Resurrection of the Torana LH

RESURRECTION OF THE TORANA LH

Resurrection of the Torana LH

While it lay in slumber, the car’s aesthetics was marred by the natural elements but underneath all that rust lies the powerful Aussie muscle of yesteryear, and Geoff took it upon himself to bring the beast back to life

Geoffrey Moore has always been taken by the Torana. It’s no question why especially when it’s one of Australia’s all-time favourite cars, so what are the chances of him finding one in a backyard? Neglected for years and left unclaimed, Geoff came face-to-face with an incredible piece of history: the 1974 Holden Torana LH. While it lay in slumber, the car’s aesthetics was marred by the natural elements but underneath all that rust lies the powerful Aussie muscle of yesteryear, and Geoff took it upon himself to bring the beast back to life.

THE TRIUMPH OF TORANA

Often referred to as Holden’s best performing sports car, the Torana reigned steadily at the top throughout the 1970s. In March 1974, the first all Australian medium sized car was introduced in the form of a four-door sedan. With all of its mechanical and body parts designed and assembled locally, the LH was the first Holden series to come with four, six, or eight cylinder engines and would be one of the few cars to be built like so. 

At the top of the sporting range was the SL/R 5000, reserved for the sedan version and was undoubtedly the most desirable of the whole series. This new introduction capitalised on its predecessors’ strong points such as good power to weight ratio, good handling, solid build, and reliability. It was also more spacious than previous Toranas with its improved interior and had better serviceability with its sturdier bumpers and bolt on the front sheet metal.

RACE READY

Having produced its fastest car yet, it’s obvious something needed to be done for Bathurst. Holden released a new option package known as the L34 and added it to the already powerful SL/R 5000, transforming the Torana into a racing machine. To accommodate for competition use, the L34 was made to be more powerful and durable with high compression engine and stouter components. Its signature feature was the bolt-on wheel arch extensions, designed to house larger racing rims and tyres. 

The L34 proved to be fast and successful in Australian touring car racing. Only 263 were built in this variant, making this a precious collectable if you’re lucky to get your hands on one.

RUST TO RICHES

For Geoff who’s only ever had Holdens in his garage, owning a Torana is like a second calling. Given the condition it was in, a full ground-up restoration was undisputed. Geoff saw the end outcome before he even got started, and there was no doubt whether he was getting his hands dirty in the process. Looking at where it is today, it is almost unrecognisable with a notably clean bright shade of green and modern rims. “It was built to suit my taste,” says Geoff. Re-building this car is one of his favourite memories and you can just imagine what it must feel like the day he got behind the wheel of his hard work!

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Ryno Insurance is a specialist division of East West Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd ABN 83 010 630 092, 
Australian Financial Services Licence No. 230041. 

© 2019 Ryno Insurance | Terms of use

Candy Apple Dream

CANDY APPLE DREAM

Candy Apple Dream

“To be honest, I’ve owned a lot of nice cars, and this is the dream car that I fell in love with some 34 years ago, managed to track it down and now own it."

Have you ever wanted something so badly, you were willing to wait more than a quarter of a century for it? Many would have thrown in the towel, but not Ben Chesterfield. To be more precise, Ben has been tracking the 1969 Ford Falcon XW GT-HO for 34 years! After his first encounter back in 1983, he’s had his eye on the prize ever since. However due to financial circumstance back then, it was placed in his bucket list instead. With already several XW classics in his garage, why was the GT-HO so worth the wait?

BIG, BIG MUSCLES

There’s no denying the GT series is one of Australia’s highest performing automobiles produced. From the time of its launch in 1969, the XW GT made waves across the country and soon everyone wanted to have a peek at this Aussie muscle. The limited production HO variant, with higher powered engine and improved suspension, was released two months after the mainstream models. 

Externally, it may look almost indistinguishable from the standard GT, except for the lower front spoiler, but this new and improved design was a homologation special built for racing. The HO package also included a rear anti-roll bar, stiffer front anti-roll bar, and heavy duty tailshaft with taller gearing and a 3.25:11 diff ratio.

