DiecastXchange Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

362 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Holden Torana derived its name from the Aboriginal word that means "to fly". Originally based on the Vauxhall HB Viva, the Torana's humble beginning seems so farfetched from any flight-inspired aspirations. However, through a series of continuous improvements and motorsport exploits, the Torana would carved itself on the granite of Australian musclecardom.

The Holden Torana started life as a facelifted Vauxhall HB Viva, released in 1967.

The LH here is the first series of the third generation Torana, making its debut down under in 1974. Unlike its predecessors, the LH discontinued its 2-door bodystyle, making it a strict 4-door sedan only. Dimensions-wise, the LH was 4,510 mm in length (177.5"), 1,704 mm wide (67.1") and has a height of 1,331 mm (52.4"). It weighs a rather petit 1,200 kg or 2,645 lb.

The LH Torana was offered with a plethora of engine options. You could go for the inline-4 if you just want to avoid walking. Prefer a little more speed? There are some inline-6s for your consideration. Then there is the crème de la crème; the 308 c.i. V8 exclusive to the tastily named SL/R 5000.

The LH Torana SL/R 5000. Imagine a Corolla-sized family sedan weighing only 1.2 tons and with V8 power. And just to make sure people do not mistake your Torana from those plebeian 4-cylinder versions, throw in some decals and stripes.

As if that was not enough. Holden made available the L34 Option, crafted specifically for Bathurst racing duties. Owing much to the 1972 Supercar Scare, Holden was crafty in making sure the L34 Option was available only to a handful of customers deemed worthy enough.

The most notable feature of the SL/R 5000 with the L34 Option was the bolt-on wheel arch extensions to accommodate the larger tyres and wheels.

Primary focus of the L34 Option on top of the 'regular' SL/R 5000 was competition durability. Major improvements aimed at a higher compression ratio for the engine plus stouter components.

The sample here is a well-presented 1:18 diecast replica of the subject matter, made by AUTOart but released as a Biante.

As with most Biante models, production quantity is limited and in Saffron, 1,008 pieces were produced. The SL/R 5000 L34 was available in various colors but Saffron is just so 70s it suits the car perfectly.

The front fascia is dominated by the characteristic round headlights, accentuated by the eggcrate grille and chrome bumper. Chrome stripping on the headlight housings and grille surround is a nice touch. There is no Holden-badging, just a "TORANA" script. In my eyes, every design detail of the L34 was done just right. All the proportions are well defined and spot-on even with the widebody stance. Big brother Monaro might look more menacing on the streets but at times it looks like an amalgamation of many GM design cues from Chevrolet and Pontiac. The Torana tough, looks every bit a final product that was penned by a singular designer.

At the rear is where all sporting credentials are fully showcased. Dual exhausts? Check. Massive spoiler? Check. All-black treatment to the rear fascia gives the profile a more menacing look.

An interesting observation is that the hood is much longer than the trunk.

With no provision of the passenger side window, the asymmetrical look does get on your nerves. Also, the wipers appear a little too large for the model. On the plus side, the grille is fully perforated which allows you to inspect the radiator right behind.

Records indicate no more than 265 SL/R 5000s were equipped with the L34 Option.

The beating heart can unleash ~240 bhp @ 6,000 rpm and ~315 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm with a 4-speed manual.

At first glance, the engine bay appears to have captured the essentials of the real thing. Those hinges work great and can be held at any position desirable. On the down side, everything does look very plasticky. Provision of plumbing and wiring is highly commendable.

Comparatively, the trunk is fairly small. The cause is not helped at all with the placement of the full-size spare. Disappointingly, the trunk interior is not flocked while specks of paint are very present here.

The interior of the SL/R 5000 L34 Option is best described as rudimentary. Without the "SL/R" plaque on the dash, you would be hard pressed to guestimate which spectrum of the Torana range this cockpit belongs to.

Generally, AUTOart and Biante have done well in the interior. Not perfect by any stretch. The steering wheel could do with a sharper mold? The pedals look, well, plainly weird. The overall dash looks great though and seats come with the correct 2-tone scheme.

Full carpeting is available here. The seats look a little too chunky for my liking but I do like the placement of the air vents underneath the dash.

The 2-tone treatment extends to the rear passenger seating. Is it just me or do they look like Thanos' chin?

Even the doorcards are trimmed in 2-tone which is very pleasant. The window rollers might be too chunky too but at least they are chromed.

The undercarriage is quite basic at best with some welcome detailing on the drivetrain and exhaust system. Suspension is wishbones and coil springs at the front with stabilizer bar and live axle at the rear. The model is fitted with springs but suspension travel is almost non-existent.

Stopping power comes courtesy of disc brakes at the front and drums on the rear. The GTS wheels are a perfect match for the Torana. In fact, I think they look fantastic in just about any classic Holden muscles.

Like the real things, these fender flares were bolted on, or in this case, glued to the body.

For such a compact size, the Torana felt heavy so it was a surprise to weigh it at only 761 grams.

This Torana sparked much internal debate before I bit the bullet. With limited space, I am always cautious when a potential new "pipeline" shows up. It just occurred in one of those casual eBay surfing when I stumbled across this listing at a ridiculously good price.

"You do not need this."

"But the price is less than AUD 190…"

"Are you a commodities trader or a financially-mature man-child collector?"

"But it has bolt-on fender flares!"
"Now you are just making up the justification."

"Okay, if I am really going to get a Torana, it shall be 4-door and with V8 only!"

"And how many would you end up with?"

"Including this LH? Just 2, inclusive of the LX."


Dramatization aside, I allowed myself to get the Torana on one simple condition: To stop browsing eBay for new listings. So far it has been a good deal as I have been 'sober' for 3 weeks. I intend to remain 'sober' and take on a purchasing freeze for the next 12 months seeing I recently bought a new Suzuki JB43 Jimny and there is sufficient pre-orders made months ago to keep me occupied.

There is still plenty of models in my stable which I may or may not want to do a retro review on. For now, thank you for reading.

It dawned on me that the Torana does look a little like an amalgamation of the Chevy Nova and the AMC AMX. Sort of.


362 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This Model is just AWESOME!!
I regret so much that Customs here will ruin my chance of getting more Biantes here in Europe!
CONGRATS on this add!!!
These are the types of cars for me: Soup-ed family sedan with extra oomph and some wild colors.

Biantes can be very affordable, so that might offset the shipping and customs a little? But the popular models are priced accordingly of course.
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.