It's not all the time we can get images or information into our stories. With that though, to keep you up to date with Project Brutus, it's finally back on the ground. For the past couple of months, it's been riding high on jack stands up off the ground-wheels removed. We have completely rebuilt the front and rear suspension with PST components as well as the steering system. Henry D was kind enough to lend me some rollers to move the car around though to get the budget big-block back in. We'll also add our 2-inch headers and Monster TH400 too! Won't be long now until we fire this thing up.-SH
Breathing West Coast air is something I never thought I would miss-it's just home. People I fight with in traffic and avoid in crowds are actually the same people I missed as I was driving to and from the hotel while I was at the LSX Shootout in Memphis, TN. It's hard to explain, I wasn't homesick. I'm just used to the craziness and "get-outta-my-way" mentality. Call it strange-yes. However, the people of Memphis have got to be some of the nicest and most wholesome people I have ever had the chance to meet. Grabbing up a burger at Sonic's should seem pretty normal. However, it was an abnormal meeting with the girl who brought me the food. While it was all of a chill 40 degrees outside, she was genuinely concerned with me and the fact that I was standing in the cold awaiting my measly burger. Maybe it was the southern twang she threw in there that melted my heart. I don't think you would find that sort of legitimacy here in L.A. If you have found it, tell me where it's at. Unless you know someone who knows someone, good luck trying to find some decent hospitality in this town. Is everyone really out for themselves here? At times, it can seem like it.
I question if the West Coast has lost all of what makes this city so great. Sure, we are a melting pot, sporting a variety of nationalities, but is it really necessary to judge the "outsiders?" My theory hasn't gone unmet with proof though. I've seen my fair share of friends who were hosed by others and left for cold without an ounce of regret. It's all about "gettin' yours" here. Whichever the case may be I'll still never turn my back on the city I grew up in. L.A. has been good to me. Find the right group of people or in our case the right shop and you've got friends for life. Get up into San Fernando or the surrounding shops of the "Valley" and you'll meet a group of people who will do anything to make sure your car gets going; just make sure you know someone beforehand. Still, the people of Memphis have got my vote for being the nicest city. Their down-home mentality made an impact on me.
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Team CHP Update
As of late, we've been pretty quiet about our drag racing antics, but it's not because we haven't been at it. Actually, it's been quite the opposite. Artis Houston is currently running our newest Pettis Performance-built 598ci big-block in the WCHRA Drag Radial (westcoasthotrod.com) class with his '71 Nova. The latest combination utilizes a set of Edelbrock Victor 24 cylinder heads, including a Steve Johnson-prepped Edelbrock E3 nitrous system, and a Hogan's sheetmetal manifold. We're in the testing stages and proud to say that we're already creeping up on our previous best with less effort. As with most of our builds, you can expect a complete detailed story to come in the upcoming issues.
Our other partner in crime, Mike Saiki, has also been competing in the WCHRA Limited 10.5 class with two nearly identical '68 Camaros; one with a 377ci small-block (8.82 at 155 mph) and the other with a 525ci big-block (8.55 at 164 mph), both of which are huffing nitrous. To date, Saiki has clinched the championship and already getting ready for the 2010 season with a 25.5 chassis upgrade.
As for our third-gen, Bill Hickok of Hickok Race Cars in California City, California, has already started on the 25.2 bars, set up the ride height with a fresh set of Weld Racing Wheels on M/T ET Drag tires, and Chris Alston's Chassisworks is currently finishing up our 9-inch rearend with Strange Engineering internals. Up front, we're utilizing a complete RaceCraft tubular K-member with 2-inch drop spindles and VariShock struts. For the skin, you can expect to see all VFN fiberglass components, including the one-piece front end, cowl hood, dash, and doors. We're slowly getting there! -HD