Ex–bob Mor­ris 1979 Atcc-win­ning To­rana heads Moss­green Aus­tralia auc­tion

New Zealand Classic Car - - News -

Ve­hi­cles quite reg­u­larly sell at auc­tion for silly money, but it’s not ev­ery day you are pre­sented with the op­por­tu­nity to own a small chunk of his­tory in the form of a 1979 Australian Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship– win­ning Holden To­rana A9X — es­ti­mated at A$850,000 to A$1,050,000. The former Bob Mor­ris car is to be of­fered at auc­tion for the first time, and will head to Moss­green’s pre­mier multi-mil­lion-dol­lar Syd­ney auc­tion of rare col­lec­tors mo­tor cars on May 28.

Australian rac­ing le­gend, Bob Mor­ris, took the To­rana to vic­tory over Peter Brock in 1979, in the era when the Holden To­rana was the fastest street car avail­able in Aus­tralia. Nowhere did these care demon­strate their speed more than on the track, though, and the model was cam­paigned for three years by the Ron Hodg­son Team in the Australian Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship.

The car ini­tially placed sec­ond un­der the guid­ance of Mor­ris, only be­ing beaten by Peter Brock him­self. But in 1979 the To­rana bat­tled to vic­tory, win­ning first place for Mor­ris and cre­at­ing Australian mo­tor sport his­tory as the first time an un­der­dog — a pri­vate team — had beaten the fac­tory teams.

James Ni­cholls, Moss­green col­lec­tors’ cars spe­cial­ist, said: “This is a clas­sic tale of grit and dogged de­ter­mi­na­tion win­ning out, as the first time in Australian Tour­ing Car his­tory a pri­vate team beat the fac­tory spe­cial­ists.

“Still in run­ning or­der, this rare To­rana is highly orig­i­nal, and still show­cases the liv­ery it wore in 1979. An ex­cep­tional race car, it is re­garded with spe­cial af­fec­tion by Australian mo­tor sports en­thu­si­asts, and is of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance to the Holden brand and its list of Australian au­to­mo­tive sport­ing achieve­ments.”

The cur­rent owner pur­chased the To­rana not long af­ter its win in ’79, and raced the car to a fifth place in the five-lap Street Cars race, and fourth place in the sec­ond event, the Twin State Chal­lenge, at Wan­neroo on July 6, 1980. The car’s fi­nal race was Septem­ber the same year, af­ter which it was placed in the York Mo­tor Mu­seum — still un­al­tered from its 1970s hey­day.

Also fea­tured in the auc­tion are favourite de­signs from across the decades, from an Ed­war­dian-era 1913 Model T Ford, es­ti­mated at A$32,000 to A$38,000, to a 1964 As­ton Martin DB5, es­ti­mated at A$1,500,000 to A$1,600,000, a rare New South Wales reg­is­tra­tion, number, 36, es­ti­mated at A$400,000 to A$440,000.

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