BENCH racing – is there anything better? All the fun of building a car, without the effort or expense! We’ve been doing a fair bit of it at Machine HQ lately. Street Machine Summernats is over, Drag Challenge Weekend is some time away yet (3-6 May, but who is counting?) and we have a full season of Carnage to plan.
Already on the job list is fresh suspension for the Big-Block Barina, and then we have to get our 1JZ-powered Volvo 240 up and running. Both projects were started by the same bloke, and they’ve already been a lot of fun.
Turbo Taxi turned an axle to spaghetti at the drags, so that is getting fixed as we speak, in the hope of finally completing our seemingly never-ending quest to run 10s in the old girl. The plan for MX5.7 is to sell her off as a roller (she’ll make a great drift or drag car for someone) and slot the drivetrain into something else. Exactly what, we’re not sure. A VG-VS ute is a popular contender for the transplant with some in the office, though I’d love to stick it into a grandpa-spec HZ Statesman. Whatever way we go, it will make for a fun street car.
Then there is our 1963 Dodge Phoenix, aka Mr Dodgey. Dodgey is up and running with a bog-stock Blueprint 440 and Paul Rogersbuilt push-button auto. He is a great thing to cruise in, but could definitely use more poke. A set of decent heads and cam would wake him right up, but why stop there?
We have tossed around the idea of turning him into a 6/71-blown gasser, but then we saw Jesse Bourke beat us to it with his blown rat-powered ’63 (see page 86). That got us thinking of a 60s Super Stock vibe, but what to do for poke? Our minds turned to a centrifugal blower, maybe a Paxton NOVI deal. “People think of centrifugal blowers as a modern thing, Scotty says, “but Detroit was fitting them as an option to cars in the 50s. So it would still suit the vibe.
Not that we’d restrict ourselves to modern parts. We’re tossing up whether to run an air-to-air intercooler or to just set it up for E85. Or maybe both! And we’d definitely use something like a Haltech VMS to control the ignition.
Of course, we’d need to upgrade the carby and the fuel system and throw a cam in it too, but Scotty reckons that should at least double our output – and would be a lot of fun to drive. Should we do it? Hit us up on our socials and let us know.
On the home front, my Tonner is still rattling around with the 202 and four-speed combo she came with. A 253 or 308 is still the prime choice for an easy upgrade, but if we’re going to make this a Carnage project, we’ll need to do something more elaborate. An LS swap would be the most sensible route, but I’ve never claimed to be sensible. Iain ‘Marv’ – Kelly teamed is lobbying with a for bus a turbo, Nissan naturally!