LH Series, March 1974 - February 1976 ...


The LH Torana, announced in March 1974, was Holden's all-Australian medium car.  Earlier Torans had emulated from all-Vauxhall to Australian variations on the English chassis. However, the new LH Torana series was almost a HQ on a slightly smaller scale.

With all mechanical and body parts designed and built (except fot the Opel-soursed 1900 fouor-cylinder engine), this series was the first Holden to be available with four, six and eight-cylinder engines.  It was also one of the few cars in the world so built.

The LH was designed as a replacement for the long-wheelbase six-cylinder LC and LJ series Torana.  The six-cylinder version accounted for the bulk of sales. The new car capitalised on the previous series' strong points such as good power-to-weight ratio, handling, solid construction and reliability.  The new contemporary body gave more interior room then previous Toranas and also had many improvements in body serviceabilty with bigger, stronger bumpers and bolt-on front sheetmetal.

The model range consisted of a four-door sedan in three trim levels.  The entry level was the Torana S, SL and SL/R. The S and SL were available in four, six or eight-cylinder engines (to 4.2 litre), while the SL/R came with the 3300cc (202ci) six-cylinder engine as standard and the 4.2 litre V8 (253ci/4200cc) or 5.0 litre V8 (308ci/5000cc) as options.  A stationwagon version of the LH reached prototype stage but did not go into production.

When the SL/R was optioned with the 5.0 litre, it was badged the SL/R 5000 and sported large front and rear air spoilers and SL/R decals on the front guards and on the rear spoiler.  The SL/R 5000 did not have wheel-arch flares, alloy or sports wheels.  The vehicle, in pre-production form, was known as the GTR XU-2. (Note: the XU-2 tag was not used for the stillborn LJ V8, as it is commonly thought.

For touring car racing, Bathurst in particular, Holden released in mid-1974, the SL/R 5000 L34 option.  If you considered the SL/R 5000 to be a quick car, the L34 was something else.!!  Externally it could be identified by the bolt-on wheel-arch flares and bigger 14x6 inch steel rally wheels.  But the big changes were inder the bonnet.  The engine was based on the standard 5.0 litre block, with stronger rods and pistons, heads with modified ports and bigger valves, roller rockers, two-piece tubular exhaust headers, modified inlet manifold and twin-point/twin coil ignition.  Fuel was pushed by a high-pressure fuel pump with the standard Rochester Q-Jet carburettor modified with a manual choke. Additionally available on the engine was the so-called high-output package.  This was a full-on racetrack gear with an engine oil cooler, larger camshaft, 780cfm vacuum secondaty Holley carburettor and other minor modifications.

The drivetrain consisted of the GM-H M21 four-speed gearbox, fine-spline heavy-duty rear axles, HQ 10-inch rear drum brakes and 11-inch vented front discs, both wirh HQ wheel-stud pattern.

External appearance changes consisted of the removal of the black stripe on the front guards. The sill panels and rear beaver panel were no longer painted black. In addition, the rubber bumper-bar rub strips, boot mat and centre console were not fitted.

For the remainder of the LH range, four-cylinder models had seven-inch round headlights and a different grille from that of the six-cylinder 2250cc (export), 2850cc and 3300cc red motors, carried over from the LJ and HQ (called 173ci and 202ci in the HQ).  The V8's were the 4.2- and 5.0-litre engines straight from the larger cars (called the 253ci and 308ci in the HQ), while the L34 5.0-litre was exclusive to the LH.

Manual and automatic transmissions were all off-the-shelf GM-H componemts from LJ and HQ models. The SL/R 5000 was only available with the M21 four-speed, floor-shift manual gearbox.  Differentals were all Holden Banyo-style units, mounted as in the LJ and Hq series with four trailing-arm links and col springs.

The S model had a front bench seat and nine-inch drum brakes all round and fairly basic trim and instrumentation.  The SL had front bucket seats, carpeting, wallnut-grain dash, clock, power front disc brakes and rubber bumper bar strips.   The SL/R gained full instrumentation, radial-ply tyres, rally striping and a four-speed floor-shift manual (lesser models had a three-speed column-shift manual, with the four-speed manual and the Tri-matic auto both optional) transmission.

There were two limited-build, fixed-option packages offered to the LH. Early 1975 saw the Torana G-Pak. This was comparable to the HQ SS and came as a Torana S with a 3300cc (202ci) engine, M20 four-speed transmission, power front disc brakes, front bucket seats, SL/R instrumentation and wheel trima and exclusive G-Pak striping and badging.  The G-Pak was available in three colours only: red, yellow and green.

Late 175 saw the Plus 4.  This package was introduced to provide sales interest in the four-cylinder range and came with front bucket seats, full carpeting, clock and power front disc brakes.  The car was identified by large 'Plus 4' on the rear guards and the rear panel. In addition there were 'Torana' decals on the front apron and rear panel. The Plus 4 was offered in only red, yellow or green paintwork with colour-coded SL/R-type wheel trims.  The front and rear bumpers were painted black to match the wide side striping.

