Turbo small-block Chev-powered LH Torana at Drag Challenge 2019

Luke Green resisted the LS temptation in favour of a small-block Chev in his Torana, and was rewarded with eight-second ETs at Drag Challenge 2019

Photographers: Luke Hunter, Shaun Tanner

LUKE Green’s LH Torana has seen a bunch of very stout engines in the near two decades he has had the keys for it. Originally built as a 253 car, Greeny’s Torry has worn a turbo RB30 Nissan six, a 400ci Chev, an aspirated LS1, and then an angry 700hp, 372ci, 18-degree-headed small-block Chev that he later turbocharged (SM, May ’16). He turned up to Drag Challenge 2019 to run in the Haltech Radial Blown class with a fresh boosted small-block in place, fitted as a last-minute drama unfolded.

“We broke the engine last week, so on Tuesday the motor came out, and it went back in the car Sunday night,” Luke said. “This was on top of rebuilding the transmission the week before. I am trying not to go LS, but it is tempting, especially after last week!”

His new donk is a tough 400ci Chev being fed by a 94mm GT55 Garrett, which runs 18psi without an intercooler. A FuelTech FT500 ECU controls the show, squirting E85 from a front-mounted tank.

A 3800rpm converter and two-speed Powerglide handle ratio dispersal, while a tried-and-true nine-inch diff with 3.5 gears lives in the rear end.

“I have always been interested in turbo V8s,” Luke said. “I like single-turbo set-ups because they’re easier to work on with a hot and a cold side, and it makes it easier for wiring, electronics and all that. I don’t buy much for this car, as I generally make most parts for it.

“We have been to Hot Rod Drag Week and were keen as mustard to have a go at Drag Challenge when we got back.”

Having previously run a PB of 8.69@160mph, Luke smashed out an 8.51@161mph on Day One at Calder. He now had a goal for his week: “I would like to average eights over the whole Drag Challenge,” he said on Day One. “Then I can say it is an eight-second street car.”

Luke had pushed even further into the eights by week’s end, running an 8.39@159mph on Day Five back at Calder.


Class: Haltech Radial Blown

Engine: 400ci SBC
Turbo: Garrett GT55 94mm
Transmission: Powerglide
Converter: 3800rpm
Diff: 9in, 3.5:1 gears
Power: 800rwhp
Previous PB: 8.61@160mph
Best DC 2019 pass: 8.39@159mph