1977 Holden LX Torana A9X Hatchback
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For most enthusiasts the legendary A9X remains the ultimate Torana and arguably GM-H’s finest muscle car, a homologation weapon that kept Holden at the top of the game in one of the greatest eras of touring car racing. A development of the successful L34, the A9X was designed to meet new ADR anti-pollution laws in 1976, becoming the first Holden to feature disc brakes on all four wheels. Built in limited numbers - 305 sedans were made, just 100 hatchbacks and a further 33 GMP&A lightweight shells for race cars - the A9X option was available on both the SL/R 5000 sedan and SS hatchback LX Toranas. However the A9X’s floorpan was unique, featuring a Salisbury rear axle and rear discs, steering gear that was bolted directly to the platform and a 3.08 diff. Under the bonnet Holden employed the L31 5-litre V8 with an electric cooling fan, mated to the usual M21 four-speed gearbox, although Borg-Warner’s T10 box was optional. In keeping with the A9X’s competition-oriented nature, the interior was stripped of sound deadening, the seats were mounted differently and equipment kept to the bare minimum - not even a radio was fitted. Visual changes included the SLR’s bolt-on flares and rear spoiler, brake cooling ducts in the front spoiler and a functional reverse air scoop on the blacked out bonnet - all told there were around 100 or so differences that set the model apart from lesser Toranas. Having homologated these parts with CAMS, Holden cleaned up on the track each year from 1977 through to 1979 before the A9X was retired with the introduction of the Commodore in 1980. With Radial Tuned Suspension providing exemplary handling, disc brakes at either end giving superb stopping power and plenty of grunt from the high performance 5-litre V8 engine, critics agreed the A9X made a fabulous road burner. Right from the outset, Holden fans knew the A9X was something special and it has long been sought after by collectors as one of the most iconic of all Aussie muscle cars.