The 1969 Sandown HDT Monaro. Photo: Lloyds Auctions.

THE very first Holden Dealer Team racing Monaro GTS 350 has again been placed up for sale, less than three years since it was last auctioned.

The car, currently being sold by Lloyds Auctions in an online auction, was driven by Spencer Martin and Kevin Bartlett in the 1969 Datsun 3 Hour at Sandown in Melbourne.

The race was the debut of the famous Holden Dealer Team under the management of the late Harry Firth.

The HDT Monaro at Sandown in 1969. Photo:

It famously retired from the race around the 45-minute mark when brake failure led to a fiery crash at the end of the front straight at Sandown with Martin at the wheel.

As former HDT mechanic Ian Tate told Unique Cars in 2016, had it not been for the lessons learnt on the Sandown Monaro, there’s no way the HDT would have won at Bathurst with Colin Bond and Tony Roberts just weeks later.

“The failure at Sandown allowed us to win Bathurst,” he said. 

“Without that failure we wouldn’t have done all the checking and analysis that allowed us to improve the car.”

Our new ‘Racing the Lion’ illustrated history of Holden in motorsport, 400 page hardcover book will feature an entire chapter devoted to Holden Dealer Team photos, including shots of this very car.

Don’t miss out and pre-order it now here!

The #57D Monaro HT350 wasn’t one of the three HDT Monaros that competed at Bathurst in 1969. It was repaired and sold in March 1970 to GM-H NSW metro sales manager Tony Connolly.

He owned it for 28 years before Rob Coulson purchased the car in 1998 and a thorough restoration followed to return the car to its original 1969 Sandown HDT livery.

It remained in his care until he sold it via auction in August 2017 for a reported $500,000 to an unnamed Queensland-based Holden collector.

With over 20 years in the Australian motorsport industry, Noonan is the head of V8 Sleuth. He’s held a range of roles including working in television with Seven and Ten, print media and public relations. With a specialty in Australian motorsport history, he’s known around racing paddocks as ’the Sleuth’ and started his motorsport media career in 1997.