Reader’s Rocket: Sam Zullo’s HT Monaro

Ever since Sam's first red HT Monaro was stolen 40 years ago, he told himself he would have another one some day. And here it is

Sam Zullo Holden HT Monaro
Photographers: Troy Barker

“My story started 40 years ago when my red HT Monaro was stolen two weeks before I was married. Of course, I didn’t renew the insurance, so I lost everything. I told myself I would get one again someday, and for years I looked but it was never the right time.

First published in the July 2023 issue of Street Machine

Finally, at 60 years old, it happened; I bought this Monaro two years ago as an unfinished project. It was painted and had the running gear but it needed to be finished and engineered for South Australian roads.

So with the help of Carlo Albanese from Carlo’s Classic Muscle Cars, we went to THR Engine Developments to go through the whole car to try and recreate my old car’s look and do the modifications needed to pass all the engineering requirements for a 496 big-block in a ’69 HT Monaro.

The engine runs Edelbrock alloy heads with roller rockers, an Edelbrock Super Victor manifold and an APD billet 950cfm four-barrel carb. It made 682hp on the dyno.

The transmission is a TH400 with a manual valvebody, which sends the power back to a full-floater nine-inch rear end with a Truetrac, 3.9:1 gears and 35-spline axles.

Steering is a Torana rack-and-pinion system. Wheels are 15×6 and 15×10 Street Pros running 195/50 and 275/50 tyres respectively. The axles had to be shortened to fit the wheels under the guards, even though the car has mini-tubs.

Lowered King Springs and Koni shocks were installed with the help of Warren from SA Suspension Centre. Brakes are Wilwood discs all ’round with an E-Stopp electric handbrake.

Inside, the dash has been restored thanks to Claude Silvestri, with extra Auto Meter gauges mounted on the floor in front of the B&M Quicksilver shifter.

The number plates are a tribute to my daughter, Justine, who passed away five years ago at age 25; they were from her car.

A big thank you to Carlo Albanese, Lui Caretti, Spiro Spyropoulos, Steve Marzocca, Jimmy Carbone, SA Suspension Centre, Doug Potts CPEng, and the team at THR Engine Developments.”