In Our Garage with David Coe's 1973 HQ GTS Monaro

David Coe built his 1973 HQ GTS Monaro replica in just 12 months, with the Barbados green car turning heads wherever he goes.

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How is it a replica?

I bought the car as a rolling shell back in 2014, my wife let me buy it for my birthday.

We then went about building the car and making it look exactly as it looks today.

The shell was different colours, it had brown and white and the seats inside were brown as well, but the guy that sold it to me had just started on it and while he wanted to build the car up.

He had too many other projects so he sold it and we bought it.

What made you want to do up a car?

When my wife and I got married, or when I first met my wife actually, I had a 1973 HQ Sedan.

I thought it would be nice as a tribute to buy another car and use it as a blank canvas and turn it into the GTS we have today.

What have you done under the hood?

The vehicle has been fitted with a 308, which is a five litre, it is a carburetor job.

It has got extractors and 600 holley on it, a small cam in it and a little bit of work done to the valve so it can take unleaded fuel without putting to many additives in it.

What does the interior look like?

The interior has been done to replicate a GTS Monaro, so it has the GTS dash, the GTS console, the GTS seats.

We went through rare spares to get a lot of the stuff because when you are hunting for genuine original parts they are very difficult to find.

So to fill that gap you speak to people like Kingswood Country, they usually have reproduction models of different things and you can use those parts to fill in the blanks.

How long did the process take you to get it looking like this?

Well, it was pretty quick.

I know a lot of blokes who work on cars and their projects are five, 10 or 15 years.

Mine took 12 months.

I do not like to muck around; I want to make sure the car is done.

I went over to Rick Lang’s place to get do all the rust and cutting out in April of 2014 and then I got the car back from him once he cut all the rust out and painted it for me in the colours that it is today, on Melbourne Cup Day in 2014.

From there to May 2015, we then fitted the interior and did the gearbox, the engine which we had rebuilt, the exhaust fitted, and the rims and tyres all fitted so it was ready for the first car show in 2015.

What is the colour and why did you choose it?

My wife actually chose the colour, it is Barbados green with black stirpes.

She saw the colour and thought it is such a nice green.

What is it like on the road?

It is a typical 1973 vehicle, it is not as modern as the cars we drive today but it has power steering

It does not have air conditioning, unless you wind the windows down, but it drives nicely and has plenty of power under the bonnet and drives great both on the highway and in town.

Can you describe the sound it makes when you turn it on?

I wanted to get a nice deep V8 noise out of this, so we run a two-and-a-half-inch exhaust twin system through it off a set of extractors.

So, with that and the small cam that we have in it, it just gives it that nice bit of tone and it sounds really nice on the highway.

What is your favourite thing about owning the car?

I think, being a classic back in the 70s and those cars back then, I mean they are a bit more archaic than the cars we have today.

 You know, if you want the windows down you have to wind them down, not press buttons.

It is a good, solid steel, Aussie built car and they are getting rarer.

How will you keep the car running?

We recently bought out Trulson's Mechanical and we have the capability to work on both vintage and modern cars which means we can keep cars like this on the road.

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