Crusty budget-built ZB Fairlane at Drag Challenge

Dan Young and his mates cruised through DC in this sweet Windsor-powered barge

Photographers: Noah Thorley, Shaun Tanner, Chris Thorogood

Dan Young didn’t set out to break records or top the Pacemaker Radial Aspirated leaderboard at Drag Challenge 2022/23. In his own words, he brought his cobbled-together ZB Fairlane down from Queensland as a “bucket list thing” to share with his mates.

He’s owned the Aussie land barge for around three years. “There’s an XY Falcon at home; this is just a meanwhile car,” Dan explained on day five of DC. “I couldn’t get [the XY] finished in time, so we pretty much just stuck this together over COVID.”

Dan has leaned heavily into the ‘piece from here, piece from there’ ethos, hence the LFTOVRS plates. “It’s just leftover parts and pieces lying around that I’ve begged, borrowed, and stolen – as you do,” he laughs.

“The interior was pieced together with what was on the mezzanine floor at home; it’s a bit slap-dash, but it works.”

The patina job isn’t au naturale, but it’s fairly convincing from most distances. “It was all in primer, and the body wasn’t very good to paint, so we just painted over what we had and put all the patina on,” Dan said. “It’s all about smoke and mirrors!”

A US-spec Fairlane Thunderbolt scoop ties the vintage stock car look together neatly. “The whole car is a bit of a joke, really, so we just stuck that on and ran with it,” he said. “It’s the closest I’ll get to owning a Thunderbolt!”

There’s a 408ci Windsor under the bonnet, featuring a Scat crank and a set of alloy heads which Dan said were ready for the bin. “We fixed them up; there’s not a lot of new parts, really. But it’s a good old girl that got us here.”

A C4 from GMF Automatics and nine-inch round out the combo, which is good for around 400hp at the treads.

Though Dan didn’t quite achieve the six-second eighth mile pass he was chasing, he matched his PB of 7.0 over the eighth at South Coast Raceway on day two, staying in the adjusted low-11s all week without any real mechanical dramas.

“It’s been pretty flawless, to be honest with you,” he enthused. “I’m just here to hang out with my mates, really.”