January 2022 RPM Magazine

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january 2022 | RPM Magazine

RPM Magazine is a REGISTERED TRADEMARK of Revolution Publishing & Media Inc. RPM Magazine is a worldwide motorsports publication distributed online.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF.............................................................. CHRIS BIRO editor@rpmmag.com V.P. MARKETING/CUSTOMER RELATIONS.................. TRISH BIRO trish@rpmmag.com EVENT MEDIA.................................................. events@rpmmag.com EVENT SUBSCRIPTIONS COORDINATOR........... SHERRIE WEBER sherrie@rpmmag.com ART DIRECTOR............................................................



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To subscribe to RPM go to www.rpmmag.com or email Trish Biro at trish@rpmmag.com, or call 519752-3705. 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, muscle cars, 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 22 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@rpmmag.com. 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.



january 2022


Chris Biro Is It 2022 already?

Then CONGRATULATIONS, you made it! Re-running my Congratulations! Editor’s Rant has now become tradition in RPM in the first issue of every year. 2022 promises more than ever, if we could just get raw materials to make parts and get the ships carrying them into port! It makes me really wonder how we have become so blindly dependent on other continents with substantially lower material and labor costs…there’s one main reason, money! Money makes the world go ’round, and there’s nothing wrong with making money, that’s what business does, but when the need to offer products cheaper and cheaper comes into play (partly because of our buying habits), the way they are made can profoundly change. Now here we are, stuck between a rock and hard place, hopefully 2022 will see us emerge with a better plan to prevent this from happening again. Now more than ever my January Rant may strike a little closer to home. Congratulations! to all of our 40+ year old readers, you made it! Before you read on, just to be clear, I am all for progress, innovation, advances in safety, science, better health and moving forward, however, some things– read “some” things, just might make more sense the way we used to do them. The point is, learning how to deal with responsibility and challenges as well as success and failure at a young age can go a long way in life as years pass. With that being said, I hope you enjoy this with the spirit in which it was written. Congratulations to all of our 40+ year old readers. First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, white bread and tuna from a can. Then, after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproofed medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking! Mom didn’t have to go to work to help dad make ends meet, she worked only if she wanted to. We would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags, and riding in the back of a pick-up on a warm spring day was always a special treat, not a crime. If someone cut us off while driving we’d flip them the bird, and they would return the favor, without getting out a bat, knife or gun at the next light. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Take-out food was limited to hot dogs, fish and chips and pizza. You didn’t line up at the drive-thru for your morning coffee, but got up earlier and made it yourself. Even though all the stores closed at 6:00pm and didn’t open on Sundays, somehow we didn’t starve to death. We shared one soft drink with four friends from one bottle and no one actually died from this. We could collect bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy a whole bag of penny candy, sports cards, bubble gum and some fire crackers. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in them, but we weren’t overweight because... we were always outside playing! We’d leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us, yet we were somehow O.K.


We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes, which consisted of a wooden stick on a screw that scraped the ground to slow us down! We’d hop-up our bikes with banana seats and long forks and didn’t need some slick dude on a TV reality show of the month to tell us how to do it. We built tree houses and played in river beds with Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. We did not have any video games at all, and when we did finally get them it was for occasional entertainment with the whole family. No on-demand TV or 200 channels on satellite, no DVD movies, no surround sound, no personal computers, no internet, internet message boards and forums or social media, no cell phones or other hand-held devices and no texting... we did have friends though, and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits. We were given pellet guns, jack knives and slingshots for our 10th birthdays. We played with toy guns that looked like real guns, only because it was cool, not because we wanted to be a gangsta. And every young boy wanted to be a policeman or fireman! At 13 we learned to drive the family car at the empty mall parking lot on Sunday. Christmas was Christmas not Xmas, no really it was! We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled out for them. Football, baseball and hockey had tryouts and not everyone made the team. And those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that! Getting on the team was a privilege based on ability and merit, and not due to special rules, threats, fear or guilt... There were very few football, hockey or soccer moms and dads who cared more about their kids becoming the next superstar over just letting them play and have fun. I know this all sounds strange, but it’s true! If a company we bought something from made a mistake, we gave them the benefit of the doubt and simply called them about it. And they either fixed it or they didn’t, and they would live with the word of mouth (good or bad) after we gave them a shot at fixing it. We did not go on social media (because there was none) and smear the company’s name first. We did not talk back to our parents or we’d get spanked, and knowing that kept us in line… most of the time. Our teachers used to belt us with rulers or leather straps, and knowing that kept us in line… most of the time. Grade school bullies didn’t have guns. The idea of a mom or dad bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 70 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all! And YOU are one of them! Congratulations! You were allowed to grow up as kids, before the lawyers, governments and big business regulated our lives “for our own good”. You may want to let your kids read this so they will know how brave their parents truly are. Once again, have a fantastic 2022! Chris Biro, Editor In Chief

january 2022 | RPM Magazine

AED Competition ................. 77

Misener Motorsports ........... 12


Moser Engineering ........41,71

Air Flow Research ..... 5,39,81 AJE Racing.........................102

Neal Chance Converters....... 76

American Racing Headers ... 68

Northern Radiator ............... 82

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Parts Pro/Total Truck Centers 69

