Christine Cini may be a late-comer to the Aussie muscle car party, but she’s making up for it in style, having recently invested in a matching-numbers LJ Torana GTR XU-1.
Initially she just wanted to give it a quick respray, but things soon ramped up significantly, culminating in a show-worthy nut-and-bolt resto.
First published in Street Machine’s Yearbook 2022
How’d you come to own an XU-1?
When I was younger, there was an XU-1 a few streets away that would catch my eye whenever I saw it. While my family weren’t into cars, we still had the fun Ford-versus-Holden arguments, and I’ve always been a Holden girl.
So, in 2016 when my husband Alan asked me, “If you were to have any car, what would it be?”, I responded with, “A 1973 GTR XU-1 Torana, factory spec and matching numbers.” That conversation then triggered the search for one.
Did you hunt for long?
Only a few months. We found this one in Queensland. It’s a really good car and we’re technically the second owners. The original owner had painted it lime in the 80s, but other than that it was factory-spec.
When he passed away, his daughter inherited the car. We bought it when she was moving house and had no room for it.
What have you done to it?
It’s a full nut-and-bolt restoration, though it wasn’t meant to be this extreme! I wanted it painted Juniper Green, as that’s the factory colour, but the fresh paint saw us get carried away.
We added new chrome, then rewired it while everything was apart, and it flowed on like that. Now everything has been rebuilt. Alan and I spent many hours researching everything to get it right. She’s true to factory specs – though maybe better than they built it back then!
What’s the donk?
She’s still got the original 202ci with triple Strombergs. She’s fun to drive and she runs so smoothly, though for the moment we’re doing shows before we cruise it.
MISS XU1 was unveiled in January 2020 just before COVID hit; now that everything is opening up again, we’re making the most of it and doing all the shows.
How’s MISS XU1 been received?
We’re proud of how she’s turned out and have had a lot of positive feedback; people really appreciate the car.
Old guys come up to me at shows to tell me stories of their XU-1 V8 swaps, and most admit that they now regret the mods because if the car was original, they’d be currently sitting on a goldmine. If I had a dollar for every story like that, I could probably buy another Torana!
Any other examples of Aussie muscle in your garage?
We have an HQ Monaro, and Alan just finished GRUMPY, our SL/R 5000 Torana. It’s become an addiction for us. I’d own more Aussie muscle if I could, though Alan said no more cars!
It’s a lot of work building them, though. We enjoy going on cruises as well as runs with the Full Metal Jacket Muscle Car Club. I can’t wait to cruise MISS XU1!
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