MAXI TAXI

OUR TURBO TAXI DRIVES 4000KM TO QUEENSLAND AND BACK – AND RUNS 11S

STORY SCOTT TAYLOR PHOTO SCHRIS THOROGOOD & NATHAN JACOBS

REGULARS MAXI TAXI

NEWS FRONT JUNE 201 8 : ALL THE NEWS THAT MATTERS

FANS of Carnage and the Turbo Taxi will remember that the bright yellow cab aquaplaned off the road and into a tree during Drag Challenge 2017 (see editorial, SM, Feb ’18). The car copped a bit of damage, but other than Scotty’s pride there were no injuries. As penance Scotty spent his Christmas and New Year’s break repairing the FG Falcon before Summernats, where the Taxi was cruised in front of thousands of adoring fans.

Since then the pressure has been on to get Turbo Taxi back out to the track and beat the 12.0009-second time we achieved at Heathcote way back in June last year.

Fast-forward to 2018, and with the Taxi back in shape we tried to eke an 11 out of it at Calder Park Raceway. Unfortunately, high ambient temps and a boost leak conspired to keep 12s on the timecard, so we sent the car back to Tunnel Vision for those extra LPG injectors.

Pre-drilling the intake way back at the start saved a lot of trouble, and it didn’t take Jason long to have the Turbo Taxi up and running with 12 squirters. Then we started turning up the boost – and that’s when the problems started.

With 13psi the car ran fine, but with 16psi the ignition coils couldn’t keep up with the combination of LPG and the extra cylinder pressure. Being a stubborn bastard, Scotty decided to close up the plug gaps to 13thou, get some new Falken road tyres fitted, and drive the Taxi all the way to Queensland for Drag Challenge Weekend anyway.

On Day One the Taxi didn’t look like it was going to play the game at all, with a 12.11 and a 12.3 at 118mph, but closing up the plug gaps to a mere 8thou meant the Taxi had enough spark to run an 11.54@121.99mph. What a relief!

The crazy thing is that the 1900kg Falcon clearly had more in it, because the ignition was still breaking down, so we packed up the gear and headed to Warwick via the scenic route before hitting the rural eighth-mile the next day.

Despite the tight plug gap, the Taxi decided it really didn’t want to play at Warwick, and the best we could manage was a 7.86@91mph, fourtenths slower than our half-track speed on Day One. So we hit the road back to Willowbank via

Toowoomba and hoped for at least one clean pass on Day Three.

To kick things off for the last day, Scotty decided to do a pass on the Falken street tyres, and without even trying it ran a 13.3@109.6mph.

Then he bolted on the 255 drag radials and the Taxi decided to throw a tantrum. Run after run the ignition system broke down every time, and combined with some serious heat-soak thanks to the thermometer cresting 30°C, the best we saw was a 12.49@115mph. Arrrrgh!

Clearly our next job is to sort out the ignition system. We’ve already added a set of Autotrad Drifter coils post-DC Weekend, and while they’ve definitely made a big improvement to driveability, they’re still marginal at 16psi. To run that 10-second pass, we’ll need to crank the boost up to 20psi, and that’s just going to kill the spark again, but we reckon there’s a solution on the horizon.

So stay tuned for the next instalment of the Turbo Taxi, and make sure you jump onto YouTube.com/ STREETMACHINETV and check out episode 13 of Carnage.

HOT GOSSIP

LSX TUNER #7

THERE is a beaut new issue of Street Machine LSX Tuner out now! Inside, you’ll find everything from a Series VI Mazda RX-7, an ’89 BMW E30 and an ’83 Volvo – all LS-swapped, naturally! Plus a bevy of chrome-bumper Holdens, tough Commodores and plenty of tech. Can’t find it in the shops? Do a search on magshop.com.au and order it online.

EXPAT HG UTE FOR CRUSHER?

LAST issue we told you about the plight of UK-based Aussie Travis McKimmie, whose HG Holden ute was impounded by French Customs after a small amount of wacky tobaccy was found on-board. Since then Travis has received further correspondence from French authorities, and the news isn’t good: “…we cannot grant your request to return the vehicle, as it has been seized and has hiding places”. Said “hiding place” is a fromthe-factory cavity common to every Holden ute of the era. The letter also stated that the only way to further challenge the decision could result in Travis spending 10 years in the slammer for the weed – something he is understandably hesitant to do. So what will become of the ute? Well, with Travis fast running out of options, the Frogs will likely feed it into a crusher. And to think we saved their arses in WWI…

NEXT!

THE July mag is here, and we’ll have all the action from Meguiar’s MotorEx in Melbourne and the Holden Nationals from Heathcote Park Raceway. Plus our Red CentreNATS guide, and one of the coolest XY Falcon utes we’ve seen in many a year! On sale 21 June.