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1967 - 1969
In the early 1960s other car manufacturers began offering motorists a broader range of motor vehicles, particularly smaller more economical and considerably cheaper models - particularly as Australian households became 2 car family's.
1967 - 1969
When the Torana was released the image was very much chiffon lace and sex-in-the-sand-hills thanks to its TV advertising and Press handouts. The Torana was marketed strongly as both "Holden" and "new" from every inch of its hippy line panel-work. GM-H made sure of that and for good reason.
1969 - 1972
The HB was replaced by the LC Torana in October 1968. A much better car than its predecessor, it did however share the same floorpan (although on 6 cylinder models the wheelbase was lengthened).
1969 - 1971
At just $2778 the two-door only GTR came standard with an Opel floor mounted four-speed box, front disc brakes, heavy duty suspension (firmer springs, shock absorbers and an front anti-roll bar), full instrumentation, striking stylistic details which included louvres on the front fenders, handsome two-piece wheel covers and bold paint colours.
1970 - 1971
By the time the XU-1 hit the market everyone knew the intent, and no doubt the people over at the blue oval were wondering where the chink was in the XU-1's armour was. They didn't have to look far. As GMH didn't have their own 4 speed transmission, they had to stick with the Opel sourced unit, and its dislike for long hard track work was already well known.
1972 - 1974
The scene was set for another Holden vs. Ford showdown at the Mount during the 1973 Hardie-Ferodo 1000, and everyone wondered if the XU-1, and Peter Brock, could retain the crown. Many felt the new race distance, extended to 1000 kilometres for the first time, would prove a bigger endurance test for the more tempremental GT's - no doubt many Torana fans hoped so.
GTR-X Coupe
Never (Initially 1970)
The Torana with the greatest reputation is, unfortunately, one that did not make it into production. Designed during the LC development, but most likely to be released alongside the new LJ models, the GTR-X used a sleek wedge-shaped body running XU-1 components under a fibreglass skin.
1972 - 1975
The LJ Torana of February 1972 was a facelift of the LC, and offered more refinement with better handling, suspension revisions and greatly improved noise supression.
1972 - 1974
The LJ versions of the GTR and GTR XU-1's had their engine capacity raised to 202 cubic inches (3300cc). In September 1972, it received a number of refinements including fine-spline rear axles and Globe Sprintmaster wheels.
1974 - 1976
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.
LH L34 SL/R 5000
1974 - 1976
The LH Torana sure looked the part, once and for all dropping any semblance of linage with the Vauxhall Viva's from which it originated. And while the LH was a truley great car, it was the dominance of the GT Falcon at Mount Panorama that many believed drove the General to shoe-horn an all-Aussie V8 under the hood.
LH SL/R 5000 Automatic
1974 - 1976
In a European vs. Australian comparison, a Mercedes 250 was pitted against an SL/R in highway and freeway conditions. Surprisingly (or should we say, not so suprisingly), the SL/R came out on top, being less affected by cross winds, easier to point at speed and generally more controllable. It seemed the achillies heel was only in the braking department, where the Torana tended to suffer brake fade due to overheating under continued fast stop testing.
LX Sedan
1976 - 1978
A facelift of the LH model, the LX is best rembered for two reasons, the introduction of the hatchback and, unfortunately, the last to be fitted with a V8. The hatch was available is SL and SS versions, and in base form cam equipped with a 3300 engine, however you could option the 253 4.2 litre V8, while the 5.0 litre V8 came as standard with the SS. The hatch looked great, however in practical terms the shallow boot did not swallow as much luggage as many thought it should.
LX Hatch
1976 - 1978
To create the free flowing lines, the GM stylists dropped the roofline sharply from approximately six inches behind the thick B-Pillar - and in doing so created a genuine fastback style. The down-side was that the rear roof-height was somewhat compromised, meaning tall passengers would probably have preferred to travel in the back of a standard LX Torana sedan.
1977 - 1978
The penultimate Torana, and one of the best ever Australian Muscle Cars, the Torana A9X became an overnight legend. That the Brock Commodore's would take four years to surpass their performance speaks volumes about the car's inate power and roadholding ability.
1978 - 1980
The UC was unfortunately the last model in the Torana lineup. The most obvious changes over the previous model LX were in the front end re-styling, which featured a new grille and rectangular headlights. Modifications were also made to the tail-lights and interior, the latter offering increased room and superior appointments.
UC Sunbird
1978 - 1980
There was no way the Sunbird could ever hope to keep up with the larger engined Torana. Not in a straight line, not even in a corner. The two may have looked identical, but when you were behind the wheel of a Sunbird you knew there was a difference. The Sunbird felt like an underpowered Torana. Not that it was a bad car, but because of its size and the way it felt on the road, the Sunbird, understandably, would always feel like a Torana without any go.
Never (Initially 1969)
In the late 1960's Holden were at the forefront of experimental car design. Most know of the wonderful GTR-X, but only a handful will truly remember the Hurricane. Unlike the GTR-X, the Hurricane was never really intended to make it into production. Rather, Holden described it as an experimental research vehicle, allowing them "‘to study design trends, propulsion systems and other long range developments".

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