This article on Paul's Torana was first published in the May 2007 issue of Street Machine
A BLOWN Torrie is one of those fair dinkum Aussies you can’t help but love. Like wombats; they might not be your favourite animals but they’re uniquely Australian and just make you smile whenever you see one.
Of course, getting excited about a Torana is a hell of a lot easier when it’s as well turned out as 28-year-old Paul Laferla’s immaculate 1980 UC. There’s a long history to REVNUC: “I bought it at 15, learned to drive in it with Mum sitting next to me. I took the UC right back to bare metal in the shed at home. I used to go out with my mates on the weekend then come home at 2am and start working on the car; I wanted it to be perfect.”
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But there’s a bit of a twist to this Australian story. You see, under the bonnet Paul’s had a little help from the Land Of The Rising Sun. There’s still 186 cubes of straight-six Holden cast iron sitting between the chassis rails but Paul’s taken an increasingly common approach in bolting on a Toyota SC14 supercharger. While most such conversions are about achieving a small extra bang for minimal bucks, Paul has taken the concept a step further, incorporating a front-mount intercooler, strong motor and lots of fabrication. The result? With a 13.4@97mph timeslip running on street tyres, REVNUC has the balls to embarrass just about any factory HSV on the road.
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And being a spanner-twirler by trade — the UC is a rolling advertisement for his garage, Prochoice Automotive in Victoria — this was never going to be some half-baked effort. As the accompanying pictures testify, from fender to fender this baby’s been built with meticulous attention to detail. But let’s start with the donk.
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Right from the word go, this engine was built for reliability on a diet of high revs and some serious strip time. With that in mind, Paul spent some money in all the right places without going crazy. ACL dish-top pistons swing from Crow chrome-moly pushrods, while ACL Race Series rings and bearings keep things pumping away smoothly. Conrods are shot-peened Starfire items. Hydraulic lifters were installed for high-rev reliability, on top of Torana XU1-spec valves. A Wade custom-grind cam spins up top and gives REVNUC an idle lumpier than a bat to the head.
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The ported and polished open-chamber heads were prepared by Southside Cylinder Heads while Paul fabbed the inlet manifold and intercooler pipework. A CRS under-driven pulley allows the blower to pump upwards of 10psi, with excess boost dealt with via a beautifully finished Turbosmart blow-off valve.
LPG is pumped through a GRA carburettor. Spent gases are sent south via extractors and a 2½-inch mandrel-bent exhaust, and spat out through a three-inch stainless steel dump pipe, along with the kind of flat-out nasty exhaust note that’ll turns more heads than Pamela Anderson getting the twins out on George Street.
With an estimated 280hp at the rears, such a well-sorted powerplant needs a transmission up to the task and there’s no worries with that here. A manualised Trimatic ’box does the shifting, while it’s a bit of a hybrid out back: an 8¾-inch Mustang differential running 3.9:1 gears and a mini-spool is fed by a two-piece VL Commodore tailshaft. A 2800rpm stall converter gets the revs up.
All the panel and paint work was handled by Paul. Paint is off-the-shelf Bright Orange.
Inside, everything is original bar the Torana SL/R dash. The tasteful leather retrim is the handiwork of Pat Mesiti at Sunshine Motor Trimmers.
Sometimes less is more, eh Paul?
1980 HOLDEN UC TORANA
Colour: Bright Orange
Engine: Holden 186ci
Heads: Open-chamber, ported and polished, XU1-spec valves
Cam: Wade custom grind
Pistons: ACL cast, 8.7:1
Blower: Toyota SC14 supercharger, CRS under-driven pulley
Carby: Gas Research
Exhaust: Genie extractors, 2.5in system, three-inch resonator
Gearbox: Trimatic, manualised
Diff: Mustang 8¾in, mini-spool, 3.9:1
Front: Reset springs and Koni shocks
Rear: Standard springs, custom poly-airbag
Brakes: HQ disc and drum
Wheels: Weld Prostar 3.5-inch (f), 8-inch rear
Tyres: Hankook 165R15 (f), 235/65 R15 (r)