Video: Barra-powered time attack TC Cortina

There’s not much old-school tech left under this '70s body

Photographers: Mark Boxer

With stonking power crammed into a tight package, Greg Bowden’s time attack-style Cortina is the latest weapon to feature in Haltech’s ‘Heroes’ YouTube series.

Tired of breaking countless parts in his hillclimb Torana, the racer set out to build a car with modern performance and reliability, all within a classic shell.

Starting with a TC Cortina sedan and “no rules,” he found a smashed Lowndes Edition XR6 Turbo, ripe for pillaging. Greg claimed the stock red-top six and T56 gearbox – alongside the M86 diff, disc brakes and wiring loom.

The donk was left relatively stock, save for a 6boost high-mount manifold and Raceworks fuel rail and injector combo. Running E85 and 17psi of boost, the Corty made 550hp (412kW) at the wheels — a lot of grunt in a manual car weighing just 1250 kilograms.

Though he initially ran a stock Falcon ECU, the Cortina now packs a Haltech Elite Pro Barra Plug-In ECU. Greg says the versatility of the Haltech unit has made a big difference to the car’s driving performance – going from “an animal to a fast race car” thanks to improved boost management.

Little of the factory sheet metal was left untouched, with Greg pushing the firewall back and fabricating a new transmission tunnel to accommodate the Barra and T56’s girth. AVO double-adjustable coilovers sit up front, alongside custom tubular control arms and a hefty swaybar.

It’s a similar story out back. Greg’s engineer fabbed a triangulated four-link from a “blank canvas,” which replaced the back seat. The BTR diff was shortened to fit the narrower Cortina body, and fitted with a Truetrac centre and custom billet axles.

Inside there’s a rock-solid eight-point cage, which Greg admits was one of the most challenging parts of the build. The self-taught welder ended up cramming 46 metres of tube into the cabin.

According to Greg, the car performs admirably across hillclimbs, track days, and even the occasional spot of drag racing.

Check out Haltech’s YouTube channel for more Haltech Heroes profiles, alongside other projects and tech information.