Torana’s bumper years
IN the world of automotive media headlines, ‘‘ Torana Returns’’ is the Holden frequency equivalent to ‘‘ Falcon Dies’’. Both headlines cycle through the motoring press every few years, yet the Torana remains resolutely dead while Ford’s Falcon survives (well, for a bit longer).
Odd that we rarely hear about revived Holden Geminis or Camiras, except in private mechanical reports. But Torana is a celebrated title, currently being attached to Chevrolet’s promising Code 130R concept car.
By any name, the 130R would probably drive as sweet. It’s the latest sign that rearwheel drive is returning to our roads, with all the dynamic benefits of that format. But a Torana-badged version of Chevrolet’s two-door sedan would surely need to incorporate some historical Torana design features.
For example, Holden should look at bumper bars inspired by those attached to the LH Torana. These bargain- basement traffic-stoppers rolled off assembly lines like roof guttering, being cut and crimped to fit the front and rear of Toranas from 1974 to 1980.
The 130R demonstrates a rather less cash-constrained approach to low-impact collision issues. Technology marches on but those old-time Torana bumpers are eternal.
ONE reason for the need of improved bumper technology: the driver’s vision out of today’s cars is far less than in cars of decades past. Reverse parking is now a matter of sound (crash! tinkle! insurance claim!) more than sight, which is why so many current vehicles have rear-view cameras. The original Range Rover required no such tech assistance, thanks to providing more glass than you’d find in all of Melbourne’s bottle shops. To ride in one of these early 4WDS is to see the world through ’ 70s cinemascope. Those seeking a retro Range Rover experience are advised to scope out graemehunt.com in the UK, now offering for sale several early Rangies.
GO FOURTH AND MULTIPLY
FORMULA One has delivered four different winners from the first four races of 2012, a variation of early-season victors not seen since 1983. As in ’ 83, the world drivers’ championship will probably go to a driver who combines solid point-scoring with opportunistic wins. Brazil’s Nelson Piquet was second after four rounds in 1983, on his way to the world title.
Eternal appeal: Torana’s bumper, modelled here on an A9X