Rebecca Griffin’s LS1-powered VS ute

We spotted Rebecca Griffin laying down some epic aspirated burnouts on our recent jaunt to Darwin for Gazzanats 2022

Photographers: Chris Thorogood

Rebecca Griffin earned both the Iron Maiden award for best female entrant and the Best Ladies Burnout trophy at this year’s Gazzanats in Darwin. We caught up in the pits to see what makes Bec – and her eye-popping VS ute – tick.

First published in the November 2022 issue of Street Machine

Love the ute! What’s the story behind it?

I was gifted a shell with no running gear in it. It’s now got an LS1 with a Victor Jr manifold and a 750 Holley carby on it. It’s pretty basic and standard. I haven’t really done many upgrades; I just put a trunnion kit through it, double valve springs and a 232/234 cam. It runs a Turbo 400 that’s not massively built.

The keg in the back is full of coolant, which means more volume so the car stays cooler. It’s just a pretty basic skid car, really, built from the ground up in the backyard!

Is it your first burnout car?

No, I started with a VL I bought out of a back paddock in Humpty Doo for 700 bucks. That just had an RB30 in it, and I pretty much skidded that until the motor completely seized up, and then the LS and Turbo 400 combo went in.

I destroyed the rear end of that car through tyre slap, and parts are really hard to find, so it’s an expensive option for a burnout car. Then I got the VS shell, and they’re actually an amazing burnout car; they’re very responsive to braking and steering, and really let you go where you want to go.

How did you get involved in the sport?

I’ve been involved in motorsport since I was a kid. My dad raced speedway, so I started racing speedway. Then I became involved in drag racing as well, helping as part of the Hidden Valley Drags committee.

At the end of each race meeting there’d traditionally be burnouts. My brother got involved in it, and I started really liking it, going to bigger shows like Gazzanats and Brashernats, and Powercruise.

There were a lot of us who love burnouts and we kind of wanted more than one skid at the end of a drag race meeting, so we decided to start the Burnout Association of Darwin, which I’m president of.

In your eyes, what makes the burnout community so special?

Every motorsport has their family, and I think there’s something a bit different and special with the people that come together for burnouts, especially at big meets like this.

Even in our small local burnout community, everyone’s always there for each other and wants to help out. And it’s probably the crazy, adrenaline, bogan aspect for me as well!

It’s a chance to just let loose; for those couple of minutes, nothing else matters in the world, really.

Any future plans for the ute?

The list always gets longer! It doesn’t look like much, but there’s been a lot of work done to it. If you would’ve seen this car only six weeks ago, the work to get it ready for Gazzanats is a lot – cosmetically, underneath and inside.

But for the driveline, I want to tub it, replace the stock rear with a nine-inch, and really start stepping it up. I also want to swap from unleaded to E85, just because it helps keep everything cool. I don’t really have an interest in going blown; I love my little carby on the LS.

It just works every time and never lets me down!

Girls — wanna be famous? Send pics, car details and contact details to: Iron Maiden, Street Machine, Locked Bag 12, Oakleigh, Vic 3166. Or email: [email protected].