One was featured in the February 1979 edition of Motor Manual, where it took on Barry Bagatol’s black Ferrari BB512 – the Berlinetta Boxer – to see how an Italian thoroughbred compared with some Aussie muscle. Peter Brock was invited to evaluate both cars.
The Brock/Harvey A9X promo car (rego Vic. IXT 374) was used for the test. The white grille suggests that this could be the third one that is now in Perth.
Motor Manual describes it as “one used for display around the country, but a potent tool nonetheless.”
Potent enough for Brock to take it for a few tyre-smoking laps of Calder. Afterwards he remarked on just how good this A9X was, bearing in mind that it wasn’t set up as a race car.
“With the Torana it’s designed basically for practical purposes with all the necessary sundry bits and pieces and you do have to suffer a little as a result,” he explained.
This test wasn’t a direct comparison because Bagatol’s Ferrari had less than 700-miles on the clock and the nervous owner asked Brock to take it easy.
The drag race shown on the cover never took place.
After a few gentle laps of the race circuit Brock’s guesstimate was that the Boxer would be good for 50 to 51 seconds around Calder while the A9X promo car was capable of 54 seconds. This indicates, as suggested elsewhere, that the promo cars had been tweaked for extra performance.
In the story Motor Manual points out that the Ferrari cost $82,000 (in 1979 dollars) which was seven times expensive more than the A9X.
“We’d love to own a Boxer” they concluded, “but not seven times more than we’d like to own a Torana A9X.”