Holden Heritage Collection – Driving Down Memory Lane

21. September 2016 14:16 by Rare Spares in General, Rare Spares  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

When it comes to cars, our passion generally extends beyond the vehicles themselves. Car parts, posters and memorabilia go hand in hand with automotive obsession, and when the Royal Australian Mint decided to produce a collection dedicated to one of Australia’s most loved brands, the team here at Rare Spares couldn’t have been more excited.

The Holden Heritage Collection is a series of 12 coins celebrating some of Holden’s most memorable creations. Here we will take a look at some of our personal favourites. Starting with the 1948 FX Sedan. This car was the first to bear the Holden name, it did 0-60mph in 18.7 seconds and fuel consumption better than most cars today of 6.3L/100km.

The FB Holden makes its appearance with its unique American styling cues and gorgeous wrap around front windscreen. This classic was also the first Holden to be exported in left hand drive form. Then there is the ever so popular EH Holden, with its classy looks and advanced red engine - this vehicle was produced between 1963 and 1965.

We also love the HK Monaro, with its timeless muscle car looks and potent 327ci topping the range, this was a sports car designed, engineered and manufactured from right here in Australia. Another personal favourite of ours is without a doubt the LJ Torana GTR XU-1. This car was the cream of the crop with its 202 and was made famous after it claimed victory at Bathurst in 1972 with a young Peter Brock behind the wheel.

The Holden Heritage Collection also features the FC, FE, FJ as well as the HQ Kingswood, HX Sandman and even the humble VC Commodore. The collection is comprised of uncirculated 50 cent coins, however the value of these are much more to an enthusiast and also comes with their own unique card describing the history and details of the vehicle.

We know that most people who don’t have an automotive passion might scratch their heads trying to wonder how we could be excited about coins, but as classic car enthusiasts, we would have it any other way.

Have you owned any of these iconic Holden’s yourself or managed to get your hands on these limited edition coins? Let us know and share some photos in the comments section of our Facebook page!

 

Torana Triumph – The Holden of the Future

13. September 2016 15:09 by Rare Spares in General, Rare Spares  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

The Holden Torana is one of Australia’s most loved cars and with many still on the road today, it’s easy to see that they are just as popular as ever. With both the LC and LJ cementing their place in our proud motoring history, there was one model that almost defined it, the Torana GTR-X.

The GTR-X was a product of the ambitious 1970’s Holden motor company who was out to produce a car that pushed the boundaries of automotive design. The future halo car’s styling was one that was influenced by iconic European sports cars of the time such as the Lotus Esprit and Maserati Khamsin.

The GTR-X featured an incredibly sleek-wedged shaped fiberglass body and ran mechanical components from the LC GTR XU-1. The engine bay housed the 186 from the XU-1 complete with triple Stromberg carburettors and was mated to a 4 speed manual transmission and 3.36 rear axle. The car also featured pop-up headlights, elevated rear light assembly, flush mounted door handles and fuel filler. The design was finished with a black and orange strip that housed the infamous GTR-X name and ran along the bottom of the body sweeping up to meet its distinctive LC Torana inspired taillights.

Weighing in at a feather weight 1043kgs, the stunning vehicle had the agility to match, recording a top speed of 210km/h during testing. The interior featured a wealth of instrumentation within the aluminium dashboard including electric clock, ammeter, speedo, and tachometer as well oil pressure, water temperature and even an engine vacuum gauge.

Although the LX Torana, in race bred A9X from, was the first Holden fitted with four wheel disc brakes, the futuristic GTR-X almost claimed the title by a full 7 years. Unlike many concepts, Holden was genuinely serious about its production which they highlighted throughout brochures and promotional footage. Unfortunately due to unexpected production costs the car was never fully realised and only one complete example is in existence today. This prototype was restored back to its original white paint finish and currently resides at Holden’s Melbourne offices.

There is rumour that the original pre-production body is undergoing restoration somewhere in the south east of Melbourne, but one can only wait patiently until it sees the light of day. With Holden creating some of the country’s finest cars, we can only imagine what could have been if this masterpiece was put into production.

What did you think of the GTR-X when you first laid eyes on it? Futuristic flop or pinnacle of motoring excellence? Head over the Facebook page and let us know in the comments!

Reliving the glory days – A look at Group N Touring Cars

8. August 2016 11:18 by Rare Spares in General, Rare Spares  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

As motoring enthusiasts, most of us are fans of motorsport in one form or another, from the golden days at Mount Panorama to the modern high tech powerhouses we see in the V8 Supercars, we really can’t get enough motorsport action. Fortunately for those of us who are fans of classic metal we have the thrilling Touring Car Masters series on offer as well as many grass roots events. However there is another class that really holds its own in the world of competitive racing and that is Group N Touring Cars.

For those unaccustomed to the old school racing category, it was introduced in 1981 and originally only cars manufactured prior to 1965 were eligible. Vehicles requirements stated that only saloons with seating for four passengers could be entered and mechanical modifications were allowed as long as they replicated those which would have existed to the prior to 1965.

The class was a runaway success and due to its popularity, the eligibility criteria changed in 1995 to include cars built up until the end of December 1972, allowing a larger and more varied array of vehicles to compete.

Today the group features three distinct sub categories.

