Holden Torana


Jan 07th, 2020

Holden Torana

Holden Torana, also known as Holden Sunbird, is a compact, mid-size car. Holden began producing it in 1967 until 1979. The car replaced the HA Vauxhall Viva series in Australia. Torana is an aboriginal word which translates to “to fly”.

First Generation

The first model came out in 1967. It was a tweaked version of the HA series Vauxhall Viva, badged as HB Torana. The car had a 2-door body, with drum brakes and an option of power-assisted front disc brakes. Later, 4-door versions of the model were also made available but only with a 4-cyl engine.

The power train available in the market is as follows:

  • 1159-cc OHV 4-cyl petrol engine, four-speed gearbox, 3-speed automatic transmission

Second Generation

The second generation of Torana (LC) came out in 1969. Latter versions had a longer wheelbase. The cars were available with 4-cyl and 6-cyl engines, to wit:

  • 1159-cc OHV 4-cyl petrol engine (42kW, 56 hp)
  • 1159-cc OHC 4-cyl petrol engine (51kW, 69 hp)
  • 2130-cc GMH 130 OHV 6-cyl petrol engine, 3- or 4-speed manual gearbox or a 3-speed Trimatic automatic transmission
  • 2262-cc GMH 2250 OHV 6-cyl petrol engine, 3- or 4-speed manual gearbox or a 3-speed Trimatic automatic transmission
  • 2639-cc GMH 2600 OHV 6-cyl petrol engine, 3- or 4-speed manual gearbox or a 3-speed Trimatic automatic transmission
  • 2835-cc GMH 2850 OHV 6-cyl petrol engine, 3- or 4-speed manual gearbox or a 3-speed Trimatic automatic transmission
  • 3049-cc GMH 186 OHV 6-cyl petrol engine, 3- or 4-speed manual gearbox or a 3-speed Trimatic automatic transmission 

Torana went through its first facelift for this generation, resulting in Torana LJ, also known as Chevrolet 1700 and Saehan Camina. There were 81,813 units built, with a sizable number exported to New Zealand.

The powertrains available in the market for LJ were as follows:

  • 1.2L OHV 4-cyl petrol engine - 2-door model
  • 1.3L OHV 4-cyl petrol engine - 2- and 4-door models
  • 1.6L OHC 4-cyl petrol engine
  • 1.8L OHC 4-cyl petrol engine
  • 2.25L OHC 6-cyl petrol engine
  • 2.85L OHC 6-cyl petrol engine
  • 3.3L OHC 6-cyl petrol engine, 4-speed Australian-made transmission (149 kW)

Meanwhile, the LJ went through a facelift to become the Torana TA, which had a plastic moulded front and refurbished backlight lenses. Holden sold the TA exclusively in Australia in a production run that only lasted for eleven months. The car came in either a 2-door or 4-door version with two engine choices, viz.:

  • 1.3L OHV 4-cyl petrol engine
  • 1.8L OHV 4-cyl petrol engine

Third Generation

Unlike all previous versions, the LH model came out as a 4-door sedan only. It had a comparatively larger exterior, yet its interior space was small. This model was somehow unique because of the different engine options that it was made available in, even including low-compression varieties of the 4 and 6 cylinder units. Later, Holden began producing higher compression engines with heavy-duty components, which improved power and durability.

Wagon and hatchback versions of the car never made to the market, even though the prototypes were built. Some sporting models were produced during this generation, namely, Plus 4 and G-Pak.

The power trains available in the market for LH were:

  • 1897-cc Opel Cam-In-Head (CIH) 4-cyl petrol engine
  • 2262-cc GMH 2250 OHV 6-cyl engine
  • 2835-cc GMH 2850 OHV 6-cyl engine
  • 3298-cc GMH 3300 OHV 6-cyl engine
  • 4143-cc GMH 253 OHV V8 engine
  • 5044-cc GMH 308 OHV V8 engine

The LH model went through a facelift in 1976 and was called the LX model. Round headlights replaced the old rectangular ones. Side windows were changed and now came in black, and the Holden badge was made more prominent. Torana LX came out as a 3-door hatchback and a 4-door sedan. The engine of this model went through performance reduction modifications in compliance with the new emission regulations, the ADR 27A. 

As a result, the LX’s power trains’ output were reduced as indicated below:

  • 2.85L OHV 6-cyl petrol engine, 88 kW to 78 kW 
  • 3.3L OHV 6-cyl petrol engine, 101 kW to 82.5 kW 
  • 4.2L OHV V8 engine, 138 kW to 120 kW 
  • 5.0L OHV V8 engine, 179 kW to 161 kW 

The car received more updates, including a restyled facade and a refurbished interior. Holden also introduced a deluxe trim which had a laminated windscreen, slightly-tinted windows, and intermittent wipers. The UC version only came with 4-cyl and 6-cyl engine versions detailed as follows:

  • 1892-cc Starfire OHV 4-cyl engine - Sunbird
  • 1897-cc Opel CIH 4-cyl engine - Sunbird
  • 2835-cc Red 173 OHV 6-cyl engine
  • 3298-cc Red 202 OHV 6-cyl engine

The Holden Sunbird was later updated to UC specs and was made available again. It now came with the following trim levels:

  • Base (manual only)
  • SL
  • SL/E

Torana Concept Cars 

Torana GTR-X was a concept car designed during the LC generation in the early '70s. It was a 2-door coupe that came with a fiberglass body. It looked like iconic sports cars like the Maserati Khamsin and Mazda RX-7. It was powered by a 3.0L inline-6 petrol engine and a 4.2L V8.

Torana Mystere is another concept car. It was based on the LX and built by Recaro. It was powered by a 5.0L V8 engine paired to a 4-speed manual transmission.

Torana TT36 was the hatchback version with five doors. It had a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout and was powered by a 3.6L Twin Turbo HF V6.

If you're giving new life to a Torana and some spare parts and accessories to repair and refurbish it, please don't hesitate to inquire from carpart. You may browse our website or send us a car parts request and we'll gladly assist you. 

-Amara Z.