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Idle Torque: Monaros in Busselton
Unlike white catsuits, the early Holden Monaro is hugely popular today, and will be celebrated at the seventh annual Monaro Nationals event in Busselton next weekend. Supplied picture

Even if they have never owned one, it seems everyone over a certain age has a Monaro memory.

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Friends, relatives, partners and neighbours all seem to have had one and given memories like this are always exaggerated, typically those Monaros were the GTS models. If not, it was a GT Falcon.

This widespread saturation in the collective memory of so many Australians and the nostalgia associated with the Monaro has made it an icon.

That, and wins at Bathurst in 1968 and '69, which sealed the deal.

They weren't perfect though and even by the standards of the day these early HK, HG and HT Monaros took some muscle to make them stop and go around corners. Maybe that's the real reason they're called muscle cars.

However, the Monaro's redeeming features defined it.

When new, few other cars accelerated better in a straight line and, crucially, virtually none looked and sounded as good in the process.

They were more expensive than the more sedate sedans they were based on - but not unthinkably out of reach, as were similarly performing European sports cars of the era.

Today, the first-generation Monaros are generally the most desirable. The car continued to evolve but then in the late 1970s it disappeared from Holden showrooms for 24 years, re-emerging in 2001.

Now, multiple generations identify with the Monaro in all its forms. Next weekend this resonance with enthusiasts and our broader culture will be on show in Busselton for all to see during the eighth annual Monaro Nationals. According to the Monaro Car Club of WA, this will be the first time the Nationals have been held in the west.

The club said more than 130 Monaros from around Australia are expected to visit the South West to take part in this year's event, with the main focus being the Show 'n' Shine' next Saturday at the Sir Stewart Bovell Oval in Busselton.

Gates will open to the public at 9.30am, with admission $10 for adults and a gold coin for children aged between six and 15. For more information phone 0417 134 984.

THE FRENCH CONNECTION


For something completely different, the Perth French Car Festival is set to take place the day after the Monaro event between 10am and 4pm.

French car fan and show organiser Justin Walker said there would be a huge range of Continental cars on display, including, but not limited to, a 1926 Salmson, 1902 Darracq, 1926 Schneider, a Citroen DS Decapotable and two Peugeot- powered racing specials.

See Motor Moments for contact details.

MOTOR MOMENTS

SUNDAY OCTOBER 14
Holden Car Club Show ā€˜nā€™ Shine, Stirling Square, Guildford.
Phone 0415 353 994.
All Austin Day, Stirling Square, Guildford, 10am-4pm.
Phone 9390 5310.
Vauxhall Owners Club Display Day, Manners Hill Park, Peppermint Grove.
Phone 0408 907 433.
OCTOBER 20
Monaro Nationals Show ā€™nā€™ Shine, Sir Stewart Bovell Oval,
Busselton, 9.30am-3.30pm.
Phone 0417 134 984.
OCTOBER 21
French Car Festival, Supreme Court Gardens, Perth.
Phone 0439 935 369 or visit aussiefrogs.com.

Send event details to acforro@gmail.com