AVAK/Ridgegate Tools ......... 58 Baer Brakes ...................35,94

PBM Products...................... 78

BES Racing Engines ............. 17

Piston Racing Engines ......... 42

Billet Specialties .................. 42

Profiler ................................ 72

Bill Mitchell Products ....30,56 BoulandMotorsUSA.com ...104

PRW-USA ............................ 17

Burns Stainless .................... 18

Race Part Solutions .......59,88

C & S Specialties .................. 25

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Callies Performance Prod..... 17 Calvert Racing Suspensions . 32

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RAM Clutches ...................... 45

Clearshot Customs............... 94

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Deez Performance ............... 42 Design Engineering ............. 54

RM Racing Lubricants .......... 34

ECAM .................................. 79

Ross Racing Pistons ......... 7,89

Energy Suspension .............. 78

RPM Magazine .......36,40,68

Erson Cams.......................... 31 GoDragRacing.org ............... 42

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Granatelli Motorsports ........ 52

SM Racecars ......................102

GRP Connecting Rods .......... 56


Harland Sharp ..................... 59 Hitman Hotrods................... 72 Hughes Performance.............. 7

Racing Equip. ... 61,104,109 Taylor Cable Products .......... 57

Ian Hill Racing ...............10,91

T & D Machine ..................... 68

Icon Forged Pistons ...........103

The Supercharger Store ....... 81

Induction Solutions ............. 37 Jesel .................................... 70

Thermo-Tec ......................... 16

Joe Van O............................. 72

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JW Racing Transmissions ........ 5

Tom’s Upholstery ................. 54

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Manton Pushrods ................ 48 Mark Williams ...................102

Vortech ............................... 73

Maxima Racing Oils ................ 2

Weinle Motorsports ............ 38

Metal Products .................... 77

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january 2022




Often Imitated, Never Duplicated—For 23 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!

Legendary Rod Saboury’s latest ’63 Corvette is over the top cool!



Wonderbread ................................................................... 8 This deadly boosted Mod Motor Mustang is no soft squishy bag of bread!

II Fly ...................................................................................... 28

After getting in and out of drag racing more times than he can count, this wild nitrous Chevy II is exactly what Josh Forbes has always wanted.

The Natural ...................................................... 46 Joe Muro’s smoke gray naturally aspirated 2nd Gen Camaro is a rare but vicious animal

Lucky ColeKidSammartino ............................................................ 92 got his first project car at 10 years old, and is still running it today!

Read COMPLETE ISSUES OF RPM MAG online at www.rpmmag.com 6

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january 2022 | RPM Magazine

Story: George Pich Photos: David Gates




ong before there were racetracks of any kind, let alone drag strips, if you had a beef with someone about who was quicker or faster you cranked-up (literally) your ride and hit a side road to settle it. Initially, automobiles were owned out of necessity, then status, but once horsepower became part of the equation it wasn’t long before street racing became part of American car culture.


january 2022 | RPM Magazine

Keith Rhea got his experience and paid his dues on the streets, but eventually made his way to organized track racing. It was 2008 and Rhea had the usual Fox Body that he engaged in street action with, but once he became bored with the Mustang he stepped into a 2000 Ford Lightning, and that is where he developed an interest in turbocharging, installing twins on it in 2015. The Lightning was sold the next year to a buyer in Houston and on the same trip Keith made a stop in San Antonio to pick up some-

l body tub, d Cobra retains its origina Keith Rhea’s Wonderbrea ve been ors, deck lid and hood ha do on rb Ca s. or flo d an s quarter lass front clip. added along with a fiberg



january 2022


thing he had always wanted, a 2004 Cobra. It was more of “race car” this time through, with a 10-point cage, 3.4L Whipple blower and a Powerglide trans. The Cobra saw street duty for a year or so after which he started running NMRA along with any radial tire event he could get to. Keith happened to be tuning the Cobra on the dyno one day when the ’Glide’s stock case split, and that


was as good a reason as any to get more serious about the car, and turbos were definitely on his wish list. A completely new power combination was in store for the Cobra, which is when Keith happened upon something a bit unusual, he explained; “When I was changing the engine, the flexplate had ‘WB BMF’ on it. I texted the previous owner to ask what it meant

january 2022 | RPM Magazine

r Racing a twin turbo Wonde Power comes from rg billet od motor. A Winbe M 4L 5. 00 T5 G d ilt LLC-bu rods, Trend pins an um in um al er ill M ll gs make crankshaft, Bi s with Total Seal rin on st pi om st cu o ong Wisec ed GT500 heads al rt Po y. bl m se as g ifold with up the rotatin Racing intake man ’s an og H om st cu with a gs off. rottle body top thin Wilson Hi-Boost th


and he said the car’s name is ‘Wonderbread’.

I promised him I would keep the name and it’s what the car is known as today. I actually even based my business name on it.”

