THE STORY SO FAR
As the owner of a show like Powercruise, Gup felt he should have a car that wasn’t just a good looker, but one that could mix it up with the big boys in the Dyno, Burnout and Drag Racing arenas. Even though he had some tough daily drivers early in the piece, his street rides just didn’t cut the mustard in the world of Powercruise. Don’t get me wrong… he had some tough daily’s which included a street sleeper HZ Wagon and his first Barbados Green HQ, both using the same nitrous 308 combo that resulted in low 11’s across the quarter mile. Gup also owned a unique one-off V8 powered burnout Mini Moke that featured on the show scene at Kalbar Autofest and the Summernats throughout the 1990’s.
Gup’s first Powercruiser was the ELVIS HQ… Why ELVIS??? A mate of Gup’s held up the T-106mm Thumper Turbo one day and said “Elvis Is Back” and from there, the Turbo Big Block HQ that hadn’t even been finished at this stage, was to be named ELVIS! Nearly 3 years and quite a few folding notes later, ELVIS hit the track at Powercruise 6 in Sydney.
The heartbeat of ELVIS comes from a big block Chevrolet harassed by the nastiest ceramic ball-bearing race turbo available for petrol engines and it impressed right from the get go. Huge straight line Powerskids and rewarding numbers on the Dyno saw ELVIS become an instant hit with car enthusiasts around the country and more so with those lucky enough to actually get a ride in the turboed monster at Powercruise events. (Anyone can get a ride in the ELVIS HQ at Powercruise events, you just need to be in the right place at the right time and if you’re near Gup or Elvis when they’re ready to go for a lap, you could be chosen to ride shotgun)
When Gup’s idea for a street registered and driven 1000+ horsepower HQ first flashed into his mind, there was one rule that the car had to be built by and that was that the powerful engine MUST stay under the bonnet. No holes or scoops to cover the hardware, everything must sit under the bonnet which had engineers and mechanical geniuses scratching their heads at times but it was achieved. The result was amazing… A Big Block Chev with a giant turbo squeezed in between standard HQ chassis rails complete with an operational factory bonnet and enough power at the strike of the loud pedal to run a maximum security jail facility.
Deciding to test that power in a straight line, Gup headed straight for the Drag Strip and initial testing found that even though the HQ was making insane power, getting it to the ground was going to be a different story. ELVIS punched out a few 11 second passes and it quickly became apparent that a drag racing tech inspection was required for ELVIS after Gup accelerated to half track, got off the gas and rode the brakes to the finish line resulting in a time of 10.50 at just 50mph (80kph). Once the HQ had been inspected and passed to run quicker than 11.00 seconds, it ran solidly into the 10’s and then into the 9’s but the whole time… ELVIS was overpowering the track with the 10.5” rear tyres screaming in sheer pain. After lots of track time and adjustments, ELVIS’S power was harnessed enough to see him run a best of 8.87 seconds at 162mph (260kph).
In May 2006, ELVIS graced the cover of Street Machine Magazine and was featured in a 7 page editorial as well as a 1m pull-out poster and was chosen as the October car for the 2007 Street Machine calendar. The stunning HQ has also featured in photo shoots and editorials in Extreme Magazine and Queensland Street Car Magazine.
Even after achieving everything he wanted to with ELVIS, Gup still wanted to go faster over the quarter mile. His goal; to run as quick as an “Outlaw Car” (sub 7 seconds) but in “Pro Street” form. Thoughts of cutting up his beloved ELVIS HQ crossed Gup’s mind, (it does weigh 4100 pounds) but they were dismissed as quickly as they came. After all, the amount of the work, research and money that had gone into ELVIS, there was no way a gas axe was going to be taken to it.
It was then that Gup decided to look around for the ideal weapon to make his 6 second assault on the blacktop dyno with...
Bluey, one of Gup’s mates was looking to buy a car so Gup went with him and sitting in the shed next door was the ultimate transplant recipient for the 1273 hp Turbo Chev. A race prepped 1969 Chevrolet Camaro (10.5” outlaw car from the USA) ready to become the next Powercruiser and after an extensive going over by Bluey, ELVIS’S motor, turbo, blow-off valves, wastegate and gearbox were transplanted. How’d it all go, have a look for yourself…