We’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: The absolute popularity of vintage Chevrolet cars is truly a global phenomenon.
During our visit “down under” to Australia in 2017, Chevy High Performance had the pleasure of interacting with a truly die-hard Bowtie drag racing proponent, Jason Donnelly. During that week, Jason and his D.B.S. team were gracious enough to grant us access to their multicar drag racing operation, which includes a truly impressive, world-class collection of 1957 model Chevys.
In addition to a pair of original 1957 Chevys (a 10.90 e.t. capable street-driven sedan and a restored ’57 convertible) housed at his ranch-style home near Tamborine, Queensland, Jason’s passion for that iconic model year is also well represented at the dragstrip, where he often presents no less then four different 1957 Chevy drag cars.
That hit list includes a one-of-a-kind ’57 Nomad Pro Slammer (aka Top Doorslammer), a Supercharged Outlaws classed ’57 Funny Car, a meticulous ’57 Top Sportsman car, and an outrageous ’57 Chevy-bodied exhibition wheelstander dubbed The Rocket Ship.
Stating the obvious, Jason is a ’57 Chevy fanatic and a huge fan of that era Americana memorabilia, both of which he is quick to affirm.
“Just have a look at them. The body styling is so cool that it just speaks for itself,” he stated. “I got my very first 1957 Chevy 23 years ago, and over the years I’ve worked hard and saved my money while keeping up on my car collection. Now we tour with our cars all over Australia, giving racing fans something unique and American nostalgic. Their reactions are always very appreciative.”
While Jason focuses most of his personal driving in the ’57 Pro Slammer, his two sons Jake and Dan are tasked with driving the Supercharged Outlaws car and Top Sportsman cars, respectively.
All of the D.B.S. team race cars are show quality and meticulously prepped and maintained with everything from A-Z being done in-house at their race shop.
The Top Sportsman ’57 Chevy, which has been campaigned for 10 years, is an all-steel original car except for the front clip and boot lid. That machine has a 632ci Scott Shafiroff engine with nitrous oxide injection available if required. This 3,100-pound car has been a TS class championship contender on numerous occasions.
Both the Supercharged Outlaws and Pro Slammer cars feature alcohol-burning supercharged engines. Jake has been driving the Supercharged Outlaws car for four seasons and has a best time of 6.52 to his credit. The Pro Slammer Nomad was debuted three seasons ago and features a Murray Anderson-built chassis and an automatic transmission. That car has run a best of 6.01 at 237.
We would be remiss if we did not mention that Jason’s D.B.S. Racing Team extends its racing presence even further. Amazingly, his commitment to the quarter-mile sport also includes two nitro-powered Funny Cars, which he runs within the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car series. His team campaigns both Dodge Avenger and Chevy Camaro-bodied fuel burners within that circuit.
“That group is fantastic,” Jason added. “We get to travel all over Australia with a great group of people. We take the sport to country towns and to both small and large regional tracks. The grassroots aspect of all that is really fun and the fans and crowds are great!”
Jason Donnelly is a 100-percent independent racer who funds his family oriented racing operation passionately from his self-founded Donnelly Blasting Services company. That business is one of the largest drilling contractors located in South Eastern Queensland, and employees 20.
Jason pointed out that his company and race team’s D.B.S. title also has some personal philosophy behind it, which he fully embraces: “Dream - Believe - Succeed.” CHP
Photos by Bruce Biegler