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International Blown Alcohol Association

Colin Harris - Northern Lights Racing

 

My first car was a 1991 Pontiac Grand AM I bought when I was 16 years old.  I replaced the exhaust system with a stainless upgrade that was custom bent at a muffler shop and I have had the 'bug' ever since.  Like many young men, I used to street race my friends when the coast was clear.

I moved into the world of the Mazda RX7 and by the age of 20 I spent all my spare time in a garage I rented with two 1986 Mazda RX7s, and one from 1988 I purchased for 50 dollars that wasn't running.  Only 1 of the 3 ran, but it ran on an aftermarket fuel injection controller with a totally custom intake and exhaust system that I built with my gearhead buddies.  My Dad stopped in to check on me one time while I was trying to solve a fuel pressure issue, to let me know my Mom hadn't seen me in weeks and was getting worried.  I used to travel everywhere with the RX7 and join cruise events that were happening all over Southern Ontario.  

My brother Kyle Harris brought me onto the Atchison Racing team to experience funny car racing, and it is so much fun.  It was a whole new world of tuning that I was not exposed to and very intense.  I spent lots of time with Rob Atchison on his funny car team in the east, his funny car team in the west, and with his Pro-Mod Corvette.  A lot of what I learned on the Atchison team directly crossed over into the world of imports - which is where I had my roots.  I decided it was time to get realistic about racing, and stay out of trouble at the race track.  

My first drag car was a 1987 Mazda RX7 I purchased with a blown engine through the car club.  I bought it for $1,000 and my friends and I replaced the engine with a naturally aspirated high compression engine from a junkyard for $200.  We outfitted all the turbo equipment on the engine, dump pipe to the ground, turned up the boost, tuned up the fuel system and went racing.  I used to remove the top mount intercooler to prevent heat soaking and install it just before pulling up to the line.  Every bit counts, right? Best ET on all-season street tires was 14.4 seconds at 101 mph.  The car wouldn't get out of the hole, but it would run down fox body mustangs on the top end all day - If I could shift it right.  I was in love.  

I restored an old trailer that was falling apart I towed this thing to the racetrack with, so in total I had less than $2,000 into this racing operation.  If I wasn't with Rob Atchison racing, or racing my RX7, I was with my brother Kyle racing his Mustang.  His mustang wasn't something my RX7 could take down, not by a longshot.  Kyle has the bug too, so his mustang wasn't an amateur drag car like mine was.

I had an opportunity to move out to Alberta, so I sold the RX7 and packed up all my things into a pickup truck and moved out west.  I was still able to go racing with my Uncle Brent Harris, and his 1933 Willy's.  Uncle Brent in my perspective was a pioneer on the way he put his car together and raced it.  His car was a nostalgia gasser pro-mod, and he raced with funny cars.  I don't think he wanted to fit any particular profile, except the vision he had for his own car - and just go have fun.  Racing with him, I met Darrell Webb from Webb Family Motorsports, and I have been treated like family with the IBAA even long after Brent Harris' passing.  

I worked many long and hard days for many years in Alberta, and I spent 3 years putting this funny car together with my brother Kyle and Rob.  I originally wanted to build a funny car with an import engine, but after comparing price to horsepower I decided to go with the big block Chevrolet and get out of my comfort zone with the import stuff.  It was an exponentially more difficult operation to put together than my first drag car, but it has been an incredible experience.  This time I had the help of the club, my old racing teams back in the east, and my Wife Julia who has also had a lot of fun racing with the Webb Family over the years.  I licensed in 2017, and all the stress from the hard work to put it together completely melted away after my first burn out.  Every pass I make with the car puts me further into the "it's-worth-it" zone, and I'm ahead by a longshot with only 10 passes.

2018 will be our first real season, and we can't wait to make it happen.  As for the import stuff, well you might still catch me at a club meet with my 1979 RX7.  That kind of stuff you don't really leave behind.

 

 

Car information:

1955 Chevrolet Bel-Air Funny Car
2016 125" Wheel base Horton / HMW Chassis
KHR Blueprint
Atchison Machine Powertrain
540 Big Block Chevrolet
1471 Littlefield Supercharger
Enderle Mechanical Alcohol Injection
Lencodrive Transmission
Strange Engineering Center Section

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