FAMOUS BATHURST BROCK TORANA UP FOR GRABS

This piece of HDT history finished runner-up in the 1973 'Great Race' but helped Peter Brock take his first Australian Touring Car Championship the following year. Photo: Shannons.

THE Holden Torana XU-1 best known for being pushed into the pit lane in the 1973 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 at Bathurst by Doug Chivas after it ran out of fuel is coming onto the market.

The Group C classic will be up for grabs for the first time in 16 years when it forms a major part of Shannon’s Winter Timed Online Auction, with bidding to begin on August 2.

The Holden Dealer Team Torana also took its regular pilot Peter Brock to his first of three Australian Touring Car Championships in 1974 and finished runner-up at Bathurst in ’73 with Brock and Chivas at the wheel after its now infamous delay.

The Harry Firth-led team had pushed the Torana one lap too far on fuel, the end result being that Chivas was forced to get out and push the car into the pits, unable to receive assistance from the team until he’d reached a certain point.

Eventually he was deemed to be far enough in the pits for the team and Brock to take over and push the car to its pit bay to be refuelled, however the #1 Torana couldn’t recover the ground it had lost and finished second to the Ford Motor Company-entered XA GT Falcon of Allan Moffat and Ian Geoghegan.

Chivas pushes the Torana into pit lane at Bathurst in 1973. Photo: Supplied.

The car is in full running condition and was restored by former HDT ace Ian Tate and his family. Its six-cylinder engine has been maintained by Mick Webb.

The XU-1 has been part of a private collection since it was last sold in late 2006 for a reported $500,000. At the time it was deemed to be the highest sum ever paid for a Holden car.

The car made its racing debut at Bathurst in 1973 and was taken to ManChamp race wins by Brock in the remaining rounds at Surfers Paradise and Phillip Island to clinch that year’s manufacturer’s crown for Holden.

It took Brock to victory in the 1974 South Pacific Touring Car Championship that followed the Tasman Series at the beginning of that year and he used it in five of the seven ATCC rounds prior to the introduction of the new SLR/5000 V8 Torana.

Brock behind the wheel of the XU-1 at the Sandown round of the ’74 South Pacific Touring Car Championship. Photo: an1images.com / Ian Smith, AUTOPIX

Race wins at Symmons Plains, Calder (where the HDT debuted Marlboro sponsorship for the first time) and Amaroo Park in the XU-1 helped Brock take his first ATCC crown.

The car appeared at that year’s Bathurst 1000 in the hands of Victorian privateers Graeme Blanchard and Ken Hastings.

It has appeared on occasion at the Phillip Island Classic historic event and was on-hand for filming a Brock episode of the Shannons Legends of Motorsport TV series back in 2014.

The car reportedly sold for $500,000 back in 2006, so given the closure of Holden and increase in demand for collectable Holden race and road cars, the XU-1 expected to fetch a significantly higher price.

The #1 Brock Torana will be part of the Shannons Winter Timed Auction Online. Photo: Shannons.
With over 20 years in the Australian motorsport industry, Noonan is the head of V8 Sleuth. He’s held a range of roles including working in television with Seven and Ten, print media and public relations. With a specialty in Australian motorsport history, he’s known around racing paddocks as ’the Sleuth’ and started his motorsport media career in 1997.