Tony Macro has brought his concept of an SL/R 5000 for the Twenty First century to life

Photographers: Jordan Leist

TONY Macro always had a goal in mind for his perfect street car. “My ultimate dream was to have a supercharged, injected Torana,” says the West Aussie local. “I always wanted a four-door LH Torana, as I have always loved their shape. I bought this car after seeing it for sale at a car show about 10 years ago. It was a street-spec car at the time.

“The paint was okay and the car ran okay, but it needed to be tidied up. But, after going over it in detail, the engine needed new rings and a few more parts, so that’s really when the first rebuild started.”


Finished in Salamanca Red and jet-black two-tone, and with a tough small-block Chev it looked the business. Tony hauled it across the Nullarbor with the team from Pure Grunt Performance for an appearance at Summernats 2013, but things didn’t go to plan.

“Unfortunately, the flexplate broke on the first day,” Tony says. “The car just sat there doing nothing for the weekend as we couldn’t get the right part and change it there. That Summernats trip was a real turning point to where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do with the car.

“I was talking to Scotty from Street Machine about the car and told him I dreamed of having a car worthy of being featured. He said to me: ‘Sorry mate, but it’s just not good enough as it is to be featured.’ I remember those exact words because, at the time, I thought it was a bit harsh. But it really gave me the motivation to make it better. I thought: ‘Right! I’ll come back and show you it is good enough!’”


With the Torrie back home, Tony wanted renderings done of how he envisaged the completed car. “I contacted Wayne Pereira from WPDI to do up some concept sketches and a design of a 21st-century-styled Aussie muscle car. He did some drawings and a final rendering; then it all got underway with build number two.”

This saw the shell head back to Chris and Michael at Pure Grunt Performance for the fab work, including those monster tubs. After they had been welded in, Dave Cleary at Gas 78 Industries took the SL/R back.

He’d already done a heap of work on the car, having shaved the roof-mounted antenna, finished the surround for the cut-out bonnet, and smoothed the firewall, chassis rails and engine bay.

“Dave and the team set about applying the House Of Kolor Pearl White, Galaxy Grey and matte black to the body, engine and wheels,” says Tony. “From there it was back to Pure Grunt Performance to get all the driveline and wiring in the car and sorted.


“When we started the first rebuild, the motor was built with the supercharger in mind, so the parts that were used were suited to that,” explains Tony. “Chris and Boz from Pure Grunt Performance always go far above and beyond with the car and can’t thank them enough for their involvement and advice and support.”

The powerplant is a super-stout 800hp mechanically-blown 383ci small-block Chev, using a Dart block, Scat steel crank, Probe forged slugs, Scat H-beam rods, custom roller cam and AFR 235 cylinder heads.

The methanol carbies from the first build have been replaced by an injected BDS blown set-up, topped by an Enderle bird-catcher hat. While it still drinks an alcoholic diet, the intake took a bit of sorting.

“The injector hat I bought didn’t seal properly. It was letting too much air in and wouldn’t idle under 3000rpm. I spoke to Gary Myers at Gazzanats about the hat and he organised getting it fixed with a new set of barn-door butterflies.”

Back in the engine bay the angry bow-tie was mated to a Turbo 350, custom tailshaft and spooled nine-inch that turns 35-spline Moser axles. They’re hidden behind a VR Commodore disc-brake rear-end swinging QA1 coil-over shocks on the four-link Pure Grunt set up.

The front uses mostly stock suspension, with the exception of HQ brakes and Nolathane bushes. But you don’t notice these parts thanks to the GTS-style, body-coloured 18×8 and 20×12 Intro Holbrook wheels.


The rims contrast the bright red trim job done by Troy Jones at Southside Motor Trimmers. The original front tombstone pews were replaced by VE SS items, with the original timber laminate dashboard replaced by a custom flat vinyl-wrapped unit.

It’s been filled with custom mounted Auto Meter gauges and matte-black switches. The B&M shifter was blacked out to contrast the rim of the Billet Specialties steering wheel, while the centre was also painted matte black. Troy added fresh carpet, trimmed kick panels, black sill plates, did a red suede headlining and then knocked up a custom board to blank off the rear seat area.

“Troy did an unbelievable job on the interior and I couldn’t be happier with it,” says Tony. “When the pressure was on to try and get the car to Gazzanats in March he really stepped up to the plate to try and get it done. We didn’t quite get it all done, but decided to take the car anyway and have some fun with what we had.”

With the car finished off shortly after the event, you’d think Tony would be just about ready to put his feet up and enjoy the fruits of his labour. But he doesn’t see it quite the same way.

“My wife, Hayley, has just given me the green light to take the car back to Summernats in 2016 to complete some unfinished business.” Tony’s middle name must be ‘Perseverance’!