Simon Kryger’s INOCNT LJ Torana

Sending the front end skywards and peeling off eight-second passes is all in a day's work for Simon Kryger's street-snorting 400ci Torana

Simon Kryger LJ Torana
Photographers: Mark Bramley

Take one look at Simon Kryger, then at his car, and you’ll find a match made in heaven. Neither are perfect but this ruff ‘n” tuff looking bloke from Wollongong in NSW owns one of the toughest and best-performing street cars that you’ll ever see trundling down the road. Did I say street car? Bloody oath, street car. A car that is 100 per cent street registered, 100 per cent street driven and 100 per cent farkin awesome.

First published in the September 2001 issue of Street Machine

On any given Wednesday night, the sight and sound of this nitrous-powered eight-second weapon approaching the start line at Eastern Creek is enough to get the crowd on its feet so as not to miss a thing as Kryger punches the loud pedal, sending the Torrie reaching for the stars. To Simon, it’s just another ride but most people would be shitting their strides. You don’t reckon you would?

This thing hits so hard out of the hole it’ll have your friggin’ dog bleeding. Try 1.26 second 60-foot times with enough G-force to put a whole new meaning into recessed eyeballs.

“Man, it doesn’t really matter to me what the car runs”, tells Kryger, in a nonchalant manner, about his eight-second screamer“, because up in the air is where it’s all at.

“You just gotta remember, some is good and more is better.”

A hand-stitched leather Harley seat had supported his arse for years and years but after winning a heap of trophies with the Hog and getting too tired and damaged from spending his weekends in Crusty Demon dirt bike mode, the time had come to move on to a new project that would befit his role as dad and family man.

The Harley put 35 big ones in the kitty and the dirt bike got swapped for the LJ which at that stage was black, had a busted-arse 253ci V8 that leaked more oil that the Exxon Valdez, a nine-inch arse end, Recaro look-alike interior and Simmons.

“It was a full chocko mobile — had a Muncie, drop tank and was not the way I wanted my car to look, but I had to start somewhere,” tells Simon. “The clutch slave shit itself after two weeks and I was going to fit a Trimatic and it all began from there.

“I thought I’d freshen the engine and went to AK Racing for a standard-stroke 308. Handed over the bucks and bought an aspirated shitter that ran 11.89/116mph.

“The car was plain black and I wanted to put some GTR stripes on the thing, so I went to The Sign Shop in Wollongong to get it striped. It looked pretty tough with the CYCOS5L (psycho five-litre — geddit?) plates but I got sick of the stripes after a few weeks. So as I’m pulling the stripes off, the paint started coming off too. I said, “Stuff it, I’m gunna tub it and get it looking cocked.”

“I decided to paint it blue like the Harley, as the sale of the Harley funded the car, and started fitting a set of tubs myself. Man, what a shit job that was, I’ll never do that again!

“The nine-inch in the car was useless so I had Terry’s Diffs and Chassis build one with chrome-moly tubes and Mark Williams axles, nodular centre, pinion support and all that stuff with 3.5:1 gears.

“We went out and ran the car and it didn’t run like it should, so I sold that motor to Warren Appelby for its bits and pieces. There was something that just wasn’t right with that engine.

“A few weeks later I went and crewed with Modified Street racers Mick Voarse and Wayne Leah in Melbourne on their Torana. While I was there, I started chatting with Geoff Hoskins and bought the engine out of his car. At the time it was running 10.40 in his HQ.

“l bought that for $5000 and fitted a nitrous kit and it ran 10.6/128mph but I still wasn’t happy. | decided to spend a few bucks and bought a BG pump, NOS kit and took the car out again. This time it ran 10.1 all over the track, then backed up next pass with a 9.90, then a 9.81. I raced it like that for a few meetings before I decided to chuck some serious cash at it.”

Since then the engine has been fitted with a Scat crank, Scat rods, JE pistons and ported Dart Sportsman heads. The intake is a Victor Jnr with a NOS Big Shot kit and the static comp comes in at 11.7:1. The mix is fired by a sophisticated ICE Compu-Curve ignition system that automatically retards or advances the engine depending on the application.

Local Wollongong racer and exhaust guru John Shavkulovich built a wicked set of tuned-length four-into-ones with merge collectors and dual 3 1/2-inch system, and with a bit of HPC it looks full-sick in the engine bay as it drains 800 ponies from the engine.

Paul and Kevin at Hyperflow Custom Radiators and Intercoolers took care of cooling matters with an alloy radiator complete with polished and hand-rolled top and bottom tanks that keeps the mill cool with a single 10-inch thermo.

Backing up the powerplant is a Northmead Auto Centre Powerglide with a TCI planetary Super-Set, 2.03 first gear ratio, dual-ring billet servo piston, Vasco input shaft and Raybestos clutches which are all stirred by a TCE converter.

Tailshaft was built by Daniels Engineering in the “Gong and the rear-end of the car has been tickled by Sparras Fabrications. Actually Sparra did a heap of work on the car which included a complete rewire, the powder-coated roll cage, rear sway bar, rear coil-overs and a heap of other mods that get this LJ on the bumper bar pass after pass.

It freaks most people out that the car is still fitted with the factory rear-end especially when they see how hard it launches.

On the inside Simon fitted a set of plastic racing seats which are great for cleaning purposes, especially when Katlyn, his daughter and number one fan, goes cruising with him in the car. “She makes a bit of a mess at times,” tells Simon,“ walking over the seats and eating and spilling her drinks.”

The dash is hardware central with each and every gauge and switch controlling some crucial piece of equipment. Auto Meter gauges report engine temp, oil pressure, fuel pressure and nitrous bottle pressure and don’t forget the monster tach and speedo.

A B&M Pro Ratchet shifter is surrounded by switches and levers for arming the nitrous, purging the line, thermos, parachute… did we mention that the car normally has a parachute and wheelie bars strapped to its arse? Yep, this little sucker runs near-enough to 150mph – 149-point something and ANDRA rules state any car that runs quicker that 140mph needs an extra anchor out the back.

Other extras include fibreglass bonnet, bootlid and bumper bars, Jaz 40-litre fuel cell, a couple of miles of braided lines, harnesses and all the serious no-wank stuff to make this car not just the fastest hydraulic-cammed race-car in the world but the fourth fastest Modified Street car in Australia and the fastest genuinely registered street car in Oz.

Did I remember to tell you what it runs? How about 8.96/149.92mph over the quarter mile on a 10-inch slick, while only turning the engine to 5500rpm. And if you think this baby is all bottle and a limp-dick without it — it runs 10.50s with no gas.


Colour: Cobalt blue

Engine:400 Chev
Crank:Scat, Scat rods, Ross pistons
Heads:Dart Sportsman 11
Intake:Victor Jnr with 750 Comp Series Holley, NOS Big Shot kit
Converter:3200rpm TCE
Gearbox:Powerglide with TCI planetary Super-Set, deep sump, billet servo, Vasco input shaft, Raybestos clutches; tail shaft by Daniels Engineering
Diff:Ford nine-inch, Mark Williams axles, full spool, nodular centre, 3.5:1 gears
Estimated horsepower:800hp (Yeehar!)
Best ET:8.96/149.92mph on gas
Wheels & tyres:15 x10 and 15×4.5 Convo Pros. Cross-ply fronts, Kelly Chargers (street) or. MT 28×10.5 slicks (comp) out the back