LX Series, February 1976 - March 1978 ...


Click HERE for Identification, Paint and Trim Codes.

When first released in early 1976, the LX Torana was a mild facelift of the LH SL/R 5000 and the L34 option was not offered.  The three-speed T-bar Tri-matic was now available on the 5.0 litre models. Instrumentation has orange graphics and the sports models (SS and SL/R) had a silver-grey dash fascia.  A new headlight flasher and dimmer stalk was fitted to all models in lieu of the floor-mounted switch which dated back to the 1948 Holden.  The mouldings of the bucket seats were improved and all models had seven inch round headlights with the SS hatchback gaining quartz halogen inserts.

In July 1976, the XT4 engines were fitted across the range to comply with the new ADR 27A exhaust pollution laws and power outputs were altered accordingly.  Modifications were made to the distributor, carburettor, camshaft, and compression ratio to meet the new regulation.  Engines were basically the same as the those used on the HX series.

Late in 1976, the Torana 1900cc was replaced with the new Sunbird.  This vehicle had the same body and powertrain as the 1900cc, but a new interior and the addition of radial tuned suspension (RTS) set it apart from the Torana. RTS was a major upgrade in suspension design and geometry.  Springs and shock absorbers were recalibrated and an anti-roll bar was added to the front and rear suspension.  The overall result for the Sunbird was a much improved, better-handling car aimed squarely at the Japanese market threat.

Externally, it differed from the Torana 1900 with a colour-coded grille, distinctive wheel covers and 'Sunbird' badging.  A Fashion Pack option was available with plaid cloth seat and door trim inserts which were available in three colours, coordinated with the exterior. Bumper bar rub strips were added.

The Sunbird hatchback was released in mid-1977.  RTS was added to the six-cylinder and V8 Toranas at around the same time, making these cars vastly superior to their predecessors.  All LXs with RTS had 13x5.5 inch wheels and steel-belted radial tyres.

Late in 1977 saw the introduction of the A9X option, perhaps the most desirable option of all.  This package was available on all SL/R 5000 models and the 5.0 litre SS built from September 1977 onwards, and was once again introduced to homologate these improvements for touring racing, and in particular, Bathurst.

The main improvements for the A9X were the much stronger 10-bolt Holden Salisbury-type differential and the addition of rear disc brakes.  Available in both sedan and hatchback body styles, the A9X had L34-type bolt-on wheel-arch flares, 14x6 inch sports road wheels and a large rear-facing bonnet scoop which provided for cool air entry to the carburettor.  Ducting was also fitted to the front spoiler to provide cooling air to the front brakes.

The A9Xs entire rear floor panel pressing was new to accommodate the new rear axle assembly with upper trailing arms mounted further apart.  The steering rack was mounted solidly to the front crossmember, not on rubber bushes as before.  The engine and gearbox were the standard-issue L31 5.0 litre V8 and M21 (Australian) four-speed manual. However some cars were fitted with a Borg-Warner Super T-10 four-speed manual (option number MC7) in lieu of the Australian gearbox.  Also fitted to the A9X were a heavy-duty radiator, thermo-controlled electric coolant fan and a radiator overflow reservoir. To match the new rear disc brakes, HX alloy front brake assemblies were used and a new PBR master cylinder with integral proportioning valve and plastic reservoir was fitted.  The radio and centre console were deleted as were the SL/R 5000 paint-out on sedans.

These vehicles with RTS, four-wheel disc brakes and 5.0 litre engines were probably the best road cars offered by GM-H in the 70s.  Differential ratios up to a tall 2.60:1 were offered which made them excellent for open-road touring.  Even though they did not win their inaugural Bathurst in 1977, they totally dominated touring car racing throughout 1978 and 1979.  Peter Brock won the 1979 Bathurst classic by a record six laps (37km).

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

MINOR FEATURES

  • Power front disc brakes on all models except the S.
  • SL identified by bright trim surrounding tail-lights.
  • SL sedan wheel trims different from SL hatchback (SL hatchback used SL/R wheel covers).
  • Four-cylinder grille different from those on six-cylinder and V8 models.
  • Automatic sedans used T-bar shift lever and automatic hatchbacks had a new 'pistol grip' lever.
  • A9Xs used HQ-WB stud-pattern wheels.
  • Hatch-Hutch sold as a camping option for hatchback models.
  • Split fold-down rear seat backs in hatchback.
  • Radio fitted in centre console in hatchbacks, in-dash in sedans.
  • New ignition lock January 1978 to meet ADR 25A law.
  • RTS models identified by badges on front guards and glovebox lid.
  • Engine output figures now quoted as gross Kw.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • heelbase 2,593mm.
  • Front track, 1,395mm (all SL/R, SS and models with RTS, 1,405mm).
  • Rear track, 1,372mm (all SL/R, SS and models with RTS, 1,382mm).
  • Height (sedan), 1,335mm.
  • Height (hatchback), 1,325mm.
  • Width 1705mm.
  • Length 4,510mm.

ENGINES

Engine Size
Engine Code
Compression
Output
Engine No
Ratio
kW
Prefix
Prior to July '77 (ADR 27)
1900cc low-comp (ex)
L16
8.6:1
74
Y
1900cc hi-comp
L18
9.0:1
76
Y
2850cc (173ci) low-comp
LD2
8.3:1
71
HE
2850cc (173ci) hi-comp
LD1
9.4:1
78
HD
3300cc (202ci) low-comp (ex)
L23
7.8:1
75
HM
3300cc (202ci) hi-comp
L20
9.4:1
82
HL
4200cc (253ci)
L32
9.0:1
130
HR
5000cc (308ci)
L31
9.7:1
186
HT
Prior to July '77 onwards (ADR 27)
1900cc
L18
9.0
72
Y
2850cc (173ci) manual
LD1
8.3
78
HE or XQE
2850cc (173ci) automatic
LD1
9.4
87
HD or XQD
3300cc (202ci) manual
L20
7.8
81
HM or XQM
3300cc (202ci) automatic
L20
9.4
88
HL or XQL
4200cc (253ci)
L32
9.0
120
HR
5000cc (308ci)
L31
9.2
161
HT




















 

+ (ex) export.

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.
  • MC7 four-speed Bourg-Warner Super T-10 floor-shift manual (some A9X only).
  • M40 three-speed Tri-matic floor or column-shift automatic.  Except 5.0 litre.

FINAL DRIVES

  • All models except A9X, 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).
  • A9X only, Salisbury-style 2.60:1 and 3.08:1 (LSD only).

MODEL RANGE

  • BUG69 Torana S 1900cc.
  • 8UH69 Torana SL 1900cc.
  • 8UH77 Torana SL (ex) or Sunbird hatchback.
  • 8VB69 Torana S (six or V8) sedan.
  • 8VC69 Torana SL (six or V8).
  • 8VC77 Torana SL (six or V8) hatchback.
  • 8VD69 Torana SL/R sedan.
  • 8VD69 Torana SL/R 5000.
  • 8VD69 Torana SL/R 5000 A9X sedan.
  • 8VD77 Torana SS Hatchback.
  • 8VD77 Torana SS A9X hatchback.

RELEASE NOTES

  • Initial release, February 1976.
  • ADR 27A engines, July 1976.
  • Sunbird Sedan, November 1976.
  • RTS (six and V8), May 1977.
  • Sunbird hatchback, May 1977.

PRICES AT RELEASE

  • Torana S six-cylinder, $4,790.
  • Torana SL/R 5000, $6,820.Torana SS six-cylinder, $6,450.
  • Torana A9X, $12,00 approx.

TOTAL PRODUCED

  • 65,977.