Steve Gant is the owner of a bright yellow 1970 HG 350 'Bathurst' Monaro GTS. He's had it since October 3rd, 1970 when he bought it new, as a 19 year old. We reckon it is the only one owner HG 350 Monaro in the country, and that makes it a national treasure.
"I was in my HR sedan driving past a Holden dealer near where I lived and I saw it on a ramp on the lot. I just knew I had to have it" says Steve. "So I stopped and looked it over. The sales representative came up to me and told me it was the Bathurst version. He said 'that car's got too much power for you, son'.
At the time the dealer was concerned about a young "kid" hooning around in a powerful V8. The dealer's reticence to sell the car only heighted Steve's desire to own it. "I asked my parents to speak to the dealer and they convinced him that it would be ok, so I worked three jobs to pay it off" Steve now remembers.
Steve's car was the 3447th Monaro out of the Brisbane Acacia Ridge factory and is a numbers-matching vehicle. There are 86,000 miles on the clock and is stock standard in every way. "I've done nothing to it at all" says Steve, "And why should I?"
The four speed manual transmission that came with the car is still behind the engine. There's no power steering and the original AM radio sits in the dashboard. It is a car that those restoring a Monaro could use as a reference point.
Steve is constantly asked why he's kept the Monaro for 43 years. "I've never had a reason to sell it", is his simple reason. "As I got older I stopped using the Monaro as a daily driver and now I use it about three or four times a year. "
These days the big issue is ensuring the security and safety of this valuable car. "I store it at a very secure site" Steve says. And he needs to. Thefts of Australian muscle cars from the sixties and seventies happen a little too often for comfort. Some owners have resorted to engaging security personnel when they show their cars. Will Steve ever sell the Monaro? "No" is quick the reply.
David Burrell is the editor of www.retroautos.com.au