WARWICK Meldrum arrived at Drag Challenge in this VP Holden Commodore Executive, complete with Ford 4.0-litre Barra XR6 Turbo power!
“It was bought in June with the intention of doing the Barra swap for Drag Challenge,” Warwick explained at the beginning of the event. “We got it running a couple of weeks ago but really only finished it Friday night.”
Prepared by Dandy Engines with forged pistons and rods, a balanced stock crank and a fistful of ARP bolts and studs, the FG-spec straight-six was dropped into the second-gen Commodore engine bay with a slightly modified BA Falcon sump. The turbo is a modified Cummins Holset HX40 – according to Warwick, it’s used on garbage trucks – pumping 20psi, and the management is Haltech Elite 2500.
There’s a return to GM in the driveline, with a tricked TH400 (manualised, reverse-pattern, transbrake) and an SDE 3500rpm converter. The Executive retains its two-piece prop shaft and BorgWarner live rear axle, but it’s been cogged down to 3.46 and spooled.
“We fared pretty well,” said Warwick of the road-trip with his mate John Urquieta. “We broke an O2 sensor and had a wire fall off the back on the alternator.” The car suffered a little in the heat, too: “We popped the grille out to help keep it cool.”
Although set up for flex-fuelling, the 350rwkW Barra drank 98 juice, and with the car uncaged, Wazza stayed above 11 seconds (quicker cars need a rollcage to meet ANDRA rules), except for one 10.6@129mph last blast on Friday.