HEAPS going down at SM mission control this month. As this issue went to print, we opened entries for Street Machine Drag Challenge 2017, with over 100 taking the plunge in 24 hours. Thanks to all the entrants and sponsors for their enthusiasm for this crazy event. You can check out all the details of what’s involved at streetmachine.com.au. In video world, the fifth instalment of our Carnage series should be online by the time you’re reading this. We’ve parked the Turbo Taxi for now (see page 134) and have started work on the project I referred to as ‘The One’ back in my May-issue editorial. I can now reveal its identity to be – believe it or not – a 1998 Mazda MX-5.
Why an MX-5, you may rightly ask? Because we wanted to build a really outrageous vehicle to take to Red Centrenats in Alice Springs in September, so we could take advantage of that event’s special feature – the ability for wildly illegal cars to drive on the street!
Our initial plan was to start with the cutest, least-street Machine car we could think of and stuff it full of twin-turbo V8. After brief consideration, we decided that a 1991-1998 Mazda 121 ‘bubble’ would be the ideal candidate, despite being front-wheel drive.
But then, Scotty found the MX-5 up for auction at a bargain-basement price. The arguments presented to me were that it was cheap, it was amusing and that the rear-wheel-drive format would make the job easier. As discussed in the May editorial, I found myself bidding for the Mazda online and was somewhat bemused to find that I’d bought the car in virtually no time at all.
And with Red Centrenats rapidly approaching, we’re hitting the MX-5 hard. Bubba Medlyn and the team at All Race Fabrications are cutting the rear off it, then fitting a set of wheel tubs, a beefier diff and a four-link, while Scotty has stripped the LS1 engine, ready for a build at Powerhouse Engines. Then, once we have the engine sitting in the car, the lads at MPW Performance will set up a twin-turbo system for it, wire it up and tune the sucker.
While it is a big job to do in a short time, Scotty is undertaking yet another little project, with an even shorter deadline. If it is successful, it will culminate in a 2000km road trip for a spot of drag racing. Upon hearing of this wildly ambitious scheme, it was asked: “Why do you do this to yourself?”, which is a fair question, but one that any person with petrol in their veins knows the answer to.
Gary Myers is one bloke who has always pushed himself hard in the name of our sport, and it is a pleasure to have his AGROXA Falcon coupe on the cover of this month’s mag. Even if burnout cars aren’t your thing, there is a lot of serious smarts and elbow grease that has gone into this build and the results are spectacular – as anyone who witnessed Gary’s epic powerskids at Northern Nats will attest to!
And on the subject of the burnout scene, we get a bit of feedback through Your Stuff and via social media from those who don’t dig it. We hear you and we work hard to ensure there are plenty of other subjects covered in each issue of the mag and online. So while we have Gary’s car on the cover and a story on the Ultimate Burnout Challenge in this issue, we also have a crazy variety of feature cars, including Aaron Fitzpatrick’s Datsun 1600 for the four-pot fans, a Coyote-powered GT40 that was exquisitely handcrafted in the owner’s shed, and a restored LJ Torana Sports Sedan, packing a 265 Hemi-six mounted amidships!
Other non-burnout stuff includes our celebration of Ben Gatt’s 50-year career as a drag racer, the 23rd Street Rod Nats, advice for those hunting for a second-hand Chrysler 300C and much more.
It is a tough balancing act to get right, and we value all your comments and suggestions, so keep them coming!
UPON HEARING OF THIS WILDY AMBITIOUS SCHEME, IT WAS ASKED: “WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO YOURSELF?”, WHICH IS A FAIR QUESTION