled to Bathurst with the status of underdog after Ford’s domination at Sandown. Firth's secret in relation to the pistons in the 350ci Monaros proved to be a masterstroke. As the race developed, the privateers who had entered 350ci Monaros developed piston problems and subsequently had extensive pit stops or retired from the race. Ford had issues with tyre selection after radically selecting Goodyear tyres over the race-proven Michelins. The Goodyear tyres shredded under the stress of ‘The Mountain’ and at the end of the day Harry Firth and the newly formed Holden Dealer Team were triumphant with the combination of Colin Bond and Tony Roberts coming in first place with Peter Brock, (his Bathurst debut) and Des West coming in third. This win was just the first in a long run of domination by the Holden Dealer Team which went on to become the most successful team in Australian Motor Racing history

Sold unregistered
As with all cars sold in the Classic Car Division, they have been well looked after by their previous owners. Unfortunately due to the high volume of cars, Lloyds Auctions are unable to physically inspect every aspect of each car and the description which should be used as a guide only have been compiled after speaking with the owners and inspecting the car. Lloyds Auctions sells these cars under standard auction conditions that offers no warranties or cooling off period. Please feel free to call the Classic Car Division if you have any questions relating to any vehicle.
Auction Details:
Lloyds Auctioneers and Valuers
Auction Date:
19-Aug-2017 12:00
Auction Address:
Hanger 85 Bristol Street Essendon Airport
Essendon VIC 3040
Auctioneer Contact:
Classic Car Division
Bidding Centre
Estimated time till sale:
Current Bid:
Not for Publication
  • C203082 x 1
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All amounts are shown in Australian Dollars $AUD