WHILE Hot Rod Drag Week has a full class for street gassers that attracts a quality field of seriously fast cars – including Mike Finnegan’s ’55 Chev – we’ve had only one straight-axle gasser take on Street Machine Drag Challenge so far.
Gavin Edmonds’s 1958 Ford Mainline pick-up is the mad machine in question. The car’s Krankenstein moniker stems from what used to make up the driveline: a drool-worthy Hampton 6/71 Roots-blown ’56 354ci Chrysler Hemi, backed by GM’s TH400 and a Ford nine-inch full-floater with aggressive 4.3:1 gears.
And you can own it! Yep, Gav has decided to move the Mainline on. While the engine, ’box and diff centre are not included in the sale, it has all the good bits patiently waiting for somebody to bolt a monster donk into – a perfect foundation for a vintage gasser project. So if you’re chasing a car that’ll steal all the attention wherever you go, you can view the listing for Krankenstein on eBay here.
Gavin and his mates are the men behind Adelaide Motorsport Fabrication, so they’re well-versed in building tough cars. A build like the Mainline was something they just do for fun in their spare time.
Gav and co have tackled the Drag Challenge marathon twice now, and it’s fair to say their first crack in 2017 in Krankenstein was a real test.
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“It was hot and loud with the blower spinning at 3000rpm for hours on end,” Gav says. “In retrospect I should have changed the diff ratio to 3.5s. We had the water pump die about five kays after leaving Adelaide on Day One; it was an old, second-hand pump and I thought we were out of the Challenge, but my wife Nat sorted me out and we did a roadside repair.
“Next, on the way to the Swan Hill track, the alternator carked it. I was able to do a pass on the battery, then I got hold of an alternator. Within two hours we had it installed and hit the road to Portland. That’s when the crazy storm hit and I remembered that the wipers hadn’t been used for three years; they fell off on the way. Thank god for Rain-X!”
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Gavin returned in 2018, this time with a ’34 Ford pick-up built specifically for the event, piloted by his mate Andrew Milne. After bending a valve on the second day at Swan Hill, Gav’s very-pregnant wife Nat drive all the way from Adelaide with the heads from Krankenstein, and the boys finished the week, with Nat taking home the Spirit Of Drag Challenge award. The team are planning a return this year in the same ’34 ute, this time with a built Hemi and a splash of giggle gas for good measure.