One-off Monaro set for life in a garage

EMERALD'S Darryl Mattingley may just be the envy of Holden and Monaro fans everywhere.

The businessman, ironically a staunch Ford man, placed the top bid of $187,600 in the online auction for the last of the current generation of Holden Monaros at the weekend.

But even if Mr Mattingley had been outbid for the Monaro CV8, it is highly likely the vehicle would still be Emerald-bound with the second highest bidder also from Emerald.

Amazingly, in what was a worldwide auction, Mr Mattingley had to slog it out with fellow Emerald car enthusiast Albert Hajdu for the car, with the pair leaving a pack of would-be bidders behind at $160,000.

So why, you ask, would a Ford lover buy an iconic Holden? The answer was simple, it was the last one.

"It's a one-off,'' he said.

"It's a specially-built thing and no-one else can have the same thing.''

Mr Hajdu said his wife, Michelle, had said when Holden brought out the last 1200 of the Monaros it would be nice to own the last one.

"When it came on eBay I said, 'we'll have a bid on it','' Mr Hajdu said.

With the auction nearing the end, Mr Hajdu said he had considered pushing his bid higher but opted not to.

"I knew who I was bidding against and instead of pushing him higher I thought I would just leave it at that. It's coming to Emerald anyway.''

Mr Hajdu had held the winning bid from Valentine's Day and wasn't outbid until Mr Mattingley placed the last bid just 85 seconds before the close of the auction at 11.10am on Sunday.

Mr Mattingley's wife Shelly admitted the last-minute strategy definitely helped them come away with the car.

Both car enthusiasts, the Mattingleys said they were a little surprised at the price, which they considered relatively low. They had expected the car to fetch somewhere between $400,000 and $500,000.

So, what are their plans for the last Monaro?

"It's not even going to be registered, it will be stored away and preserved,'' Mr Mattingley said.

The couple will be flown to Brisbane on Friday where they will be given the keys to the car in a hand-over ceremony.

As for Mr Hajdu, Mr Mattingley said "of course he can come around for a look''.

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