How it Goes

The notion that a strong crate engine would be sufficient proved correct. Since torque is the real motivator in a street-driven hot rod, ideally there should be more grunt low down in the rpm band than raw horsepower at the upper end of the curve. The ZZ502 (PN 19201332) avails more than 500 lb-ft at 2,750 rpm and the line remains Kansas-flat to 5,250 revolutions. A thing like this could stomp a direct drive setup without a whimper. The ZZ502 is a hop-up guy’s delight, endowed with a four-bolt main bearing block, forged rotating assembly, a compression ratio of less than 10:1, and a hydraulic roller camshaft. Keep it normal or creep it out with a power adder; you’re not liable to hurt it anytime soon. Although the motor stayed untouched internally, the ancillaries include an MSD 6AL box and Billet distributor, Patriot headers with 1 7/8-inch primaries, an RPM-built 3-inch exhaust system interrupted only slightly by Flowmaster Super 50 cans, Billet Specialties Tru-Trac accessory drive, and the pièce de résistance Imagine Injection system. Bob Ream’s induction dream works, in Glendale, Arizona, provided the unique individual stacks and powered the system with a FAST controller and companion EZ fuel pump. Cooling is complete with a PRC aluminum core monitored by companion SPAL electric fans. The drivetrain begins with a 2,500-stall speed converter followed by a Bowler Transmissions 700-R4 overdrive. The cooler for the transmission is within the PRC radiator complex. An Inland Empire prop shaft spins the pig fat to a narrowed 9-inch housing equipped with fat axles, a locking differential, and a 3.70:1 gearset.

How it Stops

An ABS power brake booster commands Z06 six-piston calipers on 14-inch front discs followed by four-pot squeezers on 13.4-inch discs. These formidable energy burners look copacetic behind those 20-inch Billet Specialties Patriot hoops, 8 inches in front and 10 inches out back. In the stagger, 8- and 10-inchers sport Sumitomo HRT Z rubber, 245/35 and 275/35, respectively.

How it Rides

RPM Hot Rods got on the chassis straightaway, inserting RideTech control arms, shock absorbers, and air springs that are anchored by Street Machinery drop spindles on the otherwise stock frame. They also posted a nominal 1-inch diameter antisway bar at the leading edge of the chassis. AccuAir’s air management system alters the bubble’s ride height to preset parameters. Strangely believe it, the power steering box is stock.

How it Looks

By the time Danny got the Bel Air, Street Machinery had already smoothed the sheetmetal and applied the PPG Toyota Brite White pigment. At RPM, the engine compartment was slicked out with some nice angles and no snags—just that big, bad EFI motor. Firewall went flat. Trunk compartment was erected with metal panels and outfitted with anonymity. The trunk latch assembly was finessed.

How it Fits

Job one was to rewire the body with American Autowire assembly. Danny would need it for the Kenwood touchscreen (with navigation) head unit and the JL Audio subwoofer and amplifier. In the spirit and embodiment of the original, RPM constructed a new dash module, including lower valence panel, in which they fitted Classic Instruments gauges. They constructed a console, sprinkled some billet bits in obvious places so as to catch the roving eye, and attached a Billet Specialties Split Spoke wheel above it all. Those power seats are from a ’91 Lexus, but they required a lot more than a socket wrench to get there. The topper is the blue leather vibed by fine red stitching that RPM fitted and finished. CHP