$36.00 – $59.95
HOLDEN LJ GTR TORANA
In February 1972, the facelifted LJ Torana was introduced with the six-cylinder models now visually associated with the larger Holden HQ series. Many mechanical components were shared with the LC, with the major changes limited to the choice of engines. The four-cylinder Torana retained its 1200 and 1600 engines, but was now also available with a 1300-cc unit. The old 1200 was now only available as a two-door Standard version, while the 1300 equipped the Deluxe model and was also available with four doors and an automatic transmission. The 2250 and 2850 engines carried over into the revised six-cylinder Torana models, and the 3300 engine (known as the 202 in the HQ range) was adopted as the engine for the HOLDEN LJ GTR TORANA sedan. Gearbox choices remained the same across the range.
A race-bred version of the 3300 engine was also fitted to the Holden LJ GTR Torana GTR XU-1, producing well over 200 bhp (149 kW; 203 PS). By now equipping the XU-1 with the 202-ci engine and larger CD-175 Zenith-Stromberg triple carburettors, as well as a new close-ratio M20 four-speed Australian-made transmission (commonly known as the Aussie 4-Speed and often incorrectly called an M21), this gave the nimble XU-1 the power boost it needed to seriously challenge the powerful Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III, which had won the 1971 Hardie-Ferodo 500 production-car endurance race held annually at Bathurst.
In the somewhat wet 1972 Hardie-Ferodo 500, the lightweight HDT Torana GTR XU-1 was able to finally claim victory against the heavyweight GT-HO, driven solo for 500 miles (800 km) by Peter Brock. This would be the start of the ‘Peter Perfect’/Torana legend, and the first of five Bathurst wins for the Torana in its colourful 10-year racing career at Bathurst.
The Holden Dealer Team also developed a 300 bhp (224 kW; 304 PS), 308ci V8-powered version of the GTR XU-1, often erroneously referred to as the GTR XU-2. The V8 Torana did race in Sports Sedan racing in the hands of Brock and Colin Bond, and was extensively road tested by HDT boss Harry Firth and young team engineer/driver Larry Perkins, but the car never made it past the prototype stage. This was due to the ‘supercar scare’ of 1972, which involved vast political pressure being placed upon Holden, Ford, and Chrysler to abandon their proposed specially built ‘Bathurst Supercars’, such as the V8 GTR XU-1. This was the result of a media frenzy that was reporting against these soon-to-be released “bullets on wheels” available to the general public. In effect, all three manufacturers (Holden, Ford and Chrysler) bowed to this pressure, and Holden postponed its introduction of a V8 Torana for two years until the release of the larger LH series Torana in 1974.
A total of 81,813 Holden LJ GTR Torana were built by Holden in Australia, with some exported to New Zealand, but only in six-cylinder form, likely due to the similar four-cylinder Vauxhall Viva HC range being sold there, as well. The 2850SL model, with bucket seats and four-speed floor shift or Trimatic three-speed automatic, was also shipped to New Zealand in CKD kit form for local assembly from 1973, becoming the first Kiwi-built Torana.
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