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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