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Sunday, May 26, 2024


AN iconic, immaculately restored Holden Dealer Team Torana has come onto the market.

However, it’s not one of the Group C-spec cars raced by the squad in touring car racing; it’s the team’s Formula 5000-engined LH Sports Sedan.

Built to replace the team’s fearsome V8-engined LJ XU-1 Torana dubbed ‘The Beast’, the car was a rare HDT car in that it wasn’t the creation of team chief Harry Firth.

Instead, the car was built by Colin Bond’s crew in Sydney with the car devised by talented engineer Henry Nehrybecki, who sadly passed away in June 2021, with George Smith of later Dencar fame also involved in the car’s build.

The car finally made its race debut in mid-1976 but ran in only a handful of events in Bond’s hands before he departed the HDT at the end of the year.

Colin Bond at Sandown in 1976. Pic: an1images.com / Ian Smith

The Torana headed to Melbourne and was run out of Firth’s workshop by new HDT recruit Ron Harrop, who raced the car in 1977 and into 1978 when the team came under John Sheppard’s stewardship.

Peter Brock drove the car in its final race appearance with the HDT in 1978, after which the Torana was sold to Queensland Holden dealer Barry Nixon-Smith.

He raced the car himself initially before handing the reins over to Geoff Russell, father of Supercars, Super2 and GT racer David Russell, who piloted the car to the Queensland state Sports Sedan title.

After passing to another owner, the Torana was purchased in 1984 by Sports Sedan stalwart Des Wall and it has remained with the Wall family up to the time of its current sale.

Wall raced the car extensively in Sports Sedan racing in the mid-1980s, even taking in events in New Zealand and an Australian Hillclimb Championship.

However, an imminent change in category rules that would have forced the car’s distinctive box flares to be removed prompted Wall to retire the Torana from active service.

Wall and son David intended on restoring the car and that process began in 2012, although Des sadly passed away in November that year.

David and his Wall Racing outfit completed the restoration in time for the 2013 Muscle Car Masters at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Per the listing on Australian Muscle Car Sales, offers of over $500,000 are being invited.

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