HAVING competed in numerous Hot Rod Drag Week events in the US in his big-block Chev-powered LX Torana hatch, Brian Jensen is one of the most experienced entrants in the Street Machine Drag Challenge Weekend field.
With his Torana still in the States awaiting another crack at Drag Week, Brian entered Drag Challenge Weekend in his mate Nick Harwin’s ’68 AMC Javelin, with Nick riding shotgun. “I built the motor in the car, which is a 540ci big-block Chev,” explained Brian. “It’s got a Turbo 400 transmission and a nine-inch diff with an air locker.”
The Javelin was Nick’s first car, and he’s owned it for 23 years and counting. He’s endured some headaches with it in recent times, so Brian was keen to use Drag Challenge Weekend as an opportunity to show him that the car can be reliably driven and raced.
“We’ve driven it 180km so far and haven’t changed a thing on the car,” said Brian when we caught up with him at Warwick on Day Two. “It went 10.92@123mph on its first and only pass on Day One, and we drove it from home to Willowbank, took some stuff out of the boot and drove straight onto the track without changing a thing. As the car sits now is how we race it.”
The Javelin ate up the transport stages of the event with no issues and stable water temps, even with warm temperatures and some hilly terrain.
“You’ve got to have a good time; that’s what it’s about,” said Brian. “It doesn’t matter if you’re not the fastest in your class, what matters is if you turn up on the last day. That’s the biggest accomplishment of them all. Winning a trophy is just a bonus.”