GTR-X (April 1970)
Back in the sixties Holden had been busy experimenting with quite a number of concepts such as fuel injection, over head cam-shafts and it was decided to design a Holden sports coupe on July 14th 1969. By December 15th the first body had been built which shows the effort and the outright determination of building a production lightweight sports coupe. After this the engineers started on the mechanicals which really had already been developed in the Torana which was developed on the track by Harry Firth and the boys. The Torana running gear seemed a perfect option and helped of course to drop the production costs which is why Holden developed the six cylinder race engine in the first place instead of continueing with the Chevrolet V8's and Monaro. There were certain criteria that this coupe had to meet if it was to become a production model and the most important was price! The Torana had the right ingredients in the suspension, transmission and engine departments. What Holden did with these restrictions was nothing short of brilliant and it was a great shame it never made it to the production line. The GTR-X was loaded with features like 4-wheel vacuum assisted disc brakes, retractable seat belts, foam filled fuel tank and electric windows to name a few.
The GTR-X had to be sold for approximately 8 years to show a reasonable profit margin however to cover the tooling, production and design costs. The GTR-X came very close to going into production and the decision not to was most probably because of the release of the Datsun (Nissan) 240Z. The Datsun won the world over and the price was super competitive which showed in its sales, the 240Z became the biggest selling coupe in the world! Colour sales/info brochures on the GTR-X were even printed and handed out at various motor shows at the time. Opel may have had a contributing factor in the demise of the GTR-X as well because it was already selling it's own coupe and the parent company GMC were not sure the market could handle two low cost coupes as both Opel and Holden exported to the same countries then and still do today. The Opel was a very modest performer and the GTR-X would have been much closer in performance to the Corvette but it is now history and Holden was only allowed to build one coupe which was the Monaro as you couldn't really consider calling the two-door Torana a sports coupe.
There is no doubt that this coupe if it entered production would have been powered by the high performance triple carburetor 202ci XU-1 engine which gave the bathurst tuned cars a 13.5 second quarter-mile time. Even with the detuned street version it may have made this model the quickest mass production car in the world which went to another General Motors car, the Corvette twin turbo.
This shows the actual original chassis.
The chassis frame is a welded box section (5" high and 3" mean width) full perimeter type with welded-in central and rear box section cross-members.