Those in Australia in the 1970s will remember the A9X Torana. This is a classic Australian car that was a spectacular and powerful muscle car that was one of the best touring cars going around the track in an era of remarkable muscle cars and racing history.
It is said that the A9X is one of the best muscles cars released by Holden, using the best technology of the time to create a legend. There were not many going around, with a total of 305 sedans, 100 hatchbacks and 33 GMP&A lightweight race car shells.
For its time, the A9X was the first Holden with all four wheels to have a disc braking system. Also, something special on this car was a Salisbury rear axle and rear discs. The diff was 3.08 with steering bolted into the platform. A T10 gearbox from Borg-Warner was optional, with the M21 4-speed gearbox the standard.
Now, getting to the engine, this beast was an L31 5-litre V8. With the SL/R 5000 sedan and the SS hatchback LX Torana, the A9X kit was an optional extra.
Handling had improvements of being Radial Tuned Suspension, with the disc brakes giving the A9X an advantage in braking. So, not only was this car powerful in a straight line but it had terrific handling for a high-performance 5-litre V8.
Being built for performance and speed, the inside was stripped down of sound deadening equipment, no radio, and only the bare essential equipment and with seats mounted in a different way to usual. With the looks, the A9X contains SLR bolt-on flares and rear spoiler, a functional reverse air scoop and brake cooling ducts in the front spoiler.
One of the 100 changes to the design of the A9X was a blacked-out bonnet; all these differences let people know that you were driving a special kind of car. This Torana was king of the track from 1977 to 1979, with the Commodore taking over the mantle in 1980.
With the limited run of A9X Toranas, these cars have been highly sort after at the time and something that car collectors would love to get their hands on. Why wouldn’t someone want one of the most legendary of Australian muscle cars?
Holden Torana A9X Specifications
Years of production: 1977
Engine: 5.0 V8
Power: 186kW @ 4800rpm
Torque: 434Nm @ 3400rpm
0-100km/h: 7.2 seconds
400m: 15.4 seconds
Suspension: Wishbones, coils (front); live axle, coils, trailing arms (rear)
Brakes: 4 wheel disc
Holden Torana A9X Race Highlights
· 1978 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 – 1st (Brock/Richards)
· 1978 ATCC – 1st (Peter Brock, 3 wins)
· 1979 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 – 1st (Brock/Richards)
· 1979 ATCC – 1st (Bob Morris, 4 wins)
The legendary last lap of the 1979 Bathurst enduro. Peter Brock takes the race win by a massive six lap lead, setting a new lap record on this final lap.
Peter Brock’s 1978 HDT A9X Torana: A Legend of Australian Motorsport
In the annals of Australian motorsport, few names are as iconic as Peter Brock and Holden Dealer Team (HDT). The combination of Brock’s driving prowess and HDT’s engineering excellence led to an era of dominance in Australian touring car racing. Among the many legendary vehicles that emerged from this partnership, the 1978 HDT A9X Torana stands out as a symbol of their supremacy.
The Birth of a Legend
Introduced in 1977, the Holden Torana A9X was designed with one goal in mind – to win the Australian Touring Car Championship and the Bathurst 1000. HDT, under the leadership of its founder Harry Firth and later Peter Brock, was responsible for transforming the road-going Torana into a race-winning machine. The 1978 HDT A9X Torana is perhaps the most famous of these creations.
The A9X package included several performance upgrades over the standard Torana. It was powered by a 5.0-litre V8 engine that delivered robust power and torque, making it a formidable competitor on the track. The car was also equipped with disc brakes all around, a heavy-duty differential, and a larger radiator to keep temperatures in check during gruelling races.
Dominance on the Track
Peter Brock’s 1978 HDT A9X Torana was a force to be reckoned with on the racetrack. Its crowning achievement came in the 1979 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 at Bathurst. Brock, along with co-driver Jim Richards, claimed a victory that remains one of the most dominant in the history of the race. The duo finished six laps ahead of the second-placed car, a margin of victory that has never been surpassed.
The 1978 HDT A9X Torana is more than just a race car; it’s a piece of Australian motorsport history. It represents a time when Australia had a thriving local car industry and was a force to be reckoned with in touring car racing. The car also marked the peak of Peter Brock’s illustrious career and HDT’s dominance in Australian motorsport.
Today, the HDT A9X Torana is a sought-after classic, cherished by collectors and motorsport enthusiasts alike. Its blend of performance, success, and association with Peter Brock make it a true icon of Australian motoring.
The 1978 Peter Brock HDT A9X Torana is a testament to a golden era of Australian motorsport. It embodies the skill, determination, and engineering prowess that made Peter Brock and the Holden Dealer Team legends in the world of racing.