Readers' Photos # 18: UC Torana Hatchback
It's probably hard for most people, especially those of UMPH's era, to believe that the legendary Holden Torana only had a production run of 13 years, given the impact the model had on the Australian psyche during the 1970s. However, reference to Wikipedia (always reliable, as everyone knows! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holden_Torana) clearly states that manufacture began in 1967 and ended in 1980. (There'd be a storm of protest from die-hard Aussie Holden fans if the Wiki-boffins got their Torana-facts wrong, so UMPH is happy to accept that they're correct on this occasion!)
Toranas - from the six-cylinder LJ GTR XU-1 (1972-74), through to the LX A9X (1976-78) - became hugely popular in Australia, fueled by their very successful racing programme. In particular, Peter "Brocky" Brock, dubbed "The King of the Mountain" by his legions of fans, took the model to cult-status by virtue of his dominance of touring car racing in the 70s and, especially, the iconic Bathurst 1000 endurance classic of that era.
The UC hatch-back shown here is an example of the last of the line, having been made at some time between 1978 and 1980. It is, however, not an entirely original beast, as it's been fitted with a V8 engine which, again according to Wikipedia, was no longer available as an option. (This has caused some confusion for both UMPH and the King Island Correspondent, who captured these images whilst holidaying in Hobart.)
Save a scuff or two and a slightly out-of-shape bonnet, it was a fairly tidy unit and was nicely equipped with racing-style seats, some very tasty alloy rims and four-wheel disc brakes. The "bus-style" UC tail lights aren't to everyone's tastes but they don't look too bad.
The only engines available for UC Toranas were both in-line sixes - a 2.85 litre, or 2850 in Holden's terms (186 ci), or a 3.3 litre, or 3300 (202 ci). There was also an underwhelming 1.9 litre Starfire 4 four cylinder motor, which was actually a cut-down version of the six cylinder block, but rather than being called Toranas, cars so equipped were re-badged as Holden Sunbirds.
An interesting footnote - again sourced from Wikipedia - is that in the absence of a V8, the UC was available with a turbo-six as a "factory-sanctioned dealer option," known as the UC SL/T (which makes for an unfortunate anagram!). The same source identifies that only thirty-three were ever produced, with only one known to exist today.
U M P H
All iPhone images (probably an X, given the KIC's penchant for tech.)