WITH a 5.3-litre junkyard LS engine, tiny 235-wide tyres and leaf-sprung rear end, Mark Arblaster’s POR440 Valiant has already punched well above its weight with a stonking PB of 9.1@150mph, set at Street Machine Drag Challenge last year.
With some Gazzard Brothers Racing rear end enhancements on the cards, Arby hopes to run an eight in testing before jamming the car in a shipping container and sending it Stateside for Hot Rod Drag Week.
But he’s not making it easy on himself. Drag Week is an utterly torturous event, with bulk road miles, five days of racing and all manner of adversity all unfolding in extreme heat. Arby’s having the car shipped in to Long Beach in Los Angeles, California, then – rightly or wrongly – he’s going to drive it to Cordova, Illinois for Drag Week, meaning POR440 will rack up around 2000 miles (3200km) under its own steam before the event even starts!
We’ve been following the build since the get-go, so while Arby had the car down at Lucky’s Speed Shop having pinstriping superstar Ryan Ford lay on some period-inspired livery, we took the opportunity to sit him down for a chat. Check out the video!