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The aluminium panels.

L34 A9X HDT Firth Prowse

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#1 Shiney005

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Posted 28 September 2015 - 01:12 PM

Rumors about these have cropped up from time to time on the forum so I thought I would put up a few photos of unicorns.
Have a look here http://www.gmh-toran...es-le-mans-a9x/ for previous mentions.

Twenty five years ago, I knew of two sets in W.A. I believe that one (incomplete) set has made its way over east, and the other is in a shed not far from my place.
I am not full bottle on the history of either set and I know there are others on the forum who know more about this than me. Paul. Dave. Bernie. Don't be shy.
The set that is here consists of a boot lid, back doors, front fenders, bonnet, and nose cone. You can see that there is no doubt that they were stamped in Holden's presses.
 
The last time I met Harry Firth I asked him about them and he would only say they were for a sports sedan programme. This couldn't have been true as the guards and doors off the sports sedan were nothing like the ones here. Then in AMC issue 35 he mentions that six sets were stamped for the abandoned FIA Group 2 touring car in 1977. (He also said that the body shell for this car was built from a new 25% lighter steel. I wonder where THAT is now!!!)
1977 seems a bit late for the panels pictured below because of the boot lid and rear doors. People have said that they were offered on the 33 GMP&A A9Xs, but once again they were all hatches.  Mike Prowse also denies aluminium being used on these. He claims that panels for the 33 A9Xs were acid dipped, and the doors pressed from a lighter gauge steel. (Actually, he says 41. 33 rolling and eight non rolling for spares.)
 
The first GMP&A shell walked down the production line was an L34 for Bob Forbes and Wayne Negus in 1975. The fact that this was a shell that was race prepared at the factory, and that when the current owner of these panels first saw the them they still had NEGUS, TAA, and CASTROL on the guards, (In the later 1978(?) livery) seems a bit of a coincidence.  Wayne Negus has admitted the fenders, bonnet and nosecone were fitted to his A9X race car, but never really divulged how far back they were using them, who instigated the programme and if they had ever been on an L34. Once again, others here know more about this. He was also asked why there were no front doors. He said "Would you like to have nothing but an aluminium door between you and another race car?"

The current owner says that when he first saw the panels the bonnet was missing the scoop and still had the later MHDT paint job on top.
Attached File  IMGP2523.JPG   126.45K   9 downloads

I would love to see someone make one of these without the factory press.
Also note that there is no provision for the chrome window surround to be fitted. This is a clue for the sleuths out there.
Attached File  IMGP2525.JPG   107.04K   6 downloads
Attached File  IMGP2535.JPG   107.44K   5 downloads

Fender
Attached File  IMGP2528.JPG   110.74K   6 downloads
Attached File  IMGP2531.JPG   125.73K   7 downloads

Nosecone
Attached File  IMGP2530.JPG   113.46K   6 downloads
Attached File  IMGP2532.JPG   111.8K   5 downloads

Bootlid
Attached File  IMGP2533.JPG   105.08K   7 downloads

Edited by Shiney005, 28 September 2015 - 01:19 PM.


#2 Mint

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Posted 28 September 2015 - 08:04 PM

very interesting and super rare..i love this stuff

#3 Shiney005

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 12:22 PM

This is the first GMP&A race car built by Holden.
Attached File  75789small copy.jpg   109.85K   6 downloads

Which was created out of the need for Bob Forbes to quickly acquire one for Bathurst after Negus crashed the original at Sandown.
Attached File  75058small copy.jpg   133.78K   5 downloads

Have a close look for the chrome window surrounds on the back doors. It could be a funny camera angle, and there are photos of these cars that clearly show them, but, I doubt that HDT would have gone to the trouble of producing these for its Western Australian arm. If indeed it was HDT that organised this. Could have been Bob Forbes.

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This photo shows it the best.
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#4 Dasman56

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 05:42 PM

Awesome ! I love this kinda stuff too. Not often stuff like this surfaces

#5 xu2308

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 08:25 PM

Fox Mulder and Dana Scully type of stuff for sure.



#6 Got1UR1

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 10:04 PM

Yes Shiney, I saw these aluminium panels in Perth many years ago.   A complete rear door could be held up with 1 finger without effort, they were so light.  I asked Joe Felice of their existence and use at the SA Nationals dinner, his denial of them being "alive and well" and of their possible intended use was emphatic. :furious:Bit like the kid with his hand in the cookie jar.....Joe did work with MHDT............... I am prepared to back what I know and have seen in any court in the land. Incidentally they are in good hands.



#7 Shiney005

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 10:32 PM

It could even put a whole new spin on the "Who really won Bathurst 1976" saga. (No disrespect to Morris or Harvey here :))



#8 REDA9X

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 10:49 PM

They weren't used on the HDT L34's. Rumours had been circulating about them and HDT was being scruitinised heavily.