The Wonderbread Cobra was about to get freshened! The factory 2004 Mustang Cobra shell retains its factory floors, roof, and quarters. Car14

january 2022 | RPM Magazine

bon doors, deck lid and hood were added along with a fiberglass Cobra front clip, and the paint was resprayed in the factory Oxford White, otherwise the name wouldn’t suit the car – you can’t make an orange car look like a loaf of white bread! The car’s 25.1 chassis was originally built by Cage Rage Fabrication and updated by Morning Glory Motorsports. A Team Z Outlaw K-member works with Fox Body-length tubular control arms, Fox body drop spindles, Menscer Mo-


all d carpet are about an e ol ns co , sh da The factory y DomiEM interior. A Holle O e th of ns ai m s re that s and the console ha gn si l ta vi ys la re y e center nator displa ision race shifter. Th ec Pr a ith w t ofi tr been re ectronics and asso el e iv ns te ex e th is panel of attention affixed to a carbon ng iri w se ou -h in ciated ssenger side cage. attached to the pa


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torsports front radial-valve struts and a Strange doorcar Stiletto rack and pinion. Out back, Menscer Motorsports 8”-stroke radial-valved shocks, a Team Z Big anti-roll bar and adjustable Wild Rides 2.0 torque box kit were used in conjunction with a Quick Performance-built 9-inch rear with aluminum big bear18

january 2022 | RPM Magazine

ing Strange housing and case, 9.5” ring and pinion and Moser custom axles. The mill is a Wonder Racing LLC-built GT500 5.4L Mod motor. The factory block was filled and a Winberg billet crank with Bill Miller aluminum rods pinned (with Trend DLC coated wrist pins) to Wiseco custom pistons with

dricks, Keith Rhea

Mack, Erik Hen Left to right Larry



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The icing on the cake, so to speak, are the twin Bullseye Power 83mm turbochargers mounted up front and low. Total Seal rings swing inside. Custom cams are by Todd Warren and the billet timing guides and modified tensioners are the work of Wonder Racing. GT500 heads were ported by Fox Lake and filled with Manley valves and PAC springs. 600 pound per hour (PPH) and 225PPH injectors supply fuel and a custom Hogan’s Racing intake manifold is paired to a Wilson HiBoost throttle body. The icing on the cake, so to speak, are the twin Bullseye Power 83mm turbochargers mounted up front and low. A Holley EFI Dominator sys-


january 2022 | RPM Magazine

Keith Rhea...takin’ care of business, one 1/4 mile at a time!

ers and oso DS-2 front runn or M on es rid ad t re Wonderb dial Pro 275/60s ou Ra et re St ET on ps es and Mickey Thom ember, drop spindl m Kt ke ar rm te af . back. An -valved front struts om st cu ith w k or w ing case, control arms ith Strange big bear w ff di ar re ed at ic diThe fabr hung by 8”-stroke ra is s le ax er os M d r setup. 9.5” gears an custom anti-roll ba d an rs ve ilo co d ve al-val



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tem with Wonder Racing custom harness controls the package and a tricked-out Coan 3-speed transmission with Pro Torque EV1 torque converter and PST custom carbon driveshaft send power rearward. The cockpit may have some factory trim parts, but that’s about where it ends. The factory dash has been stripped out and refitted with the Holley Dominator display and various control switches, while a Funny Car style cage surrounds


january 2022 | RPM Magazine

Keith Rhea’s 2004 Ford Mustang Cobra Drag car Chassis Type & Mods: 25.1 chassis built by Cage Rage Fabrication and updated by Morning Glory Motorsports.

Suspension: Front: Team Z Outlaw K member, fox body length tubular control arms, Team Z fox body drop spindles, Menscer Motorsports front radial valve struts, Strange door car Stiletto rack and pinion. Aerospace Components front fox body style brake kit. Rear: Menscer Motorsports 8” stroke radial valved shocks, Team z big anti roll bar, adjustable Wild Rides 2.0 torque box kit, Aerospace Components titanium rotor Ford 9” brake kit.

Body & Paint: Factory 2004 Mustang Cobra shell. Still has factory floors, roof, and quarters. Carbon doors from Don Lamana at Profab, Motor City carbon hood, Motor City Solutions fiberglass Cobra front clip, Carbon deck lid.

Engine: Wonder Racing LLC-built GT500 5.4L Mod Motor. Factory 11-14 GT500 block filled, Winberg billet crankshaft, Bill Miller aluminum rods, Wiseco custom pistons with Total Seal rings, Trend DLC coated wrist pins. Hussey Performance copper head gaskets, Fox Lake ported GT500 heads (dry decked by Wonder Racing LLC), Manley custom valves, PAC valve springs, custom cams by Todd Warren, billet timing guides and modified tensioners by Wonder Racing LLC. Machine work performed at P&R Engine Rebuilders. Aviad dry sump pump (4 stage scavenge and 1 pressure section)

Induction & Fuel Delivery:

Electronics: Holley EFI Dominator, custom harness built by Wonder Racing LLC.

Transmission & Converter: Coan Racing close ratio 3 speed transmission. Pro Torque EV1 torque converter. PST custom carbon driveshaft.

Rear Differential: Quick Performance built 9” - Quick Performance built aluminum big bearing Strange housing, Strange big bearing case, 9.5” ring and pinion, Moser custom axles.

Other Important Vehicle Information: Custom headers built by Morning Glory Motorsports. Turbo hot and cold side by Wonder Racing LLC.

Best ET & MPH: 4.21 @ 175 1/8 mile, 6.56 @ 214 1/4 mile. Currently the fastest Modular powered door car to the 1/4 mile with 6.56 @ 214mph.

