Holden Torana XU-1 - Toybox

By: Guy Allen, Unique Cars magazine

Presented by

holden torana xu1 front holden torana xu1 front

What seems to be the second of the series and the GMH media car is up for auction

Grays is auctioning what it believes to be the second Holden Torana GTR XU-1 to come off the line, and certainly out of the first build batch.

"The family has had it for many years. It’s a sixth month 1970 build," explains staffer Rian Gaffy.

"It’s in Plum Dinga (paint) and we’re waiting to verify the history. We believe it’s the one used in all the press tests."

As Mark Higgins pointed out in a feature on the series, "While the Australian Touring Car Championship was contested by highly modified Mustangs, Camaros, Porsches, Minis and run over a number of sprint races, the Ford-Holden-Chrysler rivalry was born through Series Production endurance races featuring cars that looked like the ones sitting in showrooms around Australia.


"For the 1970 season Holden changed tack, dumping the GTS350 V8 Monaro that won at Bathurst the previous year for the lighter, nimbler 186ci six-cylinder LC Torana GTR XU-1."

The diminutive machine may have appeared to be a counter-intuitive pitch against the might of the big Ford V8s, but it showed promise early and went on to pay big dividends. Rally and track success with the LC came early, however a win at the all-important Bathurst was still a little way off.

| Reader Resto: 1971 Holden LC Torana GTR XU-1 

That came with the upgraded LJ series in 1972, with the legendary Peter Brock at the wheel.

holden-torana-xu1 dash.jpg

As for the LC, it claimed 160 horses (120kW) in showroom form from the 186ci (3.0lt) straight six. Running triple Stromberg carburettors, it ran a locally-developed four-speed manual trans. There was no great rocket science in the design, but they had a reputation for being quick and robust.

One of its first public appearances was for a feature story in the September 1970 edition of Wheels magazine. At the time the piece was written (two to three months before publication), the belief was the XU-1 would only be made available to selected race teams. "Priced at $3125 it is a top class performance car buy, but unfortunately won’t be available to the general public," lamented Rob Luck, the author.


Clearly Holden had a change of heart and the XU-1 became hot property in the dealerships.

See grays.com.

You can find the car here – bidding was at $105,000 with four days to go.


From Unique Cars #456, August 2021

Sell your car for free right here

Unique Cars auction results listing

Unique Cars magazine Value Guides

Get our newsletter, packed with all the latest toys and tips

Subscribe to the print mag and save, here



Subscribe to Unique Cars Magazine and save up to 42%
Australia’s classic and muscle car bible. With stunning features, advice, market intelligence and hundreds of cars for sale.