Greg Emberley’s 66 Dodge Coronet is a head-turner in the Australian drag racing scene, and as such it is no surprise that it is the ‘poster car’ for this weekend’s Mopar Sunday (8 November) at Willowbank Raceway.
Emberley and his striking old-school machine will be one of an estimated 120 racers and their Mopar machines of all kinds taking to the track this weekend for a day of racing, the Surf City Garage Show and Shine, a Chrysler Cruise, Mopar Marketplace and Swap Meet, dyno shootouts, displays, trade stands and more. Also on show will be local Top Fuel star Steve ‘The Pom’ Read, who will perform several passes in his 8000 horsepower Top Fuel dragster, capable of travelling the track in five seconds at more than 480 kilometres per hour.
Amongst the Mopar line-up will be a number of Chrysler machines, with Emberley’s standing apart in the pack.
“There are not a lot of old Chryslers that are raced in Australia anymore I think – in the United States it is really big over there, but here that is not the case,” said the 38 year old refrigeration mechanic of Clontarf in Queensland.
“Because ’The Dodge’ is big and square, and doesn’t look like it should go as fast as it does, it really does stand out, and that is something I am happy about.
“It is pretty exciting to be selected as a ‘poster car’ – as well as being a bit different in the Australian scene we did get a fair bit of attention last year when the car started to break through and really go fast, so it is pretty cool to be recognised.”
Emberley and his striking turbo-charged Coronet came onto the scene three years ago. He purchased the car as a ‘rolling chassis’ (no engine or gearbox’ two years earlier, before going on to complete the engine build and set-up and gain his drag racing licence.
This weekend will mark the third Mopar Sunday for the racer, notwithstanding the July attempt this year where the event was unfortunately rained out – spectator tickets purchased for that event will be honoured for entry this Sunday.
“The first time we came to Mopar Sunday, the car had only been going for about three months and I was still very much learning as I had just got my licence. But it all went well and the car ran its first nine-second pass,” said Emberley, who thanks supporters Kevin and Jason Kent of Binstead Engineering, Rob and Matt of Toy’s Exhaust, Steven and Darren of Protrac Suspension and the Chrysler Club for their support.
“By the time we got to the 2014 event we had learnt a lot and progressed to have the car and the set-up fairly sorted, which showed when the car dropped a full second from its ET to run an eight second ‘flat’ pass – it was an awesome day and I was really happy with the result.
“This year, we are hoping to run our first ‘Mopar Sunday’ seven second pass. In testing late last year it went as quick as 7.50 seconds, but we put a new engine in at the start of this year and since then it has only gone to 7.86 seconds – but we have been working hard to get back on top of it and we are not too far away now.
“The car is definitely capable of it, we just have to make it happen on the day and that is where it is not always as easily said as done!”
Over the summer, Emberley would normally choose to have his Dodge in the shed away from the heat, but the allure of Mopar Sunday is just too much.
“I am a red head, and I don’t have a cool suit or anything, so once I sit in the car in my fire suit in the summer it is like an oven and ridiculously hot, so I like to keep it away during the summer usually,” laughed Emberley.
“When it comes down to it though, Mopar Sunday is the best day of the year for Mopars and I wouldn’t miss it. You see the largest amount of Chrysler and Mopar products racing, and I believe it is the biggest day of its type in Australia.
“It has a good balance of racing and the Show n Shine, and it is just a really great and fun day at the race track where you want to put on a good show.”
Mopar Sunday drag racing pre-entry is available, as is entry on the day. Show and Shine entrants do not need to pre-enter – just arrive at the Raceway and enter for free once you have paid your admission at the main gate. Spectator entry (covering event admission as well as the Show n Shine and Mopar Marketplace) is just $25.00, Dyno Shootout entry is $25.00 (in addition to general admission), racer entry is $75.00 for pre-entry or $100.00 on the day (including driver admission), and children aged 13 and under gain free admission. Gates open at 7.00am with action on-track from 8.00am. For more event information, please visit moparsunday.com