Mario bought a very tough and tidy LX Torana hatch and then set about making it even tougher and tidier

Photos by Eric Tang

50 year old construction team leader Mario Marino began by telling us that he bought this gorgeous 1976 LX Torana hatch “from a guy out Lithgow way (and it was a) very hard decision for him to let it go; after reassuring him that it was going to a good home and that I would look after it and not thrash it and take exceptional care”

Well, that is what he promised, and overall he has lived up to it, but “After money was exchanged, shake of hands and a goodbye was said I idled down the main street of Lithgow, turned around and smoked it up, much to his disgust; must say I was very impressed”

Mario clearly bought this LX hatch to drive it, and to drive it hard. He’s also had it modified further and that included a 355ci stroker Holden V8 built by Grant’s Performance in Charmhaven, NSW. The result of this is a car that Mario’s wife Robyn has described as “effin’ scary when you’re a passenger”

Mario’s LX represents everything that is good about the LX hatch with a tough V8 for power and sound, the full-blown A9X bodykit, polished alloy drop tank and enlarged inner guards to take big shiny wheels. The modern Holden Sting Red paint certainly doesn’t hurt the car’s looks either, plus there’s a fully-restored SS interior adding to the nostalgia as well

There’s a complete feature story on Mario’s 1976 LX Torana hatch in issue 46 of The Aussie Muscle Enthusiast, available now