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Australia's top performance automobile, introduced by now-General Motors-owned auto manufacturer Holden in 1968. Influenced by the muscle car trend in the USA, the Monaro was an instant hit. While not very powerful at first -- boasting tiny 161 and 186 cubic inch displacement straight six engines, but moving on to more respectable Chevrolet 307, 327, and 350 V8s -- Holden's sports coupe was nevertheless an impressive vehicle. The last Monaro rolled off the lines in 1979, as Holden's new Commodore became the manufacturer's point car.

The new Holden Monaro was re-introduced to Australia in 2001, and it is, in my opinion, a very impressive luxury-sports automobile -- but unfortunately unknown to a vast majority of the American public.

The rear wheel drive CV Monaro, which is more or less based on the Commodore, comes in two flavors: the CV6, running a supercharged V6; and the CV8, with a 5.7-liter, 331 horsepower, ready to rock V8 -- thoroughly impressive, as it lands the Monaro in the same league as sister GM company Chevrolet's Camaro Z28. In fact, the new Monaro is so impressive that it inspired GM's CEO, Jim Lutz, to bring back to America a car that was just as popular there as the Monaro was in Australia -- the Pontiac GTO, which is basically American version of the CV8 Monaro, with a few appearance modifications.

The CV8 is currently selling for $57,000 Australian -- a cool $32,200 USD.

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