By: Ewan Kennedy .
The Torana is one of the most important cars in the history of Holden and Holden is very important in Australia. Famed as 'the company that is an icon', not simply a car maker, Holden holds legendary status in Australia. The name 'Torana' came from an Aboriginal word meaning 'to fly'.
Two other names, 'Berina' and 'Barina' were considered, and some of the early styling mock ups were fitted with such badges. Of course Barina was later used on another small Holden.
The name 'Torana' took the prize and as years passed the tag became one of the most respected in the Australian car scene, particularly in its high-performance versions. Torana began its life as a small car that was almost as much English as Australian, but soon grew into a small Aussie car and finally into a machine that was as big as the original Holdens. Along the way it went from only having four cylinders, to one offered with what was arguably the biggest range of engines in the world - with four, six or eight cylinders.
The sixes were the most common, but it's the V8s that really caught the imagination of the enthusiasts. In particular, the famed L34 and A9X semi race variants that are today among the most popular, some would say the most popular of all Australian street machines.