Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Camino LS6

Monaro/Camaro/Coupe 60

20 posts in this topic

3 Kings - Chevrolet Camaro vs Holden Coupe 60 vs Holden Monaro
via WheelsMag.com.au
0.8100.jpeg

Not long before the end of the 20th century, a remote automotive outpost took a bare-arsed bet on a concept for its first full-sized coupe in 20 years. Far from being an unnoticed blip on a distant star, the Commodore Coupe concept would re-align the orbit of General Motors itself and make Holden the magnetic centre of its muscle-car galaxy.

Eleven years on, more cataclysmic forces are pulling GM in a new direction. But Holden’s 10-year trajectory produced Monaro, the all-Australian pony-car that went on to earn one of America’s most iconic badges: Pontiac GTO. It put Australia in the box seat to develop GM’s new generation of rear-drive architecture, the Zeta, which in turn put another all-Australian model, the VE Commodore, on the boat to the US wearing Pontiac badges.

It culminated, perhaps inevitably, in Australia designing and engineering an all-American icon, the new Camaro. It was a surrogate project, never destined to be built or sold here. Unlike the third, and perhaps most dazzling star that might have embodied the best of everything.

We know it as Holden Coupe 60. By the time it was unveiled at the 2008 Melbourne motor show, ostensibly in celebration of Holden’s 60th anniversary, the car that had been developed as the VE-generation Monaro had been dead in the water for three years. “Eventually it was shelved as not the thing to do; for the show car we resurrected it and put carbon all over it,” shrugs Holden’s exterior design manager, Peter Hughes, for whom Coupe 60 was very much his baby.

Back in 1998, Hughes was on the team of the now near-legendary Holden design revolutionary, Mike Simcoe. He confirms the furtive Friday nights and surreptitious Sundays that the team spent on the largely unauthorised Commodore Coupe clay. “I recall coming in one Sunday and doing a full-size tape that we were going to show [engineering boss] Tony Hyde. We just let a few important people know that we were going to make a full-sized clay.

“These days, [Holden is] far more global, so you have to let people know before you can get things done,” he smiles. “But back in those days, we had a bit more flexibility to hide the costs [involved].

Yeah, it was very sneaky…

“We were all pretty young when we did it, then it was a big success when it came out. It put Holden – and more specifically, Design – on the map as a stand-alone department that could do things
for GM globally.”

Of course, it was GM’s product prophet Bob Lutz who saw the inner beauty of the Commodore Coupe. His nod gave the green light for the first new Monaro coupe since the HX LE of 1976, and also put it in the frame for the US market from 2003.

Monaro famously took just 22 months from show to go. It was hard work, but Hughes knows only too well that a lot of it had been done already. That’s the culture of design within Holden: any concept they do is already very close to a production reality (excepting Richard Ferlazzo’s wild Efijy hotrod from 2005).

“There’s no point doing something wacky,” Hughes says. “We can’t spend millions and millions of dollars on show cars without the intention of going forward into production. It’s pretty well known in the GM world that when Holden does a show car it’s usually quite buildable and quite realistic.

“The Coupe 60 was done as a coupe study on VE architecture, similar to Monaro, similar architectural changes. That’s not unknown. It’s the same when we do any new architecture. We do all the variants that could possibly go ahead.”

Lutz’s sudden fondness for his antipodean outpost would also, of course, create a global foundation for Holden’s next generation of Commodore. In Zeta, Lutz would have a world-class platform capable of underpinning a variety of enthusiast US models.

Matter-of-factly, the design boys set about doing studies of that family. Sedan. Ute. A new twist on wagon. And a coupe.

Read more: 3 Kings - Chevrolet Camaro vs Holden Coupe 60 vs Holden Monaro
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*sigh*.....

I can only dream of what might've been had this become the new GTO. Think of how amazing a line up of Camaro, CTS-V coupe and GTO would've been.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make the Coupe 60 a Chevelle. The Camaro sucks in terms of 4 people actually being able to ride in it. A Corvette is almost as practical.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What if Holden were sold here in North America ??? Hmmmmm, I wonder if that will happen someday ???

now now, now you are just asking for it. :)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What if Holden were sold here in North America ??? Hmmmmm, I wonder if that will happen someday ???

Then my automotive mania would have a new home.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Make the Coupe 60 a Chevelle. The Camaro sucks in terms of 4 people actually being able to ride in it. A Corvette is almost as practical.

Why would one want the Camaro then?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why would one want the Camaro then?

Because it's a Camaro. The F-body faithful don't want a Chevelle, but I would. I only gravitated to F-bodies because there was nothing else left. Don't get me wrong, I like them, both past and present, but my automotive heart will always be set on an A-body sort of car.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Holden should be here. Uncle Bob had a great idea and it should be implemented.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Holden should be here. Uncle Bob had a great idea and it should be implemented.

Yes, better late than never.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was under the impression that the Coupe 60 was far more spacious than the Camaro.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was under the impression that the Coupe 60 was far more spacious than the Camaro.

That's one thing that was nice about the GTO compared to the Camaro also. The back seats were actually comfortable. The most annoying thing was getting into the back seat, since the seats moved forward really slow, but once back there it wasn't bad.

If the Coupe 60 is made and sold here, I would want it, definately more than the Camaro. All it needs is to not have the gas tank in the trunk. And I prefer the lower beltline compared to the Camaro.

Edited by CaddyXLR-V
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's one thing that was nice about the GTO compared to the Camaro also. The back seats were actually comfortable. The most annoying thing was getting into the back seat, since the seats moved forward really slow, but once back there it wasn't bad.

If the Coupe 60 is made and sold here, I would want it, definately more than the Camaro. All it needs is to not have the gas tank in the trunk. And I prefer the lower beltline compared to the Camaro.

:yes:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0