1982 Opel Monza: hot or not?

The Opel Monza was the basis for one of the great what-ifs of the HDT era. But are they hot or not as we dive into 2023?


There is some interesting metal popping up for sale recently and the Street Machine team private chat has been abuzz with all kinds of cool projects that we think someone else should buy.

The star of the show yesterday was this 1982 Opel Monza, up for grabs in a Facebook group. Advertised for $25K, it looks to be a very neat example and in right-hand-drive. Under the bonnet is the factory fuel injected six.

This particular example is the first generation Monza, sold between 1977 and 1982. The famous HDT Monza was a second gen car, with full-width tailights and swoopier front end styling.

Nevertheless, we reckon this example is good buying, especially when compared with just about any kind of interesting early model Commodore in similar condition.

And how cool is the interior!

The Monza would make a great cars & coffee cruiser as it is, but it would also make a great basis for modification. You’d need to ditch the recirculating ball steering for a Commodore rack, then the options would be endless.

Just check out Ben Revie’s second-gen Monza, which rocks a VH Commodore grill, Group C-style flares and BBS-style rims.

Not everyone agrees, however. The comments under the Facebook ad are riddled with folks comparing the Monza to the Camira, Gemini and worse.

Others seem to think it is a VC Commodore with an LX Torana hatch conversion. While some commenters see the appeal to the car and appreciate its links down under, others reckon it is just plain ugly.

While the first-gen Monza isn’t the sexiest car ever built, it is hard to see how it is ugly, ala the Mustang Mark II.

We can only conclude that we are seeing the Not Invented Here syndrome in play, with casual observers equating unfamiliarlity with the ugly stick.

Looks are subjective of course, so tell us: is the Opel Monza hot or not?