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EDITOR IN CHIEF.........................................................CHRIS BIRO

RPM Magazine is a REGISTERED TRADEMARK of Revolution Publishing & Media Inc. RPM Magazine is a worldwide motorsports publication distributed in 34 countries and can be found on popular newsstands in the USA, Canada and select newsstands in the UK. If you cannot find a copy near you please call 519-752-3705 or email To subscribe to RPM go to or email Trish Biro at, or call 519-752-3705. The focus of RPM is to bring a diverse mix of high performance street and race automobiles to life within its pages including race cars, musclecars, hot rods and street legal machines with an emphasis on the “EXTREME,” including fast doorslammer and outlaw forms of drag racing. Not familiar with these types of cars? They are considered to be the top-shelf of the industry and are on the edge with regard to design, performance, and power! RPM Magazine does not sell its mailing list or share any of the confidential information regarding its subscribers.


RPM Magazine has been a world leader in motorsports publishing for 19 years and has support locations in Ontario, Canada, Alabama, Texas, and Virginia, along with contributing writers and photojournalists worldwide. If you have a story that may fit within the focus and scope of RPM Magazine’s coverage, please email our Editor In Chief at editor@ Submission of an article does not guarantee that it will be published. Revolution Publishing & Media Inc. (RPM) / RPM Magazine IS NOT Responsible for errors or omissions in ANY advertisement or article. Advertisements may be rearranged or altered at the sole discretion of RPM to allow the ad to fit in the space purchased by the advertiser. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE ANY ADVERTISING WHICH WE CONSIDER TO CONTAIN MISLEADING, OFFENSIVE OR FALSE INFORMATION. REPRODUCTION OF ANY INFORMATION HEREIN IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT.


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e’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our RPM Magazine advertisers and readers for your overwhelming support, and also welcome you to our 18th

year of RPM! We’ve stuck to our guns, kept our promise and kept RPM “REAL”...19 years later RPM is still all about YOU, and YOUR cars and stuff that YOU are into—street, strip, and once in a while, just to shake things up, something completely off the wall. But no matter what, we want to assure you that we intend to continue to set the trends instead of follow them, innovate, not imitate, and above all continue to give you the best original, exclusive high-horsepower badass rides and cool real-world tech and articles you deserve in the world`s top car mag! In our continuing effort to support the automotive performance and race industries, we’re once again offering a chance for related companies to take advantage of our “Industry Distribution Program” which sees FREE copies

of RPM Magazine sent to performance & racing-related businesses in the USA and Canada. So, if you own, operate, or manage any type of performance or race business (ie: speed shop, performance, race or chassis shop, manufacturing firm, installation facility, warehouse, etc.), you need to sign up for your FREE subscription to RPM Magazine today! Simply complete this form and send it in along with your business card and you’ll start getting your complimentary copy of RPM, right to your business door each and every month. Because MORE RPM is ALWAYS better, we also offer an enhanced program that enables you to order MORE copies of RPM for an incredibly low price to either give away free to your best customers or sell on your magazine rack. Industry Distribution Program info can also be found at and completed online or by simply emailing trish@ Do it today!


One Strange Fox Body.........................................................

We’ve got a wild Mustang on tap for you—along with tons of other cool features and tech— all in the May 2018 issue of RPM!


april 2018 | RPM Magazine

ADVERTISER INDEX ACC Performance................... 21 Accufab Inc............................ 83 Aeromotive........................... 92 AFCO..................................... 99 Alan Johnson Performance (AJPE)................................. 82 Alston Race Cars.................... 18 Applied Racing Components (ARC).................................. 43 ATI Performance Products... 112 Auburn Gear.......................... 40 Autoglym.............................. 87 AVAK/Ridgegate Tools........... 47 Baer Brakes......................17, 59 Bear’s Performance............... 35 Be Cool.................................. 91 BES Racing Engines............... 28 Bill Mitchell Products.......34, 44 Blower Shop............................ 5 Borla................................... 104 BTE Racing............................ 84 C&C MotorSports................... 12 Calvert Racing Suspensions... 50 Canton Racing Products........ 29 CFE Racing Products.............. 11 Chassis Engineering...........8, 81 CN Blocks.............................. 61 CNC Motorsports................... 44 Coan Engineering.................. 62 Competition Products......... 108 Covered Wagon Trailers......... 98 Crane Cams........................... 93 Crower.................................. 42 CVR Products....................... 102 DART..................................... 28 Design Engineering..........48, 85 Diamond Pistons................... 78 DIRT...................................... 95 DIY Auto Tune/MS3-Pro EFI... 10 Dream Machines, Ltd............. 38 Drive Train Specialists (DTS)... 13 DRIVEN Racing Oil................. 20 Dynocologists........................ 23 Dynomite Dynamometer...... 13 Dynotech Engineering........... 96 Ed Quay Race Cars................. 26 Edelbrock.............................. 64 Energy Suspension.........46, 106 FUELAB................................. 76 G Force Racing Transmissions.81 Granatelli Motorsports.......... 19 GZ Motorsports..................... 37 Harland Sharp....................... 23 Harwood............................... 90 HoleShot Wheels................... 38 Holley.................................2, 45 Howard’s Cams...................... 25 Hughes Performance............... 7 Induction Solutions............... 30 Indy Cylinder Head................ 80 Innovate Motorsports.......... 100 JE Pistons.......................33, 105 Jesel...................................... 14 JW Perform. Transmissions.... 94

Kinsler Fuel Injection........... 109 LenTech Automatics.............. 44 Lokar Perf. Products............ 110 MagnaFuel.............................. 9 Magnuson Superchargers.... 104 MAHLE Clevite Inc................. 77 Manton Pushrods.................. 95 Meziere Precision Mfg............. 8 Mickey Thompson Tires......7, 12 Miska Trailer Sales................. 41 Mr. Cool................................. 96 MSD Ignition......................... 26 Neal Chance Converters....27, 65 Nitrous Pro Flow.................... 43 Nitrous Supply...................... 89 Parts Pro Perf Centers.......... 116 Performance Improvements.. 24 Perf. Plus Connection.......25, 92 Philadelphia Racing Products (PRP).............................56, 63 Powermaster Performance.... 24 Precision Turbo...................... 53 ProCharger............................ 67 Proform Parts...................... 113 Pro Systems Carburetors... 21,97 PTC........................................ 79 Quick Fuel Technology........... 34 Quik-Latch Products............ 106 Racecraft............................. 103 Racepak................................ 36 Racequip............................... 51 RAM Clutches........................ 39 Renegade Racing Fuels......... 52 Ross Racing Pistons............5, 35 RPM Magazine Subscribe!.114 S&W Race Cars.................... 111 Scorpion Racing Prods............. 9 Shafiroff Racing Engines..11, 61 Shameless S8........................ 98 Sharp Trailers........................ 79 Smith Racecraft..................... 88 Steve Morris Racing Engines. 31 Strange Engineering............. 16 Summit Racing Equip.....22, 115 Taylor Cable Products.......... 101 TCI Automotive...................... 37 Ti64..................................... 107 Tom’s Upholstery................... 14 Trick Flow.............................. 15 TRZ Motorsports.................... 17 Tuned By Shane T.................. 94 12 Strong............................ 109 VP Racing Fuels...............32, 86 World Products..................... 22





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Often Imitated, Never Duplicated—For 19 STRAIGHT YEARS RPM Magazine has been the ORIGINAL Voice Of Wild Street Machines and Extreme Drag Cars WORLDWIDE! Don’t Settle For Less! We DELIVER Insane Fast Cars and Bring You NO POLITICS... JUST ACTION! Your ONLY “Real Time” “Real World” Car Mag...PERIOD!


SO Much Horsepower Packed Into One Place... That Place IS RPM Magazine!

RIDES Driving Miss Gracie ......................................38 Not your average four-door family sedan!

1 FAST 57........................................................ 54

This ’57 Chevy has it all...including over 1,000 horses under the hood!

Go Big or Go Home........................................ 78 With 978-cubic inches in his Top Sportsman Camaro, Alberta, Canada’s

Eight Barrels of Fun................................................8

Barry Daniluk has the Go Big part covered...and he has the record to prove it!!

This wicked ’66 Pro Street Mustang is packin’!


PROJECTS & TECH Extreme Weight Loss: Episode 6..............................88 We continue our quest to get the old RPM mule down to a healthy fighting weight

In School Suspension..............................................98

Real Deal......................................................................... 22 This ’69 Chevelle was built for one purpose: to kick ass!

Shop Talk...................................................................34 Gearheads and good deeds: The possibilities are endless

Time to get serious with hardcore rear suspension from RaceCraft!

Home Grown COPO Project Update.........................106 Our Project Camaro is too hot to handle...literally!

The Hard Way........................................................ 110 Project do-over strikes again


april 2018 | RPM Magazine | april 2018



ohn Nemeth’s 1966 Mustang Coupe has been in the family since the mid 1970s, when his brother

bought it from the original owner. To John, it’s much more than a wild Pro Street/ Strip build, his very sinister Stang is a part of who he is, and it almost got away!

“My brother actually put the car up for sale in 1980,” tells Nemeth. “But our mom knew how much I loved it so she purchased it from him, and a year later, when

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CLASSIC LINES John Nemeth’s ’66 coupe is definitely a fully strip-capable pro street build. Not only does the DJ Safety parachute hanging off the back of the Mustang look cool, it is functional when the car is called to dragstrip duty.

I got my driver’s license, I bought it from her for $1500! It was my first car, and I still have it!” Now living in Boise, Idaho, Nemeth grew up in Southern California, the epicenter of hot rodding, and as long as he can remember he has been fascinated with cars. He could often be found at Ontario Motor Speedway catching

april 2018 | RPM Magazine

stock car action or Riverside Raceway to take in some straightline fun. His favorites, though, were The Winter Nationals and World Finals at Pomona Raceway. His first taste of drag racing would be in the early 1980s when he took his Mustang to Orange County Raceway to take a ride down the infamous quarter

mile that closed in 1983. “Once I got a taste of drag racing in my own car, I was hooked!” he added. From there, though, as most young Americans hooked on horsepower, he initially hit the back roads of SoCal to sew his wild oats. By 1995, Nemeth got a little more serious and purchased an Art | april 2018



ANNIE, GIT YER GUN! The Ford Boss Hemi is a force to be reckoned with, especially after being built by Shotgun Hemi Parts. John would see his dream of a tunnel ram with dual carbs come true in the form of this Weiand with twin C.F.M.-prepped Holley Dominators. The real Boss 429-blocked 534-inch Ford Hemi pushes more than 900 horses.



april 2018 | RPM Magazine


Morrison rear clip and worked with a friend to do the install in his garage in California. As a drag racing fan, John admired stars of the day like Bob Glidden and his mid ’80s Thunderbird! “I always envisioned my Mustang with huge rear tires and a tunnel ram with twin Dominators sticking out of

the hood.” explained Nemeth. He also, however, had a thing for the legendary pro street builds of the day like Scott Sullivan and his Cheez Whiz ’55 Chevy. “To sum it up, it was these two cars that really inspired me to build my own version of a pro street car.” And John’s version is definitely a mix | april 2018


