If there’s one thing drag racers can be guilty of is their knack for pushing their car to the ragged edge, and then stepping over it. The results when you cross that threshold of what’s possible can be just an aborted run due to spinning tires at the line, or you could experience catastrophic parts failure. Andrew Darby experienced the second of the two possible outcomes when his Holden’s engine block nearly split in two.
The Moolap Mufflers-built Holden VK Commodore wagon that Darby pilots is no joke — this car has some serious rip. For years, Darby was running low eight-second passes with a twin-turbo setup and did it with ease. Darby was the first person to punch a Holden-powered car into the seven-second zone in Australia after he switched from the twins to a single Garrett GT55 turbo. On the record-setting pass he ran a 7.99 with a very smooth 1.23 60-foot time.
What makes Darby’s car so impressive is the fact there’s nothing crazy or exotic with the combination. Under the hood is a cast iron 355 cubic inch factory two-bolt bock fitted with a pair of factory Holden cast iron heads. Darby is able to make well over 1,200 horsepower with this setup at 30 pounds of boost.
The problem is that Darby finally found the ragged edge of what the engine could take, and jumped that line in spectacular fashion. In this video from Fullboost, you see Darby’s 355 cubic inch monster finally give up in a hail of engine block chunks and fire as he leaves the line wheels up. If you’re going to kill an engine with boost THIS is how you do it!