Market Watch: Holden LH-LX Torana V8

By: Cliff Chambers, Photography by: General Motors Holden

Once Holden realised its XU-1 Torana would struggle on all but the tightest tracks to beat Ford’s GT-HO. It wanted a V8 version, but political interference ensured the fabled ‘XU-2’ never reached production.

Market Watch: Holden LH-LX Torana V8

Fans of Australia’s Own were forced to wait until 1974 and the arrival of a larger and more accommodating LH version, before sampling a V8 Torana. Three LH V8 versions were available: 4.2-litres in SL or SL/R form and a 179kW 5.0-litre
SL/R 5000. 

Fifty years ago, a 4.2-litre automatic Torana SL would cost $4624 plus accessories and on-roads, while a 4.2-litre Kingswood sedan was $4900. Not much of a saving, but less bulk meant better economy for the Torana driver who could cover big distances quickly on unrestricted rural roads.

An SL/R with the small V8 and four-speed manual transmission was much more of a city driver’s toy. Running 0-100km/h in 9.4 seconds it was quick enough to be first away from the lights but without the violent onset of wet weather wheelspin or bicep-building understeer of the SL/R 5000.

LX replaced LH in 1976 and accompanying the model change was a seriously iconic Holden design – the Torana Hatch. These came in various guises, from four-cylinder Sunbirds to the track attack A9X.

During the LX model’s tenure, sloppy Holden handling was replaced by Radial Tuned Suspension. Turning corners in a V8 Torana became as much fun as it was in an XU-1.

In today’s market it's possible to find an SL Torana with its original V8, but few will be in stock condition. Some will have been modified to more closely resemble an SL/R 5000.

Checking the authenticity of stock or modified Toranas is essential. Plenty of reference material is available online and Torana clubs can put buyers in contact with people to conduct expert inspections. 

Confirming cars’ provenance is money well spent, because those in the market for a perfect SL/R 5000 can be committing $140-160,000 while those whose sights are on an impeccable LX SS will be exposed at $180K-plus.

Few of the cars available recently could be deemed ‘show’ standard, yet some were still being offered at ‘pandemic’ prices. They will likely remain unsold until vendors relent or put their cars away to await the next price spike. 


LH-LX Torana SL V8 1974-77 $4000  $12,000 $17,500 
LH-LX Torana SL/R 4.2 1974-77 $7000  $13,500  $21,500 
LH-LX Torana SL/R 5000 1974-76  $10,500  $24,500  $36,000 
LX Torana V8 Hatch 1977-78 $6500 $23,500 $32,000
LX Torana SS V8 Hatch 1977-78 $9500 $39,000 $52,500
LH-LX Torana SL V8 1974-77 $9500  $20,000  $29,500 
LH-LX Torana SL/R 4.2 1974-77 $16,000 $42,000 $65,000 
LH-LX Torana SL/R5000 1974-78 $40,000  $77,500  $110,000 
LX Torana V8 Hatch 1977-78 $13,500  $29,500  $44,000 
LX Torana SS V8 Hatch 1977-78 $42,000  $85,000  $130,000 
LH-LX Torana SL V8  1974-78 $18,000  $37,000  $55,000 
LH-LX Torana SL/R 4.2  1974-78 $40,000  $100,000  $140,000 
LH-LX SL/R5000 1974-78 $60,000  $115,000  $165,000 
LH-LX SL/R5000 Replica  1974-78 $20,000 $75,000 $110,000
LX Torana SL V8 Hatch 1977-79  $55,000  $90,000  $135,000 
LX Torana SS V8 Hatch 1977-78 I/D  $125,000  $185,000 

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