II’m sure I’m not the only one who, when they think of VEs or VFs, picture valiants. Others, of course, might picture a similar Commodore model with a hot LS motor up front. Well, here’s a car that blurs the line between the two: a VF Valiant Regal packing a stonking, single-turbo, 6.0-liter LS.
First published in the November 2022 issue. Street Machine
The stock torsion bars were wound up and a set of Calvert shocks were installed up front, while out back, Keith moved the leaf springs inboard and installed some adjustable Calvert shocks and low-profile CalTracs bars.
About now, some of you Pentastar fans may be spitting chips in disgust. But VF owner, Keith Fabian, certainly isn’t against Mopar-powered Vals, like his blown 340-powered VG (Sm, February ’20). To build this VF Regal, though, Keith was after something a bit more late-model – something that wouldn’t break the bank and put on a good show. Street Machine Drag Challenge.
“I was thinking about going to Barra; I just wanted to go with the late model so I could chuck the family in it and go to the bakery,” says Keith. “But I still wanted a mild V8 sound.” was, with only a small camera, and it all had to fit under the bonnet – that was a mission.”
Keith started out with a really decent body with virtually no rust, but lots of dings and scratches. So, being a panel beater by trade, he had to clean it up and give it a fresh coat of real Navajo badge.
Keith turned to Jeff Johnson to put together a tough and reliable power plant. “I wanted to start pretty light, but Jeff just said, ‘Nip, let’s get it done.'” With that in mind, Jeff paired it with the Holy Pro, a blow-through carb deal. Took up to a full blown animal. Dash housing a dominator ECU, EGTs in every port and sensors everywhere.
“I started out with an alloy 6.0-liter, but I got a great deal on a brand new, cast-iron LY6 block,” says Keith. “That’s why I really like Jeff; instead of insisting on a $5000 block, he was happy with the factory block, and even the crank is an LSA crank instead of something like a Calix Magnum – he makes lighter engines. Which just perform. I’ve seen engines like this put on thousands of kilometers and do a lot of street duty and the odd racing job, and that’s what I wanted with this car – 80 percent street. duty and 20 percent racing.
It gets a little wild when you see the turbo hanging off the side of the motor. “Jeff was very excited when I told him which turbo I wanted to run,” says Keith. “I’ve always wanted a big-frame turbo.
When people see a car that looks like that and then you pop the bonnet and they see a turbo, I don’t laugh at anyone. It’s kind of silly, but cool at the same time. whirly boi is a Garrett GTX55 Gen II and is nowhere near his limit on this engine, plenty of room for development if Keith feels the need. You know how the rest goes.
The bot has covered a new ground and now has a fuel cell and battery. Three Walbro 525 fuel pumps are needed to deliver the significant amount of E85 needed to make more than 1100hp at the tires.
Keith had known the car himself for a long time, so he knew it was a nice, solid example with no rust. To be fair, he could have easily shaken off the original patina, but considering his business is West Coast Auto Smash Repairs, it probably doesn’t look good to be driving around in a dented-up old Valiant with crusty paint – Be that as it may, make over 1000hp on tires!
Advanced Race Fabrication took care of the roll cage, which is tacked to 8.0 seconds. It’s a beautiful trick of gear that uses bullet racecraft joiners, which are fully approved by the FIA, Motorsport Australia and ANDRA and are very strong in every direction.
The LY6 iron block is topped off with CNC ported LS3 heads and a Holley sniper intake, which Keith chose so he could fit it under the bonnet. It also made steampipe manifolds that open into an 88mm GTX55 snail with a 1.12 rear. At the exit, there is a 4-inch dump pipe with a 3.5-inch pipe running alongside the Magna Flow muffler.
Keith can easily remove the door bars to replace the race seats with bench seats. “I changed the bench to go around the shifter, so I can still take four kids when I want to go for a walk,” he says. Advanced Race Fab also did the chassis connectors and parachute mount and were suitably impressed with the fab work that Keith had already done before bringing it into the shop.
Keith decided to paint the car in the original Navajo badge, complete with a burgundy interior – just as it left the factory.
For the photo shoot, Keith installed a pair of rickety race seats, but he could open the roll cage door bars and slide into the stock bench seat so he could cruise aboard with the whole family. Holy Dash probably gives the game away that this is not your average VF Valiant.
While the body is pretty much original, Keith did some minor tweaks to fit the driveline and make sure the car can handle all that extra twist. To fit the giant turbo, it had to move the left-hand inner fender out by 40mm, while at the rear, the car received a mini-tub, the leaf springs were moved in, and the fuel cell housed A new boat floor was prepared for this. As with all well-executed modifications, you won’t know anything has been done until it’s pointed out to you.
As a cheeky nod to the original output of the 225 slant-six, Keith left a ‘160-HP’ badge on the bootlid. “I joked with my colleagues that I would make that much power in every cylinder,” he laughs. “It will run on pump fuel and E85, so there’s a 98 tune and an E85 tune. At gate pressure with E85, it makes 900hp, but when I turn on the CO2 bottles for boost control, we get 26psi. made 1118hp on hubs at 98, it still made 808hp at 16psi.
“We discovered while tuning the car that we were losing 10psi of boost in the cooler,” Keith continues. “So it can go 13-1400hp at the wheels with the right cooler, but a Valiant out of the leaves has more than 1100hp!” Yes, I guess you could say that!
1969 VF Valiant Regal
|paint:||Spy Hacker Navajo Badge|
|Type:||LY6 Iron Block|
|Throttle body:||Holy Sniper|
|Turbo:||Garrett Gen II GTX55|
|Heads:||Bullet CNC ported LS3|
|Valves:||2.165in (in), 1.590in (ex)|
|Camera:||BTR Hydraulic Roller|
|Conrods:||Molnar Power Adder Plus|
|Emissions:||Steampipe header, dump to 4in 3.5in pipe|
|‘box:||Red Case Powerglide, Transbrake|
|Difference:||Strange Pro case, 3.55:1 gears|
|in front:||Torson Bar, Calvert Shocks|
|Back:||Leaf springs, adjustable Calvert shocks, low profile CalTracs traction bar|
|brake:||Hemi Performance Discs (f), Wilwood Discs (r)|
|codes:||Weld forged V series; 17×4.5 (f), 15×10 (r)|
|Rubber:||Mickey Thompson 26×6.00 R17 (f), Mickey Thompson ET Street Pro Radial 275 (r)|
All my guys at the shop and Justin for all the help.