QUEENSLANDER Tony Webb has long had one of the quickest Holden-powered street cars in Australia. His two-door LJ Torana, dubbed CULPRIT, went 8.42@171mph running a built VT HSV-spec Holden motor with a unique rear-mount BorgWarner 84mm turbo set-up – until late in 2016 when the four-bolt Holden donk gave up the ghost and punched a hole in the block. The humble iron lion was never designed to be pushing around 1500hp, so it was always a case of when, not if, it would pop.
But Tony hasn’t given up on the Holden motor; he has now moved to a Torque Power Little Paw block. Think of it as a Dart version of a small-block Chev or LS – new and improved but still retaining the original Holden specifications, so it takes all Holden bolt-ons.
Similar to the engine that powered Brenden ‘Bubba’ Medlyn to his 2016 Street Machine Drag Challenge victory, Webby’s donk – built by Kon Michaloudakis from Wollongong Automotive Services – is 355 cubes. It’s topped off by a set of custom Higgins cylinder heads, which Webby reckons have made a massive difference to the performance of this new engine compared to the old one.
“We’re running the same rear-mount 84mm BorgWarner turbo as we did before, but with the new heads we’re running 8psi less boost than we did previously and we’re going significantly quicker,” Webby explained.
“The PB with the old engine was 8.42@171mph, and on our first test at Willowbank with this new motor we went 8.20@166mph – and we can still double the boost that we’re currently running. It has a seven in it; we just need to get it on a well-prepped track.”
The combo is still fresh and has only seen street kays and three racing events so far. After Willowbank, Webby made his way down to Victoria for the Holden Nationals at Heathcote Park Raceway, but not before stopping off at Sydney Dragway for the Wednesday test and tune. After 200-odd street-tyre cars went down the track, the prep just wasn’t there for a quick time, but the Torana went 5.20@136mph to the eighth before blowing the tyres up top.
At the Holden Nationals, Webby was the quickest Holden-powered car at the event, running 8.23@170mph, still on low boost and turning the tyres through the top end at 75 per cent throttle, according to the data from the Holley ECU.