’57 Fatman Fabrications
small-block 383 ci
Fatman X-member chassis; front, Fatman Stage III; rear, Fatman four-bar and Z-link
front/rear, Wilwood six-piston with 13-inch rotors
Nitto NT05, front, P235/40R17; rear, P275/40R17
From The Driver Seat
I have to begin by saying this is an extremely neat ride. It wasn’t the fastest of the bunch by any means, but I really appreciated the entire nostalgic theme. The raw smell of fumes, the manual transmission that’s still actuated with the original Z-bar linkage, and even right down to the seating position—it was awesome. As for getting down the track, there was nothing to it, and it was only a matter of engaging the gears smoothly and letting the car do its thing. It could have used a steeper set of cogs out back for improved times, but then again, this car was built with every intention to corner and not to maximize e.t.’s down the dragstrip.
I only had one opportunity to drive the car and that was just as it started raining, shortly before the super storm came crashing down on us. I wish I could have made more seat time, because in that one run, all my initial apprehensions were wrong and I was completely surprised with its capabilities. I had concerns that this would be a very hard car to wheel around the course, but much to my surprise, even in the early wet conditions, this Tri-Five far exceeded my expectations and did things very well. Please bring it back next year!
'69 DSE Camaro
Mast Motorsports 416ci LS
front, DSE subframe with splined antiroll bar; rear QUADRA Link; DSE coilover shocks and springs with Detroit Tuned valving
front/rear Baer 6S with 14-inch rotors
BFGoodrich KDW, front, P275/35R18; rear P335/30R18
From The Driver Seat
Although many of the other cars—including other DSE cars—also had great balance, this car felt the best to me. It was a very friendly dancing partner in the slaloms and was more confidence-inspiring than the others due to its very linear and not-over-the-top power. That, coupled with great gearing, made this car a joy to drive, except for one thing: The brake balance on this car was inconsistent throughout the day. At one point, something had developed that was problematic and caused it to act erratic during some sessions. The brake balance problem required me to drive around the issues, limiting its time. If it wasn’t for that issue, this car would have been higher in the standings than it was.
I’ve certainly noticed a trend with the DSE lineup, and that’s the big-horsepower LS powerplants. And like the other two, this mill had a smooth powerband and it was easy to get into the upper rpm. Aside from that, I have to really give credit where credit’s due and praise the transmission. This gem shifted like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Stacy’s transmission of choice is a Rockland-modified Tremec and it practically shifts by itself. There’s no second-guessing during shifts and I don’t think I ever want to drive another car without a similar setup. Yes, it was that impressive.