October 1969 saw GM-H’s move into the small / medium sector of the market with the introduction of the LC Torana. The LC concept was that of a small / medium car powered by the traditional Australian six cylinder engine and drive train. This was achieved by using the basic HB Torana floor plan, extending the front wheels forward for more under bonnet space and designing an all new outer body. All cars (four and six cylinder) came with front bucket seats standards and a rear seat with a much higher squab than the HB, giving a more luxurious feel to the interior.
The dash and controls were carried over from the HB (Series 2). The engine and drive train for the six cylinder cars were borrowed from the big brother HT range, giving the light weight Torana an excellent power to weight ratio. Front and rear suspensions were basically HB, strengthened and uprated.
In reality, the LC series comprised two different versions in the one model range. These included the longer wheel base six cylinder range described above and a shorter four cylinder variant. The four cylinder model was mechanically identical to the earlier HB series, using its front sheet metal mated to the new LC body from the windscreen rearwards and retaining the HB’s wheel base. The four cylinder ranges started with a standard two door sedan through a two or four door S to a two door SL. The six cylinder cars started with a two or four door S, through a four door SL to the two door GTR.
With Holden’s successful Monaro GTS catering for the full size sporty market, GM-H gave the smaller sector a big shake up with the release of the Torana GTR. This little ripper came with a 2600 S (161 S) engine, a four speed Opel manual transmission, power front disc brakes, a front stabilizer bar, sports suspension and full instrumentation. It was dressed in a choice of bright colours. Front guard flutes, rally stripes and wide sports wheels with matching tyres completed the sporty look.
The 2600 S engine was a slightly smaller version of the HT’s 186 S, complete with two barrel carb, twin cast iron exhaust headers, mild profile camshaft and performance valve springs and bearings. The instruments fitted to the GTR were similar to those introduced on the HB Series 2 Brabham Torana.
Late in 1970, GM-H surprised everybody with the release of the XU-1 option for the GTR
, creating the GTR XU-1. This little rocket ship was created by Harry Firth in the Holden Dealer Team workshop to take over racing duties from the Monaro GTS 350.
Also introduced on the LC was the Trimatic automatic transmission. This was GM-H’s own three speed unit and was made available on the Series 70 four cylinder (floor shift only) and on all six cylinder cars, except the GTR, with either floor or column shift. The four speed manual on the four cylinder cars carried over from the HB, while the three speed all synchro column shift and four speed Opel floor shift came straight from the HT. The four cylinder range was enhanced in June 1971 with the release of a 1600cc OHC engine. The 1600 was a slant four, similar to the two litre unit in the Bedford CF van, and was sourced from Vauxhall UK. With 80bhp and 96ft/lb of torque, it was a lot more lively then the smaller 1159cc OHV unit.
With the introduction of the 1600 OHC engine, the four cylinder model lineup was revised. The S and SL name plates were dropped, the base model was renamed the Torana 1200 and the S model became known as the Deluxe (the new 1600 engine was optional only on the Deluxe). The Torana SL four cylinder two door (82611) has the distinction of being the first ever Holden model to be discontinued during a series production run, with the 82411 and 82469 model codes continuing on as the Deluxe two and four door (with the OHV motor). The four speed manual gearbox introduced for the 1600 OHC was a beefier unit with a liftup reverse lockout ring on the gearshift lever.
A rare option on S and SL six cylinder cars was that of a front bench seat with a hand brake mounted under the centre of the dash.
In July 1971, the six cylinder engines were upgraded to HQ specifications with a revised head design. While the 2250 (138ci) engine size remained, the new 2850 (173ci) engine replaced the old 2600 (161ci) unit and the 2850 S (173 S) was fitted to the GTR in place of the 2600 S (161 S). In addition, the HQ’s new Australian four speed manual gearbox was used in lieu of the old Opel unit on RHD cars (LHD continued with the Opel).
All engine size identification in metric units.
Rear side blinker repeaters fitted to all models.
four cylinder cars used 12 x 4 wheels with a four stud pattern.
six cylinders used 13 x 4.5 wheels (except GTR), 13 x 5.5 standard on GTR and optional on all other models, with a 4.5 inch five stud pattern.
GTR instrumentation optional on all models.
GTR steering wheel same as HT and HG Monaro GTS.
GTR differential 3.08 (3.36 optional).
GTR XU-1 differential 3.36 (3.08 optional).
six cylinder automatics differential 2.78 (3.08 optional).
Alternator now fitted to four cylinder engines (HB had generator).
Base model same trim as HT Belmont.
S model same trim as HT Premier.
GTR model same trim as HT Monaro GTS including Houndstooth cloth option.
All grills made from pressed anodized aluminium.
Rack and pinion steering in all models.
Banjo type differential centre same as six cylinder HT.
LC also available in left hand drive (export).
Production Dates and Numbers:
Oct 1969 – Feb 1972: 74,672