In the late 1970s the battle for supremacy on Australian racetracks was at its zenith. There were two types of fans; those that followed Ford and those that followed Holden. Any other brand was considered to be terms not used in polite company.
Both brands were going hard to win fans over from the other side whilst duelling with the regulations of the time to produce cars that could be bought by the public, and contribute to getting racecars on track.
Holden had chosen to eschew the Kingswood as a race entry. Instead, the mid-sized LH and LX Toranas were the weapon of choice and it was the LX that became the host to two letters and a number that had grown men wobbly at the knees.
In late 2020 a Holden LX Torana SL/R 5000 A9X was up for sale. Clad in gleaming Tuxedo Black, with silver trim on the bootlid spoiler,the four door sedan was being offered up with less than 30,000 kilometres driven, and from an owner that knew the value of such a rarity. They had had the car in their possession for 28 years and were just the fourth owner. The asking price? A mere $425,000.
Just 305 sedans had been made in the A9X specification and 100 hatchbacks. Listed as a Performance Equipment Package, A9X was there to help Holden “homologate” the Torana for racing in the Australian Touring Car Championship.
The option itself was available only in the SL/R 5000 range and the SS hatchbacks with the 308ci engine.The engine spec was known as L31, whereas the L34 spec was used in the racing versions under the homologated regulations. The body not only had the heavily flared wheel arch covers, the A9X had the bonnet scoop, heavy duty axles, brakes, and a stronger differential.
Matching numbers, the numbers that identify the chassis and engine and gearbox etc, make a car’s historic value a better consideration. The sedan that was put up for sale via the Australian Muscle Cars sales site, had those. Unusually, it also had a full service history and logbooks with it, and the owner also had an original advertisement for the car.
The sedan came with “Parchment” interior trim, an almost beige-bone coloured shade, the original mat for the boot, and even an original spare wheel and tyre. The original brake ducts were still fitted, and the car also came with two sets of wheels and tyres. One of those was the original specification A9X GMH Rally wheels and Dunlop Super Steel rubber.
Rochester supplied the carbies at the time, and this car had the original Rochester fitted, along with the intake manifold of the day, cast iron headers, and electric fan to help cool the original radiator. The interior is bespoke and in virtually factory fresh condition, with the dash, carpets, headlining all unmarked.
The original 1977 asking price? $9,560.
(Pictures courtesy of Australian Muscle Car Sales.)