EIGHT BARRELS SLEEK LINES Whether lurking in the dark or prepared to strike in a desert sunset, the simple sight of the classic Ford is enough to strike fear into most any would-be challenger. of pro street and drag race as the car is fully legal, and capable, to hit the street or strip at any time. Since the installing that backhalf in his garage it’s been a 20-year build for Nemeth and the end result is definitely not your cookie-cutter street/strip Pony car. Chassis-wise, it was the exceptional fabrication skills of Robbie Miller of Upland, California that provided

the foundation for continuing the build beyond that work completed way back in the ’90s. Miller also fabricated a chromoly roll cage and installed a Mustang II front suspension in the ’66. Pat Fifelski of Boise, Idaho is responsible for fabricating and installing the wheel tubs, tin work, and door panels. Once the Eight Barrel Shotgun was purchased in 2011, the car and new engine were sent to


Kenny’s Rod Shop to connect it with its new resting place between the rails of the ’66 along with making necessary mods to the surrounding areas to accommodate the rather portly new mill. Inside, Nemeth is surrounded by a full chromoly cage, but it’s the view from the diamond black covered aluminum race seats that’s hard not to get hooked on. The factory dash has been filled with a full


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april 2018 | RPM Magazine

John Nemeth photo

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complement of gauges and a TCI Outlaw shifter commands the tricked-out Turbo 400. A tilt column allows easy entry and exit into the cockpit that has been expertly tinworked by Pat Fifelski of Boise, Idaho. The Carroll Shelby-signed glove box door is the icing on the cake. The most unique feature of this particular

coupe is definitely the engine. Known as The Eight Barrel Shotgun, the 534ci Boss Ford Hemi built by Eric Simone’s Shotgun Hemi Parts of Roseville, Michigan makes 900-plus horsepower, naturally aspirated. Inside the real Boss 429 block spins a Scat crankshaft with Scat rods pinned to Diamond pistons that provide the Boss

with its 11.4:1 compression. A solid roller COMP cam was spec’d out by Simone and TM Enterprises Boss 430 cylinder heads were used. And yes, Nemeth got his wish-list towering induction system in the form of a heavily modified Weiand tunnel ram intake and twin C.F.M.-prepared Holley 1050 cfm Dominator carbs. A Phoenix

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april 2018 | RPM Magazine

RACE READY A full chromoly cage by Robbie Miller and tinwork by Pat Fifelski are definitely the focal points of the interior, as is the Carroll Shelby-signed glove box door.

JOHN NEMETH’S 1966 PRO STREET FORD MUSTANG Chassis & Suspension: Backhalf with Art Morrison rear clip with ladder bars, 9 inch Ford rear end, coil over shocks and anti-roll bar. Custom round tube front and custom sub frame connectors. Mustang II front suspension with 2 ½-inch drop spindles and coil over shocks. Engine set back 3 inches. Custom front motor plate. Custom aluminum wheel tubs, fuel cell, and door panels by Pat Fifleski. Engine: Shotgun Hemi Parts 534 ci Boss Ford (bore 4.444-inch with 4.300inch stroke). Scat crankshaft, Scat rods, Diamond 11.4:1 pistons. COMP Cams solid roller camshaft, TM Enterprises Boss 4.30 cylinder heads, Weiand tunnel ram intake with twin 1050 Holley Dominator carbs by C.F.M. Electronics & Ignition: MSD distributor with 6AL ignition box. Transmission: Phoenix Transmissions Turbo 400, 10-inch torque converter, Mark Williams transmission yoke. Differential: Strange case, 35-spline axles, and 4.56 gears. Body & Paint: All original sheet metal except VFN fiberglass deck lid. Original steel hood is cut “bikini style.” Custom fabricated body mounts. Body is painted with PPG DP 90. Rumor is that the car is heading for a fresh coat of PPG Chrysler Dark Slate Grey with Lamborghini matte clear. Exhaust: Custom 2 ¼-inch primary headers with Burns Stainless merge collectors. Thanks to: Eric Simone of Shotgun Hemi Parts, Kenny’s Rod Shop, owned by Kenny Welch of Boise, Idaho. They installed the big Boss powerplant and heavily modified Turbo-400 transmission. Moving forward to 2015, Kenny and his crew built a beautiful set of stainless steel headers, as well as a custom frame to hang the original FOMOCO sheetmetal. So many people contributed to this 20-year long build! Again so much credit goes to Robbie Miller, who went on to become a very successful race car builder in Southern California. Kenny Welch, Kenny Welch Jr and Patrick Johnston put in several hours installing and putting the finishing touches on this huge project. Also, special thanks to Pat Fifelski of Boise, Idaho who did an incredible job fabricating and installing the wheel tubs, tin work, and door panels. I also need to thank Jonny Monza for his incredible knowledge of automobile electronics. | april 2018


EASY BREATHIN’ HORSE The high-flowing Boss heads are fed through a towering custom scooped and twin-Dominator equipped Weiand tunnel ram..Meanwhile, on the exhaust side, a set of custom fabbed 2 1/4-inch stainless headers expel spent gases.

Transmissions Turbo 400 with 10-inch converter backs up the Boss Hemi and a shortened 9-inch Ford with Strange case is filled with 4.56 gears, 35-spline axles and


april 2018 | RPM Magazine

suspended by a ladder bar/coilover set-up. “The twin Dominators are like the cherries on top!” says Nemeth. “And the best part is listening to this monster when

it’s under full load as the exhaust gases are pushed through the perfectly tuned 2 1/4-inch stainless steel headers.” Whether cruising the streets and back roads of


IT’S A GAS Fuel delivery for the big Ford mill is handled by the folks at Kinsler.

SCANTILY CLAD Growing up in Southern California certainly must have influenced John’s choice to design and cut the factory hood to a “bikini style.” | april 2018



april 2018 | RPM Magazine

SWEET ALL AROUND Top to bottom and inside and out, John Nemeth’s Mustang is clean and awesome modern pro street at its finest.

EIGHT BARRELS Idaho, or hitting the strip on a Friday night, John Nemeth’s Shotgun Hemi-powered ’66 Mustang is more than capable of providing eight barrels of fully loaded fun. | april 2018



o time drags, no prep drags, and grudge racing have been popular long before TV supercharged their popularity, and

Jason Nolan’s 1969 Chevelle was resurrected for all of the above… and anything else he can run! As with most stories about owners of today’s fast street cars, this

one started about 28 years ago with a 17 year-old and a cool Chevelle. To be clear, we’re not talking about the endless amounts of cash builders. Instead, these are the real people

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april2018 | RPM Magazine

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SILKY SMOOTH An original all-steel body graces the Chevelle with the exception of the VFN fiberglass bolt-on hood. Custom made satin blue paint was created by James Cummins at If It’s Got Wheels.


april2018 | RPM Magazine

YOU’RE SUSPENDED In the rear, a 4-link coilover setup hooks the heavy Chevy while a 12bolt built to take the nitrous hit transfers power outward to those big Hoosiers. Up front, single-adjustable coil overs have been paired with tubular control arms.

behind building their own fast cars to mop up the streets and strip on the weekend! Nolan did the typical teenage hot rodding and street racing with the Chevelle for a number of years, however, as he

got a bit older different aspects of life in relationships and children became a priority and he parked the car in the late 90s. During this time the Chevelle would be dragged out of one storage space and moved to another until it finally ended

up outside, sitting next to a garage at a friend’s house for a few years. No matter where the car was stored, though, one thing was sure, Nolan just couldn’t bring himself to part with it. By the time 2011 rolled around the car | april2018


NO PREP? NO PROBLEM! A picture is worth a thousand words! And this wheelie is on the street… can you say “no prep!”

had sat for many years as a stripped down shell, and when life seemed to be falling back into place for Nolan, the opportunity came to put the Chevelle back together. “My goal was to keep it as real a street


april2018 | RPM Magazine

car as possible and yet be as fast or as close to as fast as the fastest street cars in town,” said Nolan. So the build began, and make no mistake, this was never meant to be a show queen or hang

with the fanciest cars in town, but rather, like Nolan said, he wanted to be right there with the fastest cars in town. And just so you know, “town” is Phoenix Arizona, so Nolan had his work cut out for him.

REAL DEAL WINGED WARRIOR That’s a pretty big tire to stuff under a Chevelle. The car was backhalved and tubbed after sitting for several years. The perfect stance set off by an Innovative Racecraft wing hanging off the rear. | april2018



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april2018 | RPM Magazine

The car is completely street legal, not “borderline street.” In other words, it still has its full steel body with all the functioning lights, original glass, real bumpers, is all steel minus the hood, and weighs in at a whopping 3,645 pounds—and it’s still street driven—maybe not daily—but as often as possible to shows or out to grab a bite after work. At some point a weight loss program might be in order, but for now Nolan was focused on resurrecting his Chevelle with as much power as possible.

The engine/ trans combination went through many changes until Nolan decided to go big block with big nitrous. The mill was built by Kelly at WFO Racing and Machine and uses two Nitrous Express nitrous systems. Inside the big Chevy, a Callies Dragonslayer crank swings Oliver billet rods pinned to JE high compression nitrous pistons. Dart Pro II heads were equipped with a Jesel valvetrain and a Pro-Filer intake worked over by Steve Schmidt Racing Engines is topped with

a C.F.M. Dominator-style carburetor supplied by a Magna Fuel fuel system—all of which is backed by a Hughes Powerglide that sends power reward to a GM 12-bolt with Mark Williams 35-spline axles, C-clip eliminators, billet caps, spool, billet yoke and 4.56 pro gear. The Chevelle is a chromoly backhalf car with most of the stock frame intact from the seats forward. Fabrication and chassis work was done by Robert and David Neriz at Neriz Race Cars. Suspension wise, a 4-link with


CAUTION: HEAVY FOG AHEAD Nolan chose to go with a big block/nitrous combination. WFO Racing and Machine was in charge of the build. Two Nitrous Express kits are installed on the big block, a plate and direct port system. Combined they can deliver up to 1,100 hp of nitrous into the bloodstream of the already competent mill. To date, only the plate system has been used, but we’re told that is about to change. | april2018



JUST THE ESSENTIALS Inside, the Chevelle has only what is needed to keep tabs on the vital signs of the engine before, during and after a run. Cage work and fabrication was completed by Robert and David Neriz at Neriz Race Cars.

