J.ZED-headed Holden six-powered LC Torana GTR tribute

Anthony Fortunato didn't let P-plate restrictions get in the way of him building a tough Torana

Photographers: Chris Thorogood

Thanks to the odd indiscretion behind the wheel, Melbourne bloke Anthony Fortunato earned himself a break from driving, and was subsequently required to start the licensing process again from scratch. When your mates are rolling around in V8 street cars with all manner of forced induction and you must abide by the various provisional driver restrictions imposed by the fair state of Victoria, being a mature-aged P-plater can be a frustrating thing. But it doesn’t mean you can’t build yourself something rad.

First published in the January 2023 issue of Street Machine

“That was the main reason for building a six-cylinder,” Anthony says of his stunning, 220ci stroker Holden six-powered LC Torana. “I needed to keep it sensible for now, but the plan was always to put a big motor in it down the track, and I wanted to be able to just drop it in and go.

So when we built the car, we made sure the mini-tubs, nine-inch, engine management and everything else was all there ready to go for when that happens. It’s way better than spending money several times over.”

Anthony was actually on the hunt for a rotary-powered Mazda to build when the Torana presented itself. He went to suss it out, formulated a plan for the build, and bought it on the spot. He dragged the car home, stripped it and bare-metalled it, which unearthed all manner of problems.

“When I saw all the previous patch-up jobs that had been done, it opened up a big can of worms,” says Anthony. “It made me think, ‘What have I bought? Will this car ever look like what I imagined?’ If it wasn’t for my panel beater and having faith in his work and knowledge, this car would probably still be in bare metal sitting in the back corner of the shed.”

Said panel beater, Jason Evans, undid all the past sins that the Torana’s bodywork had been subjected to and got the car rust-free, straight as a die, and ready for painter Adriann Matias to lay on the Glasurit Gold duco and GTR warpaint. “I like the GTR look with the black-outs, stripes and no rear spoiler,” Anthony says.

The GTR aesthetic continues inside the cabin, which Super Trim Vinyl Hardtops expertly retrimmed in factory-style black vinyl. A B&M shifter adorns the tunnel, and sports a woodgrain handle that Anthony sourced from the US to tie in with the similarly appointed GTR twirler.

In a way, the OEM GTR theme continues through to the engine, as the Holden inline six has been retained but dialled up to 11. The 220ci, J.ZED-headed, fuel-injected monster is a Holden-six lover’s wet dream. Starting with a blue block, Ambruosi Racing fitted a 3.480-inch stroker crankshaft, Precision H-beam 5.260-inch connecting rods, and Special Piston Services custom forged flat-top slugs to arrive at the 220ci displacement.

The camshaft is a Camtech solid sporting a healthy 258/266 degrees duration and .566-inch lift, conveying instructions via Crow pushrods to the epic J.ZED cylinder head (see more below). Induction is handled by a set of 50mm Weber-style throttlebodies and a FuelTech FT550 ECU, with an ICE 7-amp ignition kit for spark. It really is a burger with the lot, and it’s handy for 280hp at the treads on E85, with Danny Bresciani at Initial D Racing on the laptop.

Similarly, the Trimatic transmission has all the fruit and is coupled to a 5000rpm Dominator converter at one end and a GJ Drivelines tailshaft at the other, with a nine-inch bringing up the rear sporting 4.3:1 gears and 35-spline axles, sprung with Strange coil-overs. Rear wheels are Weld Vitesse in 15×8.5 wearing 275/50R15 ET Streets, and while the rear end might seem like overkill for an all-motor 202, let’s keep in mind that Anthony has bigger plans in place for the Torana.

“I’m in the process of building an RB30/26, and I’m chasing serious power; I want to make it a real tough streeter,” Anthony says. And with his tuner Danny Bresciani being an OG of Aussie RB performance, we’re sure it’ll be a rocket. “Yeah, Danny is a bit of an RB guru,” Anthony confirms. “It’s good to have him in my back pocket for this project.”

In the meantime, Anthony has been enjoying the car at every opportunity. “I get it out every single weekend. It’s not a daily driver, but it’s not far off; I drive it a lot. When those Weber throttlebodies open up, it sounds amazing! I’m itching to get it out to the track and give it a hit to see what it does. I’ve entered Drag Challenge, and I’m keen-as for that.

“I really need to thank my mates who were there for this whole build, because I couldn’t have done it without them. Brandon and Dom Zito, Jayce Mostacci, and Adam and Adrian Fortunato all spent endless nights and every weekend helping me pull this car down to a shell and rebuilding it even better than what I thought it could be. Thank you so much.”


Back in the day, Duggan cylinder heads were heavily favoured by Holden-six freaks who wanted to pull out all the stops in the pursuit of performance. But when drag racer Joe Zullo was keen to purchase one for his rail in 2002, he encountered some resistance from owner Frank Duggan.

“Frank was getting to a stage where he was semi-retired, and he wasn’t exactly forthcoming in selling me a head,” Joe explains. “So I called him up and said, ‘If you’ve got the shits with the world and you want to sell your patterns, you let me know.’ He called back a few days later and said, ‘Fair dinkum, I’ll sell it to you. This is how much I want, and there will be no negotiating.’ We did the deal, Frank and I are still good mates, and I’ve been producing J.ZED heads ever since.”

Heavily based on the old Duggan heads but improved over time through modern technology, the cast-alloy J.ZED head represents significant benefits over 9- and 12-port OEM Holden heads. From a design perspective, the valves are positioned on the centreline of the bore rather than off-centre like a standard head, allowing for much bigger 1.9in intake and 1.5in exhaust valves.

There is also a greatly improved combustion chamber, and the angle and size of the intake port provides a much better flow towards the valve. “I only sell the heads CNC-ported these days, and they flow 280cfm,” says Joe. “Frank used to sell them as-cast, but the backyard porters would get in there and butcher them; I’ve had to fix a few in my time!”

These days, Joe’s J.ZED-equipped rail makes 500hp and has run as quick as 8.4 over the quarter naturally aspirated, and 7.7 with a blown combo!

It’s great to see that iconic Aussie-made speed parts for such a loved and widely modified platform are not only still in production, but still being developed and improved upon.


Paint:Glasurit Gold
Brand:220ci Holden six
Induction:50mm Weber throttlebodies
ECU:FuelTech FT550
Camshaft:Camtech solid; 258° intake, 266° exhaust, .566in lift
Conrods:Precision H-beam 5.260
Pistons:Special Piston Services custom forged flat-top
Crank:TIG steel 3.480in
Oil pump:JP Performance
Fuel system:Holley Dominator pump
Cooling:Aussie Desert Cooler radiator, SPAL 14in fan
Exhaust:Custom extractors and exhaust, Aeroflow muffler
Ignition:ICE electronic 7-amp kit
Converter:5000rpm converter
Diff:9in, 4.3:1 gears, 35-spline axles
Front:King Springs, Monroe shocks
Rear:Strange coil-overs
Brakes:Wilwood (f & r)
Master cylinder:Wilwood
Rims:Weld V-Series 15×3.5 (f), Weld Vitesse 15×8.5 (r)
Rubber:Mickey Thompson Sportsman SR 24×5.00R15 (f), Mickey Thompson ET Street 275/50R15 (r)

Marco from The Race Shop; J.ZED; EFI Hardware; Danny Bresciani from Initial D Racing; FuelTech; Brandon Zito; Dom Zito; Jayce Mostacci; Adam Fortunato; Adrian Fortunato; Jason Evans; my fiancée Tori Evans