#9 a9x868

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 11:32 PM

as laurie can verify

told him the story

i fitted the two rear doors and bootlid to my mates brothers white A9X 4 door

oh ! way back when

the car was i believe a stolen recovered  and i believe police issued  number car 

since sold to someone in mt hawthorn ? w.a

i,m thinking the aluminium panels went with the sale including a damaged aluminium nosecone

not fitted by us

if you did not hold the bootlid down when turning the key in the lock i reckon it would have smashed the rear window

it was so light

the rear doors you would not dare  lock as if they were 

and you tried to open them they would distort around the handle area

as numero uno says

you could pickup the rear doors with one index finger

complete inner and outer GMH pressings

those were the only parts he had 

no guards or bonnet

my best mate who owned these parts also painted my A9X hatch

no doubt (thanks red) in my mind

no bullshit!

i will never forget what we did that day

cheers

davemc



#10 Torananut

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Posted 30 September 2015 - 12:23 AM

Spoke to a guy from Tasmania several years ago who told me an ex Allan Grice L34 had a famous accident years before where it rammed the back of a divvy van on the Derwent Bridge. When the car was towed back to a panel shop for repairs the panel beater noticed that the nosecone and perhaps the guards were aluminium, and he didn't know how to fix them. The car was still white, black, and contessa gold at the time. Not sure if anyone from Tassy can verify this story?



#11 dattoman

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Posted 30 September 2015 - 01:07 AM

Harry Firth talked about these panels back at the last Toranafest I attended

No denial... he acknowledged their existence without hesitation



#12 Shiney005

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Posted 30 September 2015 - 08:48 AM

It wouldn't be easy to hide them from the scrutineers. Even though they were sprayed with a magnetic paint, it would be obvious what they were as soon as a door, boot lid or bonnet was opened by anyone not in the know. Like Dave was saying about the boot lid, the current owner has the bonnet on his L34 and you have to keep one hand on top of it as you undo the second catch. It really is amazing how light these things are.

I am sure that nobody would have gone through this much trouble and then not used them. Someone would have gotten away with using these for at least a few races before they were shipped off to Siberia. (Perth)



#13 a9x868

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 08:22 PM

It wouldn't be easy to hide them from the scrutineers. Even though they were sprayed with a magnetic paint, it would be obvious what they were as soon as a door, boot lid or bonnet was opened by anyone not in the know. Like Dave was saying about the boot lid, the current owner has the bonnet on his L34 and you have to keep one hand on top of it as you undo the second catch. It really is amazing how light these things are.

I am sure that nobody would have gone through this much trouble and then not used them. Someone would have gotten away with using these for at least a few races before they were shipped off to Siberia. (Perth)

they were shipped off to Siberia. (Perth)

love the description laurie

not far wrong

those panels we fitted were painted in a white primer at the time i think



#14 Shiney005

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 12:28 AM

The use of aluminium is mentioned in these sup regs for "L34.5" as part of evolution of type.

Attached File  001.jpg   146.36K   14 downloads



#15 dattoman

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 08:48 AM

Then theres the ones that popped up recently on ebay



#16 Bernie

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 09:06 AM

Laurie ,You have done well .



#17 arrimar

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 10:06 AM

Denim trim!

Hmm, do I select the acid wash option box or go with the regular stone wash?

#18 myss427

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 02:54 PM

Great info and pics, no denying it! Wonder how much they weighed in full alloy trim?



#19 cameron

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 01:05 AM

Harry Firth talked about these panels back at the last Toranafest I attended

No denial... he acknowledged their existence without hesitation

 

Firth was the one who supervised/authorised the pressings. These where not done for group C touring cars. Firth did it purely as a trial to test if the std press would handle aluminium and if there where any issues. Firth was always innovative. In his later years after CAMS he often spoke more freely about those years.

 

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#20 Shiney005

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 08:09 AM

I have spoken to Harry in the past, and like all humans, I think he got his memories mixed up at times. He told me they were for the sports sedans, which obviously wasn't the case. Nobody's denying they exist. What I would like to know is why the bonnet and fenders had the Marlborough paint job? I have seen a picture somewhere of Negus in the hatchback with skinny tyres in a Street Car race at Wanneroo. Scrutineering may have been a bit lax at the smaller meetings.



#21 cameron

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 03:00 PM

http.jpg

 

 

 

 

Cameron


Edited by cameron, 04 July 2017 - 03:15 PM.


#22 cameron

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 03:13 PM

HDT_Torana_Sports_Sedan.JPG

 

 

Obviously as documented in later years Harry had detailed recollection issues as did Brock, but back in 1983 I found his early racing memories where very steadfast. He did it to test if it could be done not specifically for any series. He always wanted to tackle LeMans with a purpose built lightweight car but although he had GMH onboard it was knocked over by GM and the Monza program they had entered. As HDT cleared out the Torana stuff those panels could have ended up anywhere as he pressed more than two sets particularly the front end.

 

Cameron


Edited by cameron, 04 July 2017 - 03:30 PM.


#23 cameron

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 05:22 PM

Ron Harrop would have the answers to if they planned (painted) or actually ended up at some stage on one of the MHDT sports sedans. That program went on well after Firths departure. Even during his tenure Harry had little to do with those as Ron controlled those cars.

 

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#24 Bernie

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 10:32 PM

I believe it was as simple as asking for them .



#25 Shiney005

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 10:57 PM

The only factory pressed panels on the sports sedan were the front doors. None of the other alloy panels would fit on that car.






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