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april2018 | RPM Magazine

JASON NOLAN’S STREET/STRIP 1969 CHEVY CHEVELLE Chassis: Chromoly back half car with stock front section. Chassis and fabrication were done by Robert and David Neriz at Neriz Race Cars. Suspension: REAR: 4-link suspension with anti-roll and Koni double adjustable coilovers . FRONT: Single-adjustable coilovers with rack and pinion steering all built by Robert and David Neriz at Neriz Race Cars. Body & Paint: All steel except VFN fiberglass bolt-on hood. Custom made satin blue created by James Cummins at If It’s Got Wheels and an Innovative Racecraft wing hanging out the back. Engine: High-compression big block Chevy built by Kelly at WFO Racing and Machine with two stages of Nitrous Express nitrous. Oliver billet rods, Callies Dragonslayer crankshaft, Jesel valvetrain, Dart Pro II heads, JE pistons, Profiler intake, Moroso billet oil pump, Moroso vacuum pump. Induction & Fuel Delivery: Dale Cubic custom Dominator on top of a Pro-Filer intake that was worked by Steve Schmidt Racing Engines. Power Adder: Nitrous Express Gemini Plate System and a Nitrous Express direct port System with a combined power adjustment of up to 1100 hp of nitrous. Electronics & Ignition: MSD grid. Transmission & Driveline: Hughes Powerglide with transbrake and Hughes 9.5-inch converter. Differential: 8GM 12 bolt with Mark Williams 35 spline axles, C-clip eliminators, billet caps, spool, billet yoke and 4.56 pro gear. Special Thanks: “None of this would have been possible without the help of these people. Every one of them is a true friend and I am grateful for all their help. Thanks to Fred Silvers Wiring and Electronic goodies, Kelly and Deb Bluebaugh at WFO and Racing and Machine, Robert and David Neriz at Neriz Race Cars, Mike Horton, Steve Hoffman, Chad Holvig, Tony Kane at Hughes Transmission, James Cummins at If It’s Got Wheels Paint And Design, Troy at Innovative Racecraft Wing, Daddy-O and his killer team at Ramjets Speed Shop, Rich Bogart at Bogart Racing Wheels and Robbie Ward at Magna Fuel.

HAULING THE JOOCE Here you get a good look at the quality of the backhalf and tub work. Note the large fuel cell for cruising, and twin NX nitrous bottles for, well, “other stuff.” anti-roll bar and double adjustable coilovers resides out back while rack and pinion steering, a TRZ spindle mount conversion, tubular control arms and single adjustable coilovers were

installed up front. By late 2015 with help from friends, Mike Horton, Chad Holvig and Steve Hoffman (aka Lumpy), Nolan was out testing. “We had to knock the

cobwebs off from both car and driver,” he joked. And by 2016 the Chevelle would see action in various ‘Street Cash Days’ and No Prep events in Arizona and at Tucson Dragway, and | april2018


REAL DEAL WANNA DANCE? Jason challenged a fellow motorhead during our shoot.

has definitely been making some serious power. “I am really thankful for everyone that has helped me along the way,” says Nolan. “I am 45 now and achieved most of what I set out to do with the car and am ready for the next level. Let’s just say that we plan to turn things

Jason Nolan and his real deal street car.

up this season,” he added. With 1,100 horsepower of nitrous oxide available, and knowing that the second system has not yet even been turned on “turning things up” should be an interesting experience for Jason Nolan and his ’69 Chevelle in 2018.



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april2018 | RPM Magazine

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story and photos by


or all of the gearheads out there, you know what I mean when I say, “we are on everyone’s speed dial.” It seems we are often called



when someone is in need of our skillset rather than a simple “what’s going on” friendship call. Many have taken advantage of my good nature, but I consider myself a giver and enjoy doing what I can to make the world a better place…

april 2018 | RPM Magazine

one favor at a time. I particularly like to help children and senior citizens. When a neighbor’s kid asks me to help him fix his go-cart or dirt bike, I’m all too eager to lend a hand and teach an upcoming gearhead the proper way

to sling a wrench. More often than not, this usually leads to a major upgrade (all at my expense) but puts a never ending smile on someone’s face. When it comes to helping a senior citizen, I used to do it with the hopes

of someone returning the favor if my mom ever needed a hand with something after my dad passed away. The more time I spend with seniors, the more I appreciate them. They are the last of our greatest generation, and a breed of humans that

1 we need more of in today’s world. Recently, I received a call from one of my drag racing friends who asked if I could help him out with my backhoe. He wanted to make some improvements at our local dragstrip to make the track more professional and bring it up to 21st century standards and out of the ’60s. After numerous meetings with the track owners, he decided it was time to take matters into his own hands and make the changes that were needed. He put out a notice on social media and set up a meeting to discuss his vision. I cleared a few hours that day and was happy to see that I was not the only one in attendance. A large

1: It is a very rewarding feeling to give back using skills that were once passed on to you. We were not born with the knowledge to build our race cars and street machines, we were TAUGHT it! Besides passing your knowledge on to someone else, use your talents to help someone in need. group of the diehard bracket racers that compete in the points series showed up with the hopes of making their weekend sanctuary a better place. My friend took the lead and explained his vision to everyone. He asked that anyone with a special skill or trade to step up and make it known. Contractors of all trades listed their specialties and volunteered their services. People without a special skillset volunteered to paint, clean, and do whatever was necessary to help. It was a positive meeting to say the least. We walked every inch of the facility and discussed how it could be improved. Notes were taken along with who would be in charge of each project. I

2: I say this quite often.... “When you help others, you end up helping yourself more than you know.”


volunteered for any mechanical/electrical/welding work, as well as the use of my backhoe. A few weeks later I was contacted and a date was set for “operation dragstrip makeover.” My buddy was surprised that the GoFundMe page he started for the track had already raised $1,300, which would help pay for the supplies we needed to make the improvements. The morning of the makeover I woke up early and loaded up the backhoe along with a few shovels, rakes, tampers, etc. I arrived at the track at 9:00 AM and was blown away with how many people were already there working. One of the racers owned a tree cutting company and had his trucks there complete

with the telescopic booms cutting up trees and making more room. Another racer owned a painting company and brought his professional sprayers to help make a huge visual improvement on the facility. We had carpenters, plumbers, HVAC guys, landscapers, engineers, even the people who run the concession and food stand were there with a free lunch for everyone. After an official head count was taken, 62 people had shown up to lend a hand. I was quickly put to work removing an old flag pole and instructed to dig a new hole in a more visible spot so everyone could honor the flag at the beginning of every race. It was so amazing to see how excited

all of the veterans were about something as simple as moving a flag pole. I have much respect for them and felt a sense of pride knowing this was no ordinary hole. I was then directed to dig two very large holes and cement in place the telephone poles that would be used to hang the new track sign on. Within minutes, a carpenter was right next to us and built a 4’x16’ frame, while a few friends and I worked on setting the posts in place. When we took a break for lunch I was so impressed with how much had been accomplished back at the actual dragstrip area. Decades of garbage and junk were gone! The wall behind the starting line was fixed, leveled, and painted.


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3: We don’t have to look far to find someone in need of a good deed. There is probably a senior citizen on your street who could use a hand fixing a few things. How about the child down the street who just lost a parent. The power of a good deed is priceless.


4: Some say, “what goes around - comes around.” So I say, “pay it forward and make a difference.”

4 5: It warmed my heart to see the older veterans so excited when we moved the flag pole to a more visible spot at the track.

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april 2018 | RPM Magazine

A dumpster full of garbage was removed from the tower, and the weedwacking and mowing was already beginning to make a difference. It was interesting to sit back and watch these fierce bracket racing competitors sitting next to each other laughing and enjoying each other’s company. When I loaded up the backhoe at the end of the day, I had a sense of pride knowing that my time and skills had made a difference. It was truly refreshing to see so many fellow gearheads show up and donate their time and

5 expertise for nothing other than a sense of pride as their reward. With the staggering amount of our local dragstrips closing, this became personal for everyone. The track and “operation dragstrip makeover” is far from complete, but after witnessing what I did that day I am confident it will come to fruition. So my friends, how is your local track doing? Or better yet, how is the widow at the end of your street making out? What about that little boy whose dad is overseas serving our country…I bet his bicycle could

use a quick tune up. The possibilities are endless. They just need your commitment. Every day I am fortunate enough to enjoy this beautiful earth we live on, I ask to be blessed so that I can be a blessing to others. It’s a rather simple request in the grand scheme of life, but it has served as the very foundation of my existence. The only catch is that you have to keep your end of the deal. Until next time… keep wrenching!


6: If you can’t find anyone in your immediate area that needs your help, it’s time to volunteer at a local church, charity group, or even a dragstrip. Many car shows sponsor someone in need or an organization that helps others. Spend a fun day at a car show and volunteer your time to help.



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7: My tractor is loaded up and ready to go make a difference at our local track. She got a workout that day! 8: After digging two 4 foot holes in the ground, we cemented in these two telephone poles, while another group of volunteers made the 4’x16’ sign that would hang on it.

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story and photos by

Tabitha Sizemore

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april 2018 | RPM Magazine


eath Forshee’s 1966 Chevrolet Nova isn’t your average fourdoor family sedan. It’s a stunning—and fast—example of the second-generation of the classic Chevy II body style. It was once upon a time a grandma’s car, but now— not so much. Heath made sure not to cut any corners on this amazing machine. The attention to detail is bang on and the car is as nice inside and under the

hood as it is on the outside. But make no mistake: this certainly is not your typical family car, and if there was a photo in the dictionary of analogies (Horsepower Version 1.0), this Chevy II would be pictured under “the wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Heath grew up around old cars and has spent time at the races at Beech Bend Raceway since he was the young, tender age of 6. His first car when he turned 16 was a 1967 Rally Sport

Camaro, and by the time he started racing competitively, he had a 1968 Camaro. Given his history of being raised around good ole-fashioned American muscle, it wasn’t much of a surprise to see him follow suit with a ’66 Nova. “I’ve been around cars at local cruise-ins and races my entire life. I used to help my stepfather work on old cars when I was younger and I’ve always loved them,” he said. | april 2018


Heath found the ’66 at an estate sale for $2,500 after the one owner of it had passed away. It had 42,000 original miles on it when he purchased it in 2006. “Since the original owner’s name was Gracie, and although I did not know her personally, her name fit the car, so I named it Gracie,” explained Forshee. “I wanted something different—a car that looked like a ‘sleeper’ and fool the average person on the street or track. There aren’t many 4-door Nova’s around


anymore, and even fewer fast ones,” he added. Gracie came with a good, complete interior, but the outside left a lot to be desired. The age of the car was showing and Forshee had some improvements to make as part of the build. He had to replace both front fenders along with the front and rear bumpers. The entire car would then, of course, need paint and it has been repainted in its original color. Eventually, simply due to age, wear and tear, a new interior was also installed.

april 2018 | RPM Magazine



This Chevy II can slam down 8-second runs then head to the ice cream shop with the family. Four-doors were once considered mom, pop and the granparent’s cars, but in today’s world where different is good, anything and everything is fair game for some serious power. If you look closely, you can see the 84mm turbo sitting neatly behind the factory grill. | april 2018



april2018 | RPM Magazine


NOT-SO-SUBTLE SLEEPER The flat fiberglass hood is a bit of a giveaway, but the chute out back provides onlookers with more reason to speculate.

The mechanical work started immediately and the Chevy II has seen several engine combination changes over the years, and, while the intention from the start was to build a sleeper, the Nova would also have to serve as a family car for nights out and cruises around town. The main thing Heath learned over the past 11 years, he says, is that no matter how fast he wants the car to be, once he reaches that goal, he always wants to go faster. The Nova started life with a 194 cubic inch 6 cylinder and a Powerglide and has evolved through the years, starting with a 327 and Muncie 4-speed, then a 383 with 700 R4, a 427 | april 2018


MISS GRACIE GRANNY STYLE? The unassuming four-door body with factory color doesn’t tell the whole tale, but the trick black and machined RC Comp wheels hint at the Chevy’s true high-speed intentions.

