THEY’RE intrinsically linked to drag racing, and yet there were only two cars sporting traditional GM-style blowers at Drag Challenge this year, and one was Clive Polidano’s blue HZ Kingswood. The fullweight street car has a 383ci small-block Chev and TBS 6/71 blower topped by a pair of Edelbrock four-barrel carbs, good for 580hp on the engine dyno.
“We turned up on the Sunday and my co-pilot Chris said we look like we’ve got three heads,” laughs the Riverina mechanic. “Apart from Krankenstein we were the only blokes there with a blower through the bonnet, which was a challenge on its own. Still, it was cool cruising down the road looking at the blower and carbies.
“The car is a cruiser to drive on the street, and we take it out most weekends to get ice cream or go for a drive. My wife and kids go in it so it can’t break down, otherwise my wife might start to not like it as much.”
Preparation paid off for Clive and his mates, with a trouble-free run for the entire week, despite the full-size sedan tipping the scales at 1630kg (3600lb) in race trim.
“We made sure wiring, shifter cables, anything that could melt in the heat, was safe. In the end we were sitting on about three-tonne.
“We kept the water and Esky down the back with the tyres and wheels so it was easy to get to. We used one of Norm’s big Aussie Desert Cooler Burnout King radiators and it was mint.”
The boys did struggle in the Adelaide heat on Day One, with the car running half a second off its PB with an 11.94. “The air was like cheese in Adelaide on the first day, but we got to Mildura and it thinned out so everyone started going faster,” says Clive.
“We were never quick and the car was still pretty new when we turned up on the Sunday.
Before we left it had done 12-14 passes and 1500km on the road. By the time we got back to Adelaide on the Friday we did 11.50, 11.54 and 11.55 in a row, with two different drivers. It still had 70 pounds of air in the air shocks, and it might have even had a wheel off the deck!”
Clive is already doing backflips with the idea of entering again. “We haven’t stopped buzzing since we got back. It’s the best event I’ve ever been involved with, and I’ve been going to Summernats for 20 years!” we didn’t touch the car! We tried to keep the overall mass down as much as possible but, with four 100kg blokes on board and the trailer,
Class: K&N Dial Your Own
Engine: 383ci small-block Chev Blower: The Blower Shop 6/71 Transmission: TH400 Converter: 4000rpm Diff: 3.7:1 Power: 580hp Previous PB: 11.58@123mph Best Drag Challenge Pass: 11.50@123mph
EARLY Monaros are a thing of great beauty, especially when they run deep into the 10s with tough, naturally aspirated small-block Chevs riding up front.
“It’s my first Drag Challenge and I’ve been planning it for about two years, trying to get everything lined up with the car like the rollcage and all the ANDRA stuff,” said Dylan Murphy of his gorgeous HT Monaro when we cornered him for a chat on Day One.
“It went 10.73 on the first pass and then I got into it a bit and it went 10.66 at about 127mph. I’m happy with that, and we’ll aim for that for the rest of the week. We might have to do a couple of extra laps at each track to go close to that, but we’ll see what happens.”
The car happily ran in the 10s all week and finished mid-pack in DYO. With Dylan’s dad riding shotgun, nightly oil changes kept mechanical issues at bay, and aside from the engine throwing a belt and a slight niggle with the transmission, it was plain sailing.
“There’s no other event like this,” says Dylan. “It’s all about endurance. And to be with so many tough cars from around Australia is full-on.”
AFTER experiencing some headaches with the supercharged small-block set-up he used to run, Rod Lyall spied a pair of turbos for sale whilst on holidays in Queensland. “I bought them, brought them home and built the headers,” he said. “We were living in a shed at the time because we were building a house, so I was running a TIG welder off a generator while the kids were watching TV in the other half of the shed. But it came up nice; it’s good when a plan comes together.”
The plan came together very well indeed, because despite the fact that the car was largely untested prior to Drag Challenge, it ran a 9.59@127mph on the very first day and managed to complete the 1600-kilometre, fiveday torture test despite encountering all manner of ungodly weather.
“It’s the same 383ci small-block Chev it ran when it was ProCharged,” said Rod. “It just runs a different camshaft, and the BorgWarner 66/80 turbos with Turbosmart wastegates. For an untested car, it hooked up and ran really good.”
Running a blow-through carby set-up, Rod did his racing on E85 and his commuting on regular pump fuel, simply switching out the carby to move from one fuel to the next. His only goal was to successfully complete the event with no blow-ups or meltdowns – mission successful!