Van Man: Stephen Ray’s 700 Horsepower Vauxhall Astra Van

Have you ever looked at a utility van and thought, “man, that would make a really awesome race car”? Chances are you haven’t, but you’re not Stephen Ray, who did think it would be a great idea. Ray’s Vauxhall Astra Van breaks every conventional rule when it comes to having a fast racecar, and that’s what makes it so darn cool.

The Vauxhall Astra Van is a front-wheel-drive vehicle that was built to hall lighter loads of people or products. These vehicles came from the factory with a wide variety of small-displacement engines, none of which were known to make big horsepower. So naturally, these wouldn’t be the first choice for most racers to use as a project car.

Ray worked with SD-Autos Racing to create the world’s quickest and fastest Vauxhall Astra Van. The first thing to go was the OEM engine — in its place you’ll find a fully forged Saab B204 mill. A Syvecs ECU controls the Saab engine and other functions of the Astra Van. This combination is making an estimated 650-700 horsepower, pretty stout for such a small engine package.

Shift Light TV was at Santa Pod Raceway when Ray set a new personal best of 10.14 at 143 MPH. Ray’s Vauxhall is also a stick car, so he’s ripping his own gears during each pass. You can see in the videos that there’s a lot left for Ray on the front half of the track, and with that mile-per-hour, the little Saab-powered Vauxhall has 9-second potential for sure.

About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
Read My Articles

Drag Racing in your Inbox.

Build your own custom newsletter with the content you love from Dragzine, directly to your inbox, absolutely FREE!

Free WordPress Themes
Dragzine NEWSLETTER - SIGN UP FREE!

We will safeguard your e-mail and only send content you request.

Dragzine - Drag Racing Magazine

We'll send you the most interesting Dragzine articles, news, car features, and videos every week.

Dragzine - Drag Racing Magazine

Dragzine NEWSLETTER - SIGN UP FREE!

We will safeguard your e-mail and only send content you request.

Dragzine - Drag Racing Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Subscribe to more FREE Online Magazines!

We think you might like...



Hot Rods & Muscle Cars

Diesel Army

Engine Tech

Dragzine - Drag Racing Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Subscribe to more FREE Online Magazines!

We think you might like...

  • Hot Rods & Muscle Cars
  • Diesel Army
  • Engine Tech

Dragzine - Drag Racing Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Thank you for your subscription.

Dragzine - Drag Racing Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Thank you for your subscription.

Loading