It’s 40 years since A9X Toranas crushed the field at Bathurst, finishing first through eighth. Now, one of those A9Xs has resurfaced. The latest AMC opens the shed door and blows away decades of dust to present the story of a racing relic once campaigned by a pair of perennial privateers and larrikin mates.
Next time you pass one of those ubiquitous self-storage facilities, with their rows of identical and nondescript roller-doors, ponder what vehicular treasure might lie within. Dilapidated sheds and garages in rural settings might be more readily connected with dream car finds, yet here’s proof these distinctly unromantic high-security suburban storage units are now more likely to house wonderful automotive finds.
As we learnt when invited along to document the retrieval and pick-up of an A9X Torana that changed hands for the first time in 37 years, self-storage centres are the new ‘barns’. For here was an A9X hatchback that had been gathering dust unmoved in the same industrial ‘box’ in Sydney’s west for over 15 years.
And not just any A9X Torana. This one played a significant part in the revered nameplate’s most famous moment – the aforementioned routing of Bathurst 1979. 2019 represents the 40th anniversary of Brock’s six-lap victory of September 30’s Hardie-Ferodo 1000, a day Ford fans would rather forget. So it’s appropriate one of hatches that provided backup to the factory-supported Holden Dealer Team has popped back up after several decades in hibernation. The car has not been started in a decade, or driven for 30 years, yet still packs its race engine.
It’s also a machine that epitomises what the Bathurst race was all about in the Group C era, privateer and dealer-entered teams scoring impressive results when the bigger budget pretenders fell by the wayside.
Adding a further glow to this find is that it’s the Torana in which two mates, who loved a drink and raced purely for the fun of it, scored their best result in the Great Race. Issue #107 overviews both its track history and how it ended up in hibernation soon after it was taken off the track.
Pick up the ‘Awoken’ issue of Australian Muscle Car magazine to learn more about this campaign, the drivers and the hatchback’s life since retiring from racing.
It was an extraordinary first day back in the sun, literally, for our feature car and AMC was privileged to tag along and check out this time machine.
Issue #107 also profiles former HRT team manager Jeff Grech, names the top 25 Falcon touring cars and tells the story of the Gulson brothers Phase III. Another Bathurst racecar fitted with a towbar!
The reintroduction of the Chevrolet brand into the Australian market place via HSV’s ‘remanufactured’ Camaro is a timely reminder that General Motors’ bowtie brand once had a significant presence in this country. For issue #107 AMC has enlisted the help of a local marque expert to background the post war GM-H-assembled right-hand drive Chevrolets and Pontiacs.
All that and a whole lot more in the latest issue of AMC.