The Blue bogan
It's loud, Australian and likes a drink. Meet the blue bogan.
It is a long road to owning the car of your dreams. The road to the Blue Bogan started way back in 2003.
Finding yourself at the age of 18 with a few months pay in your pocket and nothing to do, what better to do than travel to the opposite side of the globe. Brisbane, Australia to be precise. Flights were booked, host family organised and off I flew into the unknown.
Arriving in Brisbane in January was a stark contrast to the cold weather in England. Daily temps over 30C and plenty of sun instantly put a large smile on my face and dispelled the cloud over my head. I instantly knew that I was going to have a great adventure.
Luckily for me, the family I was staying with has two sons of around my age who were also massive petrol heads. The older of the two owned an immaculate MK1 Escort which he used to ferry us about in. Being petrol heads they subscribed to a few car magazines which is where I came across the Monaro. Not just any Monaro, but the Holden Racing Team Monaro with less weight and more power. Carbon fibre engine components sealed the deal and I knew I needed an Aussie V8 in my life at some point.
Holiday over, University application accepted and the HRT Monaro was just a distant, hazy, memory. Then BAM! Vauxhall announce that they are to start importing the Monaro in the spring of 2004. My dreams of owning one were rekindled.
Over the years I always kept an eye on the Vauxhall imports, just like resident hamster, Richard Hammond, did. Here we can see him going round a corner in the only way a Monaro knows how, sideways.
Picture: Justin Leighton_
Roll forward a few more years and the terrible news is broken. Holden Australia are shutting down local production in 2017. No more Aussie designed and built V8's! Worst. News. Ever! Except, was it?
The current import from the Land Down Under is the VXR8 GTS. Take one Holden Commodore, ship it to HSV to fettle, and out the other side comes the HSV Gen-f GTS. With a 6.2L Supercharged Chevrolet LSA under the hood and all the gubbins to handle such power, you have a very remarkable beast. Add in 6 weeks on a boat and it can be yours in the UK with a Vauxhall warranty and membership to quite an exclusive ownership experience.
I knew that this was going to be my last chance to own one of my dream cars. I booked in for a test drive and then told the wife who queried why anyone would ever want to spend 55 grand on a Vauxhall with a Chavvy spoiler!
Well, the day finally came where I could experience first hand one of the mighty beasts. I remember the day well. Sunbathing on the grass verge on the A34 North Bound on the way to the dealership whilst waiting for the Police to remove some plonker who had managed to overturn their caravan does that to you.
Finally arriving at the dealership, I saw it. A bright red VXR8 GTS. I was like a child at Christmas. The next hour or so was a blur, but the first time the salesman accelerated out of the carpark answered my wife's question. The acceleration was immense. The engine noise sublime. This wasn't just any Vauxhall. She also upgraded her views on the spoiler having seen it in the flesh and admitted it wasn't chavvy.
Another test drive a month later and deposit was paid. Luckily, the dealers had ordered in the colour I wanted for stock and it was already being shipped. This meant that what could have been a 6 month wait turned into a 6 week wait.
On the 11th December 2014, the long road finally came to an end when I picked up the keys for my new car. The Blue Bogan. A new road had opened up ahead, but that story is for a different occasion.