BEN'S ARM CANDY

An avid car enthusiast and member of the Gold Coast GT Club, Ben’s garage is home to an original 1969 XW GT, a factory V8 XW ute, a second-owner XW ute, a windowless XW Panelvan, a matching numbers XW GS V8 wagon, a 1962 Studebaker GT Hawk (his first car) and a Mustang. “I guess I can’t help myself!” he laughs.

For someone with a shiny collection, his latest and most sought-after addition is more than just another addition to his mantel. To make way for the HO, Ben has had to make some sacrifices to get what he’s always wanted. He sold one of his favourites, the XY Falcon GT-HO, more endearingly known as the ‘Dirty HO’. “To be honest, I’ve owned a lot of nice cars, and this is the dream car that I fell in love with some 34 years ago, managed to track it down and now own it,” he beams.

RUST TO RICHES

His latest GT is deemed one of Australia’s legends and Ben has got a more practical approach in flaunting his new fav. “I have never entered it into a show for judging, that’s not my thing. I’m here to enjoy the car and what other people think is of no real concern to me,” he dictates. Instead, Ben finds use of all his cars for family get-togethers and social events.

“… it’s more about the weekend family drives, pubs and lunch, a park up and a yarn – just what I believe these cars are all about.”

Although competitions and shows aren’t really his cuppa tea, Ben has entered his GT-HO in the upcoming 2019 GT Nationals in Adelaide, because why not? We’ll have to wait and see how this Aussie muscle fares!

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Ryno Insurance is a specialist division of East West Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd ABN 83 010 630 092, 
Australian Financial Services Licence No. 230041. 

© 2019 Ryno Insurance | Terms of use

Aussie Bullet

AUSSIE BULLET

Aussie Bullet

"The Bullet is definitely a head-turner and many would agree it has made its own mark in the Australian automotive industry."

At first glance, this sleek looking sports car looks like your standard Mazda MX5; but there’s more to it than meets the eye. This car is one of 26 units ever built and would be one of the first few roadsters modified from its original form by the renowned Bullet factory. It’s a truly unique car to possess, and owner Robin Storey has the honour of being it’s first ever registered driver.

TAKING IT UP A NOTCH (OR TEN)

Established in 1998 as a kit car manufacturer, it didn’t take long for the Bullet company to build a name for itself specialising in performance upgrades. They’ve taken the base and exterior of the legendary Mazda MX5 and replaced everything within it to create the high-performance Roadster SS.

Of its many extensive refurbishments, those to take note include the lightweight and stronger tube chassis, a modified and refined Supercharged V8 engine, Brembo brakes, and KONI adjustable suspensions. 

AUSTRALIAN DESIGN AWARD

The pre-production prototypes between the years 2000 and 2002 became the Roadster and Roadster SS. The Bullet was nominated for an “Australian Design Award” and became the first to comply with Australian Design Rules (ADR), making it the first low production locally-made sports car to do so.

These cars came at a hefty price with just the base model starting at approximately $100,000. Despite the sting in its cost, Bullets are still much admired by car enthusiasts that enjoy a good kick in their drive.   

A LIMITED COLLECTABLE

Robin’s got a keen eye for cars and has several widely popular ones under his belt, namely the XWGT, XTGT, and the Pontiac Trans Am. He also had an earlier model of the Bullet, so he’s no stranger to its showmanship.

His current Bullet, purchased in 2014, has not had any modifications made to it. Robin is impressed by its power and handling and its ability to accelerate from 0 to 100 in just under 5 seconds earning the title of Australia’s fastest production Supercar in 2003.

With limited units ever to be made and the distinguishable roar of its engine, Robin has no doubt this Aussie pride will one day become a true collectable. “Handling is exceptional and open-roof driving is the ultimate [experience],” he beams. 
The Bullet is definitely a head-turner and many would agree it has made its own mark in the Australian automotive industry.

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Ryno Insurance is a specialist division of East West Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd ABN 83 010 630 092, 
Australian Financial Services Licence No. 230041. 

