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1973 ‘Bathurst’ XU-1s 1


AMC is­sue #93’s ‘Bathurst 1973 XU-1’ story, I can shed some light on three ex­am­ples of these cars.

Back in July 1974 I bought an ex-NSW Po­lice XU-1 with en­gine num­ber JP388714 (ED: one of the 150 en­gines listed in Holden’s ‘Gen­eral Flash Bul­letin No. 136’ that was printed in our story last is­sue).

It was a po­lice pur­suit car and even came with a bul­let hole un­der one of the blink­ers.

The car was dis­guised as a GTR and came with the mud­flaps, weath­er­shield on driver’s win­dow and wind­screen vi­sor, black rub­ber floor­ing in­stead of car­pet and black steel wheels shod with Goodyear Grand Rally ra­di­als. The rear spoiler was not fit­ted and the GTR badges front and rear were fit­ted.

When I saw the car I was pleased be­cause it had the ex­trac­tors. I knew lit­tle back then, but I did know the Bathurst ho­molo­ga­tion cars had the ex­trac­tors.

The colour of the To­rana was Or­chid and the price was cheap at the time, $3000. Re­ceipt for $2980 (mi­nus $20 de­posit) at­tached. I traded in an MGB.

At the time there was another ex-po­lice ex­am­ple, beige coloured, for sale along Par­ra­matta Road, which I saw af­ter I bought mine. A friend, af­ter see­ing mine, went to an auc­tion and bought a Glacier White ex-po­lice XU-1, too, for $2995. These cars were ab­so­lute bar­gains at that time be­cause nor­mal XU-1 look­ing To­ranas were go­ing for $4000.00.

My rec­ol­lec­tions ac­count for three Bathurst ’73 cars that I knew of at the time and they were all po­lice cars. I would dare say a large slab of this batch joined the po­lice force to avoid another su­per­car out­cry, re­mem­ber­ing at the time GM-H did not (of­fi­cially) race. I owned my Or­chid XU-1 un­til March 1987 and it is presently be­ing re­stored by its cur­rent owner.

I have a parts list for these spe­cial XU-1s which came from a me­chanic in the HDT in the 1970s through a friend. The parts were marked by a daub of white paint. Maybe this grew into the myth about the white XU-1s be­ing the hot ones.

I note the vene­tian blinds on your fea­ture car and wish to com­ment (in jest): you don’t fit vene­tians to XU-1s! That would add ex­tra weight and Harry Firth would not ap­prove. I had 20 min­utes with him at Bathurst in 1990 in the scru­ti­neer­ing bay and he was still up­set about not be­ing able to take those al­loy A9Xs to Le Mans! ED: Alan, thanks for shar­ing your rec­ol­lec­tions. Ac­cord­ing to the ex­perts on this spe­cific topic, just short of 50 Bathurst XU-1s were pur­chased by the NSW (37) and West­ern Aus­tralian (12) po­lice forces.

Alan Quin­lan Granville, NSW

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