At last Australians could enjoy an Australian designed
medium sized car from Holden - the LH Torana. Most agreed
it was a big improvement over its predecessor, but was
the LH a replacement or a different class of car? Unlike
the previous models that owed their heritage to the English
Vauxhall (from its entirity in the HB to the chassis
in the TA), the LH Torana series could best be described
as a scaled down Kingswood.
Managing Director of GMH , Mr. Damon Martin, said the
design and sizing of the LH was a direct response to
the major evolutionary changes in demand for passenger
cars in Australia. "Its keynote is versatility.
designed for those buyers who want an alternative to
full-size vehicles but whose needs would not be satisfied
by a small car".
At the time, Martin claimed the demand for the full size
HQ Holden models remained strong and that market research
convinced GMH that the demand for the larger HQ (available
as a 'six' or V8) would exceed Torana sales by a ratio
of three to one. Martin added: "I think the LH will stand
with other groundbreaking GMH cars such as the 48/215,
the EH and the HQ - all of which have significantly influenced
local car design"'.
The European heritage of the Torana was not, however,
entirely forgotten with the 1900cc four cylinder engine
still being sourced from Opel in Germany. More importantly
for performance car enthusiasts was the new box on
the 'options' list that read "V8". The LH's new and contemporary body offered increased interior
room over its predecessors, and was built to be a stronger
more Australian car. To achieve this, the body size was
increased, stronger bumpers were installed and the front
panels were bolted on rather than simply welded. The LH was offered in 3 different trim levels S, SL and
the SL/R - the latter model not offered in 4 cylinder
but fitted with a six as standard. The S and SL could
be optioned with the smaller 4.2 litre V8, while the SL/R
could be optioned with the 4.2 and 5.0 V8's.