From the introduction of Australia's own car in 1948, the word Holden came to mean a 6 passenger 6 cylinder sedan. Succeeding Holden's became longer, lower, wider, stronger, and better looking.
But the basic concept remained - but all that changed in 1967 when the General used the Vauxhall Viva as the catalyst to create the first "small" Holden.
Before production started, prototypes were
thoroughly tested at the General's Lang Lang (Vic) testing facility.
Significantly, Holden gave no instruction to the test drivers to "nurse" the new small car, rather they encouraged rigorous testing to ensure it would be suited to the harsh Aussie roads.
The result was the Torana had the unique distinction of being Australia's only small car of the time that had been tested and built to Big-Brother standards.
The first Torana was a rather utalitarian 2 door sedan, although it did feature bucket seats and a big 16 cu. ft boot. This model was soon joined by the more upmarket S and SL models.
The 70.7ci engine delivered a lively 56.2 bhp @ 5,400 rpm. There was a low centre of gravity, rack and pinion steering, full coil suspension and a four-on-the-floor gearshift.
In 1968 came the "Series 70" version of the 70.7ci engine, producing 69 bhp. All four door models became optional with Torana S and SL, along with a three speed automatic.
Best of all, many of the safety features incorporated into the larger Holden's were incorporated into the newcomer. These included dual circuit braking, an energy absorbing steering
column, double-sided safety rims.
There were other features carried over too, such as the anti-corrosion "Rustguard" process, and of course the then famous "Magic-Mirror" acrylic finish.
But best of all, the new Torana was backed up by a service network of over 600 dealerships located throughout Australia.