WARICK Meldrum has absolutely no issues upsetting purists, and his Barra-swapped Valiant is just the tip of the iceberg. He first stuffed a Barra into a VP Commodore for Drag Challenge 2017, before taking it to another level of hater-proof and putting the same Ford mill into a GM cult classic, a 1967 Chevy Camaro.
For 2019 he’s taken aim at the Mopar crowd, pulling that same donk out of the ’Maro and throwing it into a 1969 VF Valiant Regal. “It’s not like I was worried about what people thought before, so why stop now!” he said.
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The mill is largely unchanged from its life in the Camaro. The FG XR6 Turbo donk still bears the factory crank, cams and head, polished off with some ARP bolts and studs, Spool conrods and Ross Racing forged pistons. The biggest changes are the turbo and manifold, getting an upgrade to a drool-worthy 6boost feeding a Precision 76/75. Rounding out the driveline is a Turbo 400 ’box and 31-spline BorgWarner BW78 diff.
Warick’s unsure of the power, given he has been self-tuning the Haltech ECU on the fly, but his bum tells him it’s around the 450rwkW mark, with a fair bit of juice left to burn.
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“We’re still learning the car, as it’s largely untested,” he said on Day One of Drag Challenge 2019. “We only bought it as a painted shell in March.” Initial testing prior to DC only yielded an 11.0@112mph and a pair of broken rear shocks from axle twist.
Warick shared the driving duties with John Urquieta, another Drag Challenge alumnus who piloted his own VH Valiant Charger at DC 2018 with a turbo V8 Gen III Hemi. “It’s still a real handful to pedal, so we’re just hoping to run nines this week if we can and make it through,” said Warick at the start of the week.
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The boys certainly smashed that goal on Day One, handing in a 9.81@143mph. putting them in sixth spot in the XR6 Turbo Developments Six-Cylinder class. Warick and John continued to improve throughout the week, lowering their eighth-mile times from a 6.37@115mph on Day Two at Mildura to a 6.12@116mph on Day Four at Portland. Day Five saw the boys scream home with yet another PB, clocking a 9.35@145mph to finish up fourth in class for the week. “It’s cool to make it to the end of the week and run a PB at just about every track, and we know there’s still more left in it,” said Warick.
WARICK MELDRUM & JOHN URQUIETA
1969 VF VALIANT REGAL
Class: XR6 Turbo Developments Six-Cylinder
Engine: 4.0L Barra
Turbo: Precision 76/75
Transmission: Turbo 400
Diff: BorgWarner BW78, 31-spline, 3.23 gears
Previous PB: 11.0@112mph
Drag Challenge PB: 9.35 @145mph