CHICKA Waightís dad Les has been building race cars since Chicka can remember. ďHeís always out in the shed tubbing cars, building ANDRA ícages and stuff, he says. ďAs a kid I was always wandering out to the shed trying to get involved Ė and probably getting in his way. Not anymore; father and son just completed the adventure of a lifetime Ė Drag Challenge 2018 Ė behind the wheel of Chickaís sweet HQ Premier.

Whatís the story behind your HQ?

Itís a genuine 1971 HQ Premier I got as a bare shell when I was 16. I actually swapped it for an HZ Kingswood I had at the time and I was going to do up the six in the HZ, but Dad told me to go for an older HQ so I didnít have to deal with all the newer emissions stuff. Itís a factory six-cylinder car that I fixed up while I was on my Ls and we got it done just a couple of days before I got my Ps. We had most of the stuff lying around to get it done, and it now has a new interior. The paint is pretty much the same as how I got it.

It definitely didnít have a six-cylinder in it at Drag Challenge; whatís in it now? Itís got a 454 Chev big-block from an HQ Premier my dad had years ago. He is building a Torana and he bought an entry for DC this year, but we realised it wasnít going to get finished in time and so decided to put the 454 running gear in my Prem instead. It made 630hp and 630ft-lb on the engine dyno, which is more than enough to scare the pants off me! I was going to wait until was closer to getting off my Ps before we engine-swapped the car, but it only took us five or six weeks to put all the running gear in and get it ready for DC.

What about the rest of the running gear?

It has a transbraked Powerglide with a 4000rpm stall converter. The rear end is a nine-inch with 31-spline billet axles and a Truetrac centre thatís got 3.7:1 gears. The funny thing is we didnít get to use the transbrake as we didnít get it wired up in time, so we were leaving the line at 1500rpm on the footbrake.

How was your first time doing Drag Challenge?

Very, very enjoyable. It was just a really good atmosphere and an awesome event you guys put on. We got through the week trouble-free. We did some test runs at Portland the week before, and other than a dud trans cooler it went fine. We were pretty stoked to run in the 11s all week in DYO and have no issues. Finishing 23rd in the class was pretty cool as well for my first time racing. Dad and I did one run each at every track and he drove it on the road, which he had to do because canít drive it on the road until I get off my Ps. We even went bracket racing on the Saturday after DC at Ballarat Airport and took out second place for the meeting, which was pretty damn cool!


Aged around 21 or younger and have a neat ride?

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What are your future plans?

Iím going to run it in the Summit Super Street series, so weíre going to ícage it because the car should run in the 10s pretty easily, and weíll probably give it a mini-tub as well. We got the car to hook up really well on some of Dadís spare 235s on DC, but Iím going to run some 255s and give it a red-hot crack!

What about DC next year?

We should be back next year. Dadís Torana should be done by then so I might bend my licence rules slightly and drive the Prem while Dad drives the Torana. Iíll probably stay in DYO and give it a proper go next year, as this the year car we would went a be bit like soft first as we time didnít out. know s what the car would be like first time out.