Legendary million dollar ATCC Holden Torana for sale

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Words: Matthew Hansen
27 Nov 2020

When you think of the Australian Touring Car Championship in the 1960s and 1970s, you generally think of a few cars in particular. There’s Allan Moffat’s Coke Ford Mustang and Ford Dealer Team XC Falcons, there’s Ian Geoghegan’s ‘Super Falcon’ and Norm Beechey’s Holden Monaro. And then there’s a stack of Peter Brock Toranas.

Arguably the most well known are the LX A9X Toranas that Brock steered to victory in 1978 and 1979 at the Bathurst 1000. And this exceptional Marlboro example … isn’t one of them. It’s close, though.

This was the car that John Harvey, one of Australia’s most underrated touring car racers of the day, drove in the 1977 ATCC as well as the subsequent seasons in 1978 and 1979. It also took on the Bathurst 1000 in ‘77, with diff issues for Harvey and co-driver Wayne Negus resulting in retirement.

The Torana, still decorated in those familiar Marlboro colours, has emerged for sale in Australia at Lloyds Auctioneers & Valuers. Bidding is currently up to AU$780,000 ($820,000), with pundits expecting the model to be bidded to the million-dollar mark. The auction closes over the weekend.

Along with the car, which proudly boasts a four-speed manual and period 5.0-litre GM V8, the buyer also receives an assortment of spares and memorabilia from the time. John Harvey himself has given the auction a seal of approval of sorts, having provided plenty of information to Lloyds in its pursuit of filling in the Torana’s historical blanks.

“It is arguably one of the most important pieces of Australian Motor Racing History to go under the hammer in a very long time. Being presented in the correct HDT Marlboro livery and bearing the #76, this amazing car still runs as good as the days it was thundering around the tracks in the late 70's in the hands of the great John Harvey,” says the auction house.

According to Lloyds, the car was sold in 1981 to a car dealer, before bouncing between states while only being raced a handful of times. By 1986 it was in the hands of an Adelaide-based collector, who owned the car until he unfortunately passed away in the early ‘90s. The car then went to another collector, this time from Melbourne.

“This collector was involved with various race teams throughout the Group C period and had owned and restored several other period vehicles and restored the car in 1993 to its present form and it had been displayed at both the National Motor sport Hall of Fame at Bathurst and the museum at Philip Island,” Lloyds explains. “The current custodian purchased the car in 2002 and has had an association with John Harvey since 1999.”

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