PRO street icon, six-second drag car, Summernats Top 60 vehicle and, somehow, able to run to the shops or cruise to the pub. Street legal? Tristan Ockers knows he pushes his luck, but he still calls his MINCER ’71 Ford Capri a street car, not a race car.
“It’s pretty much the wildest boundaries you could push a street car,” he says of the green monster he’s owned for 25 years. Now there’s an understatement. The Bargo, NSW man says it’s making “well over 2500hp” and runs 6.9 seconds down the quarter-mile at over 200mph. Just to remind you, this is a road-registered Capri. Mind blown.
The car’s current set-up – a blown, injected, 510ci Oldsmobile-headed big-block backed by a two-speed Turbo 400 and four-link rear end – was completed by Tristan and good mate Paul Sant at ProFlo Performance. “We’ve done this car together for the past 20 years and it’s been a really good partnership,” Tristan says. “Me and this car have a love-hate relationship, but it’s always good times. Things go wrong with them, and you can sit in the corner and cry or get on, get it fixed and get back out there.”
For Tristan, “out there” means both the street and the drag strip. He acknowledges that some people find the ‘street’ part of the equation hard to believe. “I’ve had many arguments, but I just end up agreeing with everyone,” he explains. “I don’t care. I get it out there and drive it.”
Mainly just to the local pub, though. MINCER drinks around eight litres of fuel per minute, so heading further afield really dents the wallet. “I get far enough to enjoy it, rattle a few peoples’ houses and scare their cats and dogs,” Tristan laughs.
It’s enjoyed glory on the strip, too. Tristan reckons his best year was 2016, when he won $8000 at the no-prep event at Sydney’s Powercruise, followed a month later with a Pro Street Blown class triumph at an Australian Pro Street Association (APSA) event. “I did everything with the car, including Summernats, and nothing went wrong that year,” he says.
We caught up with MINCER and Tristan at Northern Nats 5 at Springmount Raceway near Cairns, where it was one of the event’s major drawcards. It may have just been doing demos and passenger rides rather than taking on all comers, but this thing spins your head just sitting still. “It’s gone through various stages and people have followed it all this time. I’ve finally been able to make it up here [to Far North Queensland] after years of trying and everyone loves it,” he says.
Also on Tristan’s calendar this year is Grudge Kings in Sydney and the no-prep at Queensland’s Powercruise. “No-prep is more my scene,” he says. “With a big, fat set of slicks, I’ve no computer or anything to control the car; it’s all up to me. I believe when it comes down to driver versus driver, I’ve got it over a lot of the computer-driven cars. A little dig at the radial boys there!”
Tristan’s love of Capris goes back a long way. He was a wide-eyed 11-year-old when he spotted one in a burnout comp at Summernats, and from then on vowed he’d own one.
MINCER is an original Capri GT V6, a model whose value has now gone into orbit. “It’s probably worth more in its standard form these days than what it is all chopped up!” Tristan says.
It’s a pretty decent chop-up, mind. The car’s first incarnation under Tristan’s ownership was as a fast street car, mini-tubbed and with a 350 Chev. It was running low 11s then, and over the years it’s upped the game with bits chopped here and there and upgraded engines.
In its current epic form, there’s a nine-inch sheet-metal diff and 15×4 and 15×15-inch Champion Billet beadlock rims. “I’m stuck in the 90s pro street era, as it’s polished and full interior, things like that,” Tristan says. “The car’s basically all steel and with wind-up glass windows. Every factory electric thing works – the horn, indicators, interior lights. It helps pass rego when you keep things like that.”
To see full green leather with factory-style Capri stitching inside a six-second drag car is something special. There’s basket-weave for the hoodlining and a custom dash that houses Auto Meter gauges. Even the door trims are standard. “It means it doesn’t date,” Tristan reasons.
What’s it like piloting such an animal? “From the windscreen forward, it’s really just a standard Capri,” Tristan said. “You’re sticking something in a car that came out with a four-cylinder or V6, so it’s a good, fun fight to the end. I enjoy it and I think the car does too. It wants to go one way, I try to get it to go the other way, and we have a bit of a battle.”
With the history Tristan and MINCER have, it’s hard to believe they’d ever part ways. Though it’s been around the traps for a massive amount of time, we can’t imagine getting tired of seeing it at these events. We just really want to witness it pulling into the pub car park to see the ‘street’ bit with our own eyes!