New GRM Monaro makes track debut

The 2002 Bathurst Hour-winning Monaro alongside the new Chassis #4

Garry Rogers Motorsport has debuted its freshly built Holden Monaro at Sandown International Motor Raceway.

GRM engine builder Jeff ‘Gypsy’ Marshall was granted the car’s maiden laps yesterday, before the team’s contracted drivers James Moffat and Dylan O’Keeffe hopped in for a steer.

The Monaro is built to the exact specification of the Bathurst 24 Hour-winning cars GRM ran in 2002 and 2003.

The latest chassis – the fourth of its kind – was completed last week, GRM director Barry Rogers confirmed to Speedcafe.com.

“When the COVID stuff all started, we started tidying up at work going through shipping containers and a whole lot of things and we found a lot of old Monaro components from back in the day and a body shell,” he explained.

“We thought well this will give the boys something to do, so we started building.

“There wasn’t enough to build a car but there was a lot of spares and things from those original cars.

“We gave Ron Harrop a call, who back in that time was involved with the programme, they made a lot of the components… so he got out the old drawings and got to work to make the components that we didn’t have.

“And the components that we did have we got stuck into making a car.”

Rogers said the finished product was something to behold.

GRM’s Monaro Chassis #1 (left) alongside the new Chassis #4

“Nan Kloth built the car, Gypsy built the engine. Of course other boys were involved but they were central figures in the car build and it’s something that they should be really, really proud of because it really is a work of art,” he added.

“It was real old school with all the decals – there’s no stickers on it, it’s all hand-painted so there’s no wrapping.

“The car itself was obviously painted and then we hand-painted all the decals on the car.

“It was obviously not built to race but it’s exactly the same as the 2002 and 2003 cars, same engine, same everything, so it could race but unless you are racing in Sports Sedans or something, there’s nowhere it would race.”

It’s planned to be sold, and Rogers believes they have a pretty useful selling point.

“I’ve sort of been saying in here, we thought the last new Holden had been made in Australia but it hadn’t – the last new Holden just got made, and it’s a pretty famous one being a Monaro,” said Rogers.

“You get investors that go and buy a painting and hang it on their wall; I think this would be a pretty good investment to buy, the last new Holden made in Australia!”

The car livery was inspired by the iconic HT Monaro of Spencer Martin and Kevin Bartlett.

“I think that’s when Harry Firth and Holden got serious about having a crack at Bathurst, so we based it on that livery for a bit of tradition for Holden,” noted Rogers.

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