Wed | Sep 18, 2019

Fast cars and drag racing, the Dawkins legacy - Passion, love, addiction

Published:Sunday | August 18, 2019 | 12:11 AMVanessa James - Automotives Writer

Fitting words to describe how Calder Dawkins feels about cars, especially those made for racing. He grew up in the automotive world, after all, so his love for the sport is not misplaced. As such, he has been working on his own Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 8 MR so he can one day take it to the track.

“I grew up seeing my father with fast cars,” Dawkins said, “and we always went to racing events, so my love for cars came from there.”

He further explained that his current car is not the first ‘fast car’ that he has owned.

“I was always a Honda man before owning an Evo, but one day, my cousin came to see me with his Evo, and me test drive it, and my girlfriend said that it fits me and I should get one,” Dawkins shared.

He took her advice and bought an Evolution 5 in 2014, which he sold before upgrading to a 6 and then the current Evolution 8 MR by 2016.

“When I sold the Evo 6, I wanted a 7, but it was sold by the time I got to the seller,” he said.

“A good friend of mine found the Evolution 8 MR cheaper than what I was going to pay for the Evo 7.”

Dawkins proceeded to buy the car and thus began the two-year journey of getting it to the standard acceptable to him.

“It needed to be cleaned up. I had to respray it, and while it was in the shop, I got a great deal on an Evolution 9 engine set-up, which was modified already, so I bought it and had my mechanic, Derrick, install it,” Dawkins explained.

“We had to replace the gear box, the clutch and piston, and other things, and that took about eight months.”

He admitted that getting the car up and functioning like he wanted was a group effort as he got help along the way.

“My friend Christopher Carty tuned it, plus there were others who had an input in getting the car to where it is now,” he said.

The happy owner went on to explain that work on the car was mainly done on weekends because he works during the week.

He is happy with where the car is now as he uses it to get around; however, Dawkins said that he is not quite finished upgrading his Evolution 8 MR as yet.

“I spent about $2 million on the car so far, but more needs to be done. I am planning to take the car to the next drag race meet in October at Jamwest to do time with it,” he said.

He told Automotives that his best time is 12.4 seconds from his previous car and that he was looking forward to seeing if this car could lower that time to 11 seconds.

Dawkins’ boys have also got into the car fever, a legacy he hopes they will carry on.

“I hope to pass on the experience and the love of the sport (drag racing) to my boys. I already see where the smaller one is into it, so I hope I can influence them some more,” he said proudly.

As Dawkins is someone who was converted from being a Honda man, Automotives wanted to know what the selling point was on the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 8 MR. Dawkins said:

“I bought it for the performance and handling and power, and the car comes in four-wheel drive. They are excellent cars.”

vanessa.james@gleanerjm.com