GREG Telford made his first trip to the Dry Lakes Racers Australia (DLRA) Speed Week at the Lake Gairdner salt flats in 2009, and he’s been hooked ever since!
With a team consisting of his son Bob and brother-in-law Ray Crathern, Greg got to work on a bellytanker replica to take to the 2015 Speed Week; dubbed Olden Grey, it was finished just in time. The crew didn’t even have time to source an engine, so they slapped an old wrecking yard Holden grey six-pot in the back of it just so they could race that year.
“The car was designed to race in the nostalgia classes, and the biggest motor you can legally have is the GMC 325ci straight-six, but we couldn’t find one in time to race,” Greg explains. “We ended up throwing an old grey motor into it and when we arrived at the salt we found out that there weren’t actually any records for the grey, so we stuck with it.”
The first year the car went 106mph with a dead-stock motor. This year the boys went back with a warm 138ci grey built by Ray with a cam, balanced crank and an ex-Porsche 38mm triple barrel Zenith carb, and that went 128mph. Again the car wasn’t quite finished, with the cockpit cover missing and the wrong wheels and tyres on the front.
Eventually Greg wants to put a blower on the motor and maybe switch to methanol fuel. If he pushes the grey motor close to 175mph – the speed at which regulations stipulate you must have a parachute – he’ll be very happy indeed.