LS with TH350, and a 427 LS with Powerglide and nitrous. Now, after an evolution that spanned a little over a decade, the 1966 Chevy II sits with a 377 cubic inch based on an LS 6.2 block with 84mm Borg Warner turbo backed by a Powerglide trans. The LS is topped off with a


april 2018 | RPM Magazine

pair of Brian Tooley Racing (BTR) Trick Flow 225cc cylinder heads and a Holley Sniper intake with Holley Sniper throttle body. The 6.2 block houses a Stage II turbo cam, Callies crankshaft and Diamond pistons. For suspension, Heath opted for AFCO double | april 2018



EVOLUTION After an eleven year progression, the ’66 now has an LS 6.2 with a Borg Warner 84mm turbocharger. The turbo dumps out of a single ram’s horn-style exhaust exit on the passenger side of the Chevy II.


april 2018 | RPM Magazine

刀椀瘀攀琀 ⬀ 刀椀瘀攀琀 一甀琀 ⬀ 刀椀瘀攀琀 匀琀甀搀

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Chassis: 8.50 roll cage by Jessie’s Garage and Bivins Race Cars. Suspension: FRONT: Checker Racing front clip, AFCO double-adjustable coilovers. Strange brakes. REAR: Calvert Split Mono-Leaf springs. Caltrac traction bars. Calvert leaf spring sliders. AFCO double-adjustable shocks. Strange Brakes. Body & Paint: Martinique Bronze Poly with Fawn interior. All stock sheet metal with fiberglass hood. Engine: GM LS 6.2 Block. 377 cubic inch with 9.6:1 compression. Brian Tooley Racing Stage II turbo cam, Brian Tooley Racing Trick Flow 225cc cylinder heads. ARP main stud kit and head stud kit. Callies crankshaft and rods. Diamond pistons. Induction & Fuel Delivery: Holley Sniper Intake. Holley Sniper Throttle Body. Holley 160lb injectors. MagnaFuel pump. Power Adder: Midwest 84mm Borg Warner Turbo. No Corners Cut Fabrication air-to-water intercooler. Dual Precision wastegates. Electronics & Ignition: Holley HP ECU. Holley 7-inch touch screen. Racewire Solutions control panel and wiring. Transmission: PTC Powerglide transmission. PTC torque converter. Differential: Strange 12-bolt with 3.55 gear. Performance: 8.73 at 155 miles per hour on 18 psi, first time out. Thanks To: Lara and Nash (Heath’s wife and son) for allowing him to work countless hours on this car over the years, as well as being away from home a lot when he goes to races. “Also for putting up with my ever-changing plans related to the car over the last few years.” Thanks also to stepdad James Kilmon for sparking his interest in racing old cars and taking him to the races at a young age, Kenny Perry for loaning Heath money to purchase the car, Jessie Coulter for helping build the car as well as for tuning and working with Heath in order to get everything just right, and Derek Bivins for also helping build the car and working on it with such short notice due to upcoming races. Thanks to Donald Gree for being a friend to answer questions regarding the car and its detailed parts, Richard Gregory for always helping at the track, Chris Peters from BTR sales for working with Heath to get just the right parts, and Brian Parks at NAPA Auto Parts for ordering whatever he needed. adjustable coilovers up front with Calvert split mono-leaf springs, Caltrac traction bars and spring sliders and AFCO shocks out back. The Nova stops with Strange brakes on all four corners. The beefed up PTC Glide also uses a PTC torque converter and the ’66 sits on a Strange 12-bolt with a 3.55 gear. The Martinique Bronze Poly exterior is complemented by

䄀嘀䄀䬀 䴀愀砀䐀甀琀礀 䘀氀攀砀 吀漀漀氀 䬀椀琀 ∠ ㌀ⴀ椀渀ⴀ㨀 刀椀瘀攀琀Ⰰ 刀椀瘀攀琀 一甀琀 ⬀ 刀椀瘀攀琀 匀琀甀搀 ∠ 䘀氀攀砀椀戀氀攀 栀愀渀搀氀攀猀 昀漀爀 攀愀猀礀 猀琀漀爀愀最攀      眀椀琀栀漀甀琀 氀漀漀猀椀渀最 愀渀礀 氀攀瘀攀爀愀最攀⸀  ∠ 唀渀椀焀甀攀 儀甀椀挀欀匀眀椀琀挀栀 昀攀愀琀甀爀攀 昀漀爀    爀愀瀀椀搀 昀甀渀挀琀椀漀渀愀氀 挀栀愀渀最攀 ∠ 䠀攀愀瘀礀 搀甀琀礀 猀甀瀀瀀漀爀琀椀渀最 猀琀愀椀渀氀攀猀猀    昀愀猀琀攀渀攀爀猀 愀渀搀 猀琀爀甀挀琀甀爀愀氀 昀愀猀琀攀渀攀爀猀   昀愀猀

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刀嘀䐀ⴀ㄀ 㨀 唀瀀 琀漀 ㄀⼀㐀ᴠ 爀椀瘀攀琀猀 刀一䐀ⴀ㄀ ⴀ嬀匀⼀䴀崀㨀 唀瀀 琀漀 ㌀⼀㠀ᴠ 漀爀 䴀㄀  爀椀瘀攀琀 渀甀琀猀




刀䤀䐀䜀䔀䜀䄀吀䔀 吀伀伀䰀匀 ☀ 吀䔀䌀䠀 | april 2018


a spacious Fawn interior (it’s unbelievable how Forshee keeps it so clean!). The car maintains all of its stock sheetmetal with the exception of the fiberglass flat hood. The 8.50 roll cage was

fabricated by Jessie’s Garage and Bivins Race Cars. Heath even maintained the stock steering wheel, on which the horn doubles as his transbrake. There’s room in the back for

a car-seat as well, in which Forshee has been known to drive his son to the track. “You get a lot of crazy looks when people realize not only is it a fast fourdoor, but it’s still a

family car,” laughed Forshee. On the first time out with the turbo combination, Heath and the ’66 managed to put down an 8.73 in the quarter-mile at 155nph on 18 psi.

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april 2018 | RPM Magazine

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HONK ONCE FOR LAUNCH Although the original interior was in decent condition when Heath purchased the car, eventually due to age, he had it replaced with this Fawn interior. It’s unbelievably clean and tidy, and somehow, stays that way. The stock steering wheel horn button disguises the transbrake! | april 2018



NO ROOM FOR LUGGAGE IN THIS FAMILY TRUCKSTER The trunk is stuffed with a water box, fuel cell, and 16volt battery with factory tubs, while the best of Calvert Racing Suspensions was used under the rear including their split mono-leaf springs and sliders and world famous Caltrac bars. AFCO shocks were used to help provide the hook and smooth out the bumps of both street and strip duty. The Chevy II is far from stock up front, with an aftermarket OEM style front frame section, tubular upper and lower control arms, rack and pinion steering and AFCO double adjustable coilovers. While these numbers are impressive, like we mentioned earlier, ‘fast is never fast enough’, and he has his sights set on bigger and better things. His ultimate goal


is to put the Chevy into the 7s and maintain it as a street car, being able to drive it to and from the track. Heath has a crew of knowledgeable folks in his corner, and with

april 2018 | RPM Magazine

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MISS GRACIE GO TIME Jessie Coulter lines up Heath at Mountain Park Dragway where he ran his current personal best of 8.73 at 155 mph in the quarter on 18psi. Once the car is turned up, Heath hopes to dip into the 7s.

Owner, Heath Forshee on the left and Jessie Coulter of Jessie’s Garage on the right. their help we’d say it’s just a matter of time before he pulls into the track, bangs off a 7, then heads out for some ice cream with his son buckled safely in the back of Gracie.


april 2018 | RPM Magazine | february2018


story by

G eorge P ich

photos by

S cott M orrison

1 FAST 57


veryone reading this magazine, at one point or another, has had a dream car in their head; a specific model, what type of power it would have, how it would look, how it would be driven, and probably even the build style or genre that the car would follow. For Ohio’s Joseph and Lila Schervish, their vision was clear, the only catch was that they have such an appreciation for most every style of build that heir ’57 Chevy would have to incorporate something from each, if that was at all possible. In fact, when you ask Joseph what they built the car for he will tell you straight up: street, drag racing, pro street and even

resto mod. And whether you favor one type of build over another, one thing we all have to agree on is that this 1957 Chevy is drop dead gorgeous! Joseph, an automotive dealership general manager, was born in Euclid, Ohio and refers to his hometown, a suburb of Cleveland, as “the rockn-roll capital.” “All that mattered to us growing up was hot rods, girls, and rock-n-roll,” smiled Schervish. It was Joseph’s brother Al who was the driving force behind his addiction to cars and horsepower. Al would take his younger brother, at just 10 years old, to his first big race event at Thompson Raceway on July 3, 1970.

“It was the Pro Stock Invitational,” Joseph recalled fondly. “I got to meet Sox and Martin, Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins, “Dyno” Don Nicholson, Warren Johnson and many other greats. Wow! From that day forward I was hooked! My brother Al was the coolest dude in town. He had six different ’57 Chevys and a whole bunch more cars, and to this day, in his ’70s, he’s still the coolest dude around.” Growing up, Schervish and his best friend Glen (whose older brother owned a hot rod shop in Euclid), would get in to go-karts and minibikes, and a bit of “innocent trouble.” That hot rod shop would further expose



april 2018 | RPM Magazine

Joseph and Lila Schervish’s shoebox Chevy has influences from many different build styles; pro street, resto mod, drag race, show car etc. and that’s just the way they wanted it. The big body Chevy sits just right, with a low stance and just a slight rake. | april2018


CHROME AND FINS FOR DAYS The extensive trim on a ’57 Chevy is one of the many attractions for fans, but it also makes for a lot of restoration work, which in this case was expertly handled.

1 FAST 57 There is no denying the timeless good looks of a 1957 Bel Air, and the fat meats out back certainly add to the appeal. However, the personalized plates aren’t just empty bragging, and the black beast sports four-digit horsepower from a brutal 584 ci rat motor beneath the hood.


april 2018 | RPM Magazine

1 FAST 57 Joseph to drag racing, and before long he was at the drags most every weekend following the Pro Gas events and racers like Nick Iarussi and the Godzilla ’55 Chevy, NHRA record holder Gene Schwartz, and many other locals that became legends of drag racing from Ohio. Lakeshore Boulevard was the well-known cruising and drag racing street in downtown Euclid— so well-known that cars came from neighboring cities to race light to light down Lakeshore, and Joseph could be found there with his souped-up ’71 Impala SS. “Every

penny I worked hard for went into that car because I broke it regularly,” said Schervish. “People to this day still ask me about or tell me stories about that car.” Joseph simply could not get enough of cars and power. So serious is his affliction, that he started in the automotive business 35 years ago and has been general manager of a large dealership for 30 of those years. He even met his wife Lila through work. Joseph and Lila bought their first 1957 Chevy hot rod in 2003 to drive around and also to hit some of the local show scene. However, they

had to sell it unexpectedly because of a family illness. “I had to take an extended leave from work to take care of my dad,” Schervish lamented. “And nine months after we sold the car, I lost him. Thank God we had that car to sell to help with the care. It was the best sale I ever made.” In the years to follow, Joseph and Lila would always talk about that very cool ’57 Chevy pro street, the shows they went to, and how someday they would do it again. In 2013, the opportunity presented itself, and the result is a two-year long, ground | april2018


1 FAST 57 up, 1,000-plus horsepower, absolutely killer Chevy shoebox build. And just as planned, the car has just enough of every style that the Schervish’s love so much built right into it. At first, the couple tried to get that original car back, but after running into dead end after dead end they decided to do it on their own, from start to finish, however, as most of us know, that in itself is not an easy task. The next six months would almost see their plans stopped before they even really started, “We were getting aggravated,” tells Schervish. “We could not find a car, and worse, we could not find a builder!”