Division/Class Run: LDR, Warrior Outlaws, X275, NMRA Street Outlaw

Thanks to: Nathan Chesler at Cage Rage Fabrication did the initial chassis. Erik Hendricks at Morning Glory built the headers. Luke Bainbridge at PR Engine Rebuilders does machine work for the engine. My father Kevin Rhea and neighbor Rick Johnston have always been there to help in the shop and at the track.

Billet Atomizer 600PPH and 225PPH Injectors, Custom Hogan’s Racing intake manifold w/ Wilson Hi-Boost throttle body.

Power Adder: Twin Bullseye Power 83mm turbochargers.



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january 2022 | RPM Magazine

Keith Rhea; always looking for the win!

Keith. Likewise, the factory console has been retrofit with a Precision Performance Products shifter. Carbon doors were painted body color, but the center of attention is Keith’s extensive wiring affixed to a carbon panel attached to the passenger side cage.

“The car has been a work in progress of being upgraded since 2016,” says Keith. “Each winter I try to find things to upgrade to make it faster and ‘race up’ in various radial tire classes.” The Cobra has been 4.21 @ 175mph in the 1/8 mile, and a blis-

tering 6.56 @ 214mph in the 1/4, making it the fastest Modular powered door car to the 1320ft mark. And, given those numbers, we’d say that this Wonderbread is anything but soft and squishy!




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january 2022 | RPM Magazine


The deep-rooted story of Josh Forbes begins in Southeastern Georgia when 17-year-old Josh had some older friends who gave him the privilege of hitting up the local drag strip.


y the time he got his driver’s license, he was hooked! “Savannah Dragway on Wednesday nights then became a religion for me,” said Forbes. Fast forward just 6 months and he had already bought his first project, a 1991 Chevrolet S-10 pickup, and what was his first purchase for it? A 6-inch cowl induction hood! Never mind the fact that his truck had no drivetrain, it didn’t matter, the hood was awesome! “Within a year I had rounded up a 406 small

block and a transmission and that’s about the time I got the great idea to build something other than the S10.” “One day I was minding my own business in Walmart and happen hear two guys in the next isle talking about drag racing. So, like any good drag racer, I began to eavesdrop on them. One of them mentioned that he had a back-halved ’68 Camaro and wanted an S10. That’s when I sprang into action. 30 minutes later we had lined up a trade, sight unseen.” Roughly a week later, Josh had the Cama-

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january 2022 | RPM Magazine

❚ Josh and his dad Larry enjoy one thing together, drag racing! They went through a lot of cars, quit the sport and sold everything more than a few times only to end up with this slick Chevy II that they campaign in no-prep, no-time small tire drags. After buying a few “less than as advertised” cars in the past, Josh says that the Chevy II roller was as exactly as advertised, and within 3 months it had his 632 between the rails and was ready to do battle.



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ro put back together and a steel headed, pump gas 496 cubic inch big block Chevy stuffed between the frame rails that would net him 6.60s in the 1/8th. Soon after, Josh introduced his dad Larry to drag racing, he explains; “We went to the ‘House of Hook’ in Jackson, SC and I made about 3 passes. I pulled up after the third pass and just left the car running, jumped out and threw him the helmet.

After a few seconds of standing around looking crazy, I finally told him to get in and make a pass.”

This experience suddenly became a moment for John and his father. “I had to shove jackets behind him to get him far enough forward. His hands were shaking so bad he couldn’t buckle the harness, so I leaned over and buckled it for him and said, ‘That’s why I do it right there’, and pointed at his hands.” A couple minutes of instruction and Larry was ready. After an attempted burnout, he staged the car and then left in second gear. “I made it back to the pits about the same time he was

❚ Putting the power down on such a small tire is not easy task. But the back-half chassis/coilover shock Chevy Deuce can hook anywhere according to Josh. Up front, a custom K-member was used with tubular a-arms, coilovers and rack and pinion steering.

The Original

CalTracs Bolt on, most applications Maintains pinion angle Keeps axle from rotating Full pre-load adjustability Improves consistent 60 foot times Black powder coated Available for Racing or Low Profile Illustrated Installation Guide included


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january 2022 | RPM Magazine

Force Transfer Links

Heim Joint Rod Ends Pivot Plates

Rear Mounts

Mounts vary

Rich & Shirley Suriano’s 1963 Dodge Cornet CalTracs, Split Mono Leafsprings, CR Series Rear Shocks


burnin’ up the track

Josh Forbes’ II Fly Chevy II quickly becomes a dot on the horizon!

❚ The ’65 isn’t light by any means. It’s all steel except for the hood, trunk, and bumpers, but it still hauls the mail!



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pulling in,” Josh continued, “His face had to hurt because he was smiling so big and the first thing he said was ‘oh my god, find me a car!’” The pair raced and maintained two hot rods for a short while, but it soon became very taxing and expensive to keep up with, so they decided to sell everything. A few years later, the itch to go fast returned. The pair came across a tube chassis Toyota pickup truck, scrounged up a 434sbc with a Powerglide and Josh began learning everything he could about nitrous oxide and installed a plate system on the engine. The first pass was just on the motor and the truck went 5.98 in the 1/8, but stopping was a little sketchy. “Like any smart drag racer with no brakes, I pulled into to the pits and went straight for the nitrous bottle. Against everyone’s advice, I put the bottle in and set the timing and she was almost ready. Now there was just that pesky stopping issue. I did have a parachute but had never packed one. My good buddy Richie Burns was with us and I asked if he knew how. He said ‘no, but I saw Ron Capps do it one-time.’ I replied, perfect, let’s send it. Richie


january 2022 | RPM Magazine

❚ This was the 5th carb I tried on the car and it ran better than any of the oth ers, right out of the box.” Is what Forbes sai d about his new Dominator XP1250 carb.

