Kern: “We started by installing new floors, quarter-panels, a tailpanel, and adding 3 inches to the rocker panels, quarter-panels, and front fenders to hide the lower framerails. [A very large reason why the car appears to be lower than it really is.] We made the front fender openings lower and tighter to the tire and did it with pieces of old quarter-panels. We smoothed the front of the car by filling the cowl vent. We moved the rear wheelwells an 11/2 inches to accommodate the larger rollers we were going to use and finished the area by smoothing the inner wheelwells. We smoothed the nose of the hood, blended the taillights, and tucked the bumpers closer to the body. We made a custom front spoiler with side dust shields. We made a new firewall, completely clean and straight and stashed the Vintage Air stuff, the Wilwood brake equipment, and the fuel and electrical lines under the dash and inside the top of the fenders. We sent all the stainless trim to Jeff Smith Polishing in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and all the brightwork to S&H Plating in Nashville, Tennessee. Then we all fell back and cracked a cool one.” You’ve noticed by now that the theme is a ’67 Butternut Yellow from Matrix Systems.
Rollers & Binders
Those stretched wheelwells frame 18x7 and 20x9.5 Budnik Fontana hoops dressed with 225/25 and 305/35 Nitto rubber. Floating just beneath the surface we see 13-inch Wilwood discs all around tended by six- and four-piston calipers and a brake booster system that’s been situated under the dashboard.
Despite the overwhelming urge to insinuate an LS engine, Ryan could see no other way but a big fat Rat. Make that a modern Rat feeding off a FAST engine controller and electronic fuel injection. No boost. No juice. The power adder is simply lots of cubic inches. Hot Rods performed the machine work as well as the building process. They bored and stroked the block to 562 ci with Scat forged crank and rods and SRP 10:1 pistons fitted with Total Seal ring packs. The Erson hydraulic roller is in with Cloyes double-roller gear. The cam works Manley pushrods and 1.7:1 Erson rocker arms. Hot Rods capped the short-block with CNC-prepped Air Flow Research cylinder heads (Erson guideplates, Manley valves) and sealed the bottom end with a Milodon 6-quart sump. Ancillaries include an MSD ignition (34 degrees total timing) and handcrafted 2-inch primary pipe stainless steel headers feeding a 3-inch system. Hot Rods took inspiration from the Caddy CTS-V intake ducting for the funky dual-snorkel cold air system. Although there is no empirical data to confirm, a conservative at-the-wheel output of 600 units on both sides of the graph would seem logical. A 4L80E and an 11-inch Bowler Performance torque converter stalled at comfortable 2,000-rpm transfer this largesse to the Coleman aluminum driveshaft. At the end of the line, a narrowed Alston Fab9 housing carries 3.55 gears in a Detroit Truetrac differential that commands 31-spline axleshafts.