HOLDEN L34 SLR 5000 TORANA
The Holden Torana is a mid-sized car manufactured by Holden from 1967 to 1980. The name comes from an Aboriginal word meaning “to fly”. The first Torana (HB series) was released in 1967 and was a four-cylinder compact vehicle with origins in the British Vauxhall Vivas of the mid-1960s.
Whilst the 1969-73 (LC and LJ series) cars included more popular, longer-wheelbase six-cylinder versions, and with the 1974-77 (LH and LX series) cars adding eight-cylinder versions to the mix, a range of four-cylinder versions continued for the entire production life of the Torana (with later versions being marketed as the Holden Sunbird from November 1976).
Changing tack in Australian motor sport, Holden released the LC Torana GTR XU-1 in 1970, with performance-enhanced drivetrain and handling. From this time through to the release of the Holden Commodore, the Torana remained Holden’s most successful sports/performance vehicle, with many victories garnered in rallying and circuit racing.
The 5.0-litre engine was reserved for the sporting LH SLR 5000 Torana sedan. A special build derivative of the SL/R 5000 was the Bathurst-intended ‘L34 Option’, of which only 263 were built, with a higher-compression engine with stouter components for more power and durability in competition use. The most notable external feature of the L34 was the bolt-on wheel arch extensions, designed to accommodate the larger racing rims and tyres.
The Holden L34 option, which was first seen in 1975, proved to be fast and successful, yet fragile, in Australian touring car racing. It was eventually superseded by the evolutionary A9X option made available in the LX Torana series in 1977. The A9X was delivered with a standard 5.0, but used the L34 motor in races which was developed by Repco for the LH SL/R 5000 H.O. L34. The A9X version of the Torana had a larger 10-bolt Salisbury differential with disc brakes and had the option of the Borg Warner Super T10 four-speed. Hardly any cars were delivered with Super T10 option, so in effect the immortalized A9X was a pretty stock car with a better differential and suspension. The LH Torana in L34 form won the famed Bathurst 1000 touring car race with Peter Brock and Brian Sampson in 1975 and with Bob Morris and John Fitzpatrick in 1976, with the L34 motor being fitted to the A9X, so in effect winning with that car, as well.
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