Holden LC Torana V8 XU-1 (The XU-2) - Calder Test - Peter Brock (1972)
Product Code: A87260
Manufacturer: Biante Model Cars
Biante Model Cars are very pleased to announce the opportunity to place your orders for the historic 1:18 Scale Holden LC Torana V8 XU-1 (XU-2) test driven by Peter Brock at Calder in 1972.
It became one of the most controversial moments in Australia's muscle car history: The Supercar Scare of 1972. In essence, media hysteria and political manoeuvring stopped plans by the nation's 'big three' car makers, Holden, Ford and Chrysler, from building high performance road cars in sufficient numbers to qualify them to compete in what was then known as the Hardie-Ferodo 500 (now the Supercheap Auto 1000) at Bathurst.
The fact that these cars could be sold to the general public for normal road use outraged some and the media outcry was enough for the various cars to be canned before they were put into production. Ford had planned a Phase Four of the GT-HO Falcon, while Chrysler was working on a V8 R/T E55 Charger.
It was Holden's work, through Harry Firth and the Holden Dealer Team on a V8-powered XU-1 Torana (designated XU-2 by Firth) that caught plenty of attention, even though the car itself had been testing under everyone's noses on the race track during the season! Holden deemed that the only way to beat Ford at Bathurst (after two years of drubbings at the hands of the GT-HOs) was to move from six-cylinders to a V8 power plant in the nimble Torana.
A prototype car using one of the team's LC GTR XU-1s was created as a test bed for the project in late 1971 and appeared at a handful of events in 1972 under the guise of a Sports Sedan. Colin Bond drove the five-litre '308'-powered Torana at the Easter meeting at Bathurst and promptly won a five-lapper, giving Firth and the HDT an idea of just what their October race contender would be capable of later in the year for the then-500-mile classic.
Peter Brock then drove the car at Adelaide International Raceway, again in Sports Sedans, with Larry Perkins (his future Bathurst-winning HDT co-driver of 1982, 1983 and 1984) also racing the car on the support card after having been given the task of road testing the car from Melbourne to Adelaide! Come mid-May and the prototype Torana was back in action, though this time in Melbourne for the first time at Calder.
Running under the number 10 (and minus the front and rear boot lid spoiler that Bond had used in the car's appearance at Bathurst), it was simply entered as a 'V8 Torana' for the Marlboro Trophy Series races on May 14 with Brock nominated as driver. While it was minus the spoilers, the car still ran with widened steel wheels and radial tyres in a field packed with quality given it was a combined Sports Sedan and Improved Tourer category running as a support to the 'Repco Birthday 5 Race Series' for Formula 5000 and Formula 2 open wheelers.
Norm Beechey's Monaro, Bob Jane's Camaro, John Harvey's Jane-run Repco-Torana and Alan Hamilton's Porsche 911 were all part of the field so it was no surprise that Brock ran mid-field in the event against such modified machinery and barely rated a mention in the magazine race reports of the time. But that in itself would have been perfect given the car was acting a 'quiet' test bed for later in the year, though just six weeks later the Torana V8 project was cancelled by GM-Holden in the wake of the 'Supercar Scare' and it's believed that Brock's appearance at Calder was the prototype car's last race outing. The car itself was reverted to original six-cylinder trim and sold, never to race in The Great Race at Bathurst it was being prepared for.
Brock and Holden would have to wait until 1974 (and the arrival of the SLR/5000 and L34-optioned Torana) to take a V8-powered Torana to the Mountain, leaving the stillborn Torana V8 project of 1972 an important part of Australian muscle car history. Not only is this car one of the great casualties of the infamous Supercar Scare of 1972, it represents another unique piece of Australian Motorsport history. Forming part of the Biante Peter Brock Collection, ensure you place your orders as soon as possible to avoid missing out on this iconic model.
4th Quarter 2013