There's a really cool build underway right now aiming to deliver a vision of what could have been if Holden decided to release a Factory Showdown drag-version of their Commodore.
Several US manufacturers released drag-only editions of their muscle coupes, including Chevy with the Copo Camaro (below), Dodge with their Challenger Drag Pak and Ford with the Cobra Jet Mustangs. All of these can compete heads up in NHRA's Factory Showdown class or Super Stock classes.
Victoria's Darren Parker, a former Super Stock racer, has recently been getting back into enjoying the track after some time away, and after deciding that his daily driver wasn't practical to keep using as a drag car, he let his imagination run wild on what could have been in Australia.
“I closely follow the Factory Showdown class where they are racing under a very strict set of rules in order to maintain parity,” he said. “I like how the cars are built using factory bodies and are limited by a nine inch tyre. Using the Copo Camaro as inspiration I wondered how a VF Commodore would look if Holden had produced a competitive drag race car off the showroom floor.”
With that brief, Parker found a written-off VF Commodore to use as a rolling shell, and then visited Sydney's Craig Burns of Street Car Fabrications fame to discuss his plans.
Parker picked up a disassembled 411ci LS engine package from Perth's Street Quick Performance, who had been helpful when he was diagnosing a transmission issue in his street car, and has passed that on to Peter Ridgeway – Australia's first six second Pro Stock driver. Along with Arthur Sagiarus of Custom Engines they will be developing the LS to closely resemble the Factory Showdown units in the USA, including the Magnuson Mag Drag 2650 Supercharger and Holley EFI.
“I have taken some liberties with the Copo concept by building a larger and lighter (aluminium) engine that will make decent power at lower RPM and be more reliable than a competitive naturally aspirated Super Stock engine,” Parker said. “The Copo engine is a high revving 350ci, LS iron block with LS7 heads. The chassis in the VF isn’t running the NHRA Stock certified square tube chassis with minimal adjustment four-link, instead it is all round tube with a lot of adjustment (designed for radial tyres) on the four-link and will have Menscer radial0tuned coilovers on the rear end. If we ever get a Group 2 class for this type of car, the chassis is /MS compliant, so I am set there!”
We are really looking forward to seeing the Copo Commodore come together – keep an eye out in Drag News Magazine in a few months time for the feature when it is completed!