Blue Streak – Paul Dowdall’s RX8

There is nothing cooler in motorsport than when someone shows up at the strip with something individual, different and it’s a bonus when it sounds good!  Paul Dowdall has gone and ticked all the right boxes with his RX8 drag car.


Paul Dowdall’s RX8 has been turning heads for a while now and we thought it was time to check out this 8.09 @ 173.5mph car for ourselves.

IMG_3037What I love about the car is that despite being a purpose-built drag car, it still retains a lot of the original bodywork and lines that it rolled out of Hiroshima with.  Although just as you think it is a RX8 with sticky tyres, there are a few details that hint to what is lurking beneath.

IMG_5341Lurking underneath the bonnet of this rx8 is a Cosmo 13b block, belting out 1000 horsepower at the rear wheels @ 39PSI.

IMG_5320Originally from Christchurch, New Zealand; Paul is no stranger to dragging rotaries. Previously running a tubbed RX7 he decided to change things up a bit and here is the finished version.

IMG_5327It’s business as usual, if it isn’t needed it’s been ripped out. A Motec SDL3 feeds all the important numbers to the driver, not that there is much time to be concentrating on numbers going down the drag strip.


IMG_5489It’s just not a dragcar without the chute and wheelie bars, although according to Paul it spends very little time running up the strip on the wheelie bar. A longer car with weight right over the front ensures the front wheels stay in touch with the pavement keeping the car pointed in the right direction.

IMG_5365With a air-shifted Lenco CS3 box and Moser 9 inch diff transferring the 1000 ponies to the rear wheels this propels Paul down the strip in 8.09 @173.5mph on the limiter (9500).

IMG_5319Paul owns and runs NZ Performance, selling all the best performance parts to ensure Kiwi’s keep going fast!

IMG_5357There are not many RX8’s being dragged out there which still maintain so much of the original car. Weighing in at 1130kg after a bit of a diet, I can’t wait to see it going down the strip once the Kiwi summer kicks in!


IMG_5469Forged WELD racing wheels up front with Wilwood 2-pot brakes keep everything on the straight and narrow while helping the chute slow things up at the other end. 15×9 inch rear wheels shrouded in 28×9 Mickey Thompson rubber mean there is no need for tubbing.

IMG_5340Despite the smaller wheels it will still throw you back into the seat hard on launch, this RX8 has no issues hooking up with a 1.28 60-foot time.

IMG_5389All that is required now is some summer sun and hot sticky tarmac to send the RX8 down.  I look forward to bringing you more of this RX8 when summer kicks in!


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