1 May 1967
The first Torana (“to fly” in an Aboriginal dialect) was based on the English Vauxhall HB Viva – itself a significantly revised and rebodied version of the HA sold here from early 1964.
The suspension lost the leaf springs for coil springs and wishbones, the wheelbase was lengthened, disc brakes were optional, extra padding and seatbelts were implemented and cabin space improved.
Applying the lessons learned from the none-too-robust Viva, Holden “Australianised” the HB with round headlights, a beefed-up undercarriage and different ventilation.
Initially three models were sold – the base “Torana”, S and luxury SL, while from October ’67 the Brabham pack was available on the latter two, with added sporty wheels, racy stripes, front disc brakes, lower-ratio differential and twin-carburettors.
The four-speed manual-only Brabham upped the power to a heady 59kW from the 1159cc 1.2-litre overhead valve (OHV) four-cylinder engine’s usual 42kW-power/90Nm-torque output.
A three-speed automatic was available in the standard 42kW engine until the higher-output 52kW Series-70 1.2 unit became an option from early ’68, as well as the sole auto recipient.