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MOPAR SUNDAY 2017: VE VALIANT SAFARI WAGON, BLOWN V8 CENTURA & MORE

By Simon Major | Photos: Drag Photos, 08 Aug 2017 Events

23rd July Mopar Sunday Willowbank 2017

Ten rockets that caught our eye at Mopar Sunday 2017

THE annual Mopar Sunday event, held at Queensland’s Willowbank Raceway, is one of the mainstays on the calendar of Chrysler lovers on the east coast.

So powerful is the attraction, that SM’s Scott Taylor pulled his VG Valiant wagon out of hibernation, gave it a quick once-over and drove it all the way from Melbourne to join in. You’ll be able to check out the whole trip in a future episode of Carnage. We’ve got a full report on the show coming up in the September issue, but in the meantime, here are 10 cars that caught our imaginations.

Malcolm McIntosh’s VE Safari Wagon ran its first ever 10sec pass at Mopar Sunday. “It’s been a long road; I’ve spent the past 12 months working hard to overcome a few issues with the driveline. I rebuilt the 408-stroker 360 with new cast W2 heads and an Indy intake and ran a 10.84@123mph, so am over the moon.”

Jason Sladden borrowed his brother Jeff’s tunnel-ram set-up for this year’s event but had to make do with and 11.60@118mph with his 480-cube CL ute. “It was really lazy off the line and that tunnel-ram needs more stall speed and taller diff gears to get it moving,” Jason said. “But I’ll keep playing around with it when someone invents a way of creating more time and money!”

Callum Scott is always up to mischief, whether it be a wheelstanding Dodge 300 truck or AFX altered-wheelbase Dodge Dart nostalgia runner. His latest project is this Datsun 120Y sedan stuffed full of turbocharged Hemi 265 power, which copped a hiding around the race track for Saturday and laid down a wheelspinning, 2.5sec 60ft 12.5@107mph on Sunday.

AP6 aficionado Jeremy Schoch found this rare ambo residing in a shed at Warwick and returned it to street use with a fresh slant-six and Torqueflite combo. Jeremy clocked up a heap of miles pushing the big girl around QR, then cracked under the 20 mark with a 19.97@67mph on Sunday before scoring Top Original in the show ’n’ shine.

SM’s own Scotty put in a monster effort to haul up to Queensland from Melbourne for the weekend festivities, and laid down a string of 14.0s for Sunday in his 265-powered VG Safari wagon. A 13sec pass may have eluded him, but his consistency through the rounds saw him pose a major threat to the 13.00-14.99 class until a dud starter motor forced him out in the semis.

Seeing P-plates on any chrome-bumpered car warms my heart, and 18-year-old Joel McMahon raced his Centura to an 11.55@122mph best and took out top honours in the 11.00-12.99 bracket to boot. The Centura runs an all-iron Magnum 360, 727 and 3.0 9in combo, fed via a Vortech V2 supercharger and FiTech Go EFI system.

Shaun and Tracey Pask’s Knuckle Duster vintage gas AP5 wagon has long been a crowd-pleaser with its smoky burnouts and hard launches. A new 6/71 supercharged 500ci big-block combination saw the AP5 lay down its staunchest pass ever at Mopar Sunday with a 9.40@140mph!

Ben Watson normally pilots his mild custom VC Valiant at Mopar Sunday, but hadn’t finished some upgrades in time, so chose to race his 300C wagon instead. Its 5.7L Hemi drivetrain is dead stock, but laid down an impressive 14.7@95mph ET – pretty awesome for a two-tonne daily driver.

Peter Klockner debuted his ‘Metal Mauler’ VC vintage gasser at last year’s Mopar Sunday, but unceremoniously broke the transmission during its first burnout. Time to fine-tune the VC helped him make amends in a big way this year, not only winning top honours in the 13.00-14.99 bracket but running a PB 13.33@101mph and cutting a perfect 0.000 reaction!

Parents everywhere will rejoice in the antics of George Barimis, who turned the tables and ‘borrowed’ his daughter Penelope’s 2013 Jeep Wrangler while she was holidaying in Melbourne. George is a regular Mopar Sunday attendee in his CL panel van.