With just 1600 miles in 16 years old, has the V8-powered Monaro finally become a collector's piece?
By Matt Bird / Wednesday, September 1, 2021 / Loading comments
In case it wasn’t obvious already, the newly announced Astra-e makes it abundantly clear where Vauxhall’s future is headed. From 2023 the family hatch will be powered exclusively by a battery for the first time, joining the Corsa, Combo Life, Vivaro Life and Mokka in Vauxhall’s fully electric family. By 2028, the entire line up will be combustion engine free.
By which time, of course, the days of the Monaro will seem even further away than they do now. But the era of rebadging Holdens continued for a good while after the coupe; the VXR8 was on sale here until 2017, with our farewell story to the GTS-R was published less than four years ago. And here we are talking about an all-electric Vauxhall line up. You can debate until an Astra-e is fully charged from a three-pin plug about how necessary the zero-emission push is – but there’s no denying the speed of change.
For many if not most, of course, that means a car like the Monaro – with its unsophisticated V8, manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive – is a relic of days gone by. For us though its a timely throwback of the best sort, harking back to that time in the early and mid-2000s – up to the financial meltdown, basically – where anything was possible. In the era of mid-engined, V6 Clios, 400hp Mitsubishi Evos, the Mazda RX-8 and the V10 M5, the Monaro fitted in just fine. Because why wouldn’t Vauxhall use a V8 muscle car nobody had ever heard of to spearhead its range?
It worked, too. A decade before right-hand drive Mustangs the Monaro was like nothing else, delivering an authentic V8 experience for the price of a 330i. That it was handsome and decent to drive as well as scandalously good value only helped the Monaro’s cause. They were tough, too, and got under people’s skin; HowManyLeft says there were 344 CV8 Monaros taxed or SORNed in the UK in 2009 – it’s still more than 300 today.
This particular one must have been the most sparingly used Monaro since that time. At its first MOT in March of that year it was showing an already low 1,231 miles; between then and its most recent test last month, the Odyssey Grey Vauxhall drove just 432 miles. Here is a Monaro CV8 with just 1,663 miles from new in September 2005 – surely the most savage of cutting down the fuel costs.
Obviously, it’s fabulous, or at least as fabulous as a Monaro can be. Wherever it was stored between those fleeting drives was somewhere decent, because this one – muddy footwell aside – could have just driven out of the showroom. As values have gone up for Monaros the sub par ones have started to fall by the wayside, but this example is obviously especially nice. The dealer says it’s even kept its new car smell…
With that recent MOT and a service at 1,600 miles, the Monaro should be fit as a fiddle and ready to roll. Unlike so many low mileage specimens aimed at collectors, the mechanicals here are durable and simple, meaning it won’t require a check-up every month should you actually want to drive it. Given the Monaro’s reputation for continent crushing cruising ability, it’s surely going to be hard to resist adding to the total. Those after one to actually use guiltlessly, however, might be better served by a 50,000-mile car at half this one’s £25k asking price. Tough decision, right? But as Vauxhall’s (and the world’s) electrification continues, don’t be surprised if the Monaro edges ever closer to classic territory. After all, what better for a nostalgia trip?
- Vauxhall Monaro | PH Used Buying Guide
- Vauxhall VXR8 | PH Used Buying Guide
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