ON the final day of DC 2016, Todd crossed the Calder finish line backwards, his VH Commodore slipping on its own oil at around 150mph after its engine turned inside-out. Adding to the pain of the major mechanical mishap was the fact that the VH biffed Calder concrete, too, damaging the car’s nose.
After that incident, Todd pushed the car into the garage and didn’t look at it for months. The Commodore was repaired, but there were no Drag Challenges for a couple of years.
Still, there was no way Todd wasn’t going to come back; it was just a matter of when. “I had a deal with my wife Saara that I could compete this year if we got a good price for our house,” Todd told us. “And we did. Before the bidding was finished, I’d messaged my mate Jay with the two letters ‘DC’!”
The old motor’s heads and supercharger had survived the blow-up, so Todd’s brother Luke (of MPW Performance and this year’s Haltech Radial Blown third-placegetter) assembled the salvaged components onto a another freshened LS2 block with a Callies stroker crank for 403 cubes. Where many others have chosen turbo power, Todd loves the delivery of a positive-displacement pump; a stout Magnuson 2300 blower feeds his LS. “You stand on them and it’s instant go,” he enthused. “The throttle response is incredible.”
Behind the LS is a DTM Transmissions-built two-speed Powerglide and a nine-inch rear with 3.5 gears. The well-sorted rear suspension uses tube arms and adjustable spring seats on the standard pick-up points.
Todd and tuner Jeff Johnson obviously have a handle on the Holley Terminator X-managed blown LS’s power and the car’s set-up, because on Tuesday at Mildura he raced past Monday’s Tuff Mounts 235 Blown leader Dominic Pelle and didn’t drop from top place for the rest of the week. Todd ran a couple of personal bests on Friday – a first run of 8.85 and then an 8.79 – to ensure his class win.
Todd’s highlights for the week included enjoying a beer with Dominic after running a stunning 1.29sec 60-foot time at Portland (“If you do 1.2-something, I’ll buy you a slab!” Dom encouraged) and driving his two daughters to school in the Commodore before heading to Calder for the final day’s racing. That’s cool.
TUFF MOUNTS 235 BLOWN
1982 VH HOLDEN COMMODORE SL
Class: Tuff Mounts 235 Blown
Engine: GM LS2
Blower: Magnuson 2300
Converter: 5500rpm Dominator
Diff: 9in, 3.5:1 gears
Power: 900hp (1050hp with nitrous)
Previous PB: 8.90@151mph
Best DC 2019 Pass: 8.79@153mph