STRAIGHT LINE SPOT­LIGHT

Chevy High Performance - - Contents -

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).

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