DRAG Challenge Weekend 2020 mover and shaker Daniel Ward’s home-built VG Valiant showed up at Mopar Sunday with a point to prove. The Murwillumbah, NSW resident had hopes of cracking an 8.5, after a recent 8.7sec run. Unfortunately, despite Daniel running a PB speed of 155mph, the clocks didn’t record a clean time and transmission issues prevented further runs.
How’d you go out there today?
I had traction issues, like most of the cars, then engine protection came on and I lost first gear. I ran a PB 155mph though, but apparently the clocks didn’t get a time. You have good and bad days in this game! The engine is about to come out anyway. I need to upgrade the stock crank and I’m looking at putting an aftermarket gearbox case on it. I might then run E85 for street and methanol for racing, because I’m starting to reach the limits of the fuel system.
Sounds like it’ll come back tougher than ever. Talk us through the evolution of this car.
I’ve owned it for three-and-a-half years but I built it up over seven months. The 360ci V8 and 727 got quickly swapped for an LS and Powerglide. I like the Valiant shape and everything, but I needed to go as fast I could with the budget I had. Now it’s got a built 325ci LS with twin Pulsar SXE369 turbos making around 1200hp. It’s got a Powerglide with 3800rpm stall converter and Ford 8.8in diff.
We heard a rumour about this ‘matching’ bonnet; what’s special about it?
Ha ha. When I bought the car it had the smallblock with compulsory carby out of the bonnet they all love doing. It was in the same condition as the car, so it looked good, but it had a big hole in it. I found a straight-ish bonnet on Facebook and I prepped it as badly as I possibly could so the paint wouldn’t stick and it’d rust. Everything, apart from the swirl marks from sanding it, looks like the stock bonnet!
Do you reckon you’ll stick with the LS?
Absolutely. At Drag Challenge Weekend I had an iron-block LM7 LS in it. Completely stock with the same turbos on it, and I did the whole event with 20 pounds of oil pressure. Even at 7500rpm it only had 20psi, and it went the whole weekend. It never clicked or banged and we thrashed it for 600 kays with no oil pressure! That answer it?