❚ The Forbes’ 600+inch big block Chevy mill is a pump-gas street motor so, while it probably isn’t the most powerful combination on the property, it loves nitrous oxide and wins races… ‘nuff said! An Ohio Crankshafts billet 4.750 stroke crank swings Oliver billet rods pinned to Diamond nitrous pistons. A Bullet custom camshaft is paired with Howards Pro Max lifters, and Brodix BB2xtra heads sport T&D shaft rockers. An Edelbrock Super Victor intake, 2 inch spacer and Holley Dominator XP 1250 carb top things off. Nitrous is brought into the mix via a PKRE Racing single direct port system with NLR NMS 1000 Nitrous Controller and Nitrous Outlet 15lb bottles. www.rpmmag.com


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january 2022 | RPM Magazine

❚ Check out the flames as the Chevy II lights the candles off the hit. You can find Josh grudge racing in the small tire category throughout the Southeast. Needless to say, we do not have any data to share with you about performance numbers; “HAHA. It’s faster already than we ever anticipated the car would go,” was his answer when we asked about elapsed times.



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packed the chute and we were off. The next pass was 5.30s on nitrous, with sketchy brakes and a late parachute deployment.” Eventually, the truck would get to a point where the cost to make it go any quicker would far outweigh the benefits, so the pair pulled out of racing for a second time. A few years passed and realizing it was the one thing the two did together, yet again Josh and his dad went in search of another race car. This time a small tire/stock suspension 1993 Mustang hatch with a 632bbc nitrous motor was on their radar. “As usual the car wasn’t near as nice as it was supposed to be, and the owner couldn’t even get it to crank. We ended up making one of those ridiculous ‘I don’t really want the car’ offers and he accepted it!” A week later, Forbes had the Stang rewired and running, only to find out it handled terrible on the strip due to a cobbled up suspension.

I still managed to wrestle it to a 4.92 at 146mph after only one small altercation with a concrete wall. We quickly realized we had too much power for this car to handle and found a 25.2 spec 1993 Mustang coupe for the 632.”


january 2022 | RPM Magazine

❚ Josh kept some of the Chevy II’s original interior and added the necessities of racing including a cage, full array of gauges, twin nitrous bottles, a PPP shifter and located the electronics on the passenger side floor area. You might notice there are still two seats… it’s not uncommon to see Forbes out for a cruise around town, yes even with those massive front exhaust exits! Currently, the cage is certified to 8.50 with plans for a 25.3 upgrade in the near future.



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january 2022 | RPM Magazine

Any way you look at it, this is one fast pass!



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Even though we had the same suspension setup and were 1000 pounds heavier than all the Mustangs running in those classes As you might guess by now, that didn’t last long either, and both cars were sold, except for the 632. “I kept the motor as a just in case…one day…type of thing,” Forbes laughed. After starting a family and spending about 7 years out of the game, Josh was getting fed up of watching the keyboard racers talk trash, and it was game on… again! Josh reconnected with his father to do the one thing they enjoyed so much together, and the pair vowed to get back into racing. It wasn’t long before they came across this ’65 Chevy II roller and for once, it was as exactly as advertised. Josh swapped out the big wheels and tires for 15x12s wrapped with 28x10.5s and stuffed that 632 incher between the rails. “With the help of my good friend Mark ‘Big Money’ Edwards, we had the motor together in a couple weeks and we started assembling the car. After about 3 months of long nights and thrashing, Josh and the Nova were ready, but then the problems started. The car had full exhaust and was street


january 2022 | RPM Magazine

❚ Rare Keizer 15x12 wheels are wrapped with Hoosier 28.10.5 slicks. Up front you will find larger 17-inch RC Components front runners.



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Josh Forbes’ big block nitrous 1965 Chevy II

Chassis Type & Mods:

Back half chassis with cage. Front K member. All chassis work by MattFab in Guyton, Ga.

Suspension: Rear is Innovative Racecraft Black Ops coilovers. Front K member with Innovative Racecraft Black Ops coilovers, TRZ tubular control arms and rack and pinion steering.

Wheel/Tires: RC Component Retro front wheels, Keizer Rear Wheels with 28x10.5 slicks.

Body & Paint: Mostly steel with fiberglass hood, trunk and bumpers.

Engine: 634ci pump gas big block. 10.9:1 compression. Ohio Crankshafts billet 4.750 stroke crank, Oliver billet rods, Diamond Nitrous pistons. Bullet custom camshaft with Howards Pro Max lifters. Brodix BB2xtra heads with T&D shaft rockers. Titan copper head gaskets. Edelbrock Super Victor intake. Moroso steel oil pan and Moroso Billet oil pump. ATI Super Damper and ATI flexplate. Engine build by Josh Forbes and Mark “Big Money” Edwards of Guyton, Ga. All parts bought through John Mercedes of Southeast Performance. Custom Headers built by MaccFab of Guyton Ga. All machine work completed by Tom Strouse of Engine Supply Machine in Savannah, Ga. 44

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Induction & Fuel:

Holley Dominator XP 1250.

