Street Machine - - Sleepers -

YOU might think you recog­nise Yvette Webb’s nanna-spec small-bod­ied To­rana, be­cause it’s a dead ringer for one we’ve fea­tured pre­vi­ously, and there’s a good rea­son for that. See, Yvette’s hubby is Tony ‘Webby’ Webb, who runs an 8.5-sec­ond poo-brown LJ Torry known as CULPRIT. It’s a beastly turbo-fed 355-cu­ber and cur­rently sec­ond on the 8.50-in­dexed APSA X275 record list, 0.003 sec­onds be­hind Terry Seng.

But al­though it looks sim­i­lar, this is not the same car. It is, in fact, a non-iden­ti­cal twin.

“The LJ was a gift from Tony last year,” Yvette says. “He’s ran­domly sur­prised me with a few cars over the years.”

Tony bought the car from Nicki and Tim Cross (Tim is fifth on the APSA Out­law Ra­dial list with 6.8 sec­onds in his Cortina). Tim had built the LJ as a cruiser. “He thought we’d like to buy it as we al­ready owned two other poo-brown To­ranas,” Yvette laughs.

The Webbs have named their three brown Tor­ries too – Tony’s CULPRIT is known as Leroy Brown, this is Char­lie Brown, and Tony has an­other drag car in the build dubbed James Brown.

“We just like the colour,” Yvette says. “Peo­ple ask: ‘What’s with the poo-brown To­rana?’ and Webby al­ways says: ‘Ahem; it’s choco­late metal­lic.’ Also, Webby has al­ways added a vene­tian blind in all of his To­ranas. He likes that vin­tage, nanna look, and I think it’s pretty cool, too.”

Un­der Char­lie Brown’s bon­net, how­ever, it’s no place for nan­nas. A mild LS1 with a se­cret cam grind, new rod bolts, head studs, roller rock­ers and ported heads was in­stalled by Tim, with an added shot of ni­trous that’s good for 600hp all told.

Jack Beed­ham cus­tom-made the 1.75-inch ex­trac­tors with twin three-inch pipes and four muf­flers that main­tain a suitably throaty rum­ble.

Fur­ther back is ev­ery­thing you’d want be­hind a stout V8, in­clud­ing a ’Glide with TCI 3500 stall, and a nine-inch LSD with 3.2:1 gears, soon to be upped to 3.7. The amped-up good­ies carry on un­der­neath, with Ped­ders coils all ’round and up­graded stop­pers front and rear.

With most of the hard yakka al­ready done, Yvette and Tony just needed to sort out the rear end to get the tyres to fit bet­ter. They also added an MSD two-step and shift light, a sure sign the car is headed for a quar­ter-mile hid­ing.

“We headed out to a quar­ter-mile track day and it was heaps of fun,” Yvette says. “I’d al­ways bagged out Webby, say­ing: ‘How hard can this drag rac­ing thing re­ally be?’ And it’s re­ally hard!”

After run­ning a best of 12.3 sec­onds on the stock rims with tiny 185-wide rub­ber, Yvette feels ready to step it up.

“I had this un­con­scious safety mech­a­nism where I’d get to­wards the end of the track, the LJ would move a lit­tle bit, and I’d back off. I just couldn’t seem to ac­cel­er­ate right to the end. My brain was say­ing: ‘No, no, no, no!’ I


am def­i­nitely go­ing to race again and I know I can do bet­ter.”

Yvette and Tony’s 10-year-old son Connor is also a mas­sive fan of the car.

“Connor is a big a car nut,” Mum says proudly. “We go on cruises and for Sun­day drives. His friends love it when I drop them back to their houses; they have mas­sive smiles. They try talk­ing to me over the sound of it, but I can’t hear them – that’s a bonus, too!” And yes, the nanna spec does lead peo­ple astray. “I was in traf­fic when an older cou­ple pulled up along­side and, over the rum­ble of the LS, this old lady yells out: ‘I used to have one of those!’ I was rock­ing from the V8’s vi­bra­tion and turned to Tony say­ing: ‘I don’t think she had ex­actly the same,’” Yvette laughs. “I truly love this To­rana, it’s a keeper. Noth­ing leaves this house, so we’re just go­ing to keep col­lect­ing brown To­ranas.”

Noth­ing to see here! Just a li’l brown Torry that screams stocker all day long, sport­ing a white vi­sor, rear vene­tian and hub­caps

Yvette and Tony have been mar­ried for 15 years. “His love of cars is out of con­trol, so I’ve kind of got swept up in it,” she says. “The car com­mu­nity is fan­tas­tic; there’s so many lovely peo­ple”

BE­LOW: The MSD shift light is set to 6500rpm, but they plan to up it to 7500 once Yvette has a few runs un­der the belt power pro­vides a gross to­tal of 600 ned­dies

LEFT: Tucked neatly in the boot is a Sniper ni­trous bot­tle. Cur­rently con­fig­ured to de­liver 150hp per spray, the sin­gle-stage wet sys­tem is con­trolled by sen­sor at full throt­tle. The boost in

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