The LH (S and SL versions only) was also made in lefthand drive form for export.

MINOR FEATURES

  • Lion logo (badge) fearures first major redesign since 1948.
  • Torana S model had no S badge.
  • Seating featured new foam-filled design in lieu of Z-springs.
  • Underdash, foot-operated parking brake on all models.
  • New heater/demister design with fan-boosted frest ventilation.
  • Factory-fitted Frigidaire fully-integrated air-conditioning (HQ style) optional on all models.
  • Six and eight-cylinder cars had 'T-O-R-A-N-A' letters spread separately across the front apron panel and rear boot lid.
  • Four-cylinder models had an LJ/TA-style Torana badge on rear panel between the tail-lights and and also on the lefthand lower grille.
  • Fuel tank and lines underslung separately and mounted externally for safety.
  • Six-cylinder manual vehicles used HQ-style mechanical clutch linkage.
  • Lefthand drive models had a hydraulic clutch.
  • S and SL used a two-spoke HJ-style steering wheel. The SL/R used the GTS three-spoke item.
  • Steering column was HQ/LJ design with combined ignition and steering lock.
  • Glass area increased 35 percent over LJ.
  • 13 x 4.5 inch wheels on all models except the SL/R.
  • 13 x 5.5 inch wheels on SL/R (not L34) and optional on others.
  • 14 x 6 inch rally wheels on L34 (HQ/HJ GTS wheels offset one inch further outwards).
  • HJ-style international symbols and graphics on instruments and controls.
  • L34 transmission had normal M21 ratios of HQ/HJ 308ci four-speed. Closer ratio was used on later models with 2.32:1 1st gear.  This gearbox may be identified by the cluster gear P/No 9939484.
  • Six and eight-cylinder engines painted regular HK engine red.
  • 1900 engines painted black.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Wheelbase 101.8 inches (2585.7mm).
  • Front track 55.1 inches (1399.5mm).
  • Front track (L34) 57.2 inches (1452.8mm).
  • Height 54 inches (1371.6mm).
  • Width 67.1 inches (1704.4mm).
  • Length 176.9 inches (4493.3mm).

ENGINES

Engine
Engine Code
Compression
Output
Engine No
Size
Ratio
BHP
Prefix
1900cc low-comp (ex) (Opal)
L16
8.6:1
100
Y
1900cc hi-comp (Starfire 4)
L18
9.0:1
102
Y
2250cc (130ci) low-comp (ex)
LD3
7.8:1
90
HC
2250cc (130ci) hi-comp (ex)
LD6
9.2:1
95
HB
2280cc (138ci) low-comp
LD2
8.3:1
112
HE
2280cc (138ci) hi-comp
LD1
9.4:1
181
HD
3300cc (161ci) low-comp (ex)
L23
7.8:1
129
HM
3300cc (161ci) hi-comp
L20
9.4:1
135
HL
4200cc (253ci) S
L32
9.0:1
185
HR
5000cc (308ci)
L31
9.0:1+
240+
HT
5000cc (308ci) Repco
L34
9.8:1
240*
HZ



 

 

 


+ Later listed as 9.7:1 compression and 250bhp.
* Real output figure not published.

TRANSMISSION

  • MC6 four-speed Torquemaster (Filipino) floor-shift manual (1900cc model only).
  • M15 three-speed column-shift manual (RHD six-cylinder only).
  • MC2 three-speed column-shift manual (LHD six-cylinder only).
  • M20 four-speed floor-shift manual (Australian).  All models except 5.0 litre.
  • M21 four-speed close-ratio floor-shift manual (Australia).  5.0 litre only.
  • M40 three-speed Tri-matic floor or column-shift automatic.  Except 5.0 litre.

FINAL DRIVES

  • Banyo-style 2.78:1, 3.08:1, 3.36:1, 3.55:1 and 3.90:1.
  • Limited-slip differentials optional on some models).

MODEL RANGE

  • 8UG69 Torana S 1900cc.
  • 8UH69 Torana SL 1900cc.
  • 8VB69 Torana S (six or V8).
  • 8VC69 Torana SL (six or V8).
  • 8VD69 Torana SL/R.
  • 8VD69 Torana SL/R 5000 (opt L34).
  • 8VD69 Torana SL/R 5000 L34.

RELEASE DATES

  • Initial release, March 1974.
  • 1900cc, May 1974.
  • L34, July 1974.
  • G-Pak, February 1975.
  • Plus 4, September 1975.

PRICES AT RELEASE

  • Torana S 2850cc, $3,205.
  • Torana SL/R 5000, $4,415.
  • G-Pak, $4,983.
  • Plus 4, $4,525.
  • L34, $6,609.

TOTAL PRODUCED

  • 70,184.