Central West Car Club

Racing Start: The name comes from an Aboriginal word meaning "to fly". The first Torana (HB series) was released in 1967.
Racing Start: The name comes from an Aboriginal word meaning "to fly". The first Torana (HB series) was released in 1967.

It was the early 1970's when the Holden Torana was developed into a race car to rival the big Fords, Valiants and Monaro's of the day that dominated Australian sports sedan racing.

Realising that Holden's Monaro would need an expensive V8 powerplant and more to become competitive, Harry Firth and a team of Holden engineers worked up the Torana.

The plan was to modify it with readily available parts and with a modest budget in mind.

Despite GMH not being supportive of motor racing, the car they released in 1970 was the Holden Torana GTR XU1 with enough cars built to meet the homologation regulations and allow them to take to the track.

Scott and Leanne Lorger from the Central West Car Club own this fine original example of the XU1.

There's is a 1973 LJ in Cyan Blue with the traditional blackouts of the original GTR XU1.

“The only non-original look is the black on the flutes in the front guards,” Scott said.

“When I had the car repainted they spent so much effort masking up the flutes for the black paint that I didn't have the heart to tell them they were meant to be body colour.”

Scott told me a bit of the history of his Torana.

“It's always been a local car, with its' three previous owners in Forbes and I'm now the fourth owner,” he said.

“The Torana was originally bought by Alan Neville, who then sold it to Dennis Coleman.

It was stolen and then recovered while Dennis owned it and then sat on blocks for about seven years before Meryl Morris bought it .

“So 20 years in Forbes and it's now moved all the way to Parkes,” Scott said.

Scott bought the Torana in 1993 from Meryl.

“It had two weeks rego on it, so the first thing I did was race it up the hill climb here in Parkes.

The rego ran out and I sat it on blocks for 20 years,” Scott said.

It was resprayed in its original blue and runs an original 202 cubic inch 6 cylinder motor with triple Stromberg carburetors and an Aussie 4 speed manual transmission.

The wheels are the original 13 x 5.5 inch sports rims.

“I don't get it out anywhere near as much as I should; and there's no chance of selling it - my daughter's already got dibs on it as her inheritance,” Scott laughed.

For more about the Central West Car Club visit our website at www.centralwestcarclub.com or come along to one of the regular meetings on the first Wednesday of the month at the Parkes Leagues Club at 7:30pm.