ROB Hutson came and spectated at Street Machine Drag Challenge Weekend last year, liked what he saw and decided he had to be part this year.
“I wanted to enter last year, but the car wasn’t really ready and I didn’t want to be doing my first miles in it on the event, so we came up to Warwick for the day and it looked like such a great event that I had to enter this time,” Rob says.
Rob has entered his fairly unusual 1975 Dodge D5 pick-up in the K&N Dial Your Own class. It’s what we like to call a ‘bitser’, because it’s a home-built mash-up of bits from here and there to make something that just works.
“My family has been into speedway and old Chryslers for a long time, and I’ve always liked the D5 pick-ups, but their chassis are terrible and they’re pretty much impossible to get sitting right, so I’d always planned on putting one on an HQ ute chassis,” Rob says. So he did just that, and also added a Holden V8, a BA Falcon dashboard and a Commodore steering wheel.
Initially the Dodge ran a cammed 400ci small-block Chev, but Rob got the Powercruise bug and wanted more grunt. He had a speedway Holden 308 engine sitting there, so he dropped some lowcomp pistons into it and boosted it with a BorgWarner S400 74/75 turbo, blowthrough Holley 750hp carby and no intercooler. “It’s a pretty big turbo for what it is, but I bought it with the idea of going to bigger cubes down the road,” he says. “With a 0.9 rear housing, it’s still fairly responsive.” That combo was tough, but Rob hurt it at Powercruise, which brings us to the latest set-up that he will run at Drag Challenge Weekend: a VR SS 304 with a small turbo cam and the turbo kit off the old motor. The Holden V8 is backed by a built TH400 trans and a BorgWarner LSD-equipped diff.
So far the car has run 13.0@112mph, basically driving it off the startline. “I’ve only raced it once at Mopar Sunday and I was having issues with the brakes,” Rob says. “I couldn’t hold it and build boost on the startline, so it did a 2.4-second 60-foot. I’ve fixed that now and hopefully I’ll go a high 11.
“I’m not in it to set any records or worry about consistency; I just want to go and enjoy the event, hang out with like-minded people and hopefully not break anything.”
Rob has been working on the Dodge on-andoff for about three years now with the help of his wife and uncle, with the majority of the build done by himself. And where’d the Falcon dash come into the equation? “My cousin owns a wrecking yard, so during the build I was constantly in there measuring things up to see what would work, and it turns out the BA Falcon dash was the best fit, so that’s what I went with.”
We look forward to seeing the bitser Dodge Challenge D5 pick-up Weekend. in action at s Street Machine Drag Challenge Weekend.
JOHN Ricca’s VL Commodore is the quickest six-cylinder car we’ve had in the history of Drag Challenge, running a best of 7.91@171mph at last year’s event and coming second in the Turbosmart Outlaw Blown class.
John now plans to go even quicker at this year’s Drag Challenge. The BT1 Commodore has been at NextGen Race Cars having more barwork added to the rollcage and the rear end changed to a 40-spline full-floater with even bigger 15x14-inch rear wheels.
While adding more in, John has also pulled about 200lb out of the car. Part of that comes from switching from the factory block to a billet alloy RB30, which can also handle more power. John has also gone to a larger Garrett GTX55 turbo and will be running methanol fuel.
“I’m hoping to run a 6.90@200mph,” says John. “I’m going to enter Turbosmart Outlaw Blown again and give it to these V8 guys!”
AS EXPECTED, the Barras will be out in full force in the new XR6 Turbo Developments Six-Cylinder class that we’ve introduced for the upcoming Drag Challenge Weekend in Queensland. Dylan Murdoch will certainly be one to watch in this class with his 1700hp BF XR6 Turbo. With a PB of 8.184@175mph, Dylan’s well and truly on the hunt for a seven-second timeslip and has to be a favourite for a class win at DCW if the combo can hang together.
Engine: VR SS Holden 304
Turbo: BorgWarner S400
Carb: Blow-through Holley 750HP
Converter: 3300rpm stall
Diff: BorgWarner, 28-spline, 3.45:1 gears