From 1978 to 1994, Subaru manufactured a light duty, four-wheel drive coupe utility (think: a sized-down El Camino) known officially as the BRAT, or “Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter.” The car had various names in the different countries it was sold, but in Australia, it was the Brumby.
Available with 1.6L and 1.8L engine options, the max grunt you were getting from the factory was a whopping…wait for it…73 horsepower. But Errol Brittain’s Brumby multiplied that 10-fold and then some.
Power comes from a Subaru EJ25 79mm stroke four-cylinder, with CNC ported heads, custom cams, and running on methanol, introduced through a Kinsler mechanical methanol fuel pump and regulator and 10 separate injectors. A Garrett GTX42R turbo provides the boost, and the whole package combines to produce over 1,200 horsepower. Brittain has a nitrous oxide system onboard that he utilizes for spooling, but has yet to spray it during a run, ensuring him just that much more e.t. and mile-per-hour later on when he does.
A two-speed Powerglide and 8-inch converter send the power back to a 9-inch Strange alloy center section housed in a full floater rearend with Wilwood brakes. Weld AlumaStar wheels (3.5-inch front and 9-inch rear)
The “Drag Brumby” as Brittain calls it, is still largely a factory-style street car; it has a roll cage, but no aftermarket tubular front clip, but just a standard OEM Subaru front crossmember. Out back is a basic ladder bar rear suspension.
Brittain worked his way through the 8’s, into the 7’s, and is now progressing toward another milestone, clicking off a best thus far of 7.61 at 178 mph, with a 1.16 60-foot. He races the car primarily in Australia’s 1/8-mile Kenda series “Outlaw 235” class, and on the 1/4-mile at Jamboree and other major races in the “ST289” class (Street 289), which has a 28×9-inch max allowable tire size. Brittain runs on an 8.5-inch radial.
So why a Brumby, we had to ask?
“I’ve always been into Subaru’s and had a WRX four-wheel drive, but was sick of breaking drivetrain parts. I wanted to go faster and race competitively, so I built this car,” Brittain says.