One of the most obnoxiously tough cars at the Australian Performance Nationals (or Oz Nats) in Sydney on 22 April was the X2 HR Premier Holden of Salvatore Mancuso.
After five years of nothing but the occasional show ’n’ shine, the blown and injected Chev-powered Prem pushed decibel meters into the red as it cut laps and lit tyres around the Sydney Motorsport Park track.
“She’ll turn the tyres at any speed, so it’s a lot of fun,” Sal told us.
The X2 was Sal’s first car. He bought it when he was 18 out of a paddock in Riverstone, NSW, and built it up initially with a 192ci stroker six-pot with a set of triple Webers.
That suited his needs for more than 10 years, but in 2002 the car received its first tunnel-rammed V8, and since then it’s undergone several transformations, whenever Sal’s wallet could manage it.
The HR has been quiet of late, as Sal has been focused on starting a family and growing his business, Forza Mechanical Repairs & Performance in Wetherill Park. “I’ve concentrated my efforts on family and business for the past few years, but now I’m in the process of coming back into the scene and bit by bit, slowly, slowly, you will see more and more of this car,” he said.
The black and blue-flamed beauty is currently running a methanol-chugging 350ci Chevy stroked out to 393ci, topped with an 8/71 Littlefield blower on 35psi of boost.
“It’s making over 1000hp, not a problem,” Sal said. “The motor is built to take 50 pounds of boost. The blower won’t push any more out, or I’d put more in it.”
The car last ran the quarter-mile in 2013, going 8.50s at 157mph on its standard leaf-spring suspension, but Sal knows the game has changed since then and he’s determined to step up and get down into the sevens.
Plans now involve swapping the Littlefield out for a larger PSI supercharger, and setting up the rear end for serious strip action with full wheel tubs, full-floating axle and four-link suspension.
“With these little tyres, I can’t race it anymore,” he said. “Back in the day, when I built it, it was one of the toughest cars around and it was running good numbers for what it was. These days the standards are very high. Running 8.50s is not competitive. I want to be competitive and to be known. I want to get out there and make an impression again like I used to in the old days.”
You just cannot fault the man’s ambition. And now that he’s finally got his ducks in a row, with the dedicated support of his Forza team and his wife Samantha and kids Angela and Giuseppe, Sal’s aiming big.
“Hopefully the next time Oz Nats is on here I’ll be 10 cars deep, with customers’ cars and mates’ cars,” he said. “Forza is going to be put back on the map in a big way. Hopefully I’ll get bigger as time goes on, and take my missus and two kids with me, who are supporting me in every way. Not many women would put up with me – I’m definitely a lot to handle with this car and the business!”
Check out the video to see Sal’s HR in action at Oz Nats.
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