Brett Paige’s blown 1967 ZA Fairlane

Brett Paige bought his tough ZA Fairlane 17 years ago as a rusty project for just $100! These days it's running a blown and injected 340-cube Dart Windsor small-block and he's gearing up for another go at Summernats

Photographers: Ashleigh Wilson

The blower hanging out the bonnet of Brett Paige’s 1967 ZA Fairlane caught our eye as he pulled into the pit lanes at the Junga Bunga’s No-Prep Cash Days at Warwick Dragway in November. We caught up with the lifelong Ford fan to talk about his time in the driver’s seat.

First published in Street Machine Yearbook 2023

Tell us about the Fairlane.

It was actually my first car. I bought it about 17 years ago from a guy who lived up the street. He had it sitting under a mango tree, so it was a bit rough and rusty and had a fair bit missing, but we bought it for a hundred bucks.

A hundred dollars? How did you manage that?

It had a set of personalised plates on it. The owner wanted to sell the plates and said the car came with it! So, we took it home and started to restore it. We slapped it together with parts that Dad had lying around and whatever we could find at swap meets. We got it registered a week after I got my licence.

What other cars have you owned?

I’ve got an XD ute that my brother and I built into a burnout car. We put that together about 10 years ago and double-entered it everywhere we went. We took it to Burnout Masters, Brashersnats, Tropical Meltdown – pretty much anything and everything up and down the east coast and all the way down to Melbourne for about six years.

We had a Wildcard entry at Summernats in 2014, and then the following year my brother won Brashersnats, which got us a ticket into the Burnout Masters. We were running a 383 Cleveland when we were skidding it, and at times we were the only naturally aspirated car in our group, but we always placed.

You know your way around both the burnout pad and the drag strip, then?

I started drag racing the Fairlane when I was 17 and did that right up until we decided to give the burnouts a crack. After a few years of doing that pretty successfully, we gave it up and sold the XD. I actually bought it back as a streeter, and now it’s parked in the shed.

I used to run the Fairlane in the True Street class back in the APSA Shootout days when the car was naturally aspirated. After getting into the burnout scene, the idea of adding the blower came along and I built it as a Powercruise thrash car. It’s gone from my everyday driver to what it is today, with a bunch of engine combinations in between.

What set-up are you currently running?

It’s a 6/71-blown, injected, 340-cube Dart Windsor small-block with a solid-roller. It’s got CNC-ported Victor Jr heads, a billet Joe Blo intake, Callies crank and Oliver rods.

What’s your PB?

At Warwick, we entered the Budget Radial class and ran a 6.20@114mph to the eighth-mile. It was our second time testing the new combo, and we’re aiming to run high eights over the quarter-mile.

Any other events coming up?

I’m going to take it to Summernats. We took it down last year and spent most of the weekend at Skid Row. I’ve got a timeslot to enter it in the burnout competition, but whether or not I skid it will be another thing. The Fairlane is my pride and joy, so I don’t want to bend it!