Shannons 2019 Melbourne Autumn Classic Auction is currently LIVE at 40 Corporate Drive, Heatherton VIC! Check out all the action in the livestream below.
VIEW ALL LOTS: Auction Catalogue
Below is a selection of the Australian Muscle Cars up for auction tonight:
Check out the stories behind these iconic Australian muscle cars up for auction. For detailed descriptions of these cars visit: Shannons.com.au
1976 Holden LX Torana SS V8 Hatchback
Lot 75 Shannons Melbourne Autumn Classic Auction
Holden’s LH Torana, introduced in March 1974, represented a major step forward for the local arm of General Motors – for the first time the Torana was designed and built with Australian tastes and conditions in mind. Boasting all-new bodywork with clean, uncluttered lines, the mid-sized LH was offered with a wide choice of engines, ranging from a 1.9-litre four-cylinder, 2.8 and 3.3-litre sixes through to V8s in either 4.2 or 5.0 capacity.
In 1976, Holden revamped the Torana to become the LX, introducing a hatchback version for the first time. Sold in either SL or SS guise, the LX hatchback was equipped with either a 3.3-litre six or V8s in either 4.2 or 5.0 capacity. At a time when hatchbacks were all the rage, Holden was keen to jump on the bandwagon and even released a unique accessory known as the ‘Hatch Hutch’ that transformed the Torana into a mini camper when fitted. Inside, the LX Torana received various revisions, including a new instrument panel and more supportive seats.
The LX was also the first Holden to receive the Radial Turned Suspension in March 1977. Relatively few hatchbacks were made, with production totals reaching 8527 units before the UC Torana was announced in 1978. The LX Torana is becoming increasingly sought after today, partly due to the rarity – few good ones have survived – and for being indelibly linked to one of the greatest Holden muscle cars of all, the A9X that was so much a part of the Golden Era of Group C racing during the ‘70s.
1969 Holden HT Monaro “Modified” V8 Coupe
Lot 76 Shannons Melbourne Autumn Classic Auction
Holden’s original sports coupe, badged the Monaro, proved so popular in its original HK guise there was no question it would continue when the facelifted HT model was announced in May 1969. The most obvious external changes made to the HT were the plastic grille and squared-off rear sheet metal with distinctive stacked tail lights, while the interior also came in for some revision, including redesigned seats and door trims, while the instrumentation saw the HK’s strip speedo replaced with conventional round dials.
Most Monaros were equipped with the more prosaic 186 six-cylinder or 308 V8 (once stocks of the imported 307 dried up) and automatic transmission gained in popularity – not every Monaro owner was looking to go drag racing and even GTS 350 models were available with the Powerglide.
Other mechanical improvements made across the HT range included the adoption of neoprene rubber front suspension bushes to replace the old steel bushings on the HK, resulting in a much more comfortable, quieter ride. Taking the fight to the Falcon GTs, Holden homologated the 350 in time for Bathurst in 1969 and, with Harry Firth masterminding the Holden Dealer Team operation, Colin Bond teamed up with Tony Roberts to score a fine win in the Mount Panorama enduro, while Des West and a young Peter Brock joined forces to finish third.
The HT Monaro went on to enjoy a stellar motorsport career, with Norm Beechey taking out an ATCC in his famous yellow 350, widely regarded as one Australia’s greatest race cars. The HK/HT/HG Monaros are reaching new levels of popularity with collectors, as they become properly appreciated for their place in Australian motoring history.
1972 Holden LJ Torana GTR XU-1 2dr Sedan
Lot 78 Shannons Melbourne Autumn Classic Auction
With the introduction of the LC Torana range in 1969, Harry Firth – then Competitions Manager at Holden – saw that the future of Touring Car racing lay in the smaller, lighter and ultimately more reliable Torana rather than the big, thirsty Monaros.
Based on the sportiest model in the range, the GTR, the new XU-1 had its Bathurst debut in 1970, with three Holden Dealer Team entries and several privateers doing battle with the Falcon GT-HOs. With promising results in 1970 and again in 1971, Holden released an updated XU-1 based on the LJ series Torana for 1972, with revised styling plus several interior components lifted from the new HQ range.
Mechanically, the XU-1 package was used to homologate various components like heavy-duty springs, revised camshaft and lightened flywheel. With Globe Sprintmaster wheels and 3.08:1 diff, the LJ-model Toranas were now capable of touching 225 km/h down Conrod Straight at Bathurst. In 1972, wet weather and the driving genius of Peter Brock combined to defeat the mighty GT-HOs in the Hardie Ferodo 500 at Bathurst, and thereafter the XU-1s earned a “Giant Killer” reputation.
In XU-1 form, the LC and LJ model Torana’s looks were improved by a big bootlid spoiler, blackouts and some wild colours (and names), along with a 17-gallon fuel tank. With combined figures of around 3300 XU-1s produced in both LC and LJ versions, prices of genuine XU-1s have shown rapid appreciation in recent years and this trend looks set to continue. Interest in these iconic muscle cars, with Bathurst-winning heritage, is at an all-time high.