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Welcome to the all new Holden Heaven
This site was first established in 1999
Rally XU1
The Holden Torana XU-1 was one of the most successful circuit, rally, rallycross, club, classic race car ever to built in Australia.  Just the thought of a six cylinder Holden taking on the 351 Falcons at Bathurst was probably scoffed at as a joke by the Ford camp in 1970 but the light weight and high power of these cars on the gravel and dirt roads around Australia became a godsend to many.  This was a car that with just a few minor alterations could be made into a highly competitive rally car that was more affordable than many of the other fancied cars. The main alterations to be made were of course the safety features needed, heavy duty shocks, heavier springs, blueprinting the engine and some lights. The engines were cheap and easy to service if required and a total rebuild was for less expensive than most race engines. The drivetrain again was less expensive and simple so the overall running costs to rally a Torana became very attractive to many. The Rallying Toranas took out so many events over the years that they totally dominated and it wasn't just one or two teams but a mixture that was shared by many. Such was the dominance of this little car and it showed you didn't need big bucks to win a Provincial Title. Another thing to note would be the harsh conditions which are not prevalent in todays rallies such as the picture of a co-driver bouncing on the boot of Matt Phillips XU-1 to get it through a bog hole.

This is possibly the most raced XU-1 ever!  Seen here in 1972 with over 75,000 racing miles (120,000 kms) on the clock. Although it was updated to an LJ it started life as LC XU-1 number 10 off the production line and without it being registered Harry Firth grabbed it for the Holden Dealer Team and it made it's debut at the Sandown 250 of 1970 with Colin Bond at the wheel. Bond or Brock in the Dealer Team car couldn't match the sheer grunt of the Fords but as the race unfolded the Fords fell by the wayside except for one, Moffat won the race from Bond and Brock came home in forth.  Bathurst was also raced by Bond in this car and it was the quickest of the 12 Toranas competing with a 2:54 lap but he had misfire problems that ruled him out of contention in the race. A few races in the Touring Cars of 1971 and then it was changed to a rally car for the upcoming series. Punctures in the first round kept Bond out of the points but the second race, the Bunbury Curran Rally, was an indication of things to come as Bond drove this car to it's first victory. After a successful season and 45,000 miles of racing Peter Janson bought the car and replaced the old 186 with a fresh 202 but also had to change the grill and rear panels to make it an LJ to keep it in the production class. It had an affectionate nickname which refered to the miles it had covered, Saggy Sarah. What has become of Saggy Sarah? Is she still out there, check below! 


There is no doubt that the LJ GTR XU-1 is not just a classic car but a very competition oriented classic. Power to weight is what has made most exotic sports cars what they are and this helped to make the XU-1 what it was.

Like the LJ this LC is as much a classic as any of the Holden range with the main differences being grill, tail lights and engine sizes. These cars are getting harder to find in good condition as many have fallen off the road over there lifetime.

LJ Torana GTR XU1
(1972 - 1974) Race version (unmodified for rallying)
Price at introduction: $3455 '72 ($3550 '73)
Engines: 202 (3300 litre) six-cylinder,inline
Bore & Stroke:  3.625" (92.1mm) X 3.25" (82.5mm).
Compression ratio: 10.3:1
OHV,  2 Valves per cylinder, 9 port head,
Triple 175CD Stromberg side-draft carburettors
Camshaft special (HX see below)
Power output: 190bhp (141.7kW) @ 5600rpm.
**(HDT Bathurst cars were approx. 190hp rear wheels, approx. 230+ bhp at the crankshaft)
Torque:  200lb/ft (270Nm) @ 4000rpm.
Transmission: Four-speed manual
Performance: 138 mph @ 6500 rpm
Quarter mile: 13.5 seconds
Dimensions: Length - 4387mm, Width - 1600mm, Wheelbase - 2540mm
Fuel Tank: 77 litres
LC Torana GTR XU1
(1970 - 1972) Race version (unmodified for rallying)
Price when introduced: $3150
Total number built: 1,633
Engine: 186 six cylinder, 
OHV,  2 Valves per cylinder, 
9 port head, 
Triple 150CD carburettors
Transmission: Four speed manual
Dimensions: Length - 4387mm, Width - 1600mm, Wheelbase - 2540mm
Fuel Tank: 77 litres
Weight: 1103kg
Performance: 119kW @  5200rpm, 257Nm @  3600rpm
Standing 400m 15.5 seconds 

Camshaft specifications:
Inlet (No ramp)
Open 55°
Close 91°
Duration 326°
Lift .456" (11.59mm)
Exhaust
Open 94°
Close 51°
Duration 326°
Lift .456" (11.59mm)
Overlap106°
Camshaft specifications:
 Inlet  (No ramp)
 Open 38°
 Close 86°
 Duration 304°
 Lift .429" (10.89mm)
 Exhaust
 Open 77°
 Close 46°
 Duration 304°
 Lift .429" (10.89mm)
 Overlap 84°
 Pics

Saggy Sara has been a busy girl and has seen some varying colours in her life and now is able to sit back and take in a few shows. You can see the original Green which she rallied in and was driven by Colin Bond who is standing next to the current owner Laz. On the front you can see HDT red plus many more colours. The engine itself has a history as it has the Supercharger that Peter Brock had on his 300hp 186 powered "Beast" rallycross car.

Click for a larger pic!
This is Bob Bird in action during the Victorian Rally of 1972.  It shows some of the punishment these little cars took, while not sustaining any damage to the car I am not so sure about the drivers soft tissue!

Click for a larger pic!
This shows a better way of doing jumps while on it's way to win the South Australian Rally Championship again in 1972 for drivers McLeod and Mortimer!