A9X TORANA – ANOTHER LADY’S CAR?
Accepted as the best two-door car to ever come from a local manufacturer and quickly becoming the most sought after purpose-built muscle car in the land, we are very excited to announce the arrival of an immaculate A9X LX Torana at the Australian National Show and Shine Euroa on October 6th.
This car, together with Jan, its original and only one-lady owner, will make a perfect pigeon pair with the V8 HZ Kingswood previously featured as the “ladies’ car” in our earlier promotional material, and may just feature around Centre Stage at our 2019 event. The A9X hatchback is estimated to today be worth in the vicinity of $300,000.
Jan says: “The car was purchased by myself and late husband in 1978. A9Xs weren’t big sellers at the time, maybe because of the price, as it was close to the same cost as we paid for our first house.”
“My sons have a great love of the car and I think it will always remain in the family.”
There is an interesting story surrounding the A9X, which really represented the pinnacle of GMH’s Torana development. “Torana” is an Aboriginal word meaning “to fly.”
Initially launched in 1967, the first Holden Torana LC was followed by a look-alike LJ series in 1969, and with the top-of-the-range GTR XU1 vehicles becoming synonymous with words like “Brock’ and “Bathurst”, the path was paved for the introduction of the squarer body style LH model by 1974. Available with a choice of no less than five engines – a four cylinder, two sixes and two V8s, the top-of-the-range was the SL/R 5000, sporting the 5 litre (308 cu. in) V8.
During 1977, the LX series also had the development of another limited-build high-performance option aimed at winning in Australian Touring Car racing, and in particular at the annual Bathurst 1000 touring car race. This 'A9X Option' was available on the 5.0-litre V8-powered SL/R 5000 sedan and SS hatchback models.
The LX model A9X visually resembled the L34-optioned LH model, but with the addition of a rear-facing bonnet scoop designed to increase airflow into the engine bay (carburettor) to produce maximum power in motor racing applications. The A9X package varied from the old L34 in road form in that whilst the engine was not modified, the A9X nevertheless had some special mechanical features such as rear disc brakes, heavy-duty axles, and a heavy-duty '10 bolt' differential. The “unmodified” version was rated at 186 kW (250 Hp.)
The defining moment in the A9X’s career was in October 1979, when Peter Brock took the A9X to not only a flag-to-flag victory at Bathurst, but also won by an astounding six laps and smashed the lap record on the last lap. Domination does not seem a strong enough term.
The introduction of the UC Torana in saw the demise of V8 power and the end of the sporting SL/R variant in the Torana range of cars. GMH re-focussed its motor racing efforts on the newly launched VB/VC Commodore, specifically with the Brock-backed HDT vehicles.
Just 95 of the A9X Hatchbacks were made. Throw in the fact that the A9X with its hatchback body is still one of the best looking locally-made cars ever and you have yourself a real contender when the topic turns to the best in the business.
It is to Aussie muscle what the ZL1 Camaro is to the Yanks; an all-conquering race homologation car that just happens to look and sound tough as nails.
John Bowe said: ”If there is a better looking Aussie muscle car, I have yet to see it.”