The Torana Mystere was a concept car for the 1977 Sydney Motor Show; that was based on a Holden Torana LX SS Hatch and had a chopped tail, shovel nose and wheelarch flares designed by Peter Arcadipane, with a leather trimmed Recaro interior which was a key feature of the Mystere. Recaro commissioned a tanner from West Germany to produce and deliver the leather required to upholster the Mystere’s seats in a colour that was unique green and would be featured on the vehicle’s exterior paint.
The Mystere was designed and built by Peter Arcadipane, a former Ford designer and Mad Max Interceptor collaborator, from Arcadipane Automotive. Max’s yellow Interceptor was a 1974 Ford Falcon XB sedan (previously a Victoria police car) with a 351 Cleveland V8 engine. The Mystere had a Chevy Monza style front end coupled with a rear end that was shortened by 355 mm. It was powered by a 308 V8 and teamed with an M21 four-speed manual transmission. The Mystere had a Mad Max look.
The concept which was a brainchild of then Recaro Australia managing director David Bones and marketing director Robin Luck, graced the front cover of the October 1977 edition of Modern Motor magazine.
Their plan was to release the vehicle for sale, however in order for this to happen there were two key issues to be addressed. The first was obtaining Holden’s backing for mechanical warranty while the second was lowering the cost of the vehicle to below $15,000.
The cost of this full leather interior was a rather large obstacle being able to produce the car for under the $15,000 price target.
The plan for low volume production didn’t come to fruition, and the body kit pieces were then sold as the Taipan bodykit through Arcadipane’s coach building business with the full kit selling for $925.00, The taipan body kits were also made for Escorts , Cortinas, Drifters, Chargers, Kingwoods, Bedfords and Transits. The kits sold well even without the assistance of Mel Gibson.