Power Adder: Single nitrous direct port system by PKRE Racing. NLR NMS 1000 Nitrous Controller and Nitrous Outlet 15lb bottles.

Electronics: MSD 7531

Transmission & Converter: Winner Circle TH400 w/Pro Tree trans brake. Cameron torque converter. PPP shifter.

Rear Differential: Moser bolt-through aluminum case, 3.89 Richmond gears, 40 spline Moser axles.

Thanks to: My dad Larry Forbes, Mark Edwards, my brother-in-law JR Ashdown, my sons Matt Morgan and Evan Forbes, my stepdad Chuck Evans, Friends Joe and Joey Stegin, Bo Smith, Jesse Walker, Matt Ryan, Jeff Stapleton. John Mercedes of Southeast Performance, the best performance parts dealer I have ever dealt with. Tom Strouse of Engine Supply Machine in Savannah, Ga. He’s retired now but is the best machinist.

legal so they wanted to run any type of street cruise class, but were not allowed to because the Nova was backhalved. “Even though we had the same suspension setup and were 1000 pounds heavier than all the Mustangs running in those classes,” Forbes said. The old headers and full exhaust were quickly tossed in favor of some slick big tube front exits and Josh and Larry decided to go racing, and had instant results. In their first outing, because the nitrous wasn’t yet installed , they entered the all-motor class and made the finals, only to get rained out in the staging lanes. A few weeks later they entered their first no-prep event, and knowing some heavy hitters were in the house, the nitrous was armed and ready. Four rounds later they found themselves

in the finals again, however, a broken lifter would end their day.

We were blessed and cursed…2 events...2 finals... no final passes made!” Josh added.

Next up was Rockingham’s Dig or Die no-prep where the best of the best would be battling it out. Although Forbes got his feelings hurt quickly when he drew one of the best no-prep racers in the country first round, he says the event couldn’t have been any better; “We learned a lot and had more fun than you can imagine and we even outran NovaCaine from Street Outlaws.” “This has also turned into a fam-

ily affair,” he continued. “My son, Evan Forbes, who is 9 years old has his very own JR dragster and has the most competitive drag racing spirit I’ve ever seen. It is a full-fledged production now for us to go racing, but we love it and it’s something for the entire family to do together.” After all these years and so many cars, Josh Forbes along with his dad, family and team are right where they want to be; they’ve got a serious player that runs hard and straight and are looking to make as much noise as possible in the world of outlaw drag racing. “We are ready to chop heads off in the small-tire no-prep and asphalt world!”, Forbes added with a smile




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Dedicated to Joe Muro Sr.


o how exactly did the Camaro get its name? First off, it has been said that all car lines of the day were to start with the letter “C”. From there, Camaro was chosen from thousands of options and was initially said to mean “comrade” or “friend”, however, apparently when reporters asked various GM execs about the name they were told it was, “a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.” Joe Muro likes the latter.

Joe started young, helping his dad with a 1968 Super Pro Camaro drag car. “My father taught me a lot about racing and the mechanics of the car which lead to me wanting to race my own,” explained Muro. “We purchased my 1970 Camaro back in March 2018, and after working on it for countless hours together, we finished it in September of that year. My racing career started the


very next spring, but it became a very difficult time due to the unexpected passing of my father in July that year,” he added somberly. Despite such a difficult time in his life, Joe decided to continue to race, knowing that is exactly what his dad would want. Joe and his father found out about the Camaro through a friend, and purchased it shortly after. It was Hugger Orange with black stripes,

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The big tire Z28 gets up nicely off the launch, just carrying the wheels out about 100 ft.



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It’s hard to believe the split bumper Camaro was bright orange when Joe and his dad picked it up. Thanks to Donald Vescio and Rick Aiello the color change to dark gray metallic is seamless and gets a lot of attention. Plus, Joe admits that he likes the lower key look over the in-your-face orange.



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had no engine or transmission and was basically a back-halved pro street shell. Joe, his dad and his uncle Ralph stripped the car down and worked every night and weekends for six and a half months to get it rebuilt, back under power and race ready. A 454 they purchased spun a bearing early on, so they decided to get a little more serious about power and shipped the motor out to RCR Performance where Rob Carpenter and Joe Fioravanti put together a 505-inch bullet that makes 740HP naturally aspirated. While the car was in pieces, Donald Vescio came to the rescue to give it a new look by removing all the rest of

With the support of family and friends Joe Muro has experienced success in drag racing. Check out the $$ amount on the big check for his win in Grand Bend’s 6.50 Index class. Not only did he win, he qualified #1 with a 6.501, backed it up with a perfect 6.500, and then took the win!


