Vintage lust: ‘People these days just want cheap cars’

Collectors with a lust for vintage cars descended on the cool shores of Tathra on Saturday.

Tathra’s Stuart Cartwright entered his 1973 model Honda Z360, more commonly known as a “Zot” into the inagural Rockabilly Retro Rally Vintage Car Show and Shine, and came across the rare car by chance.

“It’s been in the family since 1982, and in a shed since 1985,” he said.

“As far as I can find out, it’s one of only two left in Australia of this model, with this engine.”

Only around 40 were ever imported into Australia, and while now a vivid orange, the car was originally what Mr Cartwright described as a “drab olive green”.

This 1973 Holden Torana GTR-XU1 was advertised as 'The ultimate Torana'. Picture: Alasdair McDonald

This 1973 Holden Torana GTR-XU1 was advertised as 'The ultimate Torana'. Picture: Alasdair McDonald

“Had I known how rare it was, I probably would have left it as it was,’ he said.

After spotting a 1973, Adelaide made, Holden Torana GTR-XU1 for sale in Perth in 2011, Black Range resident Graham spent four years restoring the car to its original glory.

With only around 2000 ever made, it was advertised by Holden as the “ultimate Torana”, and it’s six cylinder engine could clock over 200 kilometres per hour.

“When I was young, in my 20s, I had a GTR this colour,” Graham said.

“I used to race one of them when I was young and silly.”

In fact, the car was designed as a mid sized race car by multiple Bathurst 500 winner Harry Firth.

Graham said he misses the days of affordable Australian built cars designed for Australian race tracks.

“I think it’s a shame, it’s not just Holden that misses out, it’s people who sell paint, screws, blinkers,” he said.

“It’s all these companies working together that make an economy great.

“People these days just want cheap cars.”

The now hard to find model retailed for around $3000 brand new.

Organiser Carmen Risby from Tathra Beachside with winners Peter Campbell and Janet Noble from Black Range.

Organiser Carmen Risby from Tathra Beachside with winners Peter Campbell and Janet Noble from Black Range.

“Now you can’t buy a hubcap for that money,” Graham said.

Organiser of the event, Carmen Risby from Tathra Beachside, said the inaugural event was “far greater” than she ever could have imagined, and is already booked in for the same time next year.

“It was so well received by guests and supported by local businesses,” she said.

“It was really successful.”

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