UC Series, March 1978 - Phased-Out Early 1980 ...


The UC series followed the LX and was the last of the Torana line.  Major changes were made to the front sheetmetal, grille, headlights, tail-lights and interior.  The big news on the mechanical front was the dropping of the V8 and sports-oriented models.  Radial tuned suspension reveived even more refinement and the car's chassis was lightened in some areas to improve the power-to-weight ratio.  This could be done because the additional strength was no longer required with the demise of the V8.  The interior was upgraded with redesigned seating, resulting in increased legroom, a more modern dash and a HX-type multi-function column stalk switch for windscreen wipers and washers, headlight dimmer, flasher and indicators.

Other improvments included more aerodynamic styling with improved, larger, rectangiular headlights, larger fuel tank and the option of four-wheel disc brakes.

The new Holden 10-bolt 'small Salisbury' differential made its debut in the UC series, replacing the old banyo type.  The change to the Salisbury differential meant the introduction of a new rear floor panel to cater for the repositioned upper trailing arms (as fitted to the LX A9X).

The new optional disc brakes were similar in design to the A9X and HZ units, but were smaller in diameter to suit the 13-inch road wheels.  Another worthwhile improvement was the new central, floor-mounted handbrake located between the front bucket seats.  Only the bench-seated six-cylinder Torana retained the underdash pedal-operated park brake from the previous LH and LX models.

The attractive new dash fascia had the heater/demister (or optional air-conditioning) controls in the centre, above the air outlets.  The instruments were upgraded to include a temperature gauge on all models.  An optional instrument cluster was made available, which included fuel, temperature, oil and volt gauges as well as a speedometer and tachometer with a small clock mounted within the arc of the tachometer.

Four-speed manual transmission was standard fitment on all models except the Torana S six-cylinder which came with a three-speed column-shifted manual gearbox.  The Torana six-cylinder range consisted of the S and SL sedans and the SL hatchback.  A Deluxe package was optional on both SLs and included a tinted-band laminated windscreen, tinted side and rear glass, intermittent wiper control, AM radio/cassette, cloth seat inserts, full instrumentation and front and rear bumper over-riders.

The Sunbird lineup was increased to include the Sunbird sedan and hatchback, SL sedan and hatchback, and later in 1978, the SL/E sedan and hatchback.  In mid-1979, the Sunbird Deluxe sedan was released (no hatchback was offered).

The four-cylinder 1900 Opel engine and the six-cylinder engine range were basically an LX but with minor refinements.  However, late in 1978, the Opel engine was substituted with the GM-H-designed four-cylinder Starfire engine.  It was released simultaneously with the Sunbird SL/E and was based on the 2.85 litre (173ci) six-cylinder Holden red motor with two fewer cylinders, a new shorter camshaft, a newly designet cylinder head and a two-barrel Rochester Varajet carburettor.  It was the first four-cylinder engine designed and built in Australia.

As the UC was phased out, its place in the market was filled by the various versions of the Commodore and later by the JB Camira.

MINOR FEATURES

  • Column-shift manual and automatic available on six-cylinder only.
  • Both types of four-speed transmissions (Australian and Filipino)were used with six-cylinder engines.
  • All manual transmissions has cable-operated clutch.
  • Factory-fitted air-conditioning on six-cylinder models only.
  • Dealer-fitted air-conditioning available to all models.
  • HZ-type steering wheels used with unique horn pads.
  • SL/E used HZ GTS three-spoke steering wheel design, coloured-coded to interior.
  • All cars used 13x5.5 inch steel road wheels and steel-belted radials (except SL/E which had 13.6 inch alloy wheels).
  • Sunbird SL/E alloy wheels same as TD Gemini SL/E.
  • Quartz Halogen headlights standard on all SL and SL/E models.
  • White parking lights (no longer integrated with headlight) mounted with orange front indicators at the outer edge of the headlights.
  • SL/E had velour seat trim.
  • Steering rack mounted solidly (as in the A9X), not rubber mounted as in LX/LH.
  • Starfire engine painted silver.
  • Six-cylinder engines renamed 2.85 litre and 3.3 litre (previously 2850cc and 3300cc respectively).

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Wheelbase 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
Engine Code
Compression
Output
Engine No
Size
Ratio
kW
Prefix
1900cc Low-comp Opel (ex)
L16
8.6:1
68
UA
1900cc hi-comp Opel
L16
9.0:1
72
UA
1900cc Starfire
L18
8.7:1
60
UN
2.85 litre manual
LD1
8.3:1
78
HE or XQE
2.85 litre auto
LD1
9.4:1
87
HD or XQD
3.3 litre manual
L20
7.8:1
81
HM or XQM
3.3 litre auto
L20
9.4:1
88
HL or XQL








 

TRANSMISSION

  • MC6 four-speed Torquemaster (Filipino) floor-shift manual.
  • M15 three-speed column-shift manual (RHD 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). six-cylinder only.
  • M40 three-speed Tri-matic floor or column-shift automatic.

FINAL DRIVES

  • Holden small Salisbury 2.78:1, 3.08:1, 3.36:1 and 3.90:1.
  • Limited-slip differentials optional on some models.

MODEL RANGE

  • BUG69 Torana S sedan.
  • 8UH69 Sunbird sedan.
  • 8UH69 Sunbird SL sedan (opt. V5V).
  • 8UB69 Sunbird SL/E sedan (opt. A8J).
  • 8UC69 Torana SL sedan (opt. A9H).
  • 8UH77 Sunbird hatchback.
  • 8UH77 Sunbird SL hatchback (opt. 5V5).
  • 8UH77 Sunbird SL/E hatchback (opt. A8J).
  • 8UH77 Torana SL hatchback (opt. A9H).

Note: All Sunbirds were four-cylinder and all Troanas were six-cylinder.

RELEASE DATES

  • Initial release, March 1978.
  • GM-H Starfire engine, September 1978.
  • Sunbird SL/E sedan and hatchback, September 1978.
  • Sunbird Deluxe, July 1979.

PRICES AT RELEASE

  • Sunbird hatchback, $5,910.
  • Torana SL sedan, $6,660.

TOTAL PRODUCED

  • 53,008.