|A dazzling blue Monaro was rushed to Victoria to star at the 2009 Melbourne Motor Show. The hand-built supercar is the latest extreme machine to join the show lineup, which also includes wicked Sucker Punch Sallys motorcycles from the USA.But the Monaro is a car with a difference, right down to its name – The Monaro from HAL.
Every panel on the car has been tweaked and it is fitted with a 427 Corvette engine and a full custom interior. And there is the one-off blue paintwork.
The car is a joint venture between one-time supercar hero Paul Halstead, who was the Australia importer for DeTomaso cars and created the locally-built Giacattolo, and Autotek chief Bob Roman.
Between them they have more than 50 years experience in engineering and fast cars which is reflected in their super-special Monaro.
“It’s a one-off. We took a brand-new Monaro and did something very special,” Roman says.
“It has been totally stripped and then re-sculpted to Paul Halstead’s vision.”
The car was built in Castlemaine and finished this week in time for a first public appearance at the motor show. It will also be the key to a reader contest in next week’s edition of the Carsguide.
But, even more, it reflects the depth of Australian motoring expertise and that is something Halstead and Roman will be pushing with a new joint venture between Autotek and ADAPS to provide automotive engineers and project managers to the industry.
It’s a new contract plan which is in its infancy but which can be used for cars like the Monaro, and more.
“Concept cars are the traffic magnets and the heart-and-soul of every motor show,” Roman says.
“We think creating a car like the Monaro from HAL is a great way to get people thinking about the talent that is available to the Australian motor industry. We are moving to the next level of services to the industry.
“We want to occupy our own place. Show we’re at the cutting edge.”
The result is a car with wild flared guards, a deep jutting nose and an aero diffuser under the rear bumper. It also has a full custom interior and an upgraded Corvette-style mechanical package.
“It’s street legal but race ready,” Roman says.
“And it’s all steel. There is no plastic or fibreglass, the car is completely real.”
Roman says the car cost around $250,000 to build but it is a cheap investment in the future of a new company.
“The vehicle itself is basically to show the skills of both companies, on a special project. We could do the same thing on a concept car, or skilled labour in any level of the automotive business.”
The Monaro from HAL is actually the latest in a string of wild one-off cars created by Roman, from a Hillier Falcon coupe to the gullwing Raptor ute and a Commodore ute known simply as `The Beast’.
But there is more to come from the Autotek-ADAPS, in time for the next Melbourne Motor Show in 2011.
“We’re working on something even more radical. It is a rear-mid engined supercar. But that’s something for the future,” Roman says.
The Melbourne Motor Show opens at 5pm on Friday, February 27 at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.
It runs from 10am-10pm each day until Sunday, March 8.
The final day of the show is Monday, March 9 when it is open from 10am-6pm.