DEAN WALDING

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SOUTH Aus­tralia’s Pace­mak­ers Drag Team keeps pump­ing out top-notch, race-ready nos­tal­gia hump­ies. Dean Walding’s Pul­sator-tribute gasser is the lat­est to hit the track, and we caught up with him for the FX’S maiden voy­age at the re­cent eighth-mile Mildura Nos­tal­gia Drags.

Why’d you build a Pul­sator tribute?

Pul­sator was the orig­i­nal name of an FX race car that went on to be called Dirty Harry. I had known where Dirty Harry was sit­ting for 20 years. I missed out on buy­ing it, but be­came in­volved with the car and brought it to the Mildura Nostalgias last year to be dis­played along­side a tribute car. I had an FX that had been sit­ting in my fa­ther’s shed for 20 years, so I de­cided to build a replica of the Pul­sator.

How’d you go about it?

I bought a ’40 Chev I-beam front end, and then I had to fig­ure out how to get it into the front of an early Holden, and get the nose into the air. So, I built and fab­ri­cated ev­ery­thing my­self, us­ing the parts I had sit­ting around: a 350ci Chev, Turbo 400, Sal­is­bury One Ton­ner diff, seats and rollcage. I have steel rims as I don’t have the money for fancy rims; it also has sec­ond-hand slicks and front-run­ners. The only things new are bear­ings and ne­ces­si­ties. Pul­sator was built on a shoe­string bud­get.

And you hadn’t raced be­fore?

No, the first run was so nerve-wrack­ing. I’d only driven it for the first time three days be­fore, get­ting it out on a pri­vate road to see if it drove straight. I scared the crap out of my­self as I didn’t re­alise it’d go so quick. It ran dead­straight; I was so happy. It was ex­cit­ing, and now the bug has bit­ten. I’ve al­ready bought a set of al­loy heads and an­other man­i­fold, ha ha! It wasn’t meant to cost much, but I just want to run con­sis­tent times, so this is meant to be the last thing that I buy.

What times did you pull?

I started with an 8.9-sec­ond first run, then I di­alled in an 8.65 and ran an 8.66-sec­ond pass in my fi­nal. I won two of my three races, los­ing the first one due to my low dial-in – I had no idea what I was do­ing, as it was the first time I’d raced.

What do you want from the car?

I want it re­li­able and con­sis­tent so it’s then up to me as the driver. A 15-sec­ond car can beat some­one run­ning 10s – that’s the ex­cit­ing thing about it; it’s all about your dial-in. The vibe for nos­tal­gia drags is re­ally huge at the mo­ment and I’m hav­ing a good time with the Pace­mak­ers Drag Team while rac­ing early-model Hold­ens. We’re not run­ning low quar­ter-miles but we’re con­sis­tent and hav­ing fun, and that’s what it’s all about for me.

Tell us about the Pace­mak­ers team.

We’re a bunch of blokes headed by Ro­mano and Michael Puntin that have recre­ated 60s cars from the Brooks­field days. There is a Mun­ster replica, She’s Ace replica, now the Pul­sator, and the orig­i­nal Ex­ter­mi­na­tor is com­ing out soon. We help each other and keep the early nos­tal­gia style of rac­ing go­ing.

I had an FX that had been sit­ting in my fa­ther’s shed for 20 years, so I de­cided to build a replica of the Pul­sator

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