At Drag Challenge Weekend 2022, Josh and his Turbo Ecotec-powered VB took a huge step forward in the time slips, running a best of 9.0-seconds over the HPR quarter-mile and a 5.79-second best at 121mph over eighth.
He also won the Quickest Holden Powered Trophy and finished seventh in the Speed Pro Six Cylinder.
Aside from the methanol fuel conversion on the track, the VB remains a surprisingly basic combination, using a Holset turbo fitted with a factory Ecotec block and crank, ported cast-iron heads and 71mm bullet wheels. The ECU of choice is an MS3Pro.
Since DCW, Josh and fellow Tassie DC veteran Chris Palfreeman have given the VB a tune-up on the dyno, seeing 907hp at the hubs before the fuel pump and injector limits hit. Regardless, that’s an extra 200hp that should see the VB comfortably in the eight-second zone.
Josh and his wife recently welcomed a baby girl into the world, so VB won’t be doing the drag challenge this year, but we’ll update you when the car heads to the mainland for further testing. .
Here’s the story:
Josh Grant brings his Morpheus Purple VB SL back to the Turbosmart Outlaw Blown class for Drag Challenge 2018, looking to finish the week on a high in the car he’s owned since he was 14 years old.
Its first-series Commodore runs a stock-bottom-end 3.8-liter Ecotec V6, with a Holset HX55 boost, and a custom water-to-air intercooler caps the intake air temperature. The motor originally started life as a factory supercharged L67 Donk, but Josh had no interest in using a positive displacement pump, preferring the 20psi worth of fun provided by the big Holset snail.
Engine management has changed to an MS3Pro ECU for 2018, while E85 is the boost juice of choice, although it has a flex-fuel system so the purple VB can run regular pump fuel if needed. “I’m running it straight on E85, because I don’t want to dilute the ethanol content by putting gasoline on the road legs,” says Josh. “This is our third year, so we’ve just finished our schedule. We come in and get some runs done before it gets too hot, then we can kick back and watch some racing. Or on the road. Get out and take some time in. It runs like a stock Commodore on the road, even with the ZZP Stage Five 230/224 cam and 1650cc injectors.
Behind the 3.8 is an all-fast 3800rpm converter, two-speed Powerglide, and a BorgWarner diff driving a 31-spline axle and 3.45 center out of a VL Commodore.
Josh managed a 9.82 @ 134mph over the quarter mile at Swan Hill on day four, showing just how fast the combo is. “After Drag Challenge this year I’m going to build another motor for it, and it will be more serious,” he says.
1979 Holden VB Commodore SL
the class: Turbosmart Outlaw blew up
engine: Holden 3.8L V6
Turbo: Holset HX55
Converter: High speed 3800rpm
Difference: BorgWarner, 3.45:1 gears
power: 907hp on hubs
PB: 9.0 seconds