Update, November 2022
Since our original feature on Luke’s Torana, he has completed the Drag Challenge 2019 with a best of 8.61@160mph.
Now, he’s back for another shot at Haltech Radial Blown Glory on October 25-29. It recently gave the SBC a tune on DTM’s hub dyno, recording 1103hp.
Read more about how this mighty street car came to be.
This article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue. Street Machine
While this will always be a case of different strokes for different folks, if you haven’t noticed that turbocharged V8s are all the rage when it comes to fast, legal street cars, you probably haven’t been paying much attention.
Pointed end of field on both hot rod Drag week and our own Street Machine Drag Challenge is full of turbocharged V8-powered missiles, and that alone tells you that dangling one or more snails from the side of a healthy bent-eight has become the path to streetcar righteousness in recent years.
Victorian Luke Green knows this to be true, and he speaks with the wisdom of experience, having built several different engine combos between the front rails of his clinically clean LH Torana over the years.
“I bought the car in 1999 as a roller to fit an RB30 turbo engine I bought when it was on L-Plates,” Greaney says. “With some basic home mods it ran 10.50 when I was still on my Ps, and I used to drive it an hour to work and back every day.”
When RB finally gave up the ghost, Luke fitted a balls-out LS1, which served him well, going fast to 10.6 on pump fuel and proving to be a lot of fun on the road. When he got an offer on an LS combo that was too good to refuse, he sold it to a guy who fitted it to an early Corolla.
The Torana was engineless again, so when Greaney got wind that a 700hp naturally aspirated small-block from his mate’s LC drag car was for sale, he jumped on it. The engine was a stout 372-cuber that produced plenty of grunt, but it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. “Drivability and reliability were definitely not good,” Greaney says. “The car needed a good birthday, so I decided to clean it up and do the V8 turbo work, which I should have done years ago.”
The small shiv was built tight, so once the piston and camshaft were swapped out for more boost items, it was good to go. The engine was assembled by Joe Bertuna and now runs RaceTec forged slugs and custom turbo ground solid roller camshafts along with a Callies crank and Lunati Pro Billet rods. The heads are 18-degree CNC-ported CHI items with T&D shaft-mounted rockers, and are topped off with a twin-throttle body EFI inlet manifold, which Greaney carved himself out of an old sheet-metal tunnel-ram. . Aesthetically, it cleans up the standard bonnet and allows the Torana to maintain a stealthy appearance.
Greaney also knocked out the first set of exhaust manifolds himself, with twin Garrett Ford XR6 turbochargers high up in the engine bay. But when the engine bay temperature turned out to be a little too high for street use, Strop of Moolap Mufflers installed a set of low-mount manifolds instead, to relocate the turbo and lower the temperature at high speeds. prepared. The probe in the primary communicates with the Innovate LM-2 datalogger to estimate the exhaust gas temperature and air/fuel ratio for each cylinder. The ECU is from Microtech.
It’s a non-intercooled setup, with a very efficient boost-activated water/methanol injection system that keeps the air temperature at a manageable level. The engine is good for 670rwhp on pump fuel, and Greaney tells us it makes about 750rwhp (or 1000hp in the engine) on E85.
The combo is backed by a Transmission Specialties red-cased Powerglide with a Dominator converter, which feeds nine inches of grunt rearwards through a custom A1 tailshaft with Strange alloy center, 35-spline axles and Strange yokes with full-floating hubs. does.
Running on E85 and rolling on 275/60/15 Mickey Thompson ET Streets, the Torana lifted the front wheels and bogeyed the quarter in a best time of 8.90@160mph. “These are always great wheelstands done,” grins Granny. “I was very happy with the eight runs and if I pushed it maybe it would be faster, but I’m happy with that number. Like I can hop in it, turn the key and tap on it. Can go for a cruise with 1000hp. That’s what I wanted to achieve, and it does.”
As far as eight-second street cars go, it’s also pretty easy on the eyes. Mark Drew took care of the car’s bodywork. Then Granny and her father completed the prep work before installing the SPS panels on the PPG Formula Blue Doco. Considering its prowess on the racetrack, it’s a fairly modest-looking ride, and Granny likes them that way. “Yeah, it’s great to have a fast car without anything hanging out of the bonnet!” they say.
“It used to be real cranky, but now with the turbo engine it’s gone down a heap and it cruises beautifully. I’ve always wanted a 1000hp car that was reliable, and now I have it. It’s a It’s been a long road, but a fun one, and I’ve made some great teammates along the way!