NEVER-SAY-DIE Town turned up the promotion heat on the English Riviera and sparked a carnival for 600 delirious travelling fans.
Nathan Clarke's unmissable header on 70 minutes earned Town a seventh win in eight matches, lifted them significantly in terms of play-off kudos and proved beyond doubt they are no one-man team.
Brimming with passion and purpose, Peter Jackson's bravehearts recovered from a shaky start to compete with verve and vigour and complete a double over arguably the most attractive opposition in the division to replace them in sixth spot.
Indeed, if these sides meet again in the post-season knockout then book your seats quickly - because it is sure to be entertaining, intriguing and ferociously fought.
On Saturday, in perfect playing conditions, Town showed themselves to be pugnacious and proud and even the dismissal of Tony Carss six minutes from time couldn't wipe the smile off the manager's face.
By then, his team were in a third phase of dogged resistance against a Torquay side bidding to extend their unbeaten Plainmoor sequence to 13 League matches and determined to exact revenge for the spectacular strike with which Carss downed them at the McAlpine in October.
That they finished losers - Torquay haven't beaten Town for 25 years - was down to a combination of compelling factors which suggest these blue and white battlers might just be delaying their summer holidays for a couple of weeks.
Defensively, Town were magnificent in front of a keeper who buried the nightmare of his mistake against Darlington with two saves of the highest possible calibre.
Then, Town responded to mighty pressure from the Torquay midfield with commendable character - Lee Fowler getting back to something like his best in a re-jigged formation featuring Andy Booth as a lone frontman.
Carss and Danny Schofield tucked in to support Fowler and Jon Worthington in the centre and - after surviving a blistering start from Torquay in which the unmarked Jo Kuffour headed against a post - Town made inroads of their own.
Booth's aerial prowess helped enormously at both ends of the pitch and it was clear Torquay were unsettled by high balls into the box, because skipper Efe Sodje created mayhem by winning headers from a succession of corners and free-kicks.
Sodje was narrowly wide of the target with one header, Booth miscontrolled a tremendous Fowler pass into the box and Andy Holdsworth was desperately unlucky to see Kevin Dearden turn away his stooping header as the action flowed and flowed.
With Kuffour's hot pace and David Graham's trickery, Town could never relax, however, and it was no surprise when Jackson swapped his centre-backs in the second half - Sodje using his pace to watch Kuffour while Steve Yates kept watch on the Scot. It still didn't stop Torquay making another frenetic start to the second half, and Phil Senior risked life and limb to claw away Jason Fowler's dipping goalbound shot on 49 minutes.
Graham, Kuffour and Matthew Hockley all tried their luck for Leroy Rosenior's bubbly side, but a cracking Schofield shot on 58 minutes - beaten away by ex-Town man Dearden after a neat pass from Holdsworth - suggested they weren't going to have it all their own way.
So it proved with 20 minutes left.
Carss, going out wide onto the right to take an inswinging free-kick, found Booth with perfect precision at the back post.
He outjumped the Torquay defence and wrong-footed them so completely that Clarke was left on his own to nod home from no more than a foot.
It was a magical moment for the 20-year-old sweeper, who had already distinguished himself with a list of eye-catching tackles, and the Town fans behind the opposite goal went barmy.
Those same fans were soon living on their nerves, however, as Torquay poured forward in search of an equaliser.
Home fans thought they had got one when substitute Tony Bedeau unleashed a right-foot drive on 72 minutes, but Senior sprang brilliantly to his right to beat the ball away.
Then, Sodje and Holdsworth were hurt keeping the ball out of the net in a crazy goalmouth scramble - both being forced off the pitch while Torquay took the resulting corner!
Booth made a trademark clearing header, but Torquay weren't going to give up that easily.
Kuffour turned one effort right across the face of goal, where Anthony Lloyd booted the ball to safety, and then Craig Taylor had the ball in the net, but only after climbing unfairly to make the header.
Substitute Martin Gritton had the best chance of added time when planting a header wide, and it was enough to send Town's fans into a rapturous chorus of triumph.
Jackson punched the air at the final whistle to thank the supporters for their contribution and no wonder, because of all Town's away wins this season - even allowing for the thrills at York - this was the best.
Player profile: Nathan Clarke.
Like the rest, he took time to come to terms with Torquay's pace and lively start, but any scout watching would have picked him out as the outstanding defender on the pitch. Brave and cool, he was also delighted to notch his first goal of the season to win it
A slice of luck for Phil Senior on 11 minutes when Kuffour was left unmarked at a Russell free-kick but glanced his header against the post. After that, Senior was tremendous in earning another clean sheet
Subs used: Torquay: Bedeau for Fowler 60; Gritton for McGlinchey 75. Town: Brown for Booth 76; Mirfin for Fowler 90.
Subs not used: Torquay: Van Heusden, Hazell, Woozley. Town: Giles, Newby, Edwards.
Scorer: Town: Nathan Clarke 70.
Dismisal: Town: Carss (second bookable offence, 84 mins).
Bookings: Torquay: Graham, Gritton, Woods. Town: Fowler (Carss twice).
Shots on target: Torquay 6, Town 5.
Corners: Torquay 6, Town 4.
Caught offside: Torquay 2, Town 2.
Free-kicks awarded: Torquay 16, Town 17.
Torquay United: Dearden; Canoville, Woods, Taylor, McGlinchey (Gritton 75); Fowler (Bedeau 60), Hockley, Russell, Hill, Kuffour, Graham.
Subs not used: Van Heusden, Hazell and Woozley.