Stunning HK Monaro set to debut at Meguiar’s MotorEx

Wayne Price's new HK Monaro will set new standards for bodywork when it debuts at MotorEx, says Owen Webb


After a few COVID-induced false starts, Meguiar’s MotorEx is set to rock Melbourne Showgrounds, 30 April to 1 May.

With 26 cars to be unveiled, the Inauguration is going to take up an entire hall, with the covers coming off at 11am on Saturday.

There will be some real stunners amongst them, but the car MotorEx’s Owen Webb is most pumped about is Wayne Price’s HK GTS Monaro. In fact, he reckons it has the best bodywork he’s ever seen on a car.

The build is the product of Andrew’s Automotive Restorations in Braeside, Melbourne and boss man Andrew Melton reckons the team will be flat-out on the car right up to the wire.

Originally fitted with a 307, the car arrived at Andrew’s shop looking pretty tough, but it was soon stripped down to its jocks for a full restoration that escalated into something else altogether.

“I asked Wayne to bring the car with the intended driveline sorted and fitted to the car. That way we could work out clearances and so forth from the very beginning.”

“It is a normal part of our restoration to de-skin the car though we normally keep the lead joins between panels, but on the HK we deleted these seams and that made for a huge amount of metalwork for our fab guy, Marty Ryan,” says Andrew.

“We’ve made new sections to replace the lead joins, to go along with the hand-made roof and rear guards, but to fully file-finish the new parts we had to look where they were joined. We also needed to gain access to the back of them so we could hammer them and get the finish spot-on.”

This work results in a stunning finish that floored Owen Webb, a bloke who has judged an untold number of cars at Australia’s top car shows.

“This Monaro looks like it’s been pressed out of one complete sheet of steel, which is something I’ve never seen before,” says Webby. “The joins are perfect; you can’t see where they welded it up!”

Powered by a blown small-block Chev, and with fat wheels in the mini-tubbed rear-end, Andrew’s Restorations team are paying close attention to finishing details. As first-generation Monaros are incredibly valuable cars today respect had to be paid to the curvy two-door’s original style.

“Without giving too much away I can confirm that underneath the car and inside the engine bay will be both matte and satin black to give definition around the various parts,” Webby explains. “All the factory chrome will be finished in a satin look, and they even unpicked the original firewall and replaced it so if Wayne’s family decide later on to restore it to stock, they could.”

All of this work obviously presents challenges Andrew’s team had to overcome.

“One of the issues is keeping the metal from flash rusting while working on it, and the amount of work to get it to a properly finished level,” explains Andrew. “We’re thorough with our pre-paint metal work, so we’re prepared for this. It does place a big toll on your body with the metal finishing, planishing, and bumping, for weeks and months on end. I’m blessed to have someone of Marty’s talent working here, without his skills we couldn’t have done this car to this standard.”

Mixing incredible craftsmanship and fabrication with a high-value classic car can be fraught, but Webby feels Wayne’s Monaro treads that fine line. More importantly he also feels it brings a new style to one of Australia’s favourite street machine platforms.

“You can’t hide any imperfections here as there is no filler or paint to mask the metal,” he says. “It is incredibly exciting to be able to bring a new spin on an iconic Aussie muscle car, because these Monaros have been built in every style or trend so it is incredibly rare to find a genuinely different build.”

And if the name Wayne Price is familiar, that’s because Wayne has been a prominent figure on the drag racing scene for decades. Wayne Price Racing currently campaigns a Dodge Charger Pro Alcohol Funny Car, with James Horwood recently taking over the wheel duties.

Amongst Wayne’s previous rides, his Mercury Top Doorslammer is one of the most memorable, both for its stunning design and a shocking theft in 2005 that left the car very worse for wear.