A fter a beginning where Jaguar and other British cars were at the sharp end, Ford’s Mustang proved to be a winner in 1965, while Holden posted its first championship win in 1970 with the Monaro HT GTS350. The Aussie influence began at that point, and ever since then Holden’s battle with Ford has, apart from a period in the 1980s and early 1990s (when Aussie Group C, international Group A regulations reigned), been the hallmark of the championship.

The Monaro remained as Holden’s racing car of choice until 1970, when they appeared with a six-cylinder Torana LC, the GT-R XU1 (Torana from the Aboriginal term ‘to fly’). This was a second-generation Torana and followed the tamer HB model (in New Zealand, this car was known as the Vauxhall Viva). The racing GTRs were prepared by Harry Firth of the Holden Dealer Team (HDT).

This car scored immediate racing success with Don Holland winning his class at Bathurst in 1970 and coming home overall third, only one lap down on the Falcon GTHOs of Allan Moffat and Bruce McPhee.

All crossed up under power

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