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the parts and pieces and completing a total colour change. “Donald had the car done and assembled in 2 months and we get countless complements everywhere we go; we can’t thank him and his friend Joe enough.” Once the car was back in the hands of the Muro’s,

they installed the big block and ’Glide, plumbed and wired it, took care of all the loose ends and headed for the dragstrip. The 505 started with a .100 over GM block. A 4.250 stroke Callies Compstar crankshaft, 6.385 inch Callies Compstar connecting rods






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The interior is a mix of factory and race, but the Computech Data Maxx System with LCD dash is the center of attention. Custom upholstery and carpeting the rear tin work and tubs was completed by Jerry Vanbeek. By the way, the cage was updated to 8.50, so it sounds as though there may be more in store for the Camaro down the road.



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A braced 9-inch is filled with goodies from Moser and suspended via a 4-link coilover setup. The battery and ballast (weight bars) ride in the trunk. SMALL BLOCK CHEVY Lorem Ipsum I N TA KES

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Launching The Natural down the track; Joe Muro style

and Mahle pistons with Total Seal 1.5mm rings rotate inside. A Bullet roller cam with Crower lifters round out the short block. Heads are AFR 290cc Oval Ports with PAC springs, Comp 1.7 rockers and stud girdles. An Edelbrock Victor Jr. single plane intake with 4150 base was worked-over by Joe Fioravanti and capped with a Wilson billet spacer and Quick fuel 830 CFM carb.

A Competition Transmission Powerglide with aftermarket SFI case, 1.80 straight cut gears and custom ATI converter back up the big block and transfer power rearward to a braced Ford 9” with Moser Engineering center section, 4.56 gears and their 40-spline axles. Chassis wise, the car is backhalved and tubbed with a 4-link, diagonal bar and Afco Big Gun double adjustable coilovers. www.rpmmag.com


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A 740hp naturally aspirated RCR Performance and Joe Fioravanti Racing Engines built 505-inch BBC fills the original engine bay of the Camaro. A GM block was bored .100 over and filled with a Callies Compstar crankshaft, Compstar connecting rods and Mahle forged dome pistons with Total Seal 1.5mm rings. AFR 290cc Oval Port aluminum heads with PAC springs, Comp 1.7 rockers and stud girdles were used and an Edelbrock Victor Jr. single plane intake is topped by a Wilson billet spacer and Quick fuel 830 CFM carburetor.


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It’s not hard to understand why the Camaro gets so many compliments, it just looks that good! Joe even gave our photographer a bit of show on the street during the photoshoot. Check out the weight transfer and hook!


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...and... he’s gone!

The stock floor remains along with the factory front subframe and suspension where Lakewood 90/10 drag shocks and Santhuff 225lb racing springs were used to aid in launching and controlling the Camaro. An 8.50 NHRA certified cage was added to protect the driver. Race seats and a mix of factory and race parts round out the interior, but the slick Computech Data Maxx System, including their digital dash, is what gets

most of the attention. The steel body was finished in Dark Grey Metallic with original Z28 stripes, and the rear quarters were stretched 6 inches to fit those sizeable 15x15 Keizer Full House blacked-out single beadlocked rear wheels wrapped in 13.5x31 sticky Mickeys. A one-off Sunoco hood was worked and painted by Rick Aiello. After a tough first year, Joe



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Joe Muro’s big block 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Body & Paint: Dark Grey Metallic with original Z28 stripes, rear quarters stretched 6 inches, one-off Sunoco hood worked and painted by Rick Aiello.

Chassis Modifications: Stock floors, factory front suspension and subframe, back-halved 4-link. Full 8.50 NHRA certified cage.

Suspension: Front consists of stock lower and upper control arms with Lakewood 90/10 drag shocks and Santhuff 225lb racing springs. Rear is Four-link with diagonal bar, upgraded four link bars and heim joints with Afco Big Gun double adjustable shocks.

Engine: RCR Performance and Joe Fioravanti Racing Engines built 505 CID BBC. GM Block .100 over, Callies Compstar crankshaft 4.250 stroke, Callies Compstar connecting rods 6.385 inches, MAHLE pistons 4.350 bore 18cc dome, Total Seal 1.5mm rings and coated rod bearings. Bullet roller cam with Crower lifters, ATI balancer. Moroso aluminum pan, Patriot 2 ¼” headers.

Cylinder Heads: AFR 290cc Oval Port aluminum heads, PAC springs, Comp 1.7 rockers and stud girdles.

Induction & Fuel Delivery: Edelbrock Victor Jr. single plane intake 4150 base worked by Joe Fioravanti, Wilson billet spacer, Quick fuel 830 CFM carburetor. Aeromotive a3000 fuel pump with Magnafuel regulator.

Power Adder: NONE!

Transmission: Competition Transmission Powerglide with aftermarket SFI case, 1.80 straight cut gears and custom ATI converter.

Rear: Braced Ford 9” with Moser Engineering center section, 4.56 gears and Moser 40-spline axles.

Tires & Wheels: Fronts are 17” Keizer Full House forged drag wheels with 26 x 4.5 Mickey Thompson tires. Rears are 15x15 Keizer Full House blacked-out with single beadlock wrapped in 13.5 X 31 Sticky Mickeys.


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Brakes: Wilwood disk brakes with adjustable proportioning valve.

Interior: Data Logger and Dash; Computech Data Maxx System. Aftermarket TRZ steering shaft with removable steering wheel hub and aluminum steering wheel. Reactor transmission brake button, Kirkey aluminum seats and covers, Pro 1 camlock belts and PPE 2-speed electric shifter.

