The Holden UC Torana
The UC Torana was the last vehicle in the third generation of Holden Toranas. The UC was introduced in March of 1978 featuring two engine models of either an inline 6cylinder 2.85 litre engine or a 3.3-litre engine. The V8 option was no longer available in this series. However, the UC did feature a very new modernized appearance both on the outside and on the inside with a complete revised dash. The UC Torana SL model came with a few extra perks such as laminated windows for a darker tint on the side and back windows, the sheet metal was much better material, the look of the grille changed, bigger gas tanks, 4-wheel disk brakes, better windshield wipers with an intermittent feature, headlights came with a dimming option, flashers and blinkers were no available, a new radio and cassette player, cloth trim throughout the vehicle, nice sports instrumentation to set this model a part from the others (including a fuel gauge, oil, speedometer, clock, etc.), and bumper overrides. An additional change on the inside was an increase in legroom.
As noted above, the UC Torana no longer featured a V8 engine option, but a turbo version of the UC was available called the UC SL/T. However, only 33 were actually produced. By 1978 the Sunbird from the LX series was brought forward in this model line-up as well. The UC Sunbird features a 4-cylinder engine (1.9-litre) in both a sedan and hatchback option with headlights that were squarer and a front end that was smoother than the LX versions. There were three different UC Sunbird models available: S, SL and SL/E. By 1980 the hatchbacks were no longer available in Sunbird model; however, the Sundbird was also replaced in its entirety by the Holden Commodore which is still in existence today. The base S model was a manual transmission only, while the other models had an automatic transmission option. A Deluxe package was offered in 1979 for the SL and SL/E models which came packed with all of the perks mentioned above as well for the sedans.
The Starfire engine replaced the 1.8 Opel engine in the previous versions of the Sunbird during 1979 and continued into 1980 until the Sunbird was replaced. The Starfire engine was a 1.9-litre engine that was based off of a 6-cylinder 2.8-litre engine.
During late 1980 a new Sunbird model prototype was developed featuring a sedan and hatchback version called the UD Torana. However, this prototype never actually made it to the production phase. After reviewing other vehicles in other countries it was clear that the Sunbird was simply outdated and could not complete with other vehicles any longer. The decision was made to put the Starfire engine in the new VC Commodore series sedan and wagon models, which utilized the engine for another two years and remained available in the VK models in New Zealand as well.
Roughly 55,000 UC Toranas were produced during this time period.
- Column shift manual and auto available on Torana six cylinder only.
- Both types of four speed manual transmissions (Australian and Filipino) were used behind six cylinder engines.
- All model manual transmissions used cable operated clutch.
- Factory fitted air conditioning available on six cylinder cars only.
- Dealer fitted GM-H accessory air conditioning now available across the range.
- HZ type steering wheels used with unique horn pads.
- SL/Es used HZ GTS three spoke steering wheel design, colour coded to interior.
- All cars used 13 x 5.5 inch steel wheels and steel belted radial (except SL/E, 13 x 6 alloys).
- Sunbird SL/E alloy wheels same style as TD Gemini SL/E.
- QH headlights standard on all SLs and SL/Es.
- White parking lights (no longer inside headlights) mounted with orange front blinkers at the outer edge of the headlights.
- SL/Es had velour seat trim.
- Steering rack mounted solidly (as in A9X), not rubber mounted as on previous cars.
- Starfire 4 engine painted silver.
- six cylinder engines renamed 2.85 litre and 3.3 litre (previously 2850 and 3300).
|WHEELBASE||…||102.1 INCHES||…||2593 mm|
|TRACK||(FRONT)||…||55.7 INCHES||…||1415 mm|
|TRACK||(REAR)||…||54.4 INCHES||…||1382 mm|
|HEIGHT||(SEDAN)||…||53.0 INCHES||…||1346 mm|
|HEIGHT||(HATCH)||…||52.6 INCHES||…||1336 mm|
|WIDTH||…||67.1 INCHES||…||1704 mm|
|LENGTH||…||177.6 INCHES||…||4514 mm|
|EXPORT (CKD)||…||6 288|
|2.85 M||8.3||78 kW||HE / XQE|
|2.85 A||9.4||87 kW||HD / XQD|
|3.3 M||7.8||81 kW||HM / XQM|
|3.3 A||9.4||88 kW||HL / XQL|
|SMALL SALISBURY – 2.78, 3.08, 3.36, 3.90|
|LIMITED SLIP OPT|
MODELS AND RELEASE DATES
|SUNBIRD||8UH69||8UH77||15 MAR 1978||SEDAN – SEP 1980
HATCH – MAY 1979
|15 MAR 1978||SEDAN – SEP 1980
HATCH – MAY 1979
|4 MAR 1974||SEDAN – SEP 1980
HATCH – MAY 1979
|–||4 MAR 1974||LIMITED RUN – 1250||–|
|TORANA S||8UG69||–||15 MAR 1978||DEC 1979||–|
|15 MAR 1978||DEC 1979||$6660 (SEDAN)|
|TORANA SL DELUXE||8UH69
|15 MAR 1978||JUL 1979||–|
|PERSIAN SAND MK II||30183||2G023||METALLIC|
|GMH TRIM CODE||TRIM CODE|
|CHARMOIS||60A * / 60B **||17053 / 17214|
|BUCKSKIN||1G059 / 2051-P1|
|SLATE BLACK||18V * / 18X ***|
|TAN||67V * / 67Y **||17057 / 17117|
* VINYL, ** CHEVRON, *** RANIER
1979 GM-H Sales Materials. Holden UC Torana and UC Sunbird.
1978 GM-H Sales Brochure; Holden UC Sunbird Sedan & Hatchback, “Dedicated to the driver in every family”
1978 GM-H Print Media Advert; Holden UC Sunbird,”New Holden Sunbird. A brilliant example of everything a four cylinder car should be!”