If you want to stroke your ego as a car enthusiast in Atlantic Canada, you head down to Point Pleasant Park on a Sunday night. If you want a lesson in humility and realistic expectations, you mark your calendar and drive (or trailer) your car to Dyno Day at Raven Autosports.
Gear heads like ourselves love nothing more than to talk numbers and share the lore of what lurks in our neighbour’s garage. Too often, numbers as well as our heads become exaggerated — this is where fiction meets fact, keeping us in check with reality.
We arrived bright and early on Sunday morning to watch the early risers pile in, hoping to test their mettle against the house Mustang Dynamometer, aptly named the “heart-breaker dyno.”
Right from the beginning, the event was turning out to be a visual feast. Deceptive but certainly not understated, across the street was a certain blue Honda Civic sedan that started out in life as a base model 1.8L single cam.
Devoid of any badges with the exception of a small Si front emblem, this Civic held a dirty secret that was garnering plenty of attention from those in attendance.
Beneath the hood where the R18 engine once called home, we found a naturally aspirated K-series build featuring a K24 block breathing rather well thanks to an aggressive K20 head.
Back at the shop, a different breed of beast was preparing for its run on the dyno — one of Atlantic Canada’s very few (if not only) Dodge Challenger Hellcats.
Rated for a factory output of 707HP, the crowd was anxious to see what the final result would read on Raven Autosports’ overhead projector.
Screaming at the top of its lungs and shaking the very foundation of the building itself, we were all shocked to see the Hellcat only made 593HP at the tires. Something tells me that the smoke show from an overheated exhaust system may have played a role in the relatively low result.
After the Hellcat had been rolled away to rest, a small gathering had formed around a rather unassuming Nissan Sentra, completely ignoring the flawless R32 it was parked beside.
Once we asked the owner to pop the hood, we found out why — a Nissan VQ35DE V6 had taken up residence turning this small, economical sedan into a true sleeper.
Back inside, cameras were readied as this Trans-Am drag car was strapped into place.
A no-nonsense build, the interior was stripped to only the essentials — a fixed-back seat, pedals, cage, and something to hold onto.
More impressive than the run on the rollers though was the utter lack of effort required for this monster to melt its rear tires.
Not all of those who showed up were strictly chasing function, best illustrated by two exceptionally clean Volkswagens.
Tucking hard, this Kraftwerks build was as sleek and low as could be.
All things considered, this year’s Dyno Day has been one of the most memorable that I’ve attended. We want to extend our sincere thanks to James Bartlett and the team for throwing an event that unifies the Atlantic community, as well as to the new friends we’ve made — whether on two legs or four.
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