DANIEL GRIMA

1955 CHEVROLET BEL AIR

AMERICAN iron was thin on the ground at this year’s Drag Challenge, yet Daniel ‘Gizmo’ Grima proved that his big-bodied ’55 Chevy Bel Air can mix it with the best of them. “On the morning of Day Three at Swan Hill someone mentioned that we were second in K&N Dial Your Own, with a 0.0029-second margin – so we went for it!” Daniel grins.

Daniel, along with his crew Steve Grima and Ryan Mortimer, figured out the data from each run to start homing in on that magical dial-in. “I would do a run short-shifting, then back that up with a run where I revved it out. That would give us the information to get close to my 11.853 dial-in,” Gizmo explains.

And with Portland rained out, it was back in Adelaide on Day Five to fight for first. “We managed three runs before the rain set in and we were four one-hundredths off our dial-in,” Gizmo shrugs, then smiles. “That was enough to get us second place in the K&N DYO class. I’m stoked!”

Under the hood of the red ’n’ white tank is a naturally aspirated EFI LS2 with 11.1 comp and factory LS1 ECU backed by a TH400, Dominator 4000rpm stall, Gear Street Machine Drag Challenge and he really took the bull by the horns, driving the ’55 all the way from Sydney, taking in the Bright Rod Run on the way. “We had ’box issues in the valvebody and overdrive, but once that was sorted, it was smooth sailing to Adelaide and throughout Drag Challenge,” he says.

Jumping into any car and driving over 5000km makes you think twice, so why did Gizmo decide to take the Chev on this epic adventure? “My friends have competed in Drag Challenge – I wired their cars,” he says. “So, I know that reliability is key and I have full faith in the car knowing it will get me where I need to go. Plus, I love street-driving events.

“I need to give a big thanks to Street Machine for organising a great event, to Steve and Ryan for helping along the way, to Robert Spagnol from Edmargs Engine Reconditioning for building a killer engine and Joe DiGiorgio for the tune. Thanks everyone for the encouragement along the way – I can’t wait to do it again.”

Vendors overdrive, and nine-inch with 4.11s.

This was Gizmo’s first

1955 CHEVROLET BEL AIR

Class: K&N Dial Your Own

SPECS

Engine: LS2 RUNNER-UP – K&N Transmission: TH400, Gear Vendors overdrive Converter: Dominator 4000rpm stall Diff: 4.11:1 Power: 430rwhp Previous PB: 11.66@117mph Best Drag Challenge Pass: 11.77@115mph DIAL YOUR OWN