AS TORANAFEST coordinator Pete Morris put it, “We can control everything except the weather,” but a little bit of rain failed to dampen the spirits of the Torana faithful as they flocked to the Hunter Valley on the weekend.
After a year off and with a brand new venue, Toranafest 2015 saw well over 300 Torries attend Sunday’s show ’n’ shine at Mailtland Showground. Most of them had taken to the streets the previous day, cruising from Heatherbrae out through the countryside, with a stopover in the historic town of Morpeth.
There was a massive variety of Toranas, from HB right through to UC, with every conceivable model and trim level in between and everything from daily-driven road warriors to full-blown competition cars and show-quality masterpieces.
Toranafest really is a must-do event for fans of The General’s venerable little giant-killer.
Brad Sullivan debuted his Atomic Green Supercharged Outlaws LX hatch at the event. The chassis dates back to the late 80s and has plenty of racing pedigree about it, and Brad has worked hard to give it a birthday and bring it up to modern safety standards. It runs a 14/71-blown 526ci JPI mill and three-speed Lenco.
Marlboro/HDT livery is a sure-fire way to turn heads at an event like Toranafest. The car in the middle is modelled on Brock’s ’79 Bathurst winner, and was hauled all the way from Rockingham in WA by owner Steve Harvey.
Torana fans converged on Maitland from most Australian states and territories, including Western Australia, Queensland, the ACT, Victoria and even Tassie.
The event was superbly run by the Hunter Valley Torana Club. Here we see HVTC members heading out on Saturday’s cruise, led by Mick McCardle in his beautifully kept UC Torry.
This stunning LJ featured a blowthrough Vortech-supercharged 253.
Sydney’s Sean O’Malley is a big fan of all things Aussie: Ned Kelly, VB stubbies, boxing kangaroos and V8 Toranas, for starters.
Saturday’s official Toranafest cruise took in some breathtaking Hunter Valley scenery.
Pete Glass’s LJ was looking as flawless as ever.
It was first time out for the latest incarnation of Brett Russell’s hatch. Packing an all-alloy big-block, six-speed stick shift and trick suspension, it’s a truly top-shelf, show-quality pro tourer.
The Canberra Torana Club put on one hell of a spread, and picked up Top Club Display for its efforts.
The paint must have still been wet on Keith Cunningham’s LX! Toranafest was his deadline and the build went right down to the wire.
Nathan Clarke’s 10-second, blown small block-powered LC turned some heads when it fired up in the afternoon.
Ronald was on hand to thank the Torana faithful for the $100,000 Toranafest has raised for Ronald McDonald House over the years.