1000rwhp Barra-powered Ford Capri daily driver at Drag Challenge 2018

Mark Talbot’s nine-second Barra-powered Capri doubles as his everyday car!

Photographers: Chris Thorogood, Michelle Porobic

PLENTY of Street Machine Drag Challenge entrants call their rides ‘street cars’, but Queensland’s Mark Talbot actually uses his ’69 Ford Capri to drive to work every day. The orange coupe ran strong in the Haltech Radial Blown class at DC 2018, despite having only been finished four months earlier and having had almost no shakedown.

Ford Capri“I drove it on the highway for 10 minutes before turning up at Calder on Sunday,” Mark laughed. “I’d been driving it to work every day since I finished it and doing a lot of suburban stuff, but I hadn’t been on the open freeway much. This thing hasn’t even been on the dyno – or a drag strip until Monday at Calder Park!”

The forged Barra under the Capri’s bonnet came out of an XD Falcon that Mark brought to Drag Challenge two years previously, with a forged bottom end including Mahle pistons and Spool conrods. “I wanted to do something different,” said Mark of his choice to re-shell the motor.

Ford CapriWith the 4.0L sucking E85 boost-friendly go-juice, the Garrett GT45 hanging off the side was running at 20psi for Drag Challenge, but Mark plans to push that figure to 35psi once some more time has been spent on the set-up. “It should make 1000rwhp once it’s fully tuned,” he explained. “It has fire rings, a Torrington bearing, and all the stuff that breaks when you push them, and the computer is an MS3Pro ECU.”

Ford CapriThe drivetrain is a two-speed Powerglide, 4000rpm converter and nine-inch filled with streetable 3.25:1 gears. In an exercise in simplicity, the Capri’s front suspension is how Ford intended but upgraded with single-adjustable shocks, while the rear suspension has CalTracs and leaf springs.

“It gets a little warm on the highway with the trailer, but otherwise it drives perfectly,” Mark said. “I want to be doing low eights or even high sevens eventually.”

Mark finished up 18th in Haltech Radial Blown, with a PB of 9.45@141mph at Swan Hill on Day Two, backed up by a 9.59@138mph on Day Four. He also came away with the Quickest 235 Blown trophy.

Mark TalbotTrophy
Quickest 235 blown


Class: Haltech Radial Blown

Engine: Ford Barra 4.0L
Turbo: Garrett GT45
Transmission: Powerglide
Converter: 4000rpm
Diff: 9in, 3.25:1 gears
Power: N/A
Previous PB: N/A
Best Drag Challenge Pass: 9.45@141mph