When your dad is Terry Seng of Paramount Performance fame, thrashing on cars ain’t no big thing. Whether it’s the Drag Challenge Weekend-winning HDT275 VC Commodore or the big banger HDT315 VH, 17-year-old Jaidyn Seng is well accustomed to seeing spanners fly as cars are prepped for deadlines.
First published in the January 2022 issue of Street Machine
Jaidyn has graduated to racing the VH since our chat, notching up plenty of success already.
His first meeting in HDT315 was Willowbank’s Super Thunder meeting, which saw a personal PB of 5.34-seconds at 137mph and the win in Pro Radial, earning Jaidyn a gold Christmas tree!
Next up was round two of the Kenda Radial series, running in a 5.50 index class. Jaidyn won three rounds from three, giving him a seven round win streak!
The team plans on turning the car up for the Winternationals, 9-12 June.
Away from the racetrack, Jaidyn’s true baptism of fire came only recently when he decided to get his ’72 HQ sedan running in time for his high-school formal, as he tells us…
Where did you find the HQ?
My uncle bought it from its original owner, sold off the motor and ‘box, and then it sat for a while. My dad ended up with it and it sat for another 10 years or so before he sold it to one of his best friend’s sons. He cleaned it up a bit, doing the suspension rubbers and the like, but then he bought another, nicer HQ. I found out he was interested in moving this one on, so I bought it off him. Everyone was happy it was back in the family.
You’ve got some spicy metal in the workshop and shed at home, were you tempted to go straight for tubs and turbos?
No, I wanted to keep it mostly original. I started fixing it up with a reupholstered interior, and I did a new fuel tank and fuel lines, and sorted the window regulators. I found a 202 and three-on-tree (like what it had originally) from the guy I just bought the Quey back from, who bought a super-original HQ wagon. I got the radiator and everything to get my car going.
It seems like a really solid old Kinga.
It was pretty good. Scotty from Excel Panel & Paint bare metal-sprayed the roof in stock white and fixed some rot in the cowl panel. I replaced the welded centre in the 10-bolt with a Truetrac. I drive it every day as it’s my only car.
The HQ had a big debut didn’t it?
When I got the HQ, I wanted to drive it to school on my Ps. It all started coming together around the time of my formal, and it is a car I want to keep forever, so I wanted to take that. Dad says I learned all the lessons about time crunches building cars in that last week before the formal, as there were a few midnight finishes. The day of the formal, Dad was in Brisbane picking my girlfriend up from the airport when I broke down. I found a five-cent piece by the side of the road and pulled the fuel line off, worked out it wasn’t getting fuel, and got it to Dad’s workshop. He’d organised a fuel pump to be delivered to the shop and I was just firing it up when he got there, with just enough time to get home, change clothes and drive to the formal.
Your dad is renowned for tough LS combos, so did you have fun learning about old-school tech?
When we got it going, it didn’t have spark, so I had to diagnose the condenser, points, setting dwell, and all that. It was also the first time I’d driven a column shift manual, which I thought was pretty cool. I found it really fun and enjoyable working with the old parts.
Any big SNAFUs during the thrash?
My first drive was at home in the middle of the night with no windscreen or back glass. It was freezing cold and my brother and I forgot we’d only put a little bit of petrol in to get the engine fired up, so I had to ring Dad from two minutes up the road because I’d run out of fuel… but you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.
The HQ doesn’t need heaps of grunt given your weekend ride…
Yeah, my Junior Dragsters is a 12-second car, as it goes 86mph to half-track. Next year the plan is to race Dad’s VH at Kenda meetings, with a milder twin-turbo LS in it.
What is next for the Quey?
It needs a rebuilt engine, so we’ll probably stick the mystery 173 in the corner of the workshop while we rebuild the 202. When I got it running, we discovered the lifters are pretty sad, so I put new lifters in on the old cam just to get it to the formal. Plus, it looked like it hadn’t had an oil change since 1975.