Group Na is suitable for cars that were commercially available in Australia prior to the end 1957 and includes timeless classics such as the Morris Oxford, Jaguar Mk 1 and the Austin A30.

Group Nb is a broader class that includes vehicles that were built and cemented a competition history either overseas or on home soil, as long as the make and model was homologated by the FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile). These cars could be manufactured up until December 31st 1964 and includes pioneering vehicles such as EH Holden, XM Falcon and the nimble Mk1 Mini Cooper S.

Group Nc is only for touring cars that competed in Australia between the start of 1965 until the end of 1972. These classics must have competed in the Australian Touring Car championship or the third category for Group C in Improved Touring Cars. This is the most popular Group N category due to its accessibility and includes many iconic cars such as the 1967 Camaro, Holden XU1 LJ Torana, XY Falcon and Valiant Charger as well as a long list of others.

Group N racing is for those who want to relieve the golden days of motor racing and with these classic cars, although a handful at times, the experience can be incredibly rewarding. With the modern world moving ahead and advancing vehicle technology, many will always have a soft spot for these vintage rides and we are thankful that there are so many racing series which celebrate and promote classic car culture.

Here at Rare Spares, we love keeping your old classic alive by supplying a broad range of parts and panels to keep your pride and joy running perfectly. If you have fond memories of the series, or have even entered yourself, head over to the Rare Spares Facebook page and share it in the comments!

Prevention and Preservation - Safeguarding Your Classic

3. August 2016 11:19 by Rare Spares in General, Rare Spares  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

There is just something about old cars that makes them special, the sound, the simplicity, the nostalgia, but there are a couple things we don’t like to discuss. Their temperamental nature and expensive running costs are all second to biggest destroyer of classic metal, rust.

It’s a harsh reality when it comes to owning a classic car but back in the day, automotive manufactures were focused on design and never really stopped to think how their cars will fare 30 years down the track. Most left the factory with minimal safeguards against the elements but over time, paints and finishes have improved to become more resilient to our climate, so the condition of these classic cars today was largely left in the hands of previous owners.

Appropriately nicknamed “Cancer” due to its ability to spread rapidly throughout a vehicle, the sight of rust can be disheartening at first. Generally speaking you could be up for big bucks if you are lacking metal fabrication skills or aren’t on good terms with a fabricator. The process usually involves stripping the car back to bare metal and hitting it with a sand blaster, a time consuming and frighteningly expensive process.

Lucky for us Rare Spares takes pride in offering replacement sections from panels to fenders and even rails and sub frames, without these god send parts, you would probably have to take out a bank loan to get things up to scratch.

So once you have sorted out the rust (or made a smart purchase) it is time to make sure it doesn’t come back. Some choose not to but we think it is a good idea to prevent the rust from gaining a foothold again. Everyone has their own personal method of prevention which generally includes Fish Oil, Cavity Wax or Lanox, all we can advise is to make sure you treat the right places. We suggesting hitting the door sills, inner guards, wheel wells, cavities, anywhere water can collect, it can rust. 

Nowadays cars are coated from factory to prevent rust, but modern cars still miss the classic feel and charm of a vintage masterpiece. If you have carried out a big repair job or have your own rust prevention secret, head over the comments section of the Rare Spares page let us know!

 

Off the beaten path – A look at some of Australia’s best driving roads

25. July 2016 10:46 by Rare Spares in General, Rare Spares  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

We are all privileged to call Australia home, with world class scenery right at our door step and summer just around the corner, it’s a great time to get our pride and joy ready for some amazing road trips. Here is a list of some of Australia’s best driving roads and what makes them so special.


Great Ocean Road – Victoria

 

Covering 243km of some of the country’s most breathtaking coastline, the winding road passes through lush rainforests, over limestone cliffs and alongside a number of offshore inlets and blowholes. Originally built as a memorial to those who fought in World War I, the coastal marvel is home to a number of tourist attractions such as The Twelve Apostles and the London Bridge. Although the speed limit has been lowered over time, it still doesn’t make it any less breathtaking.

99 Bends – Tasmania


With a stretch of road known by locals as the 99 Bends, you’d be able to bet that it is one hell of a drive. The sections of winding road are a fleeting example of what Victoria’s closest neighbour has on offer. Smooth freshly paved tarmac glides through some of Tassie’s best mountain ranges making the route a true test of skill and bravery. The stretch of road is also a favourite among drivers or the Targa Tasmania, but whether you have a high performance street machine or a classic cruiser, this road never fails to impress.

Macquarie Pass - New South Wales

Deep within one of New South Wales many national parks, hides an extraordinary 8km road that has many stories to tell. With an abundance of narrow roads, tight hairpins, steep roadways and limited visibility, the stretch is notorious for accidents, but when driven with caution, the technical and testing road is incredibly rewarding.

Black Spur Drive - Victoria





























A favorite spot among car enthusiasts and motorcyclists alike, Black Spur Drive is one of Victoria’s many unique offerings. The towering Eucalyptus trees and a sea of flora and fauna, makes the backdrop one of a kind. The road twists and turns over 30km between Healesville and Narbethong and features many hairpin turns and short punchy straights. Although two thirds of the Black Spur was burnt in the Black Saturday firestorm, the road is still just as beautiful as it is challenging.

Think we’ve missed a couple or have a few secret spots of your own? Head over to the Rare Spares Facebook page and share your favourite piece of asphalt in the comments!