Steve Grima is gunning for sevens in his ProCharged, 540ci big block-powered Camaro, LAUNCH

Videographers: Byron Keane

STEVE Grima was fortunate enough to have two cars entered at Powercruise 66 – the turbo LS1-powered VK Commodore he took to Street Machine Drag Challenge last year, and his ’69 Camaro drag car, LAUNCH.

Powered by a Bain Racing-built 540ci big-block with an F2 ProCharger, the Camaro is a serious bit of kit. It runs a Dart Big M block with a Lunati crank, Oliver rods and Mahle slugs, and is handy for somewhere north of 1000rwhp.

Launch CamaroSteve bought it in from the States four or five years back as an unfinished project. It retains a factory Camaro roof and quarters, but is otherwise pure race car, with a full chassis and fibreglass body panels.

“When I bought it, the motor and ’box were installed but not plumbed up, and there was no tailshaft or brake lines or anything like that; it was basically three-quarters finished,” Steve said. “I pulled the transmission out and replaced it with a Pro Mod ’Glide, finished the car off and took it to Powerplay, where it blew the engine up the first time I drove it.”

This sparked a comprehensive rebuild, with the current engine combo being pieced together while Steve had the paint and interior attended to.

Launch Camaro“Since I bought the car I’ve ripped a lot of it out and thrown it in the bin: the custom headers, the harness, the engine, the gearbox; basically everything except the chassis and rear end.”

Steve has done plenty of events with the car, but is yet to make a pass in it. With a private test day booked for July, that’s all set to change. “The car will go to Street Car Fabrications for wheelie bars and a ’chute mount, then back to Bain Racing for final tune,” he said. “I’m aiming for a seven-second timeslip.”

Steve Grima's Launch CamaroPowercruise 66 was a successful event for Steve, with him flogging the snot out of both cars for the full duration of the event with no major issues. He cheekily remarked that he might bring the Camaro along to Drag Challenge this year, and when we later questioned him on it, he admitted he was only half joking. We’d love to see LAUNCH steamrolling down a rural Victorian highway with a trailer in tow!