JOHN Spinks has owned this clinically clean LX Torana hatch for well over two decades. In that time it has undergone numerous rebuilds, gradually morphing from a small-block Chev-powered pro streeter into a stunning pro touring powerhouse.
When John first ditched the Chev he went to an HSV Group A twin-throttlebody injected V8. That same engine is now out to 383ci and running a solid-roller cam with an eight-throttlebody, full-billet intake manifold from Bliss Custom Machining. It’s the centrepiece of an engine bay that is one of the best around.
The engine itself is good for around 600hp and it’s backed by a six-speed manual gearbox. There are great-quality suspension components throughout, ROH three-piece wheels with big, sticky tyres, and monster AP Racing anchors at all four corners. Quite clearly it’s been built to go, stop and steer.
It’s also a bona fide show-quality, street-driven car, which makes it a fairly versatile machine. Over the years it’s landed in the Top 20 at Summernats and scored trophies for Top Retrotech, Top Pro Tourer and Most Outstanding Engineered.
But the fact that the car is built to Elite standards doesn’t stop John from giving it a hard time on the street and the track, and he leant on it hard all weekend at Bathurst Autofest, banging gears in the Super Sprint and Go-to-Whoa competitions, and taking the time to cruise the Mount Panorama circuit with his mates.
We featured John’s hatch a couple of years back (SM, Apr ’15), but it has continued to evolve ever since. He’s made a number of tweaks to the interior, colour-coded the bars, grille and headlight surrounds, and switched to a belt-driven oil pump.
Check out the video to learn more about the car.