Stolen XU-1 Torana reunited with owner after almost 30 years

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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Stolen Torana front side Stolen Torana front side

Stolen in 1992, the Strike Me Pink Torana turned up recently thanks to VicPol’s takedown of a complex rebirthing syndicate

A 1973 Holden LJ Torana GTR XU-1 has been reunited with its owner nearly 30 years after it was stolen.

The genuine Strike Me Pink XU-1 Torana was owned by a woman we know only as Carol, who named the Torana ‘Sexy Lexy’ thanks to its period rego "LEX-900".


Carol Richards – a one-time Bathurst Six Hour competitor with her Torana – walked outside her Victorian residence back in 1992 and discovered her beloved car missing. Uninsured at the time, the car was reported stolen, seemingly disappeared without a trace.

Its fate would be revealed years later, as Victoria Police tracked down the car as part of their investigations into a vehicle rebirthing syndicate.


Detective Senior Constable – and self-confessed car enthusiast – Brett Florence began investigating the rebirthing syndicate when he joined the VicPol Vehicle Crime Squad in 2014. While investigating the syndicate’s activities, Florence was able to track down the unsuspecting buyer who was unknowingly sold the rebirthed XU-1 (along with a number of other cars) between 2008 and 2011.

A Parkville man in his 50s was charged with a slew of rebirthing offences and has been sentenced to two years in prison.


Sexy Lexy’s most recent owner was completely unaware that he had purchased stolen vehicles and is set to receive $560,000 in court-mandated restitution.

All’s well that ends well then: the crim is behind bars, the buyer is hopefully getting his money back, and Carol and her long-lost friend are finally reunited!

"Carol attended court every day dressed in pink to represent the love she has for her car" said Florence.

"As a car enthusiast myself, I am very happy to see the smile on Carol’s face as we watch her drive off in her beloved Torana".

Here’s to making up for lost time. We hope to see you out on the roads Carol, and wish you and Lexy nothing but happy motoring ahead!


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