STRAIGHT LINE SPOTLIGHT
The baddest drag racing Chevys
Frank Oliveri and Ronnie Palumbo both do very well representing the Bowtie brand within Australian drag racing Sportsman circles. The cousins field two nearly identical-looking and impressive-performing early-era Holden LC Torana cars. The official model designation for these Holden vehicles is Torana GTR XU-1; Holden is Australia’s equivalent to the Chevrolet brand under General Motors. This particular vintage model traces its origin back to the early 1970s when they were a special release from GM/Holden with the intent to contest within the Australian Touring Car Racing Series (using a 186ci six-cylinder engine). The race team’s Toranas are now very different animals compared to the original. Both Frank and Ronnie campaign them in Australia’s Top Sportsman class (8.99 e.t. or quicker) within the 400 Thunder Drag Racing Series and ANDRA circuits.
Both race cars feature chassis work by Graig Burns (SCF Race Cars) and engine programs by Sam Fenech from Westend Performance, who is a reputed Pro Slammer (Pro Mod) class racer in Australia. Frank’s car runs a 585ci big-block Chevy while Ronnie’s uses a 440ci small-block Chevy. Frank’s car has run a best time of 8.273 at 164 mph, while Ronnie’s machine has a best time to date of 8.725 at 158 mph.
Sponsorship comes primarily from Oliveri’s own BuySellCarParts.com.au with associate help from Hi-Tec
Oil, VP Racing Fuels, Fairfield Mobile Auto Electrical, Campisi Continental Butchery, Volare Woodfire Pizza, Motorsport Database, and Southern Cross Transit. The multicar race team, which also includes a pair of Chevy-powered rear engine dragsters, also does its part to help spread awareness against cancer. Ronnie’s father, Frank Palumbo, who was instrumental in helping to found the race team was recently diagnosed with cancer (everyone at Chevy High Performance wishes him the best in battling that disease).