VINCE RICCOTTI & JASON GHILLER 1981 MITSUBISHI SIGMA SCORPION

MELBOURNE, VIC

STORY AIDEN TAYLOR PHOTOS CHRS THOROGOOD

THE Sigma Scorpion was Mitsubishiís affordable sports coupe for the 1980s, although we use the term Ďsportsí pretty loosely. Powered by a 2.6-litre four-cylinder producing a monstrous 78kW, it barely had enough grunt to get out of its own way Ė it was a sports car for your nanna. But with a fairly large engine bay and solid rear axle, it makes a fine canvas for a sleeper build, which is exactly what Vince Riccotti and Jason Ghiller from Tunnel Vision have done.

A couple of years ago Jason had a 3.0-litre Nissan V6 VG30 motor from a 300ZX sitting at his workshop that he planned to put in his work ute. But one day he and Vince were browsing Gumtree and came across this mint, grandma-spec, one-owner Scorpion. They bought the car that day and had the V6 sitting in the engine bay that night.

From there Vince and Jason built the motor up with forged conrods and SPS pistons. The heads were massaged, and Jason made up a custom plenum and exhaust manifolds for a single Garrett GT42 turbo. The car hasnít been run up on the dyno just yet, but Vince is confident itís pushing out somewhere in the realm of 400rwkW. Jeez!

While the VG30 isnít a really popular mill, itís a trick bit of gear that powered Nissan race cars to three IMSA GT Championship titles in a row. There are two variants, this mint spec Scorpion being the older of the two with singleoverhead- cam heads compared to the later twin cams, along with an iron block and big single-piece crank girdle similar to the legendary Nissan RB straight-six engine series. In fact, it shares a number of similarities with its sister engine the RB30, and for a 3.0-litre OHC V6, itís a very compact unit, which makes it great for an engine swap.

Backing the V6 is a Powerglide trans and nine-inch rear end, while engine management is handled by a Haltech Platinum Series ECU. While the car has been to the drags a couple of times, Vince says that itís more of a fast street car than anything else, with all the factory trim and stock wheels.

CO-OWNER OVER THE JASON QUARTER, RAN BACKING A 10.60@90MPH OFF AT HALF-TRACK DUE TO HAVING NO ROLLCAGE

We caught up with Vince at King Of The Street last year, where he was racing the two-door for the first time over the eighthmile. ďUnfortunately the old Platinum Sport ECU doesnít have a bump box feature, so the Scorp wasnít really competitive in the heads-up racing and got knocked out in the first round, but it was still a fun day!Ē he said. The car was later taken to the track by co-owner Jason, who ran a 10.60@90mph over the quarter, backing off at halftrack due to having no rollcage. Vince is so confident itís certainly that the no slouch car is capable for a Sigma! of a 9.60, so itís certainly no slouch for a Sigma!