The project was obviously not going as planned until Schervish reached out to a local race car rearend builder through an ad in a car mag. At the end of their phone conversation, Schervish asked if the fellow knew of a car builder that might want to take on a project like his and was met with “no one I would recommend,” and the conversation ended. A few minutes later the gentleman called back remembering someone he supplied a few rearends to who had built some famous Gassers in the Ohio , New York and Pennsylvania areas, his name was Ed Kasicki. “I called right

FRAME OFF A build of the caliber takes, time, talent, and treasure. The Schervishes entrusted Ed “Fast Eddie” and Ray Kasicki at Hot Rods by Kasicki to piece together the build of their dreams. The end results speak for themselves, and while the project wasn’t easy, the juice was worth the squeeze!


april 2018 | RPM Magazine

away, introduced myself, told him who referred me and what kind of car I wanted to build,” said Schervish. “He was a very nice down to earth humble type of guy and said he was driving his semi and as a hobby does a little work on racecars.” He went on to explain to Joseph that he had a little shop in the country and it’s not probably what he was looking for, but in the end, Kasicki agreed to meet Schervish simply because of who referred him. Two days later the two met at Kasicki’s modest shop, and after a 4-hour sit down, the rest is history…at least on finding a builder. The donor car was found

on the internet in Buffalo NY listed as a “57 Chevy hot rod matching numbers motor 283 V-8”. Schervish made two or three calls and bought it over the phone, and as expected it was a rundown “driver” in need of everything, but that was all part of starting from scratch. “I had the car delivered to the builder and elected to not even go look at it, instead I gave them the go ahead to start tearing it apart,” he said. “And Ed literally performed magic! He is a true world class builder, but don’t ask Ed...because he will tell you he works on hot rods as a hobby,” smiled Schervish. The body was rotisserie restored and a new chassis was

NO BIG THING Joseph is prepared for the day when he is cleared by the crew chief to hit the strip with the ’57. By all calculations it should run in the area of 8.70s in the quarter-mile. | april2018



april 2018 | RPM Magazine

1 FAST 57 JOSEPH & LILA SCHERVISH’S PRO STREET ’57 CHEVY BEL AIR Chassis Type & Mods: Ed Kasicki (Fast Eddie) & Ray Kasicki at Hot Rods By Kasicki. Kasicki 12-point cage NHRA 8.50 certified. Suspension & Brakes: FRONT: QA-1 coilovers with Global West A-arms. REAR: Tube chassis, ladder bars with Strange coilovers and panhard bar. Flaming River Industries rack & pinion. Wilwood disc brakes, cross drilled/slotted. Body & Paint: Prepped by Kasicki Race Cars & Finishing Edge Twinsburg Ohio. Spies Hecker Triple Black paint with HB Show Gloss clear. Engine: Steve Schmidt Racing Engines Pro 584-inch pro stock style stroker (9,000 RPM). 4.610 bore / 4.375 stroke Dart Big M 9.8 deck block. JE lightweight pistons with Total Seal Ultra Light rings. Callies Magnum Plus Pro crank, Callies Ultra I-Beam 4340 rods with ARP bolts. Jesel belt drive. Pro-Filer Sniper heads with titanium valves (2.350 intake 1.880 exhaust), PSI springs, Manton push rods and Jesel Pro Shaft rocker system. Steve Schmidt Racing top secret grind camshaft with 7/4 swap solid roller 850 lift cam with Isky Red Zone solid roller lifters. Induction & Fuel Delivery: HRE/Schmidt Racing pro stock/pro mod fabricated sheet metal dual carb intake with twin Quick Fuel 1050 carbs. Electronics & Ignition: MSD 6AL-2 with Launch Control & hi-speed rev limiter, MSD Blaster coil. Transmission & Clutch: Liberty’s Gears Extreme T Pro Shift In line Super 6-speed with hybrid carbon rings and billet interlock. Pro Shift Mods include micro polished constant mesh teeth, cryogenic tempering and shot peening. Atomic Twin Feramix disc clutch, billet lightened flywheel, Quick Time bellhousing. Hurst shifter with reverse lockout. Differential: S&W Fab 9 rearend with Strange posi, 4.71 gears and 35-spline axles. Tires & Wheels: 17 x 7 Boyds fronts and 15 x 14 Weld Racing Extreme Fab one-off rears. Goodyear Eagle Radial 215 x 50 x R 17 front tires, Hoosier Pro Street Radial 31 x 18.5 x 15 rears. Thanks to: God, my wife and crew chief Lila, and my son Justin. Thanks also to Ed Kasicki (Hot Rods by Kasicki).


built on the jig using the best parts that fit both the build vision and budget, and when it came time to power the ’57, there was only one choice. “I went with this specific drivetrain because I grew up in the Pro Stock era and I’m very much a fan of a naturally-aspirated, carbureted hot rod with a stick shift. So that is what this car

needed to be.” Steve Schmidt Racing Engines was tasked with the engine build and the result would be a Pro 584-inch big block Chevy dynoed at 1,027 HP and 805 ft./lbs. of torque. The Pro Stock-style stroked mill is good for 9,000 RPM and started life with a Dart Big M 9.8 deck 4.610 Bore/4.375 stroke block. From there, Schmidt spec’d

out a Callies Magnum Plus Pro crank, Callies Ultra I-Beam 4340 rods, and a set of JE lightweight slugs. Heads are Pro Filer Sniper X that have been massaged by Schmidt Racing and fitted with a Jesel Pro Shaft rocker system. Manton push rods and Isky Red Zone solid roller lifters were used and the cam, is, of course, a secret SSRE grind. An HRE/


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1 FAST 57 Schmidt Racing sheet metal intake is topped by a matched pair of Quick Fuel 1050 carbs. A Liberty Extreme T Pro Shifted Super 6-speed delivers the power to a seriously tough S&W fabricated 9-inch with Strange center section, 35-spline axles, and 4.71 gear. Inside the shoebox there is a lot to talk about. First, there is the 8.50 SFI-certified 12-point cage Kasicki built to protect Joseph and Lila. Next, Joseph opted for comfort and function over his race inspirations and any form of weight savings by wrapping himself and Lila in a handsewn custom leather and suede interior. And by the way, in going with the ladder

bar rear suspension Schervish was able have a full back seat for eager passengers, too. Auto Meter gauges fill a carbon fiber dash insert and the factory dash structure has been completely modernized…anything that isn’t carbon is billet or polished. And of course, no 1,000-plus HP street machine would be complete without some killer tunes, so Schervish installed a high-end Alpine/Kicker combination sound system. The exterior of the car has just enough mods to give it a contemporary vibe, but at the same time not mistake it for a ’57 Chevy, however, it is definitely the amazing work on the massive amount of ’57 Chevy

548 cubic inch big-block ario, California dyno tested a Vrbancic Brothers Racing in Ont ched with an Edelbrock mat ds or 24° CNC cylinder hea Chevy with Edelbrock/Musi Vict over 1,550 horsepower . This combination resulted in Super Victor II intake manifold and 1,100 ft-lbs. of torque! Manley dual-spring valve ds feature an extra thick deck, Edelbrock/Musi Victor 24° hea ilable bare or complete. for up to .880” lift. They are ava springs and titanium retainers 270 tor intake manifold #29 The Edelbrock Super Vic e larg tch ma the ports to features a 3/4”radius in ds. hea er ind cyl t por oval CNC’d for a variety of custom This manifold is suitable er, ow sep hor h hig n der for mo cylinder heads required HP. + 950 g kin ma s ine large displacment eng FOLLOW US ON:




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MORE POWER TO YA Yes, you can have both show and go. 1,027 HP of Steve Schmidt Racing Engines-built big block Chevy fills the engine bay. The engine uses a Dart Big M 9.8 deck block and is topped with Pro-Filer Sniper X heads and a fabricated sheet metal intake with twin Quick Fuel 1050 carbs. | april2018


INSIDE THE ‘BOX The interior starts with a race-ready 12-point roll cage that is certified to 8.50 ET and ends in comfort with hand sewn leather and suede seating. Everything in between is either carbon fiber, billet aluminum or polished stainless.


april 2018 | RPM Magazine

1 FAST 57 trim that first catches the eye. All Chevrolet badges were removed and all the factory stainless trim was polished to a mirror-like finish, custom-made hood rockets were also installed. Continuing with the show part of the show and go, Joseph had a miles-deep custom award-winning triple black high gloss base/ clear paint skin applied.

Don’t kid yourself, though. Since it’s been completed the Schervishes have driven this car and Joseph isn’t afraid to hit the go pedal every once in a while, just to clear it out. “There have been a lot of memories already with the ’57,” tells Schervish. “Fulfilling the family dream with my wife and son is amazing along with getting to be great friends with continued on page 77

IN THE CLUTCH Yes sir, that’s three pedals! Joseph was heavily influenced by pro stock and the early gassers and had to have a stick car. The ’57 is equipped with a Liberty Extreme-T 6-speed.

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SEATING FOR MORE AND ENJOYING THE RIDE A back seat in a tubbed car? You bet! The size of the ’57 body combined with using a ladder bar rear suspension over a 4-link enabled Schervish to have the best of all worlds, and a full back seat. The wheel tub work looks factory original. Underneath, a nearly indestructible S&W 9-inch rear is filled full of Strange equipment while tubular control arms ride up front.


april 2018 | RPM Magazine

1 FAST 57 PRO STREET PARENTS Lila and Joseph Schervish.

the builder, Ed Kasicki. After that it has to be winning the ISCA Award at the 2017 Cleveland Piston Power Show. Oh, and taking the car to the dragstrip and running it hard will be the next one, if my crew chief Lila gives me the go ahead of course.” Summing up or categorizing Joseph and Lila’s ’57 into one single type of build would be a difficult task. It is surely a lot of things rolled into one wild ride, and while it may be more street than something you would see regularly at the drag strip, it’s hard to argue with the 1,000-plus horsepower tucked neatly under the hood. So you might not want to take it lightly at that stop light on Lakeshore Blvd.



