Car Feature>> 9sec Rb25 Commodore

Over the past few years I’ve lost count of how many drag races and drag cars I’ve photographed, but I’ve always been meaning to shoot one that was Australian born.

That changed when I visited Mercury Motorsport, where I came across this stunning 1981 VC Commodore.

Purchased two years ago by John Desmond, this Commodore is no longer street registered and has been built specifically for the strip. What really appealed to me was its unassuming exterior.

With the accompanying steel wheels, it’s a quite the drag racing sleeper.

Inside, things are a little more serious. The Holden Commodore has been completely gutted.

There’s a Sparco Road driver’s seat, harness and compliant six-point roll-cage that allows the car to compete in ANDRA sanctioned events.

The standard cluster has been taken over by a number of gauges…

…A few of which are Defis that monitor oil, water and exhaust temperature.

While the fronts run 205/60s, the rears run treaded Mickey Thompsons.

The VC uses QAI two-way adjustable coilovers and a McDonald Bros 4-link, while the rear swaybar has been disconnected. With trap speeds of 152mph, the Commodore has upgraded VL Turbo front and rear brakes.

Australians have a penchant for power, so their drag cars tend to have impressive engine bays. Under the hood of this VC is a 700+hp RB25DET that, believe it or not, still retains the stock bottom end.

The massive snail is  a GT4508 in a GT42 housing.

The Turbosmart 60mm wastegate regulates the 26 pounds of boost.

The turbo sits on a 6Boost manifold and is mated to a 4-inch stainless exhaust exiting just after the front wheels.

The throttle body and plenum are from Plazmaman.

The RB25 features Camtech sticks (272deg, 9.7mm lift) and can be adjusted via HKS gears.

The Nissan motor is fed on a diet of E85 fuel, with a MoTeC M8 computer managing the setup.

Along with the Ethanol fuel, the Commodore enjoys a bottle of Nitrous Oxide.

Channeling the power to the wheels is done via a 2-speed Powerglide running a B&M shifter. The tailshaft is a one-piece custom made item, while a Tru-track LSD-shortened 9″ (3.7:1 ratio) is in the rear. With over 700 rear wheel horsepower it was essential for the axles to be changed, so these were upgraded to 31 spline billet axles.

It is great to see an Australian classic such as this VC Commodore running low 9 second passes down the 1/4 mile.


Mercury Motorsport

Mercury Motorsport Shop Feature on Speedhunters



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

The thought of doing a 9 second quarter in this thing, even with a full cage, is terrifying.

Watch this and you'll understand:


wow...!! super crazy...i'm speechless no word..


Fully hektik! lulz

700 HP with the stock bottom end is just insane.


It does 9 seconds, and has a real tidy engine bay,I give it that, but FFS, wouldn't you clean up that disaster of a dashboard and wiring???


I wanna know why he used a gm two speed instead of the nissan box?

nice car


Because thats how they roll in Australia , they put auto's behind everything *sigh*. everything.


that is one hell of a sleeper lol


This thing should be doing 115 mph well before the traps.


awesome car and great shoot Casey

needs more Carbon though John ;)


So cool!! The VC is a nice change from the usual VL drag cars too!


Finally a Commodore on Speedhunters!!! AUSTRALIA REPS!!!


9 second car with a 115mph trap speed? am i the only one that thinks thats WAY off?


looks awesome! i need to build a drag car before i die


@Bruce - the car is only NEW. The low 9 was done on one of its first ever passes, obviously, the owner will be looking at tidying up the wiring & the dash :)


700ps on a stock bottom end...

not for long...


Typo Fixed! The trap is 153mph!


Because thats how they roll in Australia , they put auto's behind everything *sigh*. everything.


@babs, he probs doesnt want to replace his box every second or third meet, Hard launches and huge sticky wheels will tend to destroy rb box


For drag racing: Auto > Manual, unless it is also a street car fulltime. A very nice & affordable track weapon. Despite what Alan has posted this car only drives in a straight line & was built right so should never end up head first in a barrier (fingers crossed) or if it does the scruitineerd & certified cage will be more than upto task


The car in that video has no drive tain and has sand in the boot


How long is that cam cover paint going to last with the snail nearly touching it!

Amazing machine though, can't believe that bottom end is stock! mental


@babs. 700Hp and you only need to shift once = faster. Nissan box would need to be able to be hot swapped with breakages etc


nnnnnnnnnnniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice what a sleeper and that gotta best commodore sleeper iv sceen so far to bad its not street legal


nice paddock basher. mate of mine had a vc once. drove it into a tree sideways. good times.


Trap speed was 152mph and the engine

has been making this power for over 18months


To the guy that said something about Aussies putting automatic transmissions behind everything. Thats a sequential manual


Hey Casey,

Your writing is to the point and informative, but it's kinda boring.

End of the day, it's a 700HP standard bottom-end RB25. That's f**king exciting.

It's also in a car that looks like my Mum drove back in the 80's.

But with 700HP.


But your writing is almost somber. It's just like "yeah. cool. so like.... this is this. not bad hey."


But <3


I like how in Australia they make their domestics go faster by using Japanese engines. Its a nice contrast from here in America, where the prevailing logic for imports tends to be "Stick a LS3 in it."


is rb26,not rb25


Awesome car. Currently building a street-registered RB25DET powered VH Commodore myself. Champion mojo boost.

You guys HAVE to do a feature on the Summernats in January...


700hp -stock bottom end ,Yawn!!!! Rob Ward (R.I.P.S)pull up to 1100hp on stock RB30 bottom ends all the time .before all the Know all's start say that they cant handle that much power and break all the time , they do last a long time .just look at how long the motor that was in the 240/FED lasted run 1000+ hp.


@Fred Chen, two facelifts along from this Commodore was a 'VL' which had an RB30 in it anyway so it's not that diverse. But yeah people race these era of Commodores with smallblocks, quad cam Jap V8s, Holden V8s etc and there are fast examples of them all.

@Alex, this isn't a sequential manual, that's a GM Glide (auto). It has a stall converter, packs of clutches, planetary gears and it has a selector instead of a shifter. Definitely not a manual.


and it's QA1(one), not QAI.


rb-mad - the RB30 in the 240/FED was not stock bottom end. It was stcck crank etc however had aftermarket rods and pistons. RIPS routinely builds stock bottom end RB30's, however Robbie doesn't recommend pushing them north of ~600 horsepower due to reliability concerns.

E85 is what's keeping this thing alive, much lower temperatures, much higher knock resistance


johns VC has been making big numbers for over 18months now... it is such a clean example of a classic VC done right. its 9.3152mph was done on its very first pass with the new rear end.. the car ran a 1.4 60ft and carried the front wheels for wheeel over 100ft.. it was an amzing launch... it got abit hairy crossing the line at 152mph with no shoot, but john pulled it up straight and was stoked with the time.


supper car love it..
Is it a old age model ..
<a href="">piston</a>


supper car love it..
Is it a old age model ..
<a href=""> piston </a>