Holden’s Torana A9X Hatchback hit the racetracks in late 1977 as GMH attempted to halt the big dollar Moffat Ford Dealer Team steamroller that took first and second placings in the 1977 Australian Touring Car Championship. Peter Brock threw down the gauntlet to Allan Moffat at the Sandown 500 with a debut victory in his privateer Torana A9X, but both Moffat and Colin Bond took sweet revenge with a one/two result at Bathurst as lack of development proved costly for the leading Toranas.
In 1978, the A9X had proved to be both an excellent road and race car as Peter Brock, now back with Holden Dealer Team, blitzed the ATCC. The A9X Toranas, with a 400hp V8, roller rocker overhead cam gear, four wheel disc brakes, Detroit locker diff and wide alloy wheels set the pace at Bathurst with Brock grabbing pole from Ford’s Bond and Moffat. Brock was slow away on raceday in foggy conditions then charged back through the pack as rivals dropped by the wayside. Brock and New Zealand co-driver Jim Richards cleared away to win by a lap from the A9X of Grice/Leffler.
Things got even better for A9X and Holden in 1979. Bob Morris won the ATCC from HDT’s Brock and John Harvey without Ford getting a look in. Then Brock and Richards thrashed all-comers at Bathurst to record an unprecedented six-lap victory with Brock claiming a lap record on the last circuit in his fabulous A9X. It was the end of an era for Torana with five Bathurst trophies on the shelf while gaining a deserved reputation as one of Holden’s great sporting icons.