Video: Turbo LSX-Swapped 1974 Monaro Runs High Eights

If it seems like we’ve been running a lot of Aussie videos lately, well, it’s true – we keep coming across amazing LS-powered cars built down under, and it would be a shame not to bring them to you. In this case, the car is a 1974 Holden Monaro dubbed “Air-Force 1” shot by the good folks at Fullboost.com.au.

Even before we get under the hood, we’re fascinated by this car, because the Monaros of this era are like GM A-Body cars from a half-remembered dream. From the back, you’d immediately say it’s a member of the Cutlass/Chevelle/Lemans/Skylark family based on the shape of the quarter panels, but there’s that unfamiliar bumper, and the curved back glass. Then, of course, there’s the right hand drive…

I mean, come on! A-body, right?

I mean, come on! A-body, right?

In 1974, the Monaro coupe was available with a range of powerplants, from the wheezy 173 cubic inch inline six producing something like 118 horsepower, up to the Monaro GTS’ 350 rated at 275 horsepower. This Holden, though, has a generous helping of LSX under the hood, displacing 427 cubic inches and force-fed by a Garrett GTX55 turbocharger. Inside there’s a Callies crank, Oliver rods, and JE pistons, and the block is topped by AFR heads and a Shaun’s Custom Alloy intake manifold.

airforce1-2

airforce1-3A TH400 transmission built by Preston Automatics backs the LSX, directing power to an LMS fabricated 9-inch rearend with a Truetrac and 3.2:1 gears and 35-spline axles. Mickey Thompson 275 drag radials put the power to the pavement, and the engine drinks E85 as directed by a Haltech EFI tuned by Tunnel Vision.

We love the fact that this thoroughly modern driveline is wrapped in an unassuming, classic musclecar that doesn’t immediately broadcast the high eight second capability. If this Monaro turned up at a stateside track, it wouldn’t just turn heads – it would snap necks.

airforce1-5

About the author

Paul Huizenga

After some close calls on the street in his late teens and early twenties, Paul Huizenga discovered organized drag racing and never looked back, becoming a SFI-Certified tech inspector and avid bracket racer. Formerly the editor of OverRev and Race Pages magazines, Huizenga set out on his own in 2009 to become a freelance writer and editor.
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