IT’S hard to believe there are any Toranas left that we haven’t featured in Street Machine. Yet not only do they keep coming out of the woodwork in every colour and flavour but they just seem to keep getting tougher. Bob Heritage’s monster LC is a case in point.
This article was first published in the June 2010 issue of Street Machine
The 29-year-old carpet layer from the ACT bought the car nine years ago from his brother, for just $1500. While it was no show-stopper, it was a more or less immaculate stock black and white body.
Bob’s plan was tried and true — jam a 308 in it, mini-tub the rear and cruise the streets on fat rubber, with the odd burnout and a little drag racing now and then.
It was a good plan. But street machiners never sit still and over the years, the LC underwent a couple of major changes, the first being a half-chassis with four-link, installed by Canberra’s Doug Stewart.
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The little 308 lasted for a few more years before the next big change. Bob sourced a junker 350 Chev and jammed that between the front rails, adding a Madden nitrous kit for good measure. Then he took it to the drags, where the car ran an impressive 10.6@127mph and Bob gotten bitten by the speed bug, good and proper. Tired of the colour, but not wanting to waste new paint on less-than-perfect metal, the LC’s next stop was the panel beating shop. While the body wasn’t bad, time takes its toll on all things — especially cars — so the LC got the all-around tidy-up it needed to receive the stunning custom-mix green you see it wearing now.
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It was about this time that Bob fell in with a bunch of diehard pro streeters and elite car builders. That circle supplied him with good advice and introduced him to some kick-arse tradesman who helped him screw his car back together for a better result than he could have imagined.
Everything about this LC now is first rate, from the stunning paint and panel to the brutal 434ci small-block Chev and the competition-style rear-end.
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The engine bay is a work of art, with extensive sheeting and plating cleaning everything up and hiding ugly details such as the backs of the headlights. Phil Kerjean from Fuelworx is responsible for the immaculately detailed fuel system and the braided lines in the engine bay and every part of the car now reflects purpose and ease of maintenance.
Back at the track, the 434-cuber ran a 10.40 in aspirated trim and after two meeting with the bottle on, Bob cracked the eights, running an 8.91.
Every alloy fitting was acid-dipped and polished at Fuelworx. The result is the smoothest Pro Street engine bay around
But speed is a cruel mistress and the quest to go faster totalled the nine-inch housing. With a desire to run deeper into the eights and ultimately see how fast the LC can go, Bob decided to put a killer rear-end under the car. All the work was completed at Street Car Fabrications in Sydney and it looks like it’s out of a Doorslammer — talk about heavy duty!
The existing rear end was replaced with a sheet-metal nine-inch housing, new wheel tubs, parachute, wheelie bars, and a wing. Just about everything was made from chrome-moly, then sent to Competition Coatings for a seriously sexy and easy-to-clean finish.
A serious rear-end — 3.7 Pro gears, 35-spline gun-drilled Mark Williams axles and a Strange alloy carrier with Wilwood brakes
Of course, looking the goods is one thing but coming up with them is something else. The LC didn’t disappoint; first weekend out of the shop, the car won the drags at the 2009 Supernats and came runner-up in the Show ’n’ Go category. It’ll be attacking the quarter-mile for real, soon.
“I love racing it,” Bob says. “At the top end of the track you know you’re really moving; the car shifts around a lot, although with the new rear-end that might be different. I think the engine has more in it and I hope we can run an 8.50. After that I’d like to go big-block. For now, I’m enjoying the ride.”
The comfy carpet and leather interior looks street and should be at odds with the race exterior yet it all works perfectly together
LITTLE BIG DONK
Destined for a big dose of nitrous, the bottom end had to be bulletproof. To keep weight down, Sam Fenech at Westend Performance used a small-block with maximum cubes and output.
“It needed a new block, a lot of other stuff,” Sam says. “We decided we’d build a good bottom-end, use the older Pro Topline heads he had, which are a little small for that motor, and see how it went.” The aim was eights and the car ran an 8.91@152mph.
“Because the heads were small for the cubes, it struggled to make 600hp aspirated but it did make 570ft-lb on the dyno. We figured we could add better heads after the car had some track time and it would pick up another 100hp aspirated.”
It uses a Scat rotating assembly, JE 12:1 pistons, 220cc Pro Topline heads, a 260thou solid roller with a Holley Strip Dominator and an 850DP carburettor.
1971 LC TORANA
Colour: Custom green
Engine: Small-block, 434ci
Heads: Pro Topline
Camshaft: Solid Roller
Intake: Strip Dominator
Carby: Holley 850
Exhaust: Four-into-one headers
Ignition System: MSD 7
Converter: TCE 3500stall
Diff: Sheet metal nine-inch, Mark Williams gun-drilled axles, 3.7:1 gears
Brakes: Wilwood two-spot (f&r)
Suspension: 90/10 Pedders shocks (f), Strange coil-overs, double adjustable, four-link (r)
Rims: Alumastar, 15x3.5 (f), 15x12 (r)
Rubber: Moroso BS2 front runners (f), Hoosier 30x13 (r)
Phil Kerjean, Fuelworx
(0403 133 674); Sam Fenech, Westend Performance (02 4625 4100); Craig Burns, Street Car Fabrications; Pegg’s Auto Trim; Simon Kryger; I&B Floor Coverings; Luke Hardie; Doug Stewart; Wazza; Bretto; Leigh; Davo; Kit; Dougy; Fitzy; my daughter Tyla and my wife, Linsey