WE’E’ has delivered many cars, engines and even a couple of motorcycles over the 40 years. Street Machine’s existence – not to mention the Space Invaders game and many tours SM Smyrnatus. Some big-ticket items are sold immediately by grateful owners who need to turn them into cash. Others, like HQFORU, take a few years to find their true mentor. But sometimes one of our gifts stays with the same owner for decades, like Jeff Foley’s Haltec-injected 202! He won the Best in 2000, fitted it to his UC Torana hatch and has now sold six in just 308.
I was first published. Street Machine Yearbook 2021
Jeff has stuck with the Hornet scope in both the old 202 and the new 304 (above). “I love the look of the late ’90s or early 2000s,” he enthuses. “No one runs them anymore and everything old becomes new over time. I think the big reverse scopes are too common and tarnished by all the p-platters who run them on stock V6 Commodores!
Jeff was a 24-year-old trainee draftsman on a measly salary of $17,000 when then-SM editor Sedo told him the good news. “I was working in the office and the receptionist told me she had a bloke named Geoff Seiden on the phone. I was like, ‘What the hell?’ I was quite stunned,” he recalls.
Jeff (right) with brothers Tex, Pete and Ade, dropping in freshman 202
After taking delivery of the engine (initially without the ECU and instruction book), Jeff considered his options. “I was thinking about selling it, because I wanted a V8,” he says. “But my brother said I’d probably never own an engine like that again, and it would run like a V8 anyway.”
Convinced, he set out to find a suitable recipient for the donkey. “I wanted a Torana coupe, but they were all dingers and quite expensive at $1400 for a raw LJ GTR and $1000 for a raw LX SS,” he explains. “Instead I bought a nice-and-running UC hatch for $650, because I wanted to make it a street machine and not worry too much about cutting off a future classic. I wish I had one of the other cars in the past. Goes with!
The factory Starfire four was yanked and Jeff bolted a hot six before entrusting a suburban performance shop to set up the injection and management system, but he lost his enthusiasm for the venerable Holden Six, or mighty UC. Didn’t share the sentiment.
202 Police a tune after Danny Bardell goes to LJ. Look closely and you’ll see Haltech’s old-school mapping software on a chunky laptop screen.
“Performance Mob said they didn’t know why I was wasting my money and their time playing with Torana,” says Jeff. “They said it would never be worth anything and that a Skyline or a Sylvia would outhandle it, outbreak it and outperform it. They said, ‘Don’t bring it back. We don’t want to see it again.’ “
The retro-tastic Haltech F9A system in all its glory. A fuel computer alone was deemed sufficient, as the 202 already had a robust ignition setup installed.
In his haste to clear himself of the apparently uncool Tory, Jeff says he never took the lyrics down. “It never ran properly and pinged a bit at high revs, so I got Hussey’s performance at Warragul to work on it a bit and Dandy Performance tuned it. After that, it was a rocket. Off it went, with the car’s 3.9 gears squealing the tires everywhere.
Jeff’s troubles did not end there. When he headed to VicRoads for a quick engine number change, he was told the mill had been registered as stolen. It turns out that the donor car was punched in the early ’90s, with the powerplant eventually finding its way to the wrecker via SM. A VicRoads investigation found that the car’s insurance had paid off, so Jeff was eventually cleared to hit the blacktop.
The 202 performed well for 20 years of weekend driving, but Jeff finally decided it was time for a change earlier this year. “The 202 was fast for getting around town,” he says, “but these days I’d rather go for a drive in the hills with my family.” It was packed up and shipped to Queensland, bound for a new life in EH.
UC now runs a Holden 304, with a Torque Power dual-plane manifold and Holley Sniper injection. The SM-supplied Trimatic is also gone, replaced by the Ford T5 now. It opens into a limited-slip nine-incher with 3.25 gears. Jeff says he’ll likely recruit longtime Powerhouse Engines teammate John Pella to put together a hot engine combo.
Jeff thanks his wife Liz for putting up with his car obsession, his brothers Eddy, Tex and Pete, and Street Machine To hand over Stout 202 all those years ago. “I really liked the engine,” he says, “and it’s been a great topic of conversation with car blokes whenever it comes up.”
A history lesson
Subscriber Cheap Donk started out as one. Sm The Grunt Hunt project, spanning three consecutive issues. The build started in Jan-Feb 2000 mag with a complete $400 blue motor, slotted a grumpy cro cam and installed helical cut timing gears. A few bolt-ons were also changed, resulting in a respectable 164hp engine dyno figure.
SM borrowed Danny Bardell’s normally Shave-powered LJ Torrey to test the fresh 202 on track. Tipping the scales at 1250kg with a grunt Hunt six and 3.5:1 diff gears, it hit the quarter mile in 14.2@88mph.
March’s Part Two saw the stock internals replaced with a raft of tough goodies, including PowerMax pistons and bearings. A Yella Terra head was screwed on, as was a Holley 500cfm carb and Scorcher ignition for 191hp.
Finally, went a VK Commodore manifold and the then-advanced Haltech EFI system, controlled by an F9A ECU and tuned at Swift Automotive. Planned testing in the VC Commodore fell through, so the donkey instead found a temporary home in Danny Bardell’s LJ Torana drag car.
Mated to a Trematic box made from Race Glides, power to the wheels was 166hp – more than the injected stock Holden 304! The 202 and strong auto was then pulled out of the car and presented to one lucky subscriber.
UC Torana by Jeff Foley
block: 202ci Holden Six
Crank: Reconditioned Holden
Piston: Power Max
Camera: Crow 35667 Bullet
head: Yella Terra
many times: VK Commodore
ECU: Haltec F9A
Quarter Mile: 14.2@88mph (LJ Torana)