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n today’s world of drag racing, it seems like more and more cars have some type of power adder. Blowers, turbos and nitrous are nothing new but with the technology of today’s electronics, tires, fuel, and track prep, it seems the sky is the limit when it comes to just how quick these combos can and have run. But for the sake of

numbers, the power adder crowd actually make up a smaller percentage of all of drag racing than one might think. When it comes to fast door car racing where the entire field is naturally aspirated, pro stock has been the place to be for many years. From Grumpy Jenkins running the sport’s first 9-second run in 1970 in pro stock, to Frank Gugliotta going the quickest ever at 6.25

in 2008. But it’s unbelievable at how quick the mountain motor cars of today have run, with the new record being reset by John Montecalvo running 4.020 in the eighth in October 2017 at the PDRA finals held at Virginia Motorsports Park. Talking with some of the pro stock racers, they think a 6.10-6.15 run in the quarter is not out of the question. With the cubic inch limits of | april 2018


GO BIG... 830 ci for Hemis and 840 ci with a wedge head, engine builders are pushing the limits to what these engines can produce. Large-cube naturally aspirated engines do exist outside of pro stock, but one man from the far west side of Canada—Red Deer, Alberta, had the idea of going a whole new route. How does 978-inches grab ya? That’s right, 978 cubic inches of naturally aspirated

power! Meet Barry Daniluk. If you follow the PDRA or top sportsman then you will be familiar with the name. Daniluk, a retired Alberta oil field worker, found an interest in muscle cars back in 1972 with his purchase of a 70.5 Camaro Z/28 which saw street racing action. Today, still in his possession, this numbers-matching car has had a full restoration completed. A

CARBON FIBER FLYER The body lines of the carbon ’68 Camaro flow smoothly from front to back—but one has to think would this combo run even quicker in a slippery aero body like what’s being used in pro stock. Jeff Hoskins worked his magic on getting the carbon body straight. From Barry’s signature blue and white to the airbrushed emblems, marker lights, bumpers and grille, it is flawless! TOP LEFT: Without the use of this delay box, running in top sportsman would be a very hard chore to pull off. TOP RIGHT: Barry (left) and crewman Gord Reiser (right).


april 2018 | RPM Magazine

The heads come from CFE and are equipped with a Jesel valve train.

ALL THE CUBES YOU NEED The Ron Miller-built the 978 ci mill propelled Daniluk into the 3-second zone with no power adders and with an automatic transmission, making his the first and only all motor door car to break into the 3s to the eighth-mile. Miller is no stranger to making lots of power and torque out of naturally aspirated engines and is always looking to squeeze just a little more out of his engines. So over this winter maybe, just maybe, a little more can be found. The Accufab throttle bodies are under the watchful eye of the Big Stuff 3 system while Q16 pumps its way through Precision injectors to feed the large-displacement engine.

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HE’S GOT THE HOOK UP Tucked under the Bickel built chassis is a Mark Williams rear fitted with a 4.56 gear. Adam & Andy Lambert from Precision Racing Suspension help get the power to the ground with their chassis set up. 1970 LS6 Chevelle along with a 69 Z/28 Crossram 302, ’66 427 Corvette convertible and a ’69 RS/SS 396 Camaro convertible make up his growing collection of rare bowties. But it was in 2000 that Barry built his first all-out drag car, a ’69 Camaro backhalf car with 632 that ended up running a best of 8.47. Moving into a fourthgen tube chassis Camaro was the next step, but Daniluk would soon reach the limits of that car and place a call to builder Jerry Bickel to talk about a whole new build with the goal of not only winning races in top sportsman, but to go out and set records along the way. The 6.0 quarter-mile ET-certified chassis includes a Mark Williams rearend with a 4.56 gear and Strange axles. Mark Williams brakes help get the car slowed down after a hard run and Penske shocks help plant the it firmly with its


april 2018 | RPM Magazine

sub 1-second 60-foots. A hefty 4-link with anti-roll bar finish the rear suspension while Strange struts were installed up front. A lightweight carbon fiber 1968 Camaro body was blocked-out to perfection and painted by Jeff Hoskins. The rolling stock are Weld Racing wheels with V Series in the front wrapped in Goodyear Front Runners and lightweight 16x16 Weld Delta Vs out back skinned with Hoosiers to provide the hook. Inside the car, you’re greeted with carbon fiber throughout, from the wheel tubs to the trans tunnel to the dash. Daniluk even wears a carbon fiber helmet. The chassis itself is powder coated in gunmetal gray which flows well with all the carbon panels, and Simpson belts keep Barry safely in the carbon seat. A Racepak dash displays the vitals while a Precision Performance Products shifter com-

mands the Carl Rossler built Rossler 3-speed transmission. Inside the trans is a lock-up converter from Neal Chance. Now it’s time for what everyone has been waiting for. What makes this car set the bar when it comes to all motor door cars? Long-time engine builder and ex-pro stock racer Ron Miller based in Lebanon, Ohio is the man behind the all motor madness of this machine. However, just for the record, this is not the biggest engine to be run in a door car. That goes to Craig Olson and his Sonnys 1005ci ’69 Camaro monster. That effort was scrapped however, which opened up the door for Daniluk to excel to a new level. Miller developed this combo by starting with a LSM billet block with a 5.125 bore and a stroke of 5.930. A Winberg crankshaft was chosen with Crower titanium connecting | april 2018



rods and pistons come from CP. Miller used CFE heads that have been heavily massaged. We’d love to share flow numbers, cam specs etc., however, when you get to this level of engine development, there is some information that just can’t be shared,

and we get that. Valve train is full Jesel and a sheet metal intake with Precision injectors pumps plenty of Q16 into the thirsty big inch beast. The intake is topped off with go-fast jewelry in the form of Accufab throttle bodies and everything

is controlled by a Big Stuff 3 EFI system with tuning help from Brian Metz of Metz Performance. The best part of this torque monster is, believe it or not, reliability. After racing all summer in the heat the engine was not tore down to make

WHEELIE COOL The 16X16 Weld Delta wheels are wrapped with massive 34.5x17 Hoosiers. Meanwhile, a titanium off-set wheelie bar helps with keeping the car straight on hard sub .990 60-foots.

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april 2018 | RPM Magazine

it through the rest of the season. And running a car like this in top sportsman is no easy task. It’s easier for nitrous racers to turn it back down after they get on the ladder but the goal with a car like this is getting it to repeat its performance run after run, and that comes with help from Adam and Andy Lambert at Precision Racing Suspension who were a big part of this record setting car. As for their record, well, in March of 2017 at South Georgia Motorsports Park Barry became the first ever to run in the 3s with a naturally aspirated door-car when he ran 3.989

in the 1/8th! Then, shortly after that run Daniluk came out in the first round to back it up with a quicker 3.979 at 182.85mph, and then moved into the 2nd round with another 3.986 at 183.07 mph. It’s safe to say the record run was not a fluke. As of this writing, the best ET so far for Daniluk is 3.970, which puts him on the official Tim Lewis (a shameless plug for myself) 32 quickest 1/8thmile runs in top sportsman list in the #20 spot. The most impressive part of sitting in that spot is that he is also the

only all-motor car to ever make the list! You can keep track of the list on under the top sportsman section were Barry is a regular poster. Daniluk has not only run quick, he has been in the NHRA Division 6 Jegs All Stars. He has picked up three Division 6 NHRA Wallys which do not come easy with the level of competition these days. Top sportsman in PDRA keeps getting quicker and faster, so making sure you can go

Barry leaves the starting line very hard. The Hoosiers wrinkle as the torque of the 978 starts grunting its way down the race track.




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CARBON CABIN If you like carbon fiber then take a look inside. Carbon from front to back and side to side. Barry even wears a carbon helmet along with Simpson safety gear to keep him safe. A Momo Mod 27 steering wheel is in Daniluk’s grip going down track. The Racepak dash monitors the engine’s vital signs. fast and run the number is going to be the key again for Daniluk’s 2018 efforts. Finishing 4th in points with the PDRA ended out a great 2017 along with a world record and good points standing. Barry would like to thank his wife Sherry for her love and support and his crew member Gord Reiser. Thanks also goes out to many others who have


april 2018 | RPM Magazine

helped along this journey to becoming the quickest all motor door car in the world: Jerry Bickel Race Cars, Ron Miller Racing Engines, Carl Rossler at Rossler Transmissions for the transmission, Neal Chance for the converter, Adam and Andy Lambert for suspension help and the PDRA for giving the super-quick top sportsman cars a place to race.


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story and photos by

Chuck Scott

>>We continue our quest to get our project mule down to a healthy fighting weight



hen we signed off last month, our fearless hero, the 4 Lug Thug had bravely conquered another 160 poundsof ruthless

april 2018 | RPM Magazine

steel. We left you with a partially re-tined rear section and piles of discarded debris. Now it’s time to fill in the massive hole, make it look presentable, and not add much weight back on.

Not only do we need at least a .032-inch thick firewall separating the driver’s compartment from the fuel cell and batteries, we also need to make a trunk floor and a “push-off” battery disconnect. You may

ask, “why not just leave out the trunk floor if weight loss is the goal with this project?” I would absolutely love to, if it didn’t cause potential aerodynamic issues. Ideally you want the space under the car



1: When we signed off last month, the rear looked like this. All the sheetmetal was cut out from the upper torque boxes over the rear end housing all the way back. We cut out the complete wheel tubs, inner quarter panels, interior panels, all the bracing for the convertible top, trunk structure and even the rear body panel covered by the rear bumper, only leaving the part that the cover bolts to. We had so far installed new aluminum wheel tubs, an aluminum sheetmetal raised floor section above the rear housing so the shocks no longer stick through the trunk floor, added some small tubing to brace the bottom of the quarter panels at the trunk and added a new structural rear tubular crossmember with a pair of new bars going to the very back of the trunk. 2-4: It is required at most tracks to have a “push off� switch clearly labeled at the back of the car so emergency crew can find it and shut it off fast if you wreck your car. To save a few bucks, we converted our old switch to a push off type. Since the rear body panel already has holes for all of the taillight mounting studs and the Thug only uses half of them, we picked the closest one to the rear cage tubing to use as a pass through. I removed the stud and used the threaded hole in the taillight housing as a drill guide. The push rod now has a nice supported passage through the taillight.


4 | april 2018




6: I cut the head off a small bolt and welded it in the end of the pushrod tube and then used a short piece of the tube to weld on a “T” handle on the opposite end. A coat of red paint would finish it off and make it easier to spot on the back of the car.

5: I started to try to add a pivot stud to the old shut off switch knob for a rod end but instead just drilled a slot for a stud to pass through directly. A regular hole wouldn’t work because the pushrod pushes and pulls straight and can’t follow the arc of the knob’s sweep radius.






