Ripping & Snorting

There are some good reasons for the 454 GMPP crate engine: parts are readily available, it has a forged rotating assembly, and the price for new is right on the money. The Rat is also desirable for its modest 8.75:1 compression ratio. Corey pulled the assembly down and had the block align bored, squared, and internally balanced. The great thing here is that the static ratio and the forgings supplying it are just about ideal for a forced air induction system. When he needs more “knock” space, he can always attach some aluminum cylinder heads, with larger valves if need be. As per crate engine etiquette, he added a Demon 850-cfm carburetor, jazzed it with an MSD ignition, and Pro Billet distributor, and ran a 3-inch-diameter exhaust system through Hedman ceramic-coated shorty headers and Flowmaster pipes. He spiffed the engine with a March serpentine drive and smooth, cool Billet Specialties rocker covers. Seething grunt and horsepower are managed by a Turbo 400 matched with a 10-inch converter with a 3,200-rpm stall speed. He put new U-joints in the original driveshaft. The original 12-bolt was refurbished with a limited-slip differential and 3.55:1 gears.


While a plan backed by completely discretionary funds might have acted on a much more expensive chassis setup, Corey did it on the low-down because that’s all he really needed. Look how simple his setup is. At front, there’s nothing more than Moroso Drag springs cohabiting with adjustable Koni shocks, stock spindles, stock steering, and no antisway bar at all. In the aft quarters he used the stock multi-leaf springs set with Performance Online inboard shock mounts and 1-inch lowering blocks. Corey did not include any sort of traction or antisway device.


Even in the leanest build, there must be a semblance of comfort and continuity, good reasons to get in the car in the first place. Air conditioning is not part of the scheme but there are plenty of righteous parts that beckon. As a first step, the original wiring went into the round file, replaced with an American Autowire harness. It would be needed for the Covans Classic instrument panel and its array of Auto Meter carbon-fiber gauges and the Panasonic audio (speakers in the kick panels) and Memphis 10-inch subs. The primary seats are Procar; the bench is stock. G and D Custom Upholstery in Lompoc covered them in leather. The Lompoc stitchers also built a custom dashpad and formed the full-length center console. A B&M Pro Ratchet shifter pokes its head from the depths. The steering wheel is a Grant GT.

Wheels & Brakes

With an aura of drag race activity beaming from Blue Language, its 15-inch wheels solidify that notion. Unsprung weight is reduced by Billet Specialties Street Lite hoops, 15x4 with 26x6.00 M/T Sportsman S/R radials and 15x7 holding 275/60 drag radials. Burning off energy is left to 12-inch Power Stop discs commanded by stock calipers. Stock drums take up the rear. CHP