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Torana A9X

The Torana A9X was the ultimate Torana and like the two before, it was a Bathurst winner.  The A9X was never allowed the fan-fare of other Holdens as the GM-H management were still a bit apprehensive about the 1972 government ban on 'Super-cars'.  This car would have blitzed the super-cars that were banned just a few years earlier.  One of biggest differences was this Torana could not only fly in a straight line but it could handle and brake hard and in line with it's four wheel disc brakes as standard fitment.  But like any vehicle be it a Skoda or a Ferrari, in the hands of inexperienced or over confident drivers this car could be lethal so it was decided to hold it back from production until just before Bathurst.  With those awesome looking flares, fat tyres, bonnet bulge, spoilers, cooling ducts and best of all, the throaty roar of the lions heart, 280kW of unadulterated power this Holden was like no other! 

The GM-H team were so frightened that this car would cause a riot that they didn't even issue a press release to proclaim any of it's virtues.  In fact it was slipped into the showrooms very quietly so as not to arrouse to much attention! What about that name 'A9X' could it stand for the ninth year of Australian Torana 'X' race cars or did some one throw three darts at an alphabet and number sheet using there left hand, blind folded standing on a stool with one leg pointing to the south and holding a glass of XXXX in the other hand!  The A9X Torana was simply a limited run production model incorporating the Bathurst 'performance equipment package' and of course it was part of the LX range of Toranas althougth the back floorpan was modified to accept GM-H's new Salisbury rear axle plus disc brakes which they used in the UC. Another UC feature that first appeared on the A9X was the direct mounting of the steering gear on to the chassis to give some 'feel' to the driver so when the power was unleashed at least it was more controlable, this car was not designed to be driven around town, it didn't even have a radio as standard but then when a car makes this sort of  noise it makes it's own music. It was what you would call the bare-bones so they weight could be kept down to a minimum.  Some people have commented to me about they had an A9X and it had a radio but believe me it was an option for them.

One of the most awesome displays in the history of  'The Great Race' was in an A9X at the hands of  Peter Brock in 1979 when leading by an unbeatable margin Brocky decided to show the public just how good the Torana was and posted a lap record on the last lap!   I remember watching this feat and wondering why anyone would risk this but latter my respect for the car and particularly the man behind the wheel grew enormously!  Brocky commented on this later and he said something along these lines, 'I knew Moff (Alan Moffat) was commentating as his car had blown so I wanted to show him how good the A9X was!  The Holden 5.0 V8 has proven itself time and time again to be very reliable over the distance of Bathurst and will continue to do this. 

The road version and race version differed alot and you had to have a CAMS licence to even buy a race version which could not be registered on the road.  Most road going A9Xs were 4-door while most of the race cars were 2-door.

The 1978 & 1979 Bathurst winners
L34 = Big valve, Holley carb, 9.8:1 compression 308ci V8 (179kW) 
L31 = Standard 308 V8 
L33 = Standard 253 V8 high compression 
L32 = Standard 253 V8 low compression 
L1# = 4 cylinder 
L2# = 6 cylinder 
L3# = 8 cylinder 
A9X = performance equipment package (limited run) 

The last 'Hot Torana' 
Torana A9X (race versions) 
(1977 - 1978) 
Price at introduction: $12500 
Total number built: 380 - 500 
5 litre V8, front mounted 
260kW @  6000rpm (approx HDT, read note)
434Nm @ 3400rpm (approx HDT, read note)
redline 5500 rpm 
These figures varied as the rules left teams open to develope there own camshafts etc. 

Standing quarter-mile 15.2 seconds (3.08:1 final drive) 
Standing quarter-mile 15.7 seconds (2.6:1 final drive Bathurst) 
44.8 km/h per 1000 rpm (2.6:1 final drive) 

Only racing A9Xs came with the Borgwarner T10.
Four-speed manual (M21)-Road version 
1st = 2.54 = 97km/h @ 5500 rpm 
2nd =1.83 = 135 km/h @ 5500 rpm 
3rd = 1.38 = 179 km/h @ 5500 rpm 
4th = 1.00 = 210 km/h @ 4700 rpm 

Conrod straight 270 km/h @ 6000 rpm (around 165 mph in the old figures) 

Length - 4509mm 
Width - 1704mm 
Wheelbase - 2586mm 

Fuel Tank:
120 litres (custom made)