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april 2018 | RPM Magazine

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9 8 & 9: A three piece firewall was made and secured to the car with the convertible top mounting studs, a couple small angle tabs, the drilled support straps and the aluminum angle bar that also serves as the corner brace for the raised floor box covering the shocks and rear end housing. The raised box allows the antiroll bar more travel without banging into the floor and keeps the long coil-overs from having to stick through the trunk floor like before. It also provides extra clearance above the housing for access under the car. 7: I made a bracket to mount the switch sideways and line it up with the pushrod. It was welded to the roll cage tube and positioned with the wire studs only inches from the battery location. Notice I also made a fuel pump mount out of some small 1/2-inch square tubing with welded on studs. The big Holley Dominator twin pump will mount under the trunk floor, level with the outlet on the fuel cell.

to get further from the ground as it goes to the back of the car for the air under the car to create downforce or suck the car to the track. As the car drives through air, the smaller mass or air allowed under

the car by your lower to the ground front bumper is given more available space as the car passes over creating less dense air than the compressed air over the car. This creates downforce. If the opposite happens

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RPM PROJECT CAR and the area gets smaller toward the rear of the undercarriage, the air compresses and pushes up on the car creating lift. We don’t want lift. It is worth ET and down track handling to consider the air path under your race car and make sure it continually increases in height from the bottom of the front spoiler to the exit under the rear bumper. Now what do you think would happen when the air hits the rear


10: With the floor box sheet metal back in place and screwed down, it is starting to look more like a car again. No bead rolling on ol’ 4 Lug. This is a simple sheet metal job with no special tools or equipment that anyone can do at home. A perfect finish isn’t necessary since we will be covering it all with carpet anyway. It is important to completely seal around all the sheet metal to block fuel from running into the car in the event of a crash. It also is a good idea to seal off any cracks and holes to keep smoke and fumes out of the car too. Smoke has a way of finding its way into even the tightest cabins after a long John Force-style burnout. I like to keep as much out as possible so I’m not sitting on the starting line for 5 minutes fanning the door.


11: Just like the rest of the project, poster board and masking tape is used to make templates for nice tight fitting aluminum panels. Sealer isn’t needed in the trunk area but I still seal most of it up for good measure. I like it to just leave a small crack around the fuel cell so any spilled gas can run out.


april 2018 | RPM Magazine

end housing (something that we can’t get rid of) and makes its way under the trunk area and there is a big upside down empty box there instead of a floor pan guiding it out under the bumper? One big air catcher. Once the trunk pressurizes and won’t let any more air in, it would find its way under the bumper but would still create unwanted drag and rear lift—not to mention likely ripping off the fiberglass deck lid. So we

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11: Before painting aluminum, a light scuff it with a Scotchbrite pad and a light coat of primer will help it from peeling later. Aluminum sheet metal is super slick and doesn’t hold heavy, brittle coating well without help. I tried this Rust-oleum textured paint for the first time instead of my normal rattle can bed liner. It gives a nice charcoal color with lighter specs similar to traditional trunk paint. We will see how well it holds up this season.


april 2018 | RPM Magazine


make a trunk floor for more reasons than just a place to put the groceries. You may have even noticed really fast cars like pro mods with smooth belly pans all the way from the front to the back. Their rear bumper is way higher from the ground

13: Before painting, a pass through hole was drilled for the battery cables and other trunk wiring to pass through the raised floor box. A hole on the other end will allow the wires to go through the box and secure to the passenger side coil-over mount support tube. An Earl’s split grommet will be used to seal it but this way the holes are separated by the raised floor box void for extra protection.


14: The fuel cell is installed from underneath and the twin lightweight Go-Lithium batteries find their way to their newly renovated home. The only thing left to do back here is re-route the wiring and parachute release cable

compared to the front bumper and rocker panels and the belly pan transitions smoothly or even rolls out at the bottom of the rear bumper. We have our cut out bumper and no rear body panel behind the bumper to borrow from the big boys.

15: Now to carpet—after all this is a street car. The whole three yards of speaker box carpet only weighed 1 pound 6 ounces and after the job was done, we had 9 ounces left over. I bought it locally at Joann Fabrics and got it for $6 after using a coupon. The one downside to using carpet or upholstery in a race car is fuel for a car fire so you need to decide if the traditional street car finished interior look is worth the risk. There are a lot of street car classes that actually require interior carpet and upholstery. I recommend using Cold-Fire Fireblock to treat the interior of your race car at least once a season for protection.


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april 2018 | RPM Magazine

16, 17, & 18: The rear firewall section, raised floor box, and sides of the tubs were done in one big section of carpet. This type of carpet/felt stretches to conform to shapes and blends well at the seams. It can be applied with spray adhesive or headliner adhesive. I have plenty of experience with it from my younger days working at a car stereo shop but I am a little rusty since I have only used it a couple of times in the last 20 years. I left the rear seat area uncovered for now since I still have to add a couple of bars to the cage that run through the floor from the main hoop seat support bar to the under car crossmember. All of the new panels, sealant, carpet, and support tubes that we added back in this installment only added 13 pounds back. That means the rear portion of our weight loss project netted us a weight loss of 147 pounds. That was definitely worth the effort. Stay tuned to see where we can find more places to trim the fat and what our final race ready weight will be for the 2018 season. | april 2018




IN SCHOOL SUSPENSION story and photos by

Chuck Scott

>>Time to get serious with hardcore rear suspension from RaceCraft



ast month, we started our RaceCraft rear suspension upgrade in the RPM Magazine THUG mule Mustang with the install of a much-needed upper control arm

april 2018 | RPM Magazine

doubler kit. RaceCraft’s stock upper torque box upgrade not only reinforced the control arm bolt holes but gives us another set of bolt holes above the stock location for more instant center options. Now it’s time

to toss those old boxed style upper arms and single-adjustable lowers to make room for the good stuff. Before we get to the easy part, we decided not to stop with just adding the doublers to

the upper torque boxes but to get that bolt hole insurance and adjustability in the lower torque boxes and lower rear end housing brackets, too. Adding doublers to the lower torque boxes was super easy and since

we already had the drill guide jig from the RaceCraft doubler kit, all we needed to do the lower torque boxes was the doublers themselves. RaceCraft happens to sell the weld-on doublers without

the install kit for just $35 for a set of four. We just enlarged the bolt holes from the itty-bitty stock 12mm to a cornfed country boy 5/8-inch bolt size then used the RaceCraft drill fixture to line up the second


2: Comparing the old upper arms to the new RaceCraft arms, you can instantly see that they will provide about an extra inch of clearance right where the typical Mustang ant-roll bars cross over the housing. Instead of using a fork-end reinforced by a welded box, the RaceCraft arms use a chunk of billet to machine out the fork-end. Also notice the much heavier duty rod ends and overall construction. These arms are good for eighth-mile ET’s well into the 3-second range.

‘14 - ‘17 C7 ZO6


1: What originally prompted me to upgrade the control arms on the project car was my desire to lower the car a little more. When I had originally set the suspension the ride height was lower but the boxed-in ends of the old upper control arms would hit the anti-roll bar. The options to fix this would be to either move the anti-roll bar up inside the car or below the rear end housing or get some real control arms without the bulky boxed ends. That was a pretty easy choice.




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RPM PROJECT CAR set of holes. The doublers were welded in place just like we did with the upper torque boxes last month. Our lower control arm torque box holes were still in good shape and still round. We had welded them up when we first started the project car build years ago and even ran bolts up through the floor and through plates then welded those in too. To add some adjustment to the rear end housing’s lower brackets we would have to go on our own since there wasn’t enough room under the bolt holes to add any more holes. I decided to add two more sets of 5/8-inch holes 7/8-inch apart so the car would be able to keep




3: When removing the old upper control arms, I found that one of the 12mm bolts had bent in the spherical bushing on the rearend housing. I had to cut the bolt away at the control arm and beat it out of the bearing. Needless to say, 4 Lug would see new ones. The high quality RaceCraft units come ready for an upgraded 1/2-inch size bolt.


april 2018 | RPM Magazine



4, 5, & 6: To install the new RaceCraft spherical bushing, you first have to get your old ones out. That wasn’t a big deal since we were simply removing another aftermarket bushing. If you are starting fresh with a stock rubber bushing, the easiest way is to drill through the rubber section with a 3/8-inch bit and then let it walk around the shell chewing up the rubber and separating it. Then you can cut or chisel the bushing shell and peel it out. If toxic fumes is your idea of a good time, you can also burn it out with a torch if the housing isn’t bolted under a car. 7: One of the great things about double-adjustable control arms is how easy they are to get bolted up. Instead of prying, jacking, kicking, pulling, beating and cussing the housing to get it lined up perfect to get the bolts in, you can simply turn the adjustable arm longer or shorter to line up the hole. Once everything is bolted, you can then adjust the control arms to the correct length to square the rear end and set pinion angle. 8: As you can see, the new RaceCraft upper control arms give plenty of anti-roll bar clearance thanks to the low profile design of the billet fork end. That’s literately thinking outside the box. The housing center section will hit before the control arms.

8 | april 2018


RPM PROJECT CAR an optimum lower control arm angle even if we slam the ol’ Thug in the weeds. I used the RaceCraft doubler drill fixture as a guide to set the spacing for some homemade 3-hole brackets made from some 3/16-inch flat stock.


10: Since there wasn’t enough real estate available on the old housing brackets for new neighbors, I had to make extensions that were tacked into place with the bottom holes lined up. If you look closely you can see one of the secrets of the 4 Lug Thug. Although to the casual observer, the lower brackets appeared to be stock, they were lengthened by 1.25-inch. I had cut the bottoms of the brackets off the old 4-cylinder 7.5-inch housing that originally came in the convertible and added the lower section to the 8.8-inch housing we put under the car.



9: Using the same method as the RaceCraft doubler kit, we used bolts to align the homemade instant center brackets on the rear end housing’s lower control arm brackets. RaceCraft actually make nice replacement rear brackets if you are building a new housing, but I didn’t want to redo the bracing already on the project car’s housing.

12 For more information visit


april 2018 | RPM Magazine

12: Comparing the RaceCraft double adjustable lower control arm with the old single adjustable arms, you will see several major differences—the most obvious being that the old arms were intended for use with the stock location coil springs. The RaceCraft arms are also smaller diameter and have heavier duty rod ends. We also chose the option for offset spacers for more tire and wheel clearance.

13 13: I figured we would start with the bottom hole until we set ride height and plot all the suspension bolt holes on the 4-link software. I will go over plotting the suspension along with squaring the rear end and setting pinion angle in an upcoming issue.

14 11: Once the addon brackets and extensions are welded up, we used the center holes in the homemade brackets to line up and drill the center hole through the now extended brackets.

14: We used the offset rod end spacers to set the lower control arms to the inside for maximum tire clearance.

15 15: To get in the ballpark before actually pulling tape measures to square the car, you can just measure the old arms’ length and adjust the new arms to match. To get a bolt center to bolt center measurement, I go from the fronts of both holes instead of guessing the centers of the holes. | april 2018




16 & 17: Now you see why we didn’t add three extra sets of holes and picked the offset spacers. With a 12-inch wheel with 28x10.5 Mickey Thompson Bracket Radial, half the bracket sits inside the wheel.


april 2018 | RPM Magazine


18: Now I feel much better about the durability and adjustability of the 4 Lug Thug’s rear suspension. We got a couple 1.17 sixty foot times out of the handful of passes made last year. Now the goal is low one-teens.

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HOME Grown




Stan Smith

>> Our Project Camaro is too hot to handle...literally!



ack in the January 2018 issue of RPM we reported that Project Homegrown COPO was making good progress with a full top quality body and paint complet-

april 2018 | RPM Magazine

ed and the chassis rolling. The AFCO Big Gun X twin tube double adjustable rear shocks and Big Gun front struts were installed and various trim, lighting and interior pieces were sourced from a local dealer and

installed. From there, parts are continuing to be collected for all areas of the car and the Optic Armor windows and lightened factory doors have been installed and will be covered in an upcoming issue.

As promised, we are presenting the basic motor plan for our tribute COPO this issue. Also, an interesting twist in the life of the COPO happened a few weeks back and we wanted to share it with RPM readers.

