FIVE years ago, a street-registered car with 1000hp (that wasn’t a Bugatti Veyron) would have been enough to melt the face off the internet. Things have changed since then; a car packing 500 horses is now almost considered a mild street car! Yep, 1000hp and seven-second ETs are the bare minimum to properly raise eyebrows these days.
Street Machine Drag Challenge reigning champion Frank Marchese of Dandy Engines has now moved the goal posts even further. It’s been well documented that the 450ci World Products small-block Ford in his XW Falcon is capable of well over 2000hp, while still running a four barrel-style inlet manifold, conventional off-the-shelf Higgins heads and a pair of now-outdated Gen 1 88mm Precision turbos.
Recently Frank took to Tunnel Vision Turbocharging’s 3000hp Mainline hub dyno with a largely unchanged package from the one he won Drag Challenge with, to see how much of an improvement could be made.
“The main goal for the day was to get a few baselines sorted for fuels and boost pressures – basically just refine what we already had and do a bit of boost control investigation,” Frank said.
With the legendary Steve Petty from Pro Line Racing on hand to help with the tuning of the FuelTech FT500 engine management, Frank eased the XW into a comfortable 2531hp/1888kW on the first run. If that’s enough to make your eyes water, watch the video to see the car make 2745hp/2047kW – and Frank continued to push FAIRXW up to a blistering 2819hp/2100kW! That’s right, a 2800hp small-block Ford.
The scariest part is that Frank isn’t finished yet. “We’ve got a bit of an issue with the boost rolling back,” he explained. “The final run of 2800hp was with a peak of 42psi that rolled back to around 38psi.”
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Frank’s PB down the track still stands at a 7.00 running leaf springs and a 275 radial, as he did at Drag Challenge 2018. But with customer and good friend Steve Bezzina recently lowering his PB to 6.72@216mph in a similar XW Falcon with the same leaf spring and 275 radial combo, Frank cracking into the sixes seems almost a given.
Frank’s unsure if he’ll return to defend his Drag Challenge crown this year, but either way, we’re keen to see him hit the track and lay down some representative numbers.