Pickles Auctions, Australia’s leading marketplace, has a ripper car up for grabs available for viewing from this Saturday, 25thAugust. A 1977 Torana A9X GMP&A (General Motors Parts & Accessories) will be on offer via an online auction starting Thursday, 23rdof August. The car has travelled just 475 kilometres and was readied for racing by Peter Malloy of Pat Burke Racing in Sydney but never hit the track.

Pictures of this car alone are enough to get any Holden fan salivating, if not even teary. The A9X was right at the top when it comes to Holden’s racing success stories. The two-door V8 Torana claimed wins at Bathurst in 1978 and 1979 after years of racing the four-door variant.

The end of the A9X era ushered in the V8 Commodore reign, that of course continued for decades. Some juicy details of the A9X hatchback include the fact Holden built just 33 shells for race teams in 1977. They were all painted white and sold to race teams only via GM’s parts division. There were no VIN numbers which sent other teams into the foetal position as the shells were made with lighter gauge steel, making them far lighter than a production-based car. Even the glass was 1mm thinner than the car sold in showrooms.

CAMS looked into the controversial antics in late 1977 so Holden threatened to withdraw from racing should the shells be rejected. The excuse was a novel one, Holden blamed it on changing to the metric system.

In short, the car on sale was essentially one of three race cars left over after Ron Hodgson’s team purchased them in 1977. When the Commodore was introduced two years later chief mechanic Peter Molloy was instructed to build up the untouched shell into a complete spare car.

The car fell into posseion of wealthy NSW collector Pat Burke and was built to full Group C specification with a 308 engine, gearbox, suspension and brakes.

Molloy in mid-2007 said “We fitted a new spare engine, (Warner) T10 transmission, new diff, Selby suspension, trim, etc.” The engine is understood to produce close to 300kW. The car become part of Burke’s ‘Modena Collection’ until it was eventually broken up.

For the full rundown on the cars history you can read all about it here. For those in Perth you can check it out at Cnr Phoenix Road & Sudlow Road, Bibra Lake.