Torana Tough by Norm Darwin.
Introduction by the author
On the publication of Monaro Magic in January 2010 I was immediately asked about the Torana. It was a logical step to take given the passion both Monaro and Torana enthusiasts have for each model. Initially believing there would not be the same level of history, photographs and interest I quickly came to realize that there was a large untapped resource sitting in past Holden employees cupboards, sheds and memories. In the end I had to cut down on what was to be used.
I purposely have not included much on the Torana’s racing history. This is a separate subject and this history could not do it justice. However you cannot write a Torana History without including to bare bones of its racing glory. And glorious it was. No other model can claim the success over so many different fields of motor sport as the Torana can. Many years ago a marketing survey of Australians found that after Coca Cola, Peter Brock was the most recognizable name, without the Torana Peter would not have gained this level of notoriety.
My own experience with the Torana originally lay in my time at GMH when I had a role in the Engineering budgets and costs. To some extent I found myself frustrated that I did not write down more of what occurred during the 1970s, the heydays of the Torana. At the time I drove XU-1s, SLRs and Hatchbacks but back then they were just cars you drove to get from A to B. Unlike some, I never even took a photograph of a Torana in my care, wish I had though, as do many Holden employees involved in the Design, Development and Manufacture of the model.
I believe Torana Tough breaks new ground for the level of detail provided, it answers many questions and I believe settles a few myths. Will Holden revive the Torana name plate? It’s doubtful given the current direction of global manufacturing of models but then maybe it’s a good thing to leave the Torana name as it was as any future car can never be the same. When You’re Hot You’re Hot.
- HB Torana – The Great Escape 1
- LC Torana Development
- LC Torana – Holden’s Exciting New Breakaway 37
- LC Torana GTR XU-1 – Torana the Great 69
- LJ Torana – When You’re Hot You’re Hot 87
- TA Torana 106
- LJ Torana GTR XU-1 – 111
- LJ Torana GTR XU-1 V8 – Bullet on Wheels 133
- Torana GTR-X – RD003 143
- LH Torana Development 155
- LH Torana – The Car of its Time 163
- LH Torana SL/R 5000 L34 – 185
- LX Torana – Luxury at a Price you can afford 211
- LX Torana SS & SL/R 5000 – A9X 235
- UC Torana – Dedicated to the Driver 243
- Torana Specials 263
- Torana Identification 271
- Engines EH to XU-1 86 Beyond 281
- Bibliography 292
- Acknowledgements 293
- Index 294
The Torana has captured the hearts and minds of Holden enthusiasts for the past 40 years. Written over 20 months the book contains insights of the designers and engineers who built both the production Toranas (HB UC) and still born Torana GTR-X. Specific chapters cover the LC XU-1, LJ XU-1, LJ V8 XU-1, L34 and A9X.
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