Press release from Holden
The GTR-X was another ambitious and inventive product of the
GMH Advanced Styling and Research and Development sections.
While its knife-edged surfaces and aerodynamic form were largely
inspired by the experimental Hurricane, the GTR-X represented
a serious attempt to build a low volume, high visibility sports
model using inexpensive tooling and stock mechanical parts.
At its announcement in August 1970, a month after the launch
of the redoubtable Torana GTR XU-1, GMH said it was “breaking
with tradition by giving the public an opportunity to see in
advance a car which could be the basis of a limited production
vehicle in the future...the GTR-X has been built specifically
to test design concepts and help assess the Australian market
for a locally designed and manufactured two-seater sports car.”
Designers began the project in mid-1969, taking full advantage
of the freedom afforded by fibreglass to create several styling
proposals before finalising a full-sized clay model. The three
prototypes that eventuated (only one complete vehicle survives
today) were strikingly avant-garde.
As a promotional handout noted, ‘The GTR-X is aerodynamically
designed. Its long, sleek hood is accentuated by a low wedge-shaped
grille. The body line sweeps up at the rear to an elevated tail
light assembly. Simplicity is the keynote. It is achieved by
concealed headlights, sharp windshield rake, recessed parking
and turning lights, and flush petrol filler access and door
handles. Front and rear bumpers assume the contour of the body.
To identify the car the GTR-X identification is contained within
a crisp black and orange stripe running parallel to the rocker
Interior styling, ‘restrained and designed for maximum comfort
and full driver efficiency’ was highlighted by a machined aluminium
instrument panel, high-backed seats and a small diameter leather-covered
Beneath its elongated, forward-opening hood was the high-performance
186S six-cylinder engine developed for the Torana XU-1, mated
to the M21 four-speed manual transmission later released with
the HQ series. The 1043kg GTR-X reportedly posted a top speed
of 210 kmh in testing and was fitted with four-wheel disc brakes.
It would have been the first Australian car to boast this feature
had the project not been shelved, after several projected launch
date announcements, due to concerns about financial viability.
Similar and related vehicles:
- 1970 Holden Hurricane concept