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Haltech Heroes: Curtis’ LS swapped Torana

What you are looking at here is a genuine 1974 Holden LH Torana SLR made to look like an LX SLR5000 with A9X option. 

For those not familiar with the Aussie icon, the Holden Torana was a mid-sized car manufactured in Australia by Holden between 1967 and 1980.

Originally available only with a four cylinder engine, Holden added a V8 option to the line-up in 1974.

Torana entered Australian motorsport scene with the introduction of the LC GTR XU-1 (pictured above) in 1970 and remains, to this day, one of Holden’s most successful performance car, with good examples fetching extraordinary amounts of cash at auctions.

Curtis’ car is a throw back to Torana’s heydays with enough modern tech to make the car reliable and exciting to own on a daily basis.

2SUS Custom Resprays are responsible for the beautiful finish which turned a run-of-the-mill Torana shell into one of the smoothest rides Down Under.

“I’ve had the car since I was 18. A few years ago I decided to rebuild it the way I always wanted it to be. At the time I was just going to put an LS in it and a borg Warner diff and leave the outside alone but one thing led to another and the car ended up being stripped to a shell.”

The engine is GM’s LS1 stroked from 5.7L to 6.3L. The intake comes from an LS3 and includes a DBW throttle body.

MAST motorsports LS3 small bore heads (shaved 30 thou) were made to fit LS1. Compression ratio is 11.5:1.

Mated to the engine is a Tremec TKO600 five speed manual transmission hooked up to a shortened Ford nine inch differential with True Trac LSD centre.

The brakes are four piston Brembos front and back sourced from a 2010-2015 Camaro SS including the two piece slotted DBA rotors.

The wheels are USA sourced Trofeo forged items, 18 x 9.5 on the front and 19 x 12 on the back.

“I never intended for the car to be such a big build but that’s how it ended up.”

The whole setup is controlled by a Haltech Elite 2500 wired with a Haltech LS terminated harness. The engine management system also includes a Haltech wideband O2 controller and a flex fuel sensor.

Inside the cabin Haltech’s IQ3 display dash informs Curtis of all the going ons under the bonnett.

“The Haltech Elite setup allows me to run drive by wire which deletes the unnecessary accelerator cable and hence allows a completely smooth firewall.”

With Torana prices skyrocketing in recent years Curtis would be forgiven for contemplating selling the but nothing could be further from his mind.

“I did not buy the car with the intention of making money from it.”

“I bought because I have always liked the Toranas and had my own idea on how I wanted mine to stand out from the rest. No amount of money could make me part with the car.”

Torana Trivia: Curtis got the car on his 18th birthday and has owned it since then.

Torana Trivia: The car was built almost entirely by Curtis in his home garage.

Torana Trivia: Curtis bought a complete LS engine from a Commodore wrecker. He then had a 6.3 litre stroker kit shipped from Texas, got the block machined and assembled the bottom end himself.