Who wouldn’t jump at the chance of having a rare gem like the LX Torana A9X in their garage? Purchased three years ago after a match made online, not much is explained about the car’s history before Andrew was handed the keys. While many might leave this tucked away under the covers, others would consider it a public service to flaunt this historic vehicle wherever it goes.
The arrival of the LX came in February 1976 after the hit success of the LH, which was viewed as a major step forward for the local arm of General Motors, where for the first time, the Torana was designed and built for the Australian tastes and conditions. Using inspiration from the LH, the LX was given a facelift that replaced the rectangular headlights to rounded ones, side window surrounds were changed from body colour to black, and the Holden marque was enlarged.
The two-door hatchback body was introduced alongside the traditional four-door sedan, a sporty appeal that would distinguish the LX from its predecessors. At a starting price of approximately $6,000, the LX was offered in six- and eight-cylinder engines in both automatic and manual transmissions.
The celebrated A9X was first introduced as a “Performance Equipment Package” option and was only available with the Torana SS or SL/R hatch and sedan with the mighty V8 engine. Its formulation was purely out of the need to comply with race regulations of the time. Back then, touring car racing was a representation of the car’s performance that manufacturers sold to the public.
To comply with Group C Touring Car rules, car makers were expected to produce enough roadworthy examples of their competition cars equipped with full racing components, a process also known as “homologation”. The A9X stepped in as the solution to the various weaknesses of the previous Torana race car, the L34, and became one of the greatest Holden muscle cars in the Golden Era of Group C racing. It is the first Holden to install the upgraded Radial Turned Suspension and fitment of the much stronger Salisbury rear axle complete with disc brakes. These major changes introduced to the A9X were quite significant that it could be categorised as a new model altogether.
With fewer than 39 of the A9X in existence, it is a privilege to come across something that made such an impact in Australian automotive history, let alone own one. It’s a good thing Andrew doesn’t keep it hidden away under lock and key but is happy to display his signature orange Torana on the road and at car meets for enthusiasts to take a closer look.
Since this purchase, Andrew has had some restoration works done to revive the LX to its former glory. We don’t know how extensive these restorations were, but from the looks of it you would believe him if he told you it just rolled off the line!