The latest issue of Australian Muscle Car magazine examines the controversial topic of â€˜Bathurst XU-1â€™ specials.
Peter Brockâ€™s win in the 1972 Hardie-Ferodo 500 immortalised the XU-1, yet itâ€™s the â€˜1973 Bathurst XU-1sâ€™ that are the fastest and most revered road versions of Holdenâ€™s hot six. AMC #93 puts the spotlight on these often misunderstood cars to explain all. With the help of surviving HDT personnel, XU-1 owners, Holden experts and our pristine, unmolested and matching numbers feature car, AMC puts the facts down on paper about the ultimate â€˜Amendment 9/2Eâ€™ machines of 1973.
We explode myths and attempt to set the record straight on these highly sought-after XU-1 roadcars. While very few of these have come up for sale in recent years, they have traditionally changed hands for figures as much as 50 percent greater than earlier LJ XU-1 models of comparable condition.
Continual changes were made to the LJ XU-1 over the two years it was Holdenâ€™s high-performance model, many of them to homologate parts for the racecars under both Series Production and, from the start of 1973, Group C production touring car rules. These upgrades came at the request of HDT chief Harry Firth, who worked with Holdenâ€™s engine department and management to get them on the road and, therefore, on the track.
Of course, such upgrades have become the stuff of myth, legends and endless scuttlebutt in pubs, at car club meets and, more recently, on social media. Claims, counterclaims and conflicting evidence are all par for the course. Good luck finding period magazine test reports on these cars given that Holden was still publicity shy in the wake of the Supercar Scare of June 1972 â€“ an episode that directly contributed to the very existence of these cars.
As the men who created them age or pass on, digging up the truth becomes increasingly difficult. Nonetheless, thereâ€™s enough of the key players still around and available documentation to paint an accurate picture of the batch of 150 cars produced in the third quarter of 1973 that very nearly gave Holden a second consecutive giant-killing victory on the Mountain.
Outside of our cover story, the new issue also outlines how the original model BMW M3 beat its V8 and turbo opponents to claim the 1987 Australian Touring Car Championship. Our story celebrates the 30th anniversary of this feat by visiting Jim Richardsâ€™ workshop and chatting to the racing great about his time in the pocket rockets.
Richo is such a fan of the M3 racecars, he now owns one of the chassis he used during that 1987 ATCC campaign. Naturally, thatâ€™s our feature car.
For Ford fans, weâ€™ve tracked down the XT Falcon GT that won the 1969 Surfers 12 Hour. The XT GT is famous for failing at Bathurst in â€™68, but the XT Falcon GT model did go on to win the (much longer) Surfers Paradise 12 Hour race in early â€™69. Incredibly, the actual winning car from that enduro survives, as you will see when you pick up your copy of issue #93. All that and much more in the latest issue.