2009 Shannons Sydney Summer Classic Auction
1972 Holden LJ Torana GTR XU-1 Sedan
|Engine||In-line six-cylinder, 202-cid|
|Colour||March the 17th|
This lot is no longer available
With the introduction of the LC Torana range in 1969, Harry Firth - then Competitions Manager at Holden - saw the future of touring car racing lay in the smaller, lighter and ultimately more reliable Torana. Based on the sportiest model in the range, the GTR, the new XU-1 had its Bathurst debut in 1970, with three Holden Dealer Team entries and several privateers doing battle with the Falcon GT-HOs. With promising results in 1970 and again in 1971, Holden released an updated XU-1 based on the LJ series Torana for 1972 with revised styling plus a number of interior components lifted from the new HQ range. Mechanically, the XU-1 was used to homologate various components like heavy-duty springs, revised camshaft and lightened flywheel. With Globe Sprintmaster wheels and 3.08:1 diff, the Toranas were now capable of touching 225 km/h down Conrod Straight. At Bathurst in 1972, the wet weather and driving genius of Peter Brock combined to defeat the mighty GT-HOs in the Hardie Ferodo 500 and the XU-1s went on to win the 1973 Australian Touring Car Championship, earning the ?Giant Killer? reputation along the way. The production LJ XU-1 boasted some pretty impressive performance figures, the 202-cid six churning out 190 bhp at 5600 rpm, and breathing through triple Stromberg carburettors. The Torana's body image was improved with a big bootlid spoiler, blackouts and some wild colours (and names) along with a 17-gallon fuel tank. With combined figures of around 3,300 XU-1s in both LC and LJ versions, very few original examples remain intact, with most having either been written off years ago or restored from the ground up. Prices of genuine XU-1s have shown rapid appreciation in recent times and this trend looks set to continue, with interest in these iconic muscle cars continuing to be strong.