Holden hero to be revived for the modern age

Posted on July 2, 2024Comments Off on Holden hero to be revived for the modern age

The iconic Holden Torana could be making a comeback of sorts, as long as you don’t call it by its well-known name.

Queensland businessman and racer Andrew South is planning to bring back the Holden LX Torana – the last of the nameplate with V8 power – by making use of Australia’s low-volume manufacturing laws.

Mr South, through his Drive South venture, wants to revive the Torana with a bespoke aluminium chassis and composite bodywork, utilising more modern materials than the Holden hatch’s original steel construction.

This would not only make it cheaper to manufacture, but also stronger and lighter than the Torana, which famously won the Bathurst 1000 in 1978 and 1979 at the hands of Peter Brock and Jim Richards.

The Drive South Hatch, as it will be called, will also feature an integrated roll cage and side impact protection, making it ideal for those who want to enjoy amateur level motorsports.

Power will come from a General Motors Performance-supplied LS3 V8 crate engine – similar to what was used by HSV from the late 2000s and in the VF Series II Commodore – which Drive South claims will produce 320kW of power and 580Nm of torque.

Buyers will be given the choice of a six-speed manual (Tremec TR6060) or six-speed automatic (6L80) transmission, which sends drive to the rear wheels through a modified Ford 9-inch limited-slip differential – a significant upgrade over the Torana’s ‘Banjo’ diff.

Koya forged aluminium wheels will sit in front of Wilwood four-piston brake calipers, attached to double-wishbone and coilover suspension at the front, while there is set to be a multi-link axle at the back.

Inside, Drive South says the Hatch will feature a host of modern features such as a digital instrument display, a Kenwood infotainment system, wireless phone charging and a reverse camera, teamed with leather Recaro seats, air conditioning, power steering and power windows.

Mr South told enthusiast publication Street Machine a ballpark price figure of $250,000 is likely, given that’s the approximate value of a good condition, original LX Torana Hatch.

He also plans to recreate classic Ford Falcons, though it’s not yet known which famous Blue Oval generation he’ll focus on.

You can find out more about the project by visiting the Drive South website.

We’ve seen a similar formula to Drive South’s adopted overseas, arguably most successfully by British firm MST who’ve resurrected the Ford Escort as the MST Mk1 and MK2, selling its reborn classics as brand new vehicles but without official backing.

The Torana nameplate was discontinued in 1979, with its four-cylinder Sunbird sibling following it out the door in 1980.

Holden floated the idea of reviving the Torana name with its TT36 concept from the 2004 Sydney motor show, but it never came to fruition and instead previewed the design of the upcoming VE Commodore.