Alex Atkinson turns a grandpa-spec Valiant Regal into a turbo small-block sleeper

Photographers: Steve Kelly

AFTER considering a turbo build for his Valiant Regal’s original 265 Hemi-six, Alex Atkinson realised he could drop in a small-block 360ci V8 and turbo for about the same money. So of course he went the V8 route, and turned his grandpa-spec Regal into a boosted street-cruising sleeper.

Chrysler Valiant Regal TurboI don’t recall Valiant Regals coming from the factory with a snail hanging off the motor – what’s the combo?

It’s a 360-cube small-block with cast-iron EQ Magnum heads, aftermarket rods and pistons to drop the compression to 8.0:1. It has a Garrett GT42R turbo with a blow-through 750cfm CSU carby. I got the motor built in America; they sent me the assembled motor with the new internals, heads, pistons and rods, and I did the turbo set-up with the help of my old man.

Chrysler Valiant Regal Turbo Small Block 1What sort of power does she make?

It made 500rwhp on 9.5psi, and it’s got a bit more in it. It has the MSD ignition system with a boost-retard device, so when it’s on boost it pulls timing. It’s really cool because it makes it easy to drive. The fuel system uses a Carter lift pump to a surge tank and then twin Bosch 044 pumps to feed the Aeromotive return-line regulator; it just runs on 98-octane. I’m probably going to pump the boost up to 12psi and see what it does.

Chrysler Valiant Regal Interior 5What’s the rest of the driveline?

The transmission is a 904 Torqueflite with a 3300rpm stall converter, with a race band and heavy-duty clutch-pack. It has a manual ‘standard-pattern’ valvebody, so anyone can get in and drive the car. The diff is a BorgWarner with standard 2.92 diff gears, 28-spline axles and a locker. Eventually I’ll get it out on the track and see what it can do, but for now it’s just a fast street cruiser.

Chrysler Valiant Regal Turbo Small BlockA fast and very stealthy street cruiser!

Yeah, it stays under the radar pretty well. When I decided to do the turbo set-up I worked out that I wanted to keep it looking as original as I could from the outside. It’s not that hard to build something that’s all go, but to do that without having a visible intercooler or fuel system or anything that looks out of place takes a lot of thought. Just figuring out how to hide everything was quite challenging.

Chrysler Valiant Regal Interior 6What was the car like when you started?

It was very tidy. There were a few small spots of rust that I got repaired, but someone had already had a crack at doing it up. It was a 265 Hemi-six with a Supra five-speed. It just needed a decent clean inside and out. I haven’t really touched the paint; it’s got a few scratches here and there, but overall it’s in pretty good nick. I only painted the bonnet because I had a small bulge put in it so I wouldn’t need a reverse cowl or scoop to fit the turbo set-up.

Chrysler Valiant Regal Interior 3Did you have much help along the way?

Basically my dad Michael and I did everything on the car. We specced the engine, had it built in America and from there we did all the turbo set-up, fuel system, electrical, transmission and diff. I’m a fabricator and the old man is an engineer so I did all the welding and he did the assembly. Honestly, big props to my dad for helping out. Without him it probably wouldn’t have happened – or it would have taken a lot longer!