LIKE most Drag Challenge entrants, Matthew Tomkins took on the 2018 event mainly for the enjoyment of the experience. He wanted to spend the with like-minded people, do a bit of sight-seeing, race some cars and just have a good time. And with a 660hp LS-powered Kingswood as his chariot, there’s no doubt Matt had plenty of fun.
Matt bought his 1970 HT at an auction in Adelaide roughly five years ago – outbidding Rare Spares! – and took the car home to Victoria. While his intention was just to build a fun street car, he had always dreamed of having an LSA donk to pedal around. The blower sitting atop the engine is indeed from an LSA, but the powerplant Matt ended up going with initially was a 6.0-litre LS2. While it may not have been the full-balls 6.2-litre HSV mill he originally wanted, it was still a stout performer, chucking out 660+hp on the hub dyno on E85, with a custom-tuned LS1 computer controlling all the supercharged goodness. A good old Turbo 400 ’box with a 4000rpm TCE converter transferred the LS2’s power to the ground through a nine-inch diff with 3.7:1 gears.
Last year’s event was Matt’s first crack at Drag Challenge, duking it out in the K&N Dial Your Own class. He enjoyed a successful week, running a best of 10.92@99mph on Day Two at Swan Hill. But things went a bit pear-shaped on the final day at Calder Park: “It punched a hole into the side of the block the size of a Coke can,” Matt said at the time. “I was probably asking for it with a standard bottom end, and that 15-second pass was the only one we got to make.”
That brought an end to what was otherwise a great week for Matt, but he was still upbeat even after playing piñata with the bottom end: “I loved all the sight-seeing we get to do at DC; I love being on the road with mates and all the cool cars and people.”
Since then, Matt has begun the process of rebuilding the Kinger. Replacing the very sorrylooking LS2 is an LY6 cast-iron unit, currently being fettled by the guys at Glenn Wells Engines, while the heads and blower have been retained and are getting the five-star massage treatment at Higgins Race Heads. While Matt isn’t all that interested in making more power, it seems like a quicker wick is going to be an inevitable outcome. “I’m not really chasing any more power, but I’ve already been told that it’ll probably make at least 735hp,” he says.
Engine: LS2 (to be replaced by LY6)
Transmission: Turbo 400
Converter: TCE, 4000rpm stall
Power: 660rwhp (with LS2 set-up) Diff: 9in, 3.7:1 gears
Previous PB: N/A
BEST DRAG CHALLENGE 2018 PASS: 10.92@99mph
It’s not only the engine getting some love, with Matt keen to improve some other areas of the car as well. Electric power steering is on the menu, along with much-needed ANDRA certification for the rollcage, and maybe even a stereo if things go his way. “I’m hoping to have it done in the next three-to-four months, and get in some test days at Swan Hill and see how it goes,” Matt says.
With a high 10 already under his belt, Matt has aspirations of a nine-second pass with the new package, his sights firmly set on this year’s DC event. entry “I’ll be forms back before for sure; they’re I’ll be even pestering out!” you s guys for the