'67 Camaro RS
According to Randy, the RS raggy (1 of 25,141) was a great find with no rust. That was a real good deal because it was his first try at restoring anything. He finished the bulk of the work eight years ago but he continues to play with different engine parts, just like any hot rodder would do. The transmission is a beefed 200-4R with an Art Carr 2,200-stall torque converter. The original 12-bolt carries a Posi-Traction differential and 3.55:1 gears. The engine is a 383 stroker using a Scat rotating assembly and Keith Black pistons. The cam is a Comp 262H Extreme Energy roller. The cylinders are capped with AFR 180 street heads. Over the years, Randy has added an Alumitec radiator package with dual SPAL fans and an MSD distributor and MSD box. This year's experiment was the inclusion of Edelbrock dual-quad 500-cfm carburetors and corresponding intake manifold. "After the system was dialed in," said Randy, his voice wavering slightly, "The car was almost scary. The engine was built for low-end and mid-range response, so the results were wig-popping." After the car had been stripped and painted Hugger Orange with black Z stripes, though, Randy felt much better.
Stevenson Ranch, CA
This car was a six-cylinder Malibu with factory air, power steering, and a tilt wheel. Wild Man purchased it in 1990 for $300-minus the drivetrain. It took the better part of a decade to finish it, pushing the thing in and out of his garage to rebuild it from bottom to top. A 383 stroker with World Products Sportsman II cylinder heads (64cc combustion chambers) raise the compression closer to 10:1 and are the basics of the engine. It breathes in through an Edelbrock RPM manifold and RPM carburetor; Hooker Super Comp headers blow out the bad stuff. An L79 split-duration (292/288 degrees) cam with 0.450/0.460-inch lift spins inside. A GM HEI ignition sparks the MSD wires and lights up the Accel plugs. Wild built the drivetrain accordingly with a Tremec TKO500 five-speed, a Centerforce Dual clutch setup (behind a Lakewood scattershield), a Hurst shifter, and an Inland Empire driveshaft. The axle is a 12-bolt. Dan rebuilt the suspension and brakes, replaced the body bushings, and added an M&H harness along with Auto Meter Ultra-Lite gauges. He ditched the factory A/C suitcase from under the hood and put a block-off plate on the firewall. To finish up this phase, he added a Vintage Air Gen II Air/Heat/Defrost system with hidden lines and components. Now, the only things Dan pushes are the pedals at his feet.
'87 Camaro Iroc-Z
Brenda & Kris Paddock
Upper Marlboro, MD
Brenda Busts Chops
"My husband, Kris, and I have been racing for 19 years," said Brenda. "I drive. He takes care of everything else, but he hates it when I'm late on the lights." At the very least, 10.5 racing is expensive, but it helps when you're married to the chassis builder. Kris Paddock feels lucky that the team has some outside help from Mickey Thompson, NKG spark plugs, Smith Brothers Pushrods, VP Fuels, and Girlzspeed Racing. Within Kris' fantastic tubular maze Brenda finds peace of mind. She's glued tightly in place by G-Force webbing and a HANS device that limits movement of body parts at insane gravity forces. Though the team has used other vendors, the current engine guru is Scott Merkel who built their 632ci big-block. He prepped an all-alloy bullet for them and then Steve Johnson at Induction Solutions (Spring Hill, FL) got in on the action with one of his two-stage nitrous setups. Brenda busts out the torque with a 'Glide and a fabbed 9-inch axle. Tires are 31x10.5 Mickeys on bead-lock wheels. Fuel is VP NO2. Best performance is 7.80 at 185 mph.
Daniel Washington, Jr.
Shady Side, MD
Six To Eight
According to Daniel, this Nova was originally saddled with a six-cylinder engine and three-on-the-tree. Cool thing about all this is that Dan processed the whole wad in his home garage, with some big-time assistance from his brother. A cat named Tim Douglas crafted the 383 stroker motor. Since repeatability looms large in the heads of most racers, and even though he isn't that dedicated, Daniel had to have to have a Turbo 400 transmission fitted with a reverse valvebody. Torque hits the 3.73s heavy so the car's been mini-tubbed to accept 29x11.5 tires. When Dan felt that the picture was nearly complete, he called on brother Ronald for the bodywork and the paint.
Now This Is Really Cool
Though most car crazies seem intent only on the drivetrain, others do appreciate an amenity or two. So when the ambient temp and humidity index hit redline, you'd better have air conditioning. Remember, an alert, undistracted driver will be a safer driver, too. Orlando, a city built on top of a swamp, gets like that a lot. Air density changes with altitude, we all know that. Orlando is actually 35 feet above sea level, but when heat and humidity reign, it's like you're trying to make power at 1,500 feet or more. Gary Carmack knows how to fight this disease. Rather than tossing his Chevelle's heavy, obsolete A/C system, he rebuilt it for his own protection. Carmack claims his 350 has forged dished pistons and shaved cylinder heads to bring the compression ratio to 10:1. That's probably not optimum for a supercharged application with a ton of boost, but plenty good (read safe) if positive manifold pressure remains below 8 psi. A chassis dynamometer indicated 425 wheel horsepower. So that there would be no mistake, Gary put fuel pressure, amps, and boost gauges on the hood. To bring out the best of his combination, Carmack went for a five-speed manual and a hydraulic clutch release from Keisler Engineering. Flip on the air, dance on the pedals, and ...