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Hot Rods Down Under


HB Torana



Introduced in May 1967 to replace the HA series Vauxhall Viva in the Australian market, the first Torana model was a facelifted HB series Vauxhall Viva (pictured here, to the right). It featured a two-door body, 12 inch (305 mm) wheels and a 56 bhp 1.2 litre four-cylinder engine mated to a four-speed gearbox. A Borg-Warner Model 35 three speed automatic transmission was optional. Drum brakes were fitted front and rear, with power assisted front disc brakes optional.

In early 1968 a "Series 70" engine option was added. This engine had a higher compression ratio, a higher lift camshaft, and a single CD Stromberg carburettor, which boosted output to 69 bhp (51 kW/70 PS). Power assisted front disc brakes were standard when this engine was used, and the automatic transmission option was now no longer available with the standard 56 bhp (42 kW/57 PS) engine. A 'sports' model was also released at the same time called the 'Brabham' Torana, named in honour of the well-respected Australian race-car driver, Sir Jack Brabham. The Brabham Torana's engine was based on the Series 70, but twin CD Stromberg carburettors with sports air cleaners were fitted. Together with the low restriction exhaust system, this boosted the power to 79 bhp (59 kW/80 PS). The Brabham also included wider wheel rims and red-wall tyres, power assisted front disc brakes as standard, different badging and black body accents. Automatic transmission was not available on this model.

In September 1968, the '69 Torana' was released, sometimes called the HB Series II. This featured locally made body panels, replacing the imported bodies of the original HB. The model line up now included a 4 door sedan which was developed in Australia. A collapsable steering column was now fitted, together with a new recessed instrument cluster, new indicator switch, and new steering wheel borrowed from the contemporary full-sized Holden. These local components replaced the previously imported Vauxhall items. A consequence of using these local components was the loss of the stalk operated headlight dip switch and horn. The dip switch ended up on the floor, as was the case for full-size Holdens. Dual circuit brakes were now standard on all models, though power assisted front disc brakes were still optional with the standard 56 bhp (42 kW/57 PS) engine. The Brabham Torana was still available, in two door form only. It now included a sports steering wheel similar to the contemporary Holden Monaro GTS, full instrumentation, different badging, and different black accenting. The HB Torana continued until late 1969. Total production was 16,318 with imported panels and 20,243 with the locally manufactured bodies.

Production 1967–1969
Body style(s) 2 door sedan
  4 door sedan
Engine(s) 1.2 L OHV I4 FR


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