Inaugural NMRA/NMCA West Coast Shootout
Auto Club Speedway Fontana, California
10th Annual Quick Fuel Technology NMCA Muscle Car Nationals
Beech Bend Raceway Bowling Green, Kentucky
5th Annual JE Pistons NMCA Muscle Car Nationals
Milan Dragway Milan, Michigan
10th Annual FueLab NMCA World Street Finals
Featuring the 5th Annual GM Performance Parts LSX Shootout
O’Reilly Raceway Park Indianapolis, Indiana
3rd Annual Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Lone Star Shootout
Houston Raceway Park Houston, Texas
I’ve been talking about it for months among friends, coworkers, and even briefly in a past editorial. To cut a long story short, I finally have the drivetrain placed into my personal project: an ’86 regular cab shortbed C10. It was one of those instances when the want outweighed the need for another vehicle, a roller even. Committed, I dumped in a fuel-injected 383ci small-block with an overdrive 700-R4 transmission. It’s going to be a daily hauler, carry parts, and may even get some track time at the strip or through the cones. So what am I rambling on about? Well, call it coincidence, but our very own project ’72 Nova has also just received its own fully built drivetrain. We not only rebuilt the top end but also tagged on a 200-4R Level III transmission from Gearstar. All this got me thinking and inspired me to question what were some other interesting drivetrain combinations out there for your muscle car project?
If you think about it, the options for the best combination are almost endless and it could more or less hinge on preference. Whether your sled is packing boost or nitrous with a high-revving small- or big-block, there’s still a transmission out there to meet your specific needs. I believe we all quietly require our own list of standards and this might dictate which method you prefer: stick shift or automatic, and do you need two, three, or more gears? My curiosity has gotten the best of me, and I’ve been asking around furiously to find out what everyone else is doing. Could it be the cost that’s limiting your options or maybe the vehicle itself? Some of our favorite muscle cars require custom fabrication to fit a late-model transmission. For instance, the ’64-72 A-body needs some minor reworking of the transmission hump and a specific crossmember to properly fit a 4L60E.
For some purist, there’s nothing better than three pedals and the sound a closely geared four-speed produces while accelerating. While it sounds cool, it’s still a lot of work, and as a daily driver, it may not be the best option. Everyone has a different opinion on what’s cool and what can fit their budget. So, what’s your favorite engine and transmission combo? We’d love to hear about them!