Video: What engine should we put in our Torana?

We bought ourselves a two-door Torana, and you can help us decide what donk to put in it!

Photographers: Matt Hull
Videographers: Matt Hull

LAST year, we sneakily scored ourselves this two-door, chrome-bumper Torana as a future project for our Carnage YouTube show.

It’s a 1974 TA Torana that we picked up for AU$7500, still packing the asthmatic 1300cc four-cylinder engine these things came with and missing just about every piece of the interior – even the steering column.

That price may seem steep for a four-pot Torry, but it meant we scored a two-door, chrome-bumper Torana with bugger-all rust for a fraction of what a six- or eight-cylinder shell would command.

Because it came without the interior and basic ancillaries needed for road use, and with rare Torana parts costing more than a vital organ transplant, we’ve opted to make this thing a track-only deal.

That means we can open the door wide open for powertrain options, which is where you come in. Scotty has already said he has no plans to pursue anything other than an ‘in the bin’ strategy for the current four-banger, so we’re all ears for what you think we should put in the car.

The tried-and-tested Barra and LS swaps have been done to death, so we’ve already put a line through those. The same goes for the Holden V6, especially because we already have our L67-swapped ‘Supermang’ VN Berlina in the Carnage fleet.

There’s already been a few suggestions to swap in a period-correct Holden mill such as the six-pot 186 or the good ol’ 253 or 308 V8. But while that may have been a cheap-as-chips idea 30 years ago, that stuff is expensive now, and even more moolah would be needed to make any of them quick enough by 2021 standards. Plus, we already have SM editor Andrew Broadley’s stunning LC Torana that moonlights on Carnage, which will have a beefed-up 304 V8 and Harrop TVS2300 blower next time you see it for those chasing V8 Torana action.

A modern Hemi won’t fit, and we’ve already got a couple of old-school Mopars on the channel with classic V8s, so the front-runners to make their way into the TA are mostly from Japan.

We have a spare non-turbo 2JZ engine up the back of the workshop that Scotty would love to throw some rods and pistons into and jam into the Torana. The potential of some kind of Nissan RB finding a home in the Torry hasn’t been discounted, either.

A Honda K-series swap has been flagged multiple times in the Street Machine group chats, as they have proven themselves super-capable of making big power for modest bucks.

We are lacking a rotary in the Carnage ranks, but odds are that Broads would rather set the TA on fire than allow one of those to make its way between the chassis rails.

There’s always the thought of getting futuristic and doing an EV conversion, but right now the cost of such technology still heavily outweighs any benefit.

So now we’re throwing the ball in your court: what do you think we should put in the Torana? Drop a comment down below with your suggestion, and if it gets enough support, you’ll see us throw it into the little Holden in a future episode of Carnage.