KYLIE Langley and I first met at the Drag Racing Tri-Series competition around 10 years ago, where she was piloting hubby Paul’s tough HX sedan. It was clear that Kylie had petrol running through her veins, though her calm demeanour and friendly smile never hinted at what a fierce and consistent racer she is. Her own beloved Panther Mica, iron lion-powered VS Berlina is a tidy unit, but Kylie hasn’t had any qualms in punting it down the strip.
First published in the January 2021 issue of Street Machine. Photos: Troy Barker
What got you into drag racing?
Paul and I would go to AIR and watch the drags, and around 1997 we finally decided to head out and have some fun ourselves. Paul raced first, and I soon followed. I’ve loved cars ever since I was a little kid; one of my first memories is helping my much older brother work on his HQ Statesman. I learned to drive in a 253ci VB Commodore, which we also modified.
Tell us about PHATHX, or Bessy, as you call her.
She’s a ’77 Kingswood with a hot 308ci that Paul has owned since 1992 – our kids came home from the hospital in her. Bessy was a daily until the mid-2000s when she copped a defect, and then became a dedicated Super Street racer. Between me, Paul and our son Brock, she’s been down the track countless times. She’s one car we’d never sell.
And what about Belle, your VS Commodore?
I bought her as a stocky from an aviation company 17 years ago; I’m the second owner. We’ve added the complete fibreglass kit, the exhaust system and the HSV chip from a written-off ClubSport, as well as a ’glass Monaro bonnet. She’s lowered with 20-inch Clubby rims.
What’s Belle’s driveline?
Factory 304ci Holden, with a Stage Two shift kit and 3.55 diff gears. There are no engine mods at this stage, but I have plans to add a mild cam. Nothing crazy, as we already have that in the other two cars; plus I still want to drive her without attracting the wrong attention.
Have you raced Belle, too?
Many times. I drove her to Swan Hill for their first ever meet and had a grudge run with Brock in PHAT HX – he won, though he tried to give me a head-start. But the best memory is when I drove her 500km to race in the Whyalla Street Car Challenge, won the meet and then drove her home. She is just a solid piece of machinery. I have so many amazing memories with this car; I don’t think I’ll ever part with her.
And you’ve recently raced something fresh?
Paul just finished the home-build on Molly, our LH Torana drag car. It was so surreal to race Molly after having her in the build for nine years. She was really good to race – a lot tamer and lighter than Bessy, so she’s easier to control. And there were no teething issues! We hope to race both Molly and Bessy at Whyalla in January 2021.
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Street Machine is the bible of Aussie modified auto culture, celebrating wild muscle cars, customs and hot rods – and the incredible humans who create them.
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