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My LH ...... from way back when.

figjam

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I have only bought one car that I did not like.

In 1974, my HK Kingswood had seen better days, and my choice was the new upcoming LH Torana.
The LC / LJs were Bathurst heroes with Peter Brock, a mate had a purple 4 door LJ XU1 (somehow, probably built from XU1 bits) that went and handled as good as it looked, so the bigger model must be better
Foolishly, I traded my 186S on a SLR 202, sight unseen apart from the publicity. No test drive, I had read all the motoring spy stories, the hype, etc and the LH looked the goods.


The first disappointment was discovering that the 3300cc was just a 202, not a 202’S’.

I ordered an Absinth (?) Yellow version, and told it would be 6 weeks before delivery. Two weeks later I saw a Torana very similar to what I ordered, in the dealer showroom, and just had to investigate.
Discovered that it was mine, and told they thought it would be OK to use it as a showroom display model until I came back later around the time of expected delivery.
No ...... it was not OK by me to have tyre kickers and grubby kids crawling over it, and I really wanted my new toy.

The second disappointment after delivery, was an unhappy wife because the pram would not fit in the boot due to the spare wheel positioning, and she found that access to the baby seat was very restricted. But she could drive it, unlike the HK which she thought was just too big and hard to drive. Lose one, win one.

After 2 weeks, I hated crap driving position ……….
Why was the steering wheel offset, and on an angle, and the front seats made you feel like being on a slippery dip ?
Who thought that a foot operated parking brake was a good idea in a manual ?
Why would the front windows get pushed out of the frame by wind pressure when not fully wound up ? Then I couldn’t wind them up or down. Fix = stop the car, and manhandle the window back into the frame.
Why couldn’t the dealer fix the ventilation, so that the heater was not always on ? (Oh, we have fixed it. No, you haven’t.)
The gearbox ratios and engine rpm just didn’t work. Ratios were suited to a 5 speed box with no 4th gear. It would rev all the way to 4,000rpm (wow) in 3rd, then bog down gutlessly in 4th.
The standard handling before Peter Hanenberger’s RTS was terrible. Sort of fixed by a set of 13 x 7 inch steelies, and upgraded stabilizer bars by Kmac, front and back.

Apart from ’fixing’ the handling, I couldn’t get interested in any other modifications.
But, it looked good. All mouth and no trousers.

After 12 months, I traded it on a HJ Wagon, (fitted with a lot of options, but with an identical drivetrain) and thanks to 1970s inflation rates, got as much as a trade-in as what I paid for it. I can’t remember what the HJ cost ………. about $6,500 ?

I look at the Torana survivors at car shows and think “That looks great”, but then memories came back, and I think “but, they were crap”.
Apologies to any-one who has a LH, and who may be offended by my derogatory comments.
 

Smitty

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GenF SV340 R8 Tourer, VK race car, ZX12R
with ya!
test drove a few, even the magical L34 version and totally underwhelmed!
Kept the LJ 4 door rocket and went and bought a special 150 version of the LJ XU1
(Harry wanted for Bathurst) Gave it to Mr Tate to go faster (but lots$ later, still not as fast as the 4door)
then LX came out.. better looker than LH but no better to drive in 6 or V8 versions

kept the $ in the back pocket and then .. woohoo got a job at GMH
first co car I had was HZ 5.0 M21 Prem wagon.. now you are talking
go, handling and style! I wasn't allowed an A9X but ..
 

figjam

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with ya! test drove a few, even the magical L34 version and totally underwhelmed!

They were underwhelming as a daily road car, but as a race car ………. with a bit of HDT make-up and lipstick on the pig, very desirable.
Today, as a weekender drive toy, I could tolerate the annoyances I hated back then, just for the fun of driving something with a bit of personality.
Sadly, those ‘good ole days’ will never return, and good versions are only found deeper than my money pit.

That classic video advert I posted shows the difference between the priorities of the ‘70s …… speed, handling and power (despite being mediocre now) contrasting with the number of cup holders, size of the infotainment screen and connectivity spruiked today.
 
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