A More Conventional Race Vehicle… Sort Of
Last time, Dave finally raced his wild hybrid ute. Go here if you missed it.
As you’ve probably guessed, Dave’s off-roading exploits didn’t end when he wrote off the Pajero ute. In fact, the best was yet to come.
With the Pajero ute written off, Dave concentrated on his business. Building another off-road vehicle was not an option – lack of time and money saw to that. For now, he was content to be part of the Denham’s Service Crew.
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All this changed in 2009. He was offered a 1991 Pajero wagon by one of the racing fraternity.
Again, this was no ordinary Pajero. It was originally built by Ralliart as a Production Class race car and competed in the Australasian Safari (formerly Wynns Safari). It was driven as a road car for many years afterwards.
This car was a hybrid from the factory. At the time, Pajeros had leaf springs in the rear. However, this one had coils. It was possibly doubling as a test vehicle in disguise.
Even better, the same person also gave Dave a factory standard Pajero, which he stripped and used for spare parts.
Time For A Transplant
Dave still had the ever-faithful Astron 2.6L G54B engine and hand-built Holinger gearbox from the previous Pajero ute.
With the help of his Dad Kevin, Dave transformed the Paj into a really neat vehicle.
From the outside, the Paj looked pretty much standard. However, modifications were actually extensive:
- Engine and gearbox were replaced. This meant both tailshafts had to be shortened and transmission hump had to be modified.
- Window glass was replaced with lightweight aluminium and polycarbonate.
- Interior was stripped out. Standard instrument cluster and heater were re-used.
- Wiring harnesses were removed, stripped down cable by cable and re-fitted.
- Fuel cell was fitted inside the cab.
- All panels were light-weighted by cutting out internal panels.
- Roll cage was fitted.
- Racing seats and harnesses were fitted.
- Second shocks were mounted on all four corners and hydraulic bump stops fitted to the rear.
The result was a super-tidy race car… built on a shoestring budget. Enjoy the photos!
Next time: The Gen 1 Pajero’s Achilles Heel. Every car has a weakness.
Any errors or omissions are mine alone.