Wendy and Andrew McRae of Mackay with their 57 Chevrolet Belair two door at Rockynats. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Wendy and Andrew McRae of Mackay with their 57 Chevrolet Belair two door at Rockynats. Picture: Rodney Stevens

Rockynats dyno challenge wows crowds with big horsepower

When Andrew McRae upgraded his two door 57 Chevrolet Belair with a procharged big block V8 engine recently, he knew it would produce huge horsepower.

But the Mackay resident didn’t imagine it would trip the dyno at Rare Spares Rockynats by producing massive amounts of torque.

“There was too much torque on it at the back wheels,” he said.

“They were saying it’s only rated at 1700 newton metres and my car was up at 1860.

“He thinks that’s why it was shutting off and only reading about 620 horsepower.”

Andrew and Wendy McCrae's 57 Chevrolet Belair two door on the Insane Performance chassis dyno at Rockynats. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Andrew and Wendy McCrae's 57 Chevrolet Belair two door on the Insane Performance chassis dyno at Rockynats. Picture: Rodney Stevens

Mr McRae’s 57 Chev was one of more than 50 cars in the Rockynats dyno challenge, all hoping to register the highest horsepower and torque figures their engines could produce.

“I’ve had it on the dyno once, just for a tune,” Mr McRae said.

“It’s running fat, (rich with fuel) the tuner left it like that just for now, so we’ve got a bit of fine tuning to do with it.”

A crowd of people lined the fence outside Insane Performance for the Rockynats dyno competition. Picture: Rodney Stevens
A crowd of people lined the fence outside Insane Performance for the Rockynats dyno competition. Picture: Rodney Stevens

On the final day of the event, Mr McRae, a veteran of 15 Summernats at Canberra said he was already looking forward to next year’s Rockynats.

“It’s been great, we’ve had a great time,” he said.

“I haven’t been to Summernats since number 17, before I moved to Queensland.

“So it’s great to have Rockynats here in Queensland a lot closer to home.”

This VT SS Commodore was driven from the Gold Coast and made 289 horsepower on the Insane Performance hub dyno at Rockynats. Picture: Rodney Stevens
This VT SS Commodore was driven from the Gold Coast and made 289 horsepower on the Insane Performance hub dyno at Rockynats. Picture: Rodney Stevens

The iconic American muscle car was purchased more than 30-years ago by Mr McRae when he was 18 for $9500.

“It was registered when I got it and I used to drive it around back then,” he said.

“It was a four door and I made it into a two door, it’s a conversion that a lot of people do.”

Originally, Mr McRae said Rockynats was scheduled to be held in June, so he said it would be good to know when the 2022 event will be held so he can book accommodation.

A ZC Ford Fairlane on the Insane Performance hub dyno at Rockynats. Picture: Rodney Stevens
A ZC Ford Fairlane on the Insane Performance hub dyno at Rockynats. Picture: Rodney Stevens

Glen Challacombe, whose family owns Insane Performance, said the dyno challenge had been a great success.

“Yesterday we dynoed about 35 cars and today we’ve done about six so far, but it’s pretty early in the day yet,” he said.

“The biggest horsepower figure yesterday on the hub dyno was 1420 horsepower.”

The ZC Ford Fairlane made 563.1 horsepower on the Insane Performance hub dyno at Rockynats. Picture: Rodney Stevens
The ZC Ford Fairlane made 563.1 horsepower on the Insane Performance hub dyno at Rockynats. Picture: Rodney Stevens

To have a car with that much power on the street, more than $1 million dollar plus supercars, is becoming more common as technology advances.

“That was a Falcon that had about a 390 cubic inch big block V8 in it with a pair of turbos on it running about 30 pounds of boost.

“It’s a Drag Challenge car that drives between five tracks, competing over five days and it’s fully street registered with 1400 horsepower.”



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