All business but with some incongruous side bits: a bright, happy-face instrument cluster, more tubing than a refinery, and a steering wheel that quick-disconnects and falls right in your lap. The main ingredients here are aluminum and carbon fiber. Chris uses a Kirkey bucket as upholstered by him. He’s held piano-wire tight by a Crow five-point harness. We find another protective agent in the DJ Safety (Los Angeles) fire suppression unit. A glance at the Auto Meter dials tells him what’s up on the other side of the firewall. Before Chris packed in the VFN fiberglass dashboard, he wove the new Painless wiring harness throughout. Air conditioning? “I wish.”


Hawaii Racing in Simi Valley is a sponsor, a contributor to the operation. Hawaii does the engine assembly and the freshening operations as needed. Prior to that, Chris had trundled the pieces to QMP Racing in Chatsworth, California. Brad Lagman performed the requisite stage-setting machining rituals. The goal was 509 ci via a 4.500-inch bore and 4.00-inch stroke. The “kit” included a Keith Black Olds aluminum cylinder block that was stocked with a Lunati crankshaft, Ross pistons and rings, and Bill Miller’s aluminum connecting rods. The companion 18-degree cylinder heads are Dart 383 oval-port with complete CNC ministrations, port roof raised 0.300 inch, 2.350-inch intake, and 1.840-inch exhaust valves. With its current 102cc combustion chamber configuration, the static compression ratio is 9.5:1. Lubrication is affected by a Jeff Johnston aluminum oil pan and a Moroso billet oil pump/pickup. The cam emerged from Steve Morris at New Era in Rochester, New York. Since the stick is experimental its specifications are hush-hush. The Darts provide a home for the PSI valvesprings, Manton pushrods, and Jesel 1.7:1 ratio shaft rocker system, and receive a Dart single-plane intake manifold engineered to complement the cylinder heads. To set the stage for the Vortech V-28 123(mm) compressor housing, Chris fabbed a sheetmetal elbow with intake air plumbing referenced to the rear of the engine. The tubes running along the right side of the engine complete the intercooler (built by Deeds Performance in Chatsworth) system, the preponderance of which rides shotgun next to Chris. Chris inserted an Accufab 105mm throttle body (1,550 cfm) between the charge air and the intake elbow. The experimental Vortech usually produces a whopping 42 psi of positive manifold pressure. Engine electronics and fuel delivery are governed by a FAST controller programmed at nanosecond intervals for immediate and seamless changes in timing, boost, and fuel. Cylinder toxicity is extracted by 23/8- to 21/2-inch stepped primaries terminating in 9-inch-long Dynatech collectors and 5-inch Vibrant race “mufflers”. As such, the 509 is capable of more than 2,000 hp. Successfully transferring mountainous torque into straight and linear motion falls to the ever-popular Mike’s Transmission Monster Glide, which maintains a 5,200 stall speed Hughes converter and leads to a Mark Williams chromoly prop shaft. Transmission fluid circulates through a remotely mounted Chiseled Performance cooler. This drastically reduces fluid temp by subjecting the cooler with ice water from the air-to-water intercooler system. The junction forms at an ART FAB9 sheetmetal axlehousing prepped with big shafts, a spool, and a 3.70:1 gear set.

Wheels & Brakes

“I’m concerned that the brakes alone won’t bring the car down quickly enough at most venues, so that Stroud parachute helps big time,” Chris says. For the record, his Red Sled maintains Wilwood drag race discs, a fierce combination that pairs 11-inch rotors with two-piston calipers on both ends of the car. The rubber up front is minimal: M/T ET Drag 15x3.5 with 28x4.5 skinnies. The 15-inch-wide M/T ET Drag bead lock rims secure the big (33x10.5) back balonies.