Kim Smith’s blown 2011 HSV Maloo E Series 3

Kim Smith's third Drag Challenge run ended in disappointment when her HSV Maloo dropped pieces of piston in the tyre-warming area when something between the supercharger and the sump escaped

Photographers: Michelle Porobic

This article on Kim’s Maloo was first published in the January 2019 issue of Street Machine

FROM beside the Swan Hill startline, it sounded like a kid dropping a box of Lego: the rattle of parts being scattered, then silence. It was the moment a supercharged 6.2-litre LS V8 grenaded as Kim Smith cleaned the tyres of her bright red HSV Maloo ready for a pass on Day Two of Drag Challenge. The oil streaming from under the ute’s nose made it obvious that Kim’s third run at Australia’s toughest street car event was absolutely over. Her tears as the track crew and a few spectators helped push her wounded car from the startline – and pick up pieces of piston skirt – would have melted a murderer’s heart.

HSV Maloo“Everything is shattered inside,” Kim told us after the benefit of a few days’ recovery and a closer look at the car on a hoist. “I can see valves and camshaft; there’s metal right through the blower – it’s not looking very good.

“I was hoping to salvage the block as a base for a coffee table, but I’m not sure if there’s enough remaining!”

HSV MalooBefore the Big Bang, Kim had a great run from the Maloo. Bought in 2012 with 22,000km, the naturally aspirated 6.2-litre manual ute was supercharged with a reasonably priced ex-Camaro blower sourced from the US. As well as the past two Drag Challenges, Kim has tracked the Maloo a lot, participating in the multi-disciplinary Harrop Ultimate Street Car Invitational at Phillip Island for the past four years as well as straight-lining the car at Sydney Dragway’s Atura NSW Drag Racing Championship. Much of the 100,000km she’s put on the car has been at wide-open throttle on race tracks.

It’s not the first time she’s broken the big-grunt Maloo: During Drag Challenge 2017 she destroyed a tailshaft at Mildura. Luckily, thanks to the lads at CSV, she was able to source a replacement, repair the damage and continue.

HSV MalooPrior to Drag Challenge this year, however, the driveline frustrations have continued. “It’s been a horror year; it’s broken so much,” Kim said. “We wound the power up and didn’t really build the driveline to cope – and that was an error.

“At the State Championship it did a lot of damage: It destroyed the diff, both axles and the tailshaft. At some point, too, the gearbox has been damaged.”

HSV MalooLuckily, Kim chose to tow her previously driven-all-the-way Maloo from her home north of Newcastle to Victoria for DC18, which made getting the broken car home much easier! “It’s been an expensive year, but I’m seeing this as a positive,” a philosophical Kim said.


Class: K&N Dial Your Own

Engine: GM LS3 6.2-litre
Blower: Ex-ZL1 Camaro LSA-spec
Transmission: HSV/Tremec six-speed manual
Diff: HSV with Harrop Truetrac, 3.7:1 gears
Power: 600rwhp
Previous PB: 11.57@125mph
Best Drag Challenge 2018 Pass: 12.15@118mph