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1973 LJ Torana GTR XU-1 up for auction


Treasure hunters will find plenty of gems to drool over at  Shannons Melbourne auction this week.

The auction is headlined by a brace of American V8 muscle cars, with a 1974 Plymouth Barracuda Coupe leading the charge.

But for Aussies the real jewel in the crown will undoubtedly be the “no reserve” Holden XU-1 Torana - Australia's most famous motoring icon outside of the now outrageously expensive Falcon GT-HO.

The 1973 LJ Torana being offered for sale is finished in a golden Sunburst Yellow and has just 65,000 miles on the clock, all of which are believed to be genuine. It’s expected to fetch up to $70,000 when it goes under the hammer on Monday night.

The XU-1 went on to win the 1973 Australian Touring Car Championship earning its reputation as the “Giant Killer” along the way.

To put this car in perspective the XU-1 made its Bathurst debut in 1970 when it went into battle against the mighty GT-HO.

With promising results in 1970 and again the following year, it wasn’t until 1972 with the release of the facelifted LJ series that the XU-1 finally came up trumps.

In wet conditions and with Peter Brock at the helm the Torana was able to claim victory on its third outing in the Hardie Ferodo 500. It was the first of five Bathurst wins for the Torana and the start of the whole Peter “perfect” legend for Brock who drove the race solo.

The XU-1 went on to win the 1973 Australian Touring Car Championship earning its reputation as the “Giant Killer” along the way.

The car to be auctioned has been in the hands of the current owner since 2009.

According to the Holden Vehicle Production Report supplied with the vehicle, it was originally built at GM-H’s Acacia Ridge, Brisbane plant on May 3, 1973.

Delivered through Fred Geissler Motors of Goulburn, NSW the car left the factory in the same Sunburst Yellow (1870) with black vinyl (50X) colour combination it wears today.

The production LJ XU-1 boasted some impressive performance figures.

The 202 cubic inch, 3.3-litre six cylinder engine, fitted with triple Stromberg carburettors, churned out 190bhp at 5600 revs - or about 142kW in today’s money. The dash from 0-100km/h took 8.2 seconds and it clocked the quarter mile in 15.6 seconds. Beefing up its looks were a big for the day boot lid spoiler, blackouts and a palette of wild colours - along with a 17-gallon fuel tank (77L).

Mechanically, the XU-1 was used to homologate various components such as heavy-duty springs, a revised camshaft and lightened flywheel.

With new Globe Sprintmaster wheels and 3.08:1 diff, it was able to hit 225km/h down Conrod Straight.

All told around 3300 XU-1s were produced in total, both in LC and LJ form, but very few remain original examples remain intact.

Shannons say prices of genuine XU-1s have shown rapid appreciation in recent times and this trend looks set to continue, with interest in Bathurst-winning heritage at an all time high.

Would you pay $70k for an XU-1? Tell us what you think in the comments below.