AV8 Motorsport has firmly cemented itself as the go-to place for wild Chev Monzas, with a third Monza Mirage now under construction for the Enzed Central Muscle Cars (CMC) series.
Since we last checked on progress, the second Monza, belonging to AV8’s own Wayne Anderson, has returned from Moselle Panel and Paint — where it received a flawless coat of silver, the same colour as Wayne’s son Tony’s touring car — and assembly is well under way.
After being tuned by Edgell Automotive, the 409ci small block Chev engine pumps out some serious numbers and is now running in the car. As we saw with the first Monza — which AV8 constructed for the Knight family — the fabrication work and attention to detail are simply mind-blowing. Even so, there are plenty of differences between the cars, apart from their motors. Wayne’s car, for example, has Corvette-style lake pipes and a different rear suspension set-up.
The third car, on which work has only recently begun, is for the Wallace family of Dunedin. It is set to be more like Wayne’s car than the Knight car. So far, Colin Wallace has been hands-on in the build, staying in Auckland to work on it as much as he can. With Wayne’s car also sitting in the workshop, Colin has a very good template to work off.
Each of the three Monzas is of a different manufacturing year, and it is quite remarkable how dissimilar they are — even if they are only a year apart. They have different height and width transmission tunnels, different front anti-roll bar positioning, and more. Fortunately, the larger tunnel in the Wallace car has freed up the gearbox choice.
Colin’s son, Michael, who previously campaigned a Holden Commodore in the NZV8 Touring Cars series, will drive the Wallace car, while Wayne Anderson is set to get behind the wheel of his own car. Wayne is well aware that it’s been a long time since he’s driven competitively, and states that there’s a high chance he’ll be a bit rusty, but he is keen to get out and have some fun. The light and narrow car should provide him with a very good platform, especially when combined with his extensive driving and engineering experience.
’Tis the season
It’s now the time of the year when cars undergo their off-season maintenance and repairs, and there’s a degree of added urgency this winter, as many competitors aim to meet the shipping deadline to get their cars to Bathurst. Included among those is Sean Fowler’s Torana, prepared by Heads Racing Supplies, which is nearing the final stages of a freshen-up after finishing third in Group 1 last season.
The 393ci LSX engine has been pulled down and inspected, as has the G-Force 101A four-speed gearbox. By the time you’re reading this, the car should have been out on track for a shakedown and will soon be loaded into a container to head for Australia.