We’ve seen all kinds of automotive mayhem over the years, but we’ve never seen a supercharger blown off a burnout engine!


WE’VE seen all kinds of automotive mayhem over the years – especially in the burnout scene, but we’ve never seen a supercharger blown off a burnout engine!

Banging the blower in drag racing is pretty common. In fact, they even make “blower restraints” to stop superchargers blowing off into the crowd. But those are extreme racing engines with the kind of boost levels that could launch a space shuttle. Burnout engines are a bit different. Sure they make plenty of horsepower, but the boost levels are usually more reasonable and less prone to breakage. Well that’s the theory anyway.

So we were pretty surprised when Paul Cook launched the blower off his V8-powered GRUMP Corolla at Springnats 2013; and so was he! “I was thinking, ‘Are you kidding me?’,” Paul says. “I couldn’t believe it, but I guess I should have expected it with my track record at the time. But that was something I’d never seen before. It was mind blowing.”

Paul reckons that there were a couple factors that contributed. No burst plate or pop off valve was one, but it was a backfire that caused that overpressure in the intake and resulting lift off.

“I was running one battery, and with the thermo fans and everything on at the time, the MSD was only getting low battery voltage. It was under 12 volts and once it backfired, well that was it. It really wasn’t the best intake either; it was just a Holley LS1 tunnel ram and those little M8 bolts weren’t enough to hold the blower plate down.”

Since then Paul has sold GRUMP (it’s got a turbo V6 in it now) and he’s building a new car; a VC Commodore with a 500ci+ big block with a 16/71 blower. It should be a beast and we’re looking forward to seeing it finished. Stay tuned for that one.