Injecting a little Aussie Muscle into the Spares Box Garage is Chris’s beast of a Holden Torana. Stripped and renovated basically from the inside out, we love this car here at the office. It sums up everything a well-customised classic car should be: luxurious, lightning quick, full of grunt and with just a little bit of flair.
What type of car is this?
It’s a 1977 Holden Torana LX SL Sedan.
What modifications have you done to it over the years?
How much time do you have?! I could go on forever about every little detail. This is a run down of the majority of parts on the car off the top of my head and the key things that I have done to it over the past 9 years.
Engine & Drivetrain
- Original 202 red motor with 11.8:1 compression ratio on 98 octane fuel and a 7000 R.P.M. redline
- M20 transmission with strength modifications and organic clutch kit
- Banjo fine spline differential with 3.55 ratio
- Yella Terra high compression head with stainless steel valves, port work and 3 step valve grind
- Triple 1-3/4” SU carburettors on a ported mid length Lynx manifold
- ARP main and head stud kits
- Hypertec flat top race series pistons with Hastings moly rings
- Starfire conrods with ARP bolts
- ACL Race series gasket kit and bearings
- Yella Terra Street Terra roller rockers
- Nitride treated and balanced crankshaft with modification for harmonic balancer bolt
- Lightened flywheel
- Powerbond Street harmonic balancer
- Camtech CT35507 hydraulic camshaft, with matching valve springs, retainers, valve locks and anti pump up lifters. Camshaft has also been scotch keyed.
- Manley hardened pushrods
- Blue motor Bosch electronic distributor with regraph
- MSD 6AL ignition system with matching Blaster 3 coil and 10mm lead kit
- Blue motor mechanical fuel pump with Redline fuel pressure regulator
- Alloy triple core radiator with Flex-a-lite mechanical fan
- JP timing gear and standard volume oil pump
- HPC coated Pacemaker competition headers
- Custom 2.5 inch stainless steel exhaust system with SMB muffler
Suspension & Brakes
- Koni Classic shock absorbers front and rear
- Whiteline swaybar upgrade kits front and rear
- Hopper Stopper 290mm front brake upgrade kit, with Ferodo TQ brake pads and DBA T2 slotted brake rotors.
- Braided brake lines
- Electric orange PPG bare metal respray
- All badges and chrome trim pieces/side stripping removed
Rims & Tyres
- Custom Foose Legend rims – 17×7 F and 17×8 R
- Falken RT615K semi slicks – 215/40/17 F and 235/40/17 R
How does it drive now?
It’s surprisingly easy to drive. There’s plenty of power and torque to pin you back in the seat and put an instant stupid smile on your face, but then you can’t overlook the brakes which have plenty of stopping power to match. Handling-wise I think the Torana would shock most people, the grip level from the semi’s is through the roof.
The steering is very responsive and the car feels very agile at speed. Everything was pieced together with balance in mind, the power figure was never the main goal, I think a lot of people with old muscle cars overlook this idea too often. A balanced package is key.
What was your most memorable moment while working on it?
The day the Torana received its new paint colour. It was such a long day and I was anxious to see how the orange colour would turn out. As much as everyone didn’t want me to do it, I used my better judgement and chose to ignore them all. I think the result speaks for itself and the car still looks just as good to this day.
What’s the biggest hassle that comes with running a restored classic like this?
Either trying to track down particular parts that haven’t been reproduced and finding specialty businesses and workshops that can deliver results to a high standard compared to many others. Also, just having to pay for fuel every time you go for a spin gets a bit tiresome!
Are you driving anything else at the moment?
My other car is a 2002 Renault Sport Clio RS 172. The Clio is an awesome daily and track car at the same time, and in the future it will mostly likely turn into a dedicated track car only. Maybe the Megane RS 265 will make the cut as the next daily when the time comes.
What’s your dream car?
Hmm. I think it would be the Ferrari F40.