PEOPLE involved in engine building are particular by nature; it’s the key to their success. So when an engine builder/ tuner decides to build a car, you can count on it being something pretty special, and this VF Valiant coupe, built by Bundaberg-based Mick McDonald, would be one of the best VFs this scribe has seen.
Mick bought this car when he was 15 and has owned it for 29 years, 11.5 of which were spent building it into what you see here. So yes, it’s taken some time, but when you get into the quality of the build and components, you can appreciate why.
The attention to detail is just overwhelming.
Aside from immaculate paint and panel, the engine is just an animal and the driveline is all Mopar. The 422ci small-block has Mopar W5 heads, a COMP solid-roller cam and 13.5:1 compression, and punches out roughly 700fwhp and 600ft-lb of torque. Induction is via a selffabricated sheet-metal intake topped with two 750 HP carbs.
“I’m reluctant to say what the car will exactly run, as we seem to live in a world where people will use the internet to tear your ambitions down,” Mick laughs. “I had hoped to build the car to run in the X275 series, but to step up to a competitive point will require me spending up on a better rotating assembly. This may happen later, but I do have a nitrous system that I have earmarked for this combination that will add another 300hp to the mix in the near future.
“I really just built this car to run at the various Mopar drags like Mopar Sunday, the Adelaide Mopar drags and the like,” he continues. “I’d like to think it will go high nines aspirated, but anything better than a 10.2 will make me happy.”
Like the motor, the 727 transmission is a work of art, with a Freak Show Performance billet 5000rpm converter, and Brinks Performance gearbox with a TCS full roller kit, Griner transbrake, Ultimate Performance bolt in the rear sprag, aftermarket input and a billet aluminium Full Metal Jacket top gear drum. This is just the best of the best for a Mopar trans. Completing the equation is a Strange driveshaft running back to a Dana 60 with 35-spline Strange axles, 4.11:1 gears and XH Falcon brakes.
The list of modifications for this car is endless, but we will save them for a full feature in the coming months. s