Carnage Cars at Summernats 33 2020

The Carnage crew hit up Summernats 33 in two hastily built machines

Photographers: Shaun Tanner, Luke Hunter, Chris Thorogood, Tim McCormack

THE build-up to Street Machine Summernats 33 was nothing short of chaotic for the Carnage crew, who worked through most of the Christmas break to get two mad machines ready for a weekend’s cruising and burnout action.

After some long hours, many swear words and crossed fingers, both cars somehow made it to Canberra, and fans couldn’t stop gawking at the new-look, now Barra-powered MX-5 and laughing at the 1JZ-powered Trolvo (yep, a Volvo at Summernats).

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Both cars impressed on the MPW Performance hub dyno, too, with the Mazda massively exceeding Scotty’s expectations. “I was hoping for around 500rwhp, so 562hp is just awesome!” he said. The Trolvo also put in a good showing, screaming out 491rwhp with its (arguably) oversized turbo. While you would think 490 horses would be more than enough to help the Trolvo let rip on Skid Row, unlike the MX-5 it initially struggled to turn a tyre in the burnout alley, even with the single-legger diff. “The problem is the rear housing on the turbo is too big and it doesn’t make boost until 4500rpm,” said Scotty. “So getting it to get on boost on all the rubber that’s been laid down isn’t happening.” Not to be beaten, Scotty pulled an old trick out of the bag, clamping off the rear brakes to finally get the Trolvo smoking to the tune of JZ glory down Skid Row.

With a spare set of burnout tyres replacing the meaty drag radials, the freshly Barra-powered MX-5 had no issues lighting it up on Skid Row. The Trolvo, however, had to have its rear brakes castrated before it would turn a tyre down the alley, but eventually it managed to lay down a few single-tyre fires

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Both cars took on the ’Nats go-to-whoa comp, as well as the Supercruise on Saturday night. Aside from a melted fuse in the Trolvo on Thursday, the two cars were performing swimmingly – until the MX-5 spat a belt on Sunday, punching a hole in the radiator with the destroyed pulley. “I wondered why it was getting a bit hard to start, so I looked under the bonnet and, sure enough, the belt was just hanging there,” said Scotty. To top off the day of, er, carnage, the Trolvo copped a flat rear tyre just hours from being carted away on the trailer.

Both cars hit up the go-to-whoa on Sunday morning, and while Scotty fought thrown belts and a dead battery in the MX-5, the Trolvo hot-lapped the burnout pad trouble free. Driving it proved to be an exercise in hilarity though, as it barely launched off the line before screaming to life halfway down the pad due to turbo lag – just in time to stomp on the brakes to avoid overshooting the stop box

Despite this, both Scotty and I view our Summernats exploits as a roaring success, given neither car looked like it was even going to make it a week out from the event. You’ll be able to see all the wins, losses and general mayhem unfold in upcoming episodes of Carnage on the Street Machine website and our StreetMachineTV YouTube channel.

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Carnage fans and punters alike couldn’t stay away from the cars during the event, the MX-5’s new Lightning McQueen look and Barra pulsating out of what’s left of the bonnet proving to be a major drawcard. The lol factor of the big single turbo hanging inside the Volvo’s engine bay was another major attention grabber


ONE of the newer additions to the Carnage fleet is our Volvo 240 sedan. Why the hell does Street Machine have a Volvo, you ask? Because it’s hiding nearly 500rwhp of 1JZ goodness, of course!

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But to say the journey to get to that point was challenging would be an understatement, as the car fought us tooth and nail the whole way. Purchased for a measly $1000 with the 1JZ and ’box already semi-mounted into the red brick, it seemed Scotty had scored the bargain of the decade. However, the curse of buying unfinished project cars bit hard, with a simple plumbing job turning into a complete re-wire of the engine management with a Haltech ECU and wiring loom, new fuel tank and fuel system, and dozens of other little jobs.

We finally got the car running, only to find out just weeks from Summernats that the original twin turbos where completely rooted, leaving the car’s ’Nats debut in serious doubt. Thankfully, the boys at Maxx Performance jumped in and helped convert the Trolvo to run one of the spare single turbos from the MX-5’s old LS set-up, resulting in one angry little Swedish machine.


OUR little Mazda MX-5 was a disgusting, neglected, ‘hairdresser’ cliché when we got our hands on it in 2017, but a plan was soon hatched to ditch the four-banger in favour of a twin-turbo LS1.

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The car was shipped to All Race Fabrications for the chassis and ’cage work, the rear end getting completely remodelled for a four-link nine-inch and just enough room for a pair of 275/60 drag radials.

Deadline for the project was Red CentreNATS 2017, and with basically only a week in hand, Scotty pulled herculean hours to finish the car just in time with the help and facilities of MPW Performance. After doing the Summernats and Powercruise rounds, it returned to the Red Centre a year later and lazily ran a 9.9 in the hands of Luke Foley, before getting parked up for 18 months.

The stocko 600hp LS1 proved to be a bit tired, and when the 5.3L iron-block LS we picked up to replace it turned out to be junk, Scotty decided he’d had enough of the LS life and stole the Barra from our soon-to-be-scrapped Ford Territory for a new life in the Mazda.

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Once again, with only weeks to go before Summernats, Scotty set about cutting what was left of the MX-5 engine bay to fit the mammoth donk, before giving the outside a birthday with a Lightning McQueen-style makeover. The new, improved MX-5 made it to Summernats 33, to a great reception.