SLEEPERS

ALEX ATKINSON 1977 CHRYSLER VALIANT REGAL > NARANGBA, QLD

STORY AIDEN TAYLOR PHOTOS STEVE KELLY

AFTER considering a turbo build for his Valiant Regalís original 265 Hemisix, Alex Atkinson realised he could drop in a small-block 360ci V8 and turbo for about the same money.

So of course he went the V8 route, and turned his grandpa-spec Regal into a boosted street-cruising sleeper.

I donít recall Valiant Regals coming from the factory with a snail hanging off the motor Ė whatís the combo?

Itís a 360-cube small-block with cast-iron EQ Magnum heads, aftermarket rods and pistons to drop the compression to 8.0:1. It has a Garrett GT42R turbo with a blow-through 750cfm CSU carby. I got the motor built in America; they sent me the assembled motor with the new internals, heads, pistons and rods, and I did the turbo set-up with the help of my old man.

What sort of power does she make?

It made 500rwhp on 9.5psi, and itís got a bit more in it. It has the MSD ignition system with a boost-retard device, so when itís on boost it pulls timing. Itís really cool because it makes it easy to drive. The fuel system uses a Carter lift pump to a surge tank and then twin Bosch 044 pumps to feed the Aeromotive returnline regulator; it just runs on 98-octane. Iím probably going to pump the boost up to 12psi and see what it does.

Whatís the rest of the driveline?

The transmission is a 904 Torqueflite with a 3300rpm stall converter, with a race band and heavy-duty clutch-pack. It has a manual Ďstandard-patterní valvebody, so anyone can get in and drive the car. The diff is a BorgWarner with standard 2.92 diff gears, 28-spline axles and a locker. Eventually Iíll get it out on the track and see what it can do, but for now itís just a fast street cruiser.

A fast and very stealthy street cruiser!

Yeah, it stays under the radar pretty well.

When I decided to do the turbo set-up I worked out that I wanted to keep it looking as original as I could from the outside. Itís not that hard to build something thatís all go, but to do that without having a visible intercooler or fuel system or anything that looks out of place takes a lot of thought. Just figuring out how to hide everything was quite challenging.

What was the car like when you started?

It was very tidy. There were a few small spots of rust that I got repaired, but someone had already had a crack at doing it up. It was a 265 Hemi-six with a Supra five-speed. It just needed a decent clean inside and out.

I havenít really touched the paint; itís got a few scratches here and there, but overall itís in pretty good nick. I only painted the bonnet because I had a small bulge put in it so I wouldnít need a reverse cowl or scoop to fit the turbo set-up.

Did you have much help along the way?

Basically my dad Michael and I did everything on the car. We specced the engine, had it built in America and from there we did all the turbo set-up, fuel system, electrical, transmission and diff. Iím a fabricator and the old man is an engineer so I did all the welding and he did the assembly. Honestly, big props to my dad for helping out. Without him it probably wouldnít have happened Ė or it would have taken a lot longer!

ITíS NOT THAT HARD TO BUILD SOMETHING THATíS ALL GO, BUT TO DO IT WITHOUT ANYTHING THAT LOOKS OUT OF PLACE TAKES A LOT OF THOUGHT