1 While the shop wasn’t a total loss, the damage was extensive. Thanks to fast action, the Project Homegrown COPO wasn’t destroyed, but will require some repairs.

If you recall, we explained how the car was removed from the shop at Misener Motorsports to an undisclosed location so that work could proceed without the interruptions associated with having it at a 9-5 business. Also, there are some things project frontman Jay Misener wanted to keep out of the public eye and under wraps for RPM readers, which can be tough to do when everyone wants to know what’s under the cover. The only challenge is that we didn’t plan on that undisclosed location catching fire! Yes you heard right, despite a rough life during childhood being pushed around and banged up by a fork lift at a wrecking yard and

slated for the crusher before being rescued and destined for magazine stardom, our Camaro has experienced yet another major trauma. It was smack dab in the middle of a serious fire. “If it wasn’t for the quick response of the fire department and the fact that they understood the value of the car and immediately put a cover over it and put the fire out around it, it would have been a lot worse, or maybe even burned to the ground,” explains Misener. What caused the fire you ask? As it turns out, Misener received a boombox radio for Christmas from his wife and put it in the shop where the Camaro was sequestered to. The radio, while still plugged in, was turned off when Misener left

the shop, however the fire dept said it somehow ignited and set the garage on fire. There was quite a bit of damage to the shop and tools, however the Camaro escaped, somehow, with minimal damage. “We’ve got some bubbled paint and a few warped trim panels, our once perfect VFN Sunoco hood is our biggest worry, but otherwise nothing major was done to the car.” So there is the drama for this installment, now let’s get on with discussing the HOMGROWN COPO (HGC) engine program. First off, this is a basic outline of goals and the type of parts being considered, it’s not set in stone and is somewhat organic, so it can and will change slightly, but the meat of what is here will make up the initial | april 2018


RPM PROJECT CAR The once-pristine miles-deep paint was damaged by the heat, and the drivers side door and VFN Sunoco-style hood both took some considerable damage, too. While it is all repairable, it is a disappointing setback for sure. HGC engine. It has always been the plan to start the car up for the very first time with a nasty naturally aspirated LS in the area of 800 to 900HP and then once thoroughly run with lots of data collected, move into testing different power adders on it, which will require some change in internal parts once we get to adding boost. This particular engine plan is for that first NA mill.


april 2018 | RPM Magazine

A word of advice, get your ducks in a row before you part with the cash for parts. The best resources you have are the manufacturers and your engine builder/ machine shop, and hopefully you have chosen the right people for the job. Ask a lot of questions of both. Every manufacturer has sales and tech lines for you‌and these people know their stuff, so use their expertise to help you choose the right parts

Here is a taster of the MAST Motorsports heads and intake that just arrived for Project Homegrown COPO. We’ll get into them more in our next installment. and combination for your goals and budget. Your engine builder will have years of experience to draw from to help in parts choice as well. A word of caution: watch out for the web blogs, forums, and YouTube videos where anyone can and will say and do whatever they want without fear of repercussion. There are some excellent information sources on all these places, however, sometimes you have to sort

through 100 pieces of fluff to get to something good, and still you have no way of ensuring accuracy. Bottom line: use the virtual world wisely as it is always best to talk to people with some level of firsthand knowledge and accountability.


A naturally-aspirated 427 cubic inch LS 7 that runs around 13:1 compression is the goal. It could possibly be a touch bigger, as the goal is to make 850-plus flywheel horsepower. This engine will likely rev in excess of 8000 rpm so a custom-grind solid roller camshaft in the 750-plus lift area is needed. Some big lift and big duration will be required to make sure the cylinder heads and intake are used to their full potential. New Generation Engines is the Project HGC engine builder and they know their stuff. They have suggested several parts that they prefer to go together on builds such as this, so Misener will couple their advice with the information gathered from various manufacturers, other builds and the internet over the past 10 months. That’s right— research on parts for this motor started almost a year ago, so we’re telling you again: don’t rush into anything. Instead, do your due diligence. Any parts collected must still fit the project goal and fall within the budget, though, so there will have to be choices for various parts without compromising performance and durability. Project HGC will be using an iron block. The block will need to be an aftermarket 6-bolt block that is 4.125 bore to work with specific cylinder heads (see below). The block will be a DART LS Next part # 31837211.Some may ask why not aluminum? There is a total package budget to be considered here, so it is a give-and-take process. The mill will use a fully forged rotating assembly and for the crankshaft, Misener and New Gen have

been looking at the Callies Magnum XL crank. “It’s a great piece and it’s lightweight,” said New Generation’s Al Blanchard “And we need lightweight to accomplish Jay’s goals”. Callies Ultra I beam rods #U17171 are also being considered. Pistons will have to be custom to reach the compression goals, so we’ll talk more about those later in the game. For cylinder heads, the goal for the car is to combine solid performance with reliability rather than just big and bad. “We don’t want to build a maintenance monster,” said Misener. “So we will go with a cylinder head that should make great power with consistency, all while being on the edge.” The heads will be Mast Motorsports LS7 285 cc CNC heads. These heads are actually used in the ARCA Series which is a supporting series that runs with Nascar. They are designed to run at 8500 rpm for 250 laps, so they seem to fit the bill. The heads will use Manley spring kit # 221422-16, Retainers #23619-16, Locks #13153 and Locators #4213116. T&D shaft-mount rockers will be used, either TD2008-70-70 or TD2008-80-80, depending on ratio. Watch for our continuing coverage of PROJECT HOMEGROWN COPO. Once Misener gets back on track following the fire repairs we’ll check in with him and the crew at New Generation Engines to discuss the heads and intake and flow the heads on New Generation Engines’ Superflow flow bench to see just how well they perform. We’ll also look at installing the Optic Armor windows throughout the car.







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1: An unfamiliar sight for close to four years now, our project car is back in our shop after a tumultuous couple of months. With a front end that simply refused to play nice at the body shop and wouldn’t align properly, we opted to bring it home and rework the whole thing...meaning several months and sizable dollars down the drain. Again. And while having tools is great, our shop is getting cramped!

PART 43 >>Project doover strikes again



t’s been a rough few months around the RPM offices. As you probably already read in our COPO update this issue, a fire set our Camaro project way back. While our Mustang wasn’t involved in a fire, it hit a major obstacle, too. The last time we updated you in these pages, our project car was at

story by

long last heading for the paint booth and we were going to wrap up the whole build in just a few short months. Except it didn’t.. The story is now painfully familiar. Plans are made. Progress ensues as work commences. Then a hurdle pops up, progress stalls, and time and money is wasted.

This time the problem was the one-piece flip off front end. Although it seemed like a cool idea at the time, it created a multitude of issues. Most notably, the fixed chassis mounts offered no adjustment at all for proper body gapping. After the body shop wrestled with the entire assembly for weeks, we finally sent it back to the

Toby Brooks

chassis shop in late October, where upon arrival, our chassis fabricator guessed the fix would take a week or two. December rolled around, and heading back that direction for the holidays anyhow, we took our trailer so that if things were fully stalled out, we could take it home on the trip.

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2: The car was hauled back to the chassis shop the end of October, where this photo was sent to us saying that this was all that was left of the front end that was usable and everything else needed to be rebuilt from scratch. Assured that the repairs would probably take 2-3 weeks, we hoped to get it back to the body shop by Thanksgiving. 3: When we showed up the week after Christmas, we decided to load it up along with all the parts and pieces and bring it all back to our shop some 1,000 miles away.

4 & 5: After getting the car home, we spent a while developing a plan of attack. After considerable deliberation, we decided to retain a removable front end, but to make it more adjustable and to ditch the flip-off feature for the sake of simplicity. The fixed-mount forks seen here (#4) would need to be cut off. We opted for these “spears” that will engage in a Delrin bushing inserted into the lower frame rails.

3 When we arrived at the chassis shop, the car had not been touched since that single photo (pic #2) had been sent some two months prior. It was clear that the best way to get the project back on track was to take control of it ourselves. Our only option was to load the car up and bring it back to our shop. Since this project began some four years ago, we have learned to do tinwork and have become

passable with a TIG welder, so the thought of tackling the problem ourselves would have been unthinkable before but a welcome challenge now. In the process, we hope to get back to the core of true pro street. In its infancy, the movement wasn’t as much about what you could hire done—it was about what you could do yourself. Incensed at the wasted time and money but empowered with new found resolve to see this


5 | april2018



6: We found a local shop, Caprock Cutting Solutions, that can cut pretty much any design we could dream of out of 1/8-inch plate using their CNC laser. We designed these trick receiver plates and started welding them up for a pair of quick pin receivers to mount to the chassis.

thing through, we hauled the car home and began to plan. The first obstacle was the fact that the chassis has already been powder coated, so we had to come up with some way of redesigning the mount without messing anything up. We decided to cut off the fixed-mounted, non-adjustable lower forks in favor of a different design that could be quickly removed but wouldn’t flip up. Local machinist John Busby turned down some Delrin to create some bushings and we fabricated a pair of “spears” to

positively engage the nose while protecting the tubes against scratching and rattles. Next, we decided to weld together some CNC-cut receivers to mount to the chassis and a new tree for the front fenders constructed of 3/4-inch and 1/2inch chromoly tubing. Another local company, Caprock Cutting Solutions expertly cut our design out of 1/8-inch thick steel using their laser cutter and the results were incredible. We then welded the



pieces together and mocked them in place (they’ll be powder coated and bolted on) and turned our attention to the rest of the tree. Using out Rogue Fab M600 bender, we whipped up a pair of upper tree bars from 3/4-inch 0.056 wall chromoly tubing and added

7 & 8: With the receivers fabbed up, we also welded on a couple of tabs and added some 1/2-inch struts to tie it all together and add support. The tube above the tire will mount the hood hinge and has an adjustable Heim to allow proper fender gapping.

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april2018 | RPM Magazine | april2018



10 9 & 10: The treework is taking shape. The massive factory headlights and the large Saldana Racing radiator are a tight fit, but they squeeze in with the current design.

11: The red 2006 ’Stang on the left had been totaled but was complete minus engine. We bought it for $500 on Craigslist for a handy—not to mention cheap— parts car. threaded Heim joints at the reciever end and weldin clevis ends at the radiator support end. At press time, we are still working on headlight mounts for the massive HID lights


and will begin fabricating and mounting the fenders and underhood tinwork in the coming weeks. To say we were disappointed is a massive understatement. And

april2018 | RPM Magazine



Caprock Cutting Solutions

while this new plan will take longer, ultimately it should make for a car that is at least a bit more “built” than “bought.” Tune in next time when we will hopefully be

closer to getting the hood and headlights permanently mounted to the new tree and begin working on the now third attempt at custom stretched conversion fenders. 806.782.1641

Rogue Fabrication 503.389.5413

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April 2018  

THE RIDES... 1 Fast '57...This '57 Chevy has it all...including over 1,000 horses under the hood! Eight Barrels of Fun...This wicked '66 Pr...

April 2018  

THE RIDES... 1 Fast '57...This '57 Chevy has it all...including over 1,000 horses under the hood! Eight Barrels of Fun...This wicked '66 Pr...