Hi-Tech Motorsport in Elk River, Minnesota, brought the ’00 LS1 to an actual displacement of 350 ci (346 stock) via a 0.005-inch hone. They polished the journals on the nodular iron crankshaft, knocked in 11:1 Diamond forgings with file-fit rings, and pinned them to Eagle H-beam connecting rods. Stock LS2 timing gear locks cam to crank. The lower end is secured by a 5.5-quart Auto Kraft sheetmetal swap oil pan and pickup in league with a blueprinted LS1 oil pump. Valve actuation ramps off the mild COMP hydraulic camshaft that features 219/225 degrees duration at 0.050- and 0.590-inch lift across the board. It imposes on COMP Magnum 3/8-inch diameter pushrods that bump LS1 rocker arms. A quick scour of the Internet provided AFR 205 cylinder heads. All the original equipment was untouched, and there was no further modification to the CNC-machined castings. Hi-Tech added an LS6 intake manifold and fuel injectors, sucking through a K&N cone-type filter. To make the motor run, Howell Engine Developments in Marine City, Michigan, provided the wiring harness and the ECU. Stock coil packs advance the amperage. After the explosion, the exhaust waste shuttles through Sanderson mid-length 1.75-inch primaries into a mandrel-bent 2.5-inch system plumbed with Dynomax Super Turbo mufflers. To proof the combo, Hi-Tech rode the chassis dyno, tuning, tweaking, and producing 382 hp and 366 lb-ft of torque at the tarmac. Over in Wood Dale, Illinois, Finish Line Transmissions was readying one of its Level 3 4L60E automatics, fixed with a 3,200-rpm Yank billet converter. Power Components in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, whipped up a steady-rollin’ driveshaft equipped with toughie 1350 U-joints. The end of the line is a John’s Industries (www.9inchfactory.com) stock-width 9-inch carrying 3.50:1 gears on a Truetrac differential turning 31-spline Moser Engineering axleshafts.


Before he did anything else, Jim stripped out all of the hacked-up wiring and put up a Painless system. He says the interior is typical Nova SS and was already in the car when he bought it. He modernized the dashboard with a Thunder Road custom insert and stocked it with Auto Meter gauges, including a programmable speedometer. A Lecarra Mark 8 steering wheel presses down on the ididit tilt column.


As part of the front end change-out, Jim happily fabbed the inner fender panels, creating a much more sanitary engine bay and a clean slate from which to reflect. The sheetmetal was more or less neat and unruffled but the red paint on it was not. Jim scuffed the body supreme and dragged it over to Tim Kasper in Burtrum, Minnesota, for the SEM Hot Rod Satin Black. The suede job is a disparate double tap: aesthetically it creates a no-nonsense drama and on the pragmatic side it means never having to wax your car. Powdercoating and metal polishing was conducted under the auspice of Douglas Metal Finishing in Alexandria, Minnesota.

Unsprung mass

Rather than something from the big-brake makers of record, Jim mixed and matched 13- and 12-inch discs pirated from a C5, combining them with the hubs and caliper adapters from (Tobin at) KORE3 Industries. KORE3 also brought the e-brake and rear caliper adapters. The system is plied by a Wilwood master cylinder with a 7/8-inch bore. Points of light blinking in an otherwise sepia setting emanate from polished 18x8 American Eagle Series 225 wheels fitted with Bridgestone RE760 Sport rubber, 225/40 and 245/45, respectively.


Jim happily eliminated the original suspension and proceeded to stiffen the frameless body with a Heidts Superide II front clip (tubular control arms, coilovers, 3/4-inch antisway bar) and Heidts spindles. He continued the scheme with a Heidts four-link suspension, coilovers, 3/4-inch bar, and full-perimeter frame connection that is integral with the four-link assembly. CHP