© 2019 Ryno Insurance | Terms of use

Mud Run 2017

The annual Mud Run held at the Gresford Showgrounds, about an hour north of Newcastle, is one of our favourite shows around. Street Machine’s Classic Car Hunter checks it out, thanks to Ryno Insurance.

It’s a laid-back, invite-only affair where hot rods, customs and bikes get to do the sideways wild thing on a damp track, without too many rules or regulations. In fact, the main rule is to have fun!

Well done to all the volunteers who move heaven and earth to make sure everyone who attends has a fun and safe time. Check out the mud-filled video below!

Visit to the Holden Factory

Street Machine’s Classic Car Hunter series usually focuses on chrome-bumper beasts, but in this instalment, Glenn Torrens visits Holden’s Elizabeth factory to see some of the final locally-made Commodores roll off the production line.

There is no doubt these cars are future classics, but they also mark the end of the line for Australian car industry, which has included not only Holden, Ford and Toyota but also Nissan, Mitsubishi, Chrysler, Volkswagen, BMC and more.

In this video, GT takes us through the production process and pays tribute to the workers that make it all happen.

Classic Metal in the Barossa

South Australia’s Barossa region is well-known for its wines, especially its world-class reds. But as Street Machine’s car hunting team of Glenn Torrens and Matt Reekie discovered recently, the Barossa has something else that makes the region worth visiting: an enormous stash of old cars!

It’s easily the biggest stash of classics they have ever witnessed. Word is, there were more than 5000 of them packed, stacked and scattered over several square kilometres. As you will see in this episode of Classic Car Hunter presented by Ryno Insurance, they spent a morning wandering around and found so much cool stuff, from FX-FJ Holdens and a stack of early Falcons, Austins, Anglias and Vauxhalls, Geminis and Escorts, a few Cortinas and Fairlanes and a scattering of early Commodores.

Real Steel Car Cruises 4th Annual Samford Museum Charity Day

Date: 23 Jun 2019
Location: 23 Station Street, Samford Village
More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1147970238718941/

The Ryno team will be at the next Real Steel Car Cruises 4th Annual Samford Museum Charity Day! Bring the whole family along for an exciting day packed with classic vehicles, free entry into Samford Museum, a Pin Up Pageant, a jumpy castle for the kiddies, and lots more!

If you’re the owner of a classic ride (pre ’85), you will automatically receive free parking at John Scott Park just adjacent to the museum. Travel concession is also available for club registered vehicles (TC 163-01-2019).

Event details
Date: Sunday, 23 June 2019
Time: 9am – 1pm
Venue: Samford Museum, 23 Station Street, Samford Village 4520

Ryno Report #23

RYNO REPORT #23

RYNO REPORT #23

Check out May’ Ryno Report for an update of events that we have attended! Also, stay tuned for the next edition of Ryno Rides!

IN THIS EDITION

  • QLD Corvette Nationals
  • SIX ONE Australian Customs Automotive
  • Upcoming Events
  • Ryno Rides

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Ryno Insurance is a specialist division of East West Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd ABN 83 010 630 092, 
Australian Financial Services Licence No. 230041. 

© 2019 Ryno Insurance | Terms of use

Ryno Report #22

RYNO REPORT #22

RYNO REPORT #22

Check out April’s Ryno Report for an update of events we’ll be at, and a sneak peek at next month’s edition of Ryno Rides!

IN THIS EDITION

  • SIX ONE Australian Customers
  • More Upcoming Events
  • Ryno Rides – Rodney Anderson

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Ryno Insurance is a specialist division of East West Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd ABN 83 010 630 092, 
Australian Financial Services Licence No. 230041. 

© 2019 Ryno Insurance | Terms of use

Ryno Report #21

RYNO REPORT #21

RYNO REPORT #21

Check out March’s Ryno Report for an update of what we’ve been up to and upcoming events the Ryno team will be at!

IN THIS EDITION

  • Cars & Coffee Coorparoo
  • Ryno’s Upcoming Events
  • Ryno Rides – Andrew LeMercier

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Ryno Insurance is a specialist division of East West Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd ABN 83 010 630 092, 
Australian Financial Services Licence No. 230041. 

© 2019 Ryno Insurance | Terms of use