Tony O’Connor awarded best engineered at Winternationals

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Tony O’Connor turned some heads at the Fuchs Winternationals. Those heads just happened to include ANDRA officials as they awarded him the Best Engineered Award for his Ford XD Fairmont.

“To win the Best Engineered Award is a privilege,” said O’Connor. “There’s some nice machinery out there. We were a bit gobsmacked actually.

“What we’re doing with the car isn’t and easy thing. We show 1000 plus horsepower by the slide rule through a little tyre and a leaf spring so there is some decent engineering in it to do that.

“My son works for Wilson Engineering and they do the one-off billet stuff so he fabricated the inlet manifold. The engine is built by myself so it’s Australian and not a bought package.

“That was our aim (to be Australian made), it’s obviously got an ANDRA approved cage and all that but we can have the parachute and the cage off the car in less than an hour. It is registered, it’s not something you’d probably cruise around in everyday but it’s possible.

“We ‘re capable of running at least three seconds under the index in our class so it’s not like we’re canon fodder.”

ANDRA Technical Officer Colin Brassington said he was impressed by O’Connor’s car describing it as a traditional Super Stock vehicle.

“Tony’s XD Fairmont stood out because of it’s very high level of detail and presentation, and the large number of locally made components – including the inlet manifold which was fabricated by Tony’s son and is an absolute work of art,” he said.

“It’s well built and runs a full interior with the cage integrated nicely, retaining full usability of the back seat should they decide to put road tyres on it and cruise up to Maccas.

“Additionally, it runs mid 8s with leaf springs and caltracs! How cool is that? But topping it all is the fact that it is a competitive, Australian built car with an Australian built engine – in a bracket full of off the shelf American cars with American engines. A proper Australian Super Stocker in the most traditional sense of the term.”

The ANDRA Best Engineered Award is a Specially commissioned Gold ANDRA Championship Plaque presented to the car or motorcycle judged to be the best engineered at three rounds of the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship, being the Australian Nationals, Westernationals and Winternationals.

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