RARE HOLDEN DEALER TEAM A9X TORANA UP FOR AUCTION

Pic: Supplied / Lloyds

THE last Holden Dealer Team car built under the watch of Harry Firth has been put up for auction.

Listed with Lloyds, the bidding has edged above $400,000 at the time of this story’s publishing.

The car is the first hatchback A9X built by the team during 1977, the last year in which the team was run by Firth out of his famed workshop in Auburn, Melbourne.

John Harvey, then lead driver of the HDT, debuted the car as #14 at that year’s Sandown 400, qualifying on the front row but retiring just before the half-way point.

Harvey stayed aboard the car for the remainder of the season and into the next, when John Sheppard was installed as manager of the factory-backed Holden squad.

The factory Toranas are depicted in our new book Racing the Lion: An Illustrated History of Holden in Australian Motorsport, a 400-page hardcover book paying tribute to the marque’s rich competition history spanning over seven decades.

It’s now in stock in the V8 Sleuth Bookshop – click HERE to order!

According to the listing, this car also served as the team’s #15 entry at the 1978 Bathurst 1000, where it was badly damaged in a practice crash with Charlie O’Brien at the wheel but repaired in time to take part in the race.

After passing through the hands of several owners and collectors after the end of its competitive life, Paul Stubber acquired the car in 2002.

The Western Australian campaigned the car in heritage touring car events in the years since, while guest drivers also occasionally took the reins.

One such guest was Jason Richards, who raced the car at several Muscle Car Masters events.

The sale will include racing equipment, spares, three sets of wheels and tyres, HDT jacket, boots and helmet worn in period by Harvey, along with trophies, racing records and an array of memorabilia items.

The auction is slated to end at 6pm AEST (ie 7pm AEDT) on November 28.

Will Dale began his media career as a breakfast radio newsreader before joining SPEED TV Australia and FOX SPORTS Australia in 2012 as its Digital Editorial Lead - Motorsport for the next six years, covering all forms of motorsport both in Australia and internationally. He became part of the V8 Sleuth team in 2018.