The Cars That Money Can’t Buy – Holden Monaro Coupe 60

Sun 2nd Dec 2018

Sometimes your wallet won’t stretch to purchasing your dream motor. But don’t worry too much, there are some cars that even the biggest bank balances can’t buy, the dream cars that will forever remain a dream. These are the concept cars that never go into production.

Holden Monaro Coupe 60
When Australian car manufacturer Holden, owned by General Motors, wanted to give themselves a special gift for their 60th birthday they came up with Holden Coupe 60, a V8 Supercar, with a pillarless concept based on the company’s Zeta rear-wheel drive structure.

Holden wanted to make a huge impression with their birthday present to themselves and had managed to keep the development of this beast of a motor under wraps by putting it together with a specialist show-car builder in Japan.

The rumours on the pistonheads grapevine went into overdrive ahead of the 2008 Melbourne Motor Show, the only glimpse any of the public had previously seen of the Holden coupe was an idea was a clay two-door which had been sketched on a dining room wall.

“Everything you do is tactical or strategic,” said Holden’s director of design, Tony Stolfo, the man credited with designing the Coupe 60. “Strategically, we’d love to continue down the path of actually doing a coupe off our [VE] architecture, but it’s a matter of building a business case and getting the corporation to back it.

“The tactical side, obviously, is that we want to take the focus off everyone else in terms of the motor show…”

Stolfo and Holden certainly achieved that dream, but at a cost of $2.5m australian dollars, a project which certainly took the big-wigs at General Motors by surprise. It was this cost that put the early buffers on the project, but GM were unlikely also to want to put a car into production which was a realistic rival to GM’s very own Chevrolet Camaro - so exports were out of the frame too.

We’re fairly sure the Holden Monaro Coupe 60 would have been a huge hit in the UK. Vauxhall, Opel and Holden are essentially the same brand under different flags and with an English influence on the car in the form of designer Ewan Kingsbury, it’s a vehicle that would have certainly lit up on these shores.

Kingsbury worked closely on the project, often in secret and was delighted to speak about the reveal when launched back in 2008.

“We tried to keep it cosmopolitan. Holden is sporty but sophisticated, with an edge  – knockoff hubs and side exhaust, and brake induction vents are a nod to the Supercars, for example,” said Kingsbury.

“This has been a bit of an after-hours project, but it’s come together pretty smoothly. Often they’re a nightmare.

“It’s one of the lowest cars we’ve ever done – and it’s a pain to transport, let me tell you. We’re trying to convey a sense of width. The rear lights are all LED, and the vertical arrangement is designed to pick up the vertical strakes on the rear diffuser. The duck-tail spoiler is new, too. I hate the older Monaro with the wing… wings are a dying trend – I hope!”