The LH Torana, announced in March 1974, was Holden's first all Australian medium car. Earlier Toranas had varied from pure Vauxhall to Australian variations on the English chassis. However, the new LH Torana series was almost a HQ built on a smaller scale.
With all mechanical and body parts Australian designed and built (except the Opel sourced 1900 four cylinder engine), this series was the first Holden to be offered with four, six or eight cylinder engines. It was also one of the few cars in the world so built. The MGB, Mustang, 1970's Capri and, later, the Australian V-series Commodore and Chevrolet Camaro were among the others.
The LH was designed as a replacement of the long wheel base six cylinder LC and LJ series and the six cylinder version accounted for the bulk of the sales. The new car capitalized on the previous series' strong points such as good power to weight ratio, good handling, solid build and reliability. The new, contemporary body gave more interior room than the previous Toranas and also had many improvements in body serviceability with bigger, stronger bumpers and bolt on front sheet metal (previous models had front guards and aprons welded on).
The model lineup consisted of a four door sedan in three trim levels. The entry car was the Torana S, next came the Torana SL and then the Torana SL/R. The S and SL were available with four, six or eight cylinder engines (up to 4.2 litre) while the SL/R came with the 3300 six as standard equipment and both V8s optional. A wagon version of the LH reached the prototype stage, however it did not make it to the production line.
When the SL/R was optioned with the 5.0 litre V8, it was badged the SL/R 5000 and was identified by large front and rear air dams (spoilers) and SL/R 5000 decals on the front guards and on the rear spoiler (note: no wheel arch flares, alloy or sports wheels). This car, in pre production form, was known as the GTR XU-2. (The XU-2 tag was not used for the stillborn LJ V8, as is commonly thought).
For touring car racing, and Bathurst in particular, Holden released the Torana SL/R 5000 L34 option package in mid 1974. If you thought the normal SL/R 5000 was a quick car, the L34 was something else again! Externally, it could be identified by bolt on wheel arch flares and bigger 14 x 6 steel rally wheels, but the real news was under the bonnet. The motor was based on the standard 5.0 litre (308) 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 coil / twin point ignition. It ran a high pressure fuel pump with the standard Rochester Q-jet carby modified with a manual choke. Additionally available on this engine was the so called High Output package. This was full on racetrack gear with an engine oil cooler, an even larger camshaft, a 780cfm vacuum secondary Holley carburetor and other minor modifications. The drive train consisted of the GM-H M21 four speed box, fine spline heavy duty rear axles, HQ 10 inch rear drum brakes and 11 inch ventilated front discs, both with the HQ wheel stud pattern. Other external appearance changes were the deletion of the black stripe on the front guards and also the sill panels and rear beaver panel were no longer painted black. In addition, the rubber bumper bar strips, boot mat and centre console were not fitted.
As for the rest of the range, the four cylinder models had seven inch round headlights and a different grille from that of the six cylinder and V8 cars. All the sixes and eights had rectangular headlights except the L34, which had the same seven inch round items as the four cylinder cars.
The engine lineup consisted of the 1900cc four cylinder cam in head unit, imported from Opel in Germany, through to the Holden six cylinder 2250 (export only), 2850 and 3300 Red engines, carried over from the LJ and HQ (called 173 and 202 in the HQ). The V8s were the 4.2 and 5.0 litre powerplants straight from the larger cars (called the 253 and 308 in the HQ), while the L34 5.0 litre was exclusive to the LH.
Manual and auto transmissions were all off the shelf GM-H components from LJ and HQ models. The SL/R 5000 was only available with the M21 four speed floor shift manual. The gearbox initially used behind the Opel 1900 engine was the Australian M20 four speed with an extended shift linkage due to its different mounting location. This was replaced in early 1975 with the MC6 Filipino built Torquemaster four speed with its internal shift linkage (Australian built manual transmission had linkages that were externally mounted). Differential were all Holden banjo style units, mounted as in the LJ and HQ series with four trailing arm links and coil 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, walnut 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 manual, with the four speed manual and the Trimatic auto both optional).
There were two limited build fixed option packages offered in the LH. Early 1975 saw the Torana G-Pak. This was similar to the HQ SS and came as a Torana S with a 3300 engine, M20 four speed transmission, power front discs, front bucket seats, SL/R instrumentation and wheel trims and exclusive G-Pak striping and badging. It was available in three colours only (red, yellow and green).
Late 1975 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. It was identified by large 'Plus 4' decals on the rear guards and rear panel and 'Torana' decals on the front apron and rear panel. It was offered only in red, yellow or green with colour coded SL/R type wheel trims. The front and rear bumpers were painted black to match the wide side striping.
As with the LC and LJ, the LH was made in left hand drive form for export, in S and SL versions only.
|FUEL TANK||...||12 GALLONS||...||55 LITRES|
|WHEELBASE||...||101.8 INCHES||...||2586 mm|
|TRACK||(FRONT)||...||55 INCHES||...||1400 mm|
|TRACK||(FRONT L34)||...||57.2 INCHES||...||1453 mm|
|TRACK||(REAR)||...||54 INCHES||...||1372 mm|
|TRACK||(REAR L34)||...||56.1 INCHES||...||1425 mm|
|HEIGHT||...||54 INCHES||...||1372 mm|
|WIDTH||...||67.1 INCHES||...||1704 mm|
|LENGTH||...||176.9 INCHES||...||4493 mm|
|EXPORT (CKD)||...||9 387|
|1900 HC||9.0||102 BHP||Y|
|2850 LC||8.3||112 BHP||HE|
|2850 HC||9.4||118 BHP||HD|
|3300 HC||9.4||135 BHP||HL|
|4.2 V8||9.0||185 BHP||HR|
|5.0 V8||9.0||240 BHP||HT|
|5.0 V8||9.7||250 BHP||HT|
|5.0 L34 V8||9.8||240+ BHP||HZ|
|BANJO - 2.78, 3.08, 3.36, 3.55, 3.90|
|LIMITED SLIP OPT|
|TORANA S 1900||8UG69||-||4 MAR 1974||LX - FEB 1976||-|
|TORANA PLUS 4||8UG69||A8L||29 AUG 1975||LIMITED RUN||$4525|
|TORANA SL 1900||8UH69||-||4 MAR 1974||LX - FEB 1976||-|
|TORANA S (6/V8)||8VB69||-||4 MAR 1974||LX - FEB 1976||$3205 (2850)|
|TORANA SL (6/V8)||8VC69||-||4 MAR 1974||LX - FEB 1976||-|
|TORANA G PAK (I)||8VC69||XV1||12 FEB 1975||LIMITED RUN||$4983|
|TORANA G PAK (II)||8VC69||XV1||5 NOV 1975||LIMITED RUN||$4983|
|TORANA SLR||8VD69||-||4 MAR 1974||LX - FEB 1976||-|
|TORANA SLR 5000||8VD69||XU2||4 MAR 1974||LX - FEB 1976||$4415|
|TORANA SLR 5000 L34||8VD69||L34||JUL 1974||LIMITED RUN - 260||$6609|
|GMH TRIM CODE||TRIM CODE|
|DOVE GREY||17055 / 17084 / 17210|
|JADE||17054 / 17263|
|CHARMOIS||1821-19X||17053 / 17214|
|GAZELLE||17052 / 17215|