1TUFGM: RB30-powered LC Torana

A classic mid-sized Aussie muscle car stuffed full of stove-hot Japanese six-pot is a sure-fire recipe for a good time

Photographers: Chris Thorogood

Some might scoff at the idea of inserting a Nissan RB30 into an LC Torana, but let’s be real – it ain’t such a bad idea. The LC platform was designed for an inline six-cylinder engine, so there are little-to-no packaging or weight concerns. And while the charm of a howling triple-carbed Holden six is undeniable, a 202 has its limitations if you’re looking for single-digit ETs.

First published in the May 2023 issue of Street Machine

Most Torana tragics will know that Melbourne’s Kris Velkovski has trodden this path before. Kris’s RB-powered CGMFLY LC was featured in the March 2003 issue of Street Machine, and was a very well-known car around the traps in its day. Yours truly even had a picture of it as the desktop wallpaper on his computer at one stage. It ran as quick as 9.20@150mph – pretty damn rapid for the time – making it the quickest six-cylinder, stock-chassis streeter in Australia.

“I finished CGMFLY in 1999 and started racing it early 2000,” says Kris. “It had a standard-bottom-end RB30 in it at first, and it went 9.50@143mph. Then I had a forged motor built for it in 2005, and that’s when it went 9.20@150mph. In 2011, I pulled the car off the road for a rebuild.”

The single-cam RB already had such goodies as Scat rods, SPS forged slugs, a Crow TX2 camshaft and an N1 oil pump, but the rebuild saw it treated to a hand-ported cylinder head, along with a custom JPC42 turbocharger and a set of E85-suitable Bosch 1650 injectors. Enough of an improvement, one might assume, for an eight-second pass.

Progress on the car itself was slower, as there was a lot to do. Kris decided to go to town; we’re talking much larger rear tyres, a full floating rear end and a fabricated front end, along with a fully smoothed undercarriage and a whole lot more. But then he was browsing Facebook Marketplace one day when something shiny caught his eye.

“I saw this LC for sale as a painted roller, and I thought, ‘You know what? I’m going to buy that and put my running gear in it,’” he says. “I told my brother Rob about it and he said I was mad, but I had a mate look at it up in Sydney for me, and then I bought it over the phone.

Rob and I left Melbourne after work on Friday, drove to Sydney, picked it up and drove straight back to Melbourne just in time to scrutineer my HT ute for Drag Challenge!”

The LC’s body was great and the exterior panels were beautifully painted in silver, except for orange stripes on the bonnet and boot, which, in Kris’s words, looked “horrendous”. The first order of business was to send the shell off to have the engine bay and boot painted and the GTR blackouts applied, before Chris at McDonald Brothers did the mini-tubs and nine-inch.

“Once it was back home, I had the engine and ’box from CGMFLY all fresh, detailed and ready to go,” Kris says. “It was a really easy build for us; everything just slotted straight in with no dramas.”

The conversion was fairly straightforward, with the steering column still in the factory location but with two LX-style knuckles added to the intermediate shaft. A Nissan Patrol sump was modified for clearance, with an external oil pick-up used.

Engine mounts were custom made, and with a built Trimatic transmission retained, the transmission crossmember and mount are just OEM-issue Torana stuff. The radiator is a custom-made Aussie Desert Cooler brass jobbie with outlets on the same side to suit the RB. The only cutting required was for the air-to-air intercooler plumbing.

The cabin was refurbished by a backyard operator who Kris refers to only as “Chris the trimmer”, and it’s fair to say he did an exceptional job of the factory GTR-style fit-out in the Torana.

When the finished product was loaded on the dyno, it spat out a healthy 460rwkW (617hp) on C16. Kris then took it to Street Machine Summernats 35, where it came runner-up in Top Standard Paint and scored a spot in the Top 30 Street Elite, but as fate would have it, he wouldn’t hang on to the car for much longer.

“When I got back from Summernats, I had the Torana at a mate’s shop, and the Inturrisi boys came past to have a look at it,” says Kris. “They really liked the car and we ended up doing a deal on it. They are now the new owners, and while it’s sad to see it go, it’s gone to a good home and I still get to see it from time to time.”

So where does that all leave CGMFLY? “I’m stepping it up big time,” Kris enthuses. “It’s getting a 3.2-litre stroker RB with a forged crank, G45 turbo, Reid-cased Powerglide – the works. I want to skip the eights and jump straight into the sevens with the big boys.”

We’ll be eagerly awaiting the new and improved CGMFLY, and you can bet you’ll read more about it here in Street Machine when the time comes.


Paint:Baroda Silver Mk1
Brand:Nissan RB30 six-cylinder
Induction:JPC inlet manifold, XF throttlebody
Turbo:Custom JPC42
Head:Mild hand-port
Pistons:SPS forged
Oil pump:N1
Fuel system:MagnaFuel 750 pump, Bosch 1650 injectors
Cooling:Aussie Desert Cooler radiator
Exhaust:3in stainless
Diff:9in, 35-spline axles, 3.5:1 gears
Front:Custom springs, Koni shocks
Rear:Custom springs, Koni shocks
Brakes:Wilwood discs (f & r)
Master cylinder:Wilwood
Rims:Weld Full Throttle 15×3.5 (f), Weld V-Series beadlock 15×8.5 (r)
Rubber:Nankang 165×80 (f), Mickey Thompson 275/50R15 (r)

My brother Rob; Dave and Mark at Hightrax; Chris the trimmer; Chris at McDonald Brothers; Tuners Edge