IT IS NO secret that certain members of the Street Machine staff love their old-school inline six-cylinder motors, and we also love it when diehards push such engines far past the limits their original designers envisaged for them.
So we were stoked when Sydney father-andson team Jeff and Matt Ramsay broke through the eight-second barrier with their FJ Holden ute, with Jeff running a scorching 8.90-second pass at 150mph at Sydney Dragway in March.
And let’s get this straight – we’re talking about an all-steel FJ Holden that has been a race car since the late 70s, with a basic HR front end and a nine-inch rear.
We detailed exactly what makes the old girl haul arse back in the September 2015 issue of SM, but suffice to say it is based on nothing more exotic than a partially grout-filled 186 block. Inside is a balanced and nitrided factory crank, along with a set of special-order Carrillo rods and 10:1 CP pistons designed to take the 30psi the boys had planned for it. Up top is a Duggan alloy head and a giant solid-roller Surecam camshaft.
Where things get really interesting is the supercharger, namely a Whipple 3.3-litre screw blower, sitting on a custom Ramsaymade intake. The name of the game has been to keep the revs down and instead focus on improving air flow. The donk has made 700hp on the engine dyno and the ute weighs in at a relatively slender 1200kg.
Since the race debut in August last year, the team have been slowly creeping up on the combination. “We had to do some work with the auto and converter,” Matt says. s r “Just some upgrades to cope with the instant torque this thing makes.
“Dad is over the moon,” he continues. “He hasn’t raced since the last meeting at the old Eastern Creek track in 1997, so it has been a long time.”
Jeff was racing a hot six back then, too, namely a 4/71-blown EH streeter that ran flat 11s. “It was a great car,” says Matt. “We’d drive it to the track, drop the exhaust and put some slicks on. Then race all day, put the tyres and exhaust back on and drive home!”