The four door Monaro was Holden’s answer to Ford’s four door GTs and while the two door versions are most sought after, the four door Aussie muscle cars live on strong in the heart of any Aussie car fan. Bruno’s silver four door epitomises what it is that we love about these iconic muscle cars and be you a Holden, Ford or Valiant fan, you’d have to agree Bruno has hit the mark perfectly!
Bruno’s always been a fan of the HQ and having owned and parted with one in the 90s, owned a variety of other sweet rides suitable for street/ strip duties including a very smik VK Group 3 Commodore, he had the urge to return to the “old school” wheels and what his heart now desired! Bought in 2006 as a tired example, Bruno set about planning the changes required to recreate the ideal look he had in his mind to his original copper bronze coloured sedan. As anyone who has attempted a full rebuild will testify, not only do we require good finances but we need to be time rich as well and anyone who has a growing family will tell you that’s not feasible unless you have a family who are willing to support you in your vocation and lucky for Bruno, his wife had his back! Being a devoted husband and father, Bruno wasn’t about to spend every spare moment on his project and devotedly spread his available time between his wife, Jade and their two children and his other passion in the garage.
He began squirreling away the various pieces required to bring his dream into fruition and accumulated numerous parts such as the high flow Magna fuel system, modified auto and high performance engine parts among others. These were stored while he kept the Q mobile with its original 253 and trimatic box fulfilling their enduring duty. Eventually enough parts had been collected and it was time to take it off the road. Stripping it down was a straight forward process revealing a clean body and panels with very little rust for Bruno and friend Sunny Mizzi to tackle. Having completed the body work to the high standard Bruno expects, it was time to spray in the colour of his choice and 2 pak Mercedes Silver with black outs got the nod and compliments the beautifully restored lines of the HQ perfectly. Mario from J+M Prestige was responsible for the high metallic finish.
Next in line was the drive line starting with the power plant up front. Being a fan of the Chevy motors all his life, it was only natural to slot in a bowtie block in the form of a 350 ci. The 350 Chev can pound out some good torque as a stocky but if you really want to get up and go, you stroke it and that’s just what Bruno had Stef from Western Link do! Complementing the now stroked motor is a host of high performance goodies from a Scat crank and rods down below through to the Victor Junior manifold and 950 Ultra Hp Holley carbie up top just to name a few. Cooling duties comes in the form of an aluminium radiator from Race Radiators with aftermarket thermo fans added to guarantee this beast won’t overheat in the most stressed conditions. Backing up the 383 ci Chev is a Promatic modified Turbo 350 capable of handling the 514 hp the Chev puts out (702 hp with a 150 shot of NOS when he really wants to let it rip!) The obligatory nine inch out back ensures all those horses are directed to the bitumen without fuss as required. A twin 2 ½ inch system courtesy of Central Autos handles the spent gas duties while ride and drive ability is left to the King springs and Monroe shocks. All electrical work was also handled by Central Autos. Rolling on period perfect Centrelines, Bruno had them wrapped in Drag Stars up front and tough looking Micky Ts out back filling those immaculate rear quarters flawlessly. With help from Steph at Western Link Automotive, the complete set up was fine tuned to be road friendly while versatile for strip use which Bruno plans on doing in time.
When a manufacturer nails an interior to suit the car, why change it and that’s exactly what Bruno stuck with. Brian Muscat Trimming retrimmed the seats covering them in the factory black vinyl with hounds tooth inserts, laid down the carpet and giving the finished product that “fresh out of the factory” look. A couple of extra gauges and shift light have been strategically mounted under the dash while the aftermarket quickshift lets you know this machine means business! Bruno is more than happy with the end result exclaiming that “his (Brian’s) work is grouse!”
With the car now completed thanks to the friends and business’ Bruno worked with; says Bruno “without these guys, I would have struggled”, it takes pride of place next to Bruno’s other piece of automotive infancy which is his original 1957 four door pillarless Chev. Both rides are keepers and when I asked Bruno which ride his better half preferred, Bruno said “ Jade prefers the Monaro and loves it”. Neither of these restored rides are trailer queens so don’t be surprised if you see the Grimaldi family cruising the streets as part of the family entertainment and if Jade has any say in it, it will most likely be in the Monaro!