JUST because Street Machine tends to focus on V8s and big sixes doesn’t mean four-pots aren’t welcome at Drag Challenge Weekend, and Mitch Hamilton’s Datsun 1200 wagon is a drop-dead stunner.
The car is powered by a Nissan CA18det twin-cam 1.8-litre with a GTW37 turbo hanging off the side, backed by a transbraked C4 auto and HiLux rear end.
Mitch is a Queensland local and only finished the build in the lead-up to the event, with the car’s first hit happening this morning at Willowbank Raceway. It’s often said that Drag Challenge is not the place for untested combinations, but Mitch was taking a mature approach when we caught up with him, doing 60-foot hits, making incremental adjustments and creeping up on things.
“I’ve been building it for about two years, and this is its first time out,” he said. “I just want to have a bit of fun and see what the car can do. We’re just working on the 60-foot times at the moment, and it’s doing 1.4s so far. When it gets off the brake it seems to go alright, so we’ll see how the weekend pans out. If I can run into the nines that’d be nice, but just to finish is the main thing.”
Having a wagon can be a distinct advantage at Drag Challenge. “It’s on the bumpstops with all the shit in the back, but it saves us having to tow a trailer,” said Mitch. The fastest time so far? 11.318-seconds, running in Tuff Mounts Radial Blown.