ET & MPH: Motor only - 6.26 in the 1/8th and 9.96 in the ¼-mile.

Miscellaneous: Custom upholstery and carpeting completed by Jerry Vanbeek. Car ceramic coated by Quinn Flannigan owner of Driven Autoworks. Roll cage painted by Jay Gallant owner of PCR Collision.

Thanks To: Thanks so much for all the support from my family for letting me enjoy and do the thing I love. To my dad for the support, knowledge, drive, excitement and love. I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without the guidance from my father at the beginning of my racing career. Every time I go out onto the track I’m thinking of him. This car means a lot to me, we built it together and since he’s not with us any more, I will forever cherish the time we spent working on the car and racing it at the track together. I love you and miss you Dad. Thanks to my mother Kim Muro, sister and brother in law Kara and Luca, my wife Jodi and my daughter Jolia, they mean the world to me. Paint and Body: Donald Vescio & Rick Aiello. Chassis Fab: Tommy Thorn owner of TT Fabrications. Engine: Rob Carpenter and Joe Fioravanti. Interior Upholstery: Jerry Vanbeek. Wiring and Electronics: Jeff Vanbeek. Photographer: Blake Farnan. Window and Glass: Dan @ Precision Auto Glass. Best Parts Guy and Friend: Bob Richards. Joe Passero, Jim Stoneman, Keith Mckellar @ Mckellar Motorsports, Dan the Metal Man, Will Western, Darren Thibodeau, Jay Gallant, Cole Ferri and Ian Hill.

went with more motor, a better trans and came out swingin’ in 2020! “The 2020 season was a lot of learning with the help from my father’s close friends; Joe Passero (who also now owns my dad’s Camaro), Jim Stoneman, Rick Aiello, and Keith McKellar and we ended up going to the finals in the last race of the year, but unfortunately rain ended the event,” said Muro. For 2021, more upgrades were in order which includ-

ed an 8.50 cert cage (TT Fabrication) and a focus on running 6.50 heads-up Index classes. After numerous #1 qualifiers and round

The most memorable experience however, was a spectacular weekend at Grand Bend Motorplex’s Sportsman 660 Nationals. “We qualified #1 in the 6.50 class with 6.501, then got the first round bye and backed it up with a perfect 6.500, and then took home the win! wins, by year’s end Muro It was a highlight I will captured 3rd in points in never forget and our first the Ian Hill Racing Pro- ever event win… that one duction / Canada Heads was for my dad, Joe Muro Up wicked 6.50 index class. Sr.!” RPM



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Legendary is not a word we take lightly at RPM Mag. Story: George Pich Photos: David Gates

There’s no doubt that Rod Saboury’s most recent build will follow suit with his past work and be recognized at the top level of our sport, but when you’ve been instrumental in putting massive movements in car culture on the map; such as street car drag racing and Pro Street, both of which still thrive today, and building race winning, record setting, show stopping combinations using naturally aspirated, blown and turbo combinations, in our book you qualify as a legend. Rod himself is as humble as they come, 66

but in the world of wild cars and big horsepower he is the real deal, and being the mover and shaker that he is, he keeps bringing new work to the table, like this incredible Pro Street 1963 split window Corvette. And he doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon (pun intended). One thing you need to understand, Rod Saboury’s cars are not like most others. Chances are they can hit the street and turn heads or the track to set records – Rod builds everything to the max! You won’t find hollow blowers, mild motors, or gimmicks on them, and although this particular build has everything

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it needs to run a number, admittedly, chances are it won’t ever see the strip; “I have always loved split window Corvettes and even though I’ve had many, this one is a combination of all my cars in one. It’s too nice to race, I just plan on driving it as much as I can on the street,” Rod explained. It’s hard to tell the story of one of Saboury’s builds without telling his story, so that’s where we’ll start. Since the tender age of 14, Rod has been into anything with an engine, starting on motorcycles and then moving on to go-carts. His first car, a ’55 Mercury that he got from his Grandfather, was



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a 312, 3 speed column shift and Rod quickly installed a floor shift and three 2 barrel carbs. The natural progression was to race and by 1970 Saboury hit the dragstrip seriously with his brand new 1969 Z/28 decked out in full Super Stock/J race trim. On top of winning a Summer Nationals racing it, rumors are that Rod went to his Prom in the car! By the 1980s, with the Pro Street movement gaining serious momentum, Saboury rebuilt

the Camaro to suit and won multiple awards at the Street Machine Nationals. After selling the car, he was able to buy it back over 30 years later, make some upgrades and still drives it today. By the 1990s, Rod had sunk his teeth into another project, fast street car drags. Most any avid fan of street car drag racing will be familiar with The Fastest Street Car shootouts, and that is where Rod cut his teeth with his 1957 Corvette, first packing a naturally aspirated single Dom-

Rod Saboury’s latest split window Corvette build has everything a Pro Street car should have; killer paint, big power, towering induction, EFI and everything needed to either cruise the streets or hit the strip. While Rod says that because the car is just so nice it won’t be raced, it wouldn’t take much to make a hit or two.

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Miramichi World Street Race event 30 mile mandatory cruise; leaving the track Link to part two of the video on page 87


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There’s probably more race to this build than street given the Bickel tube chassis, strut front and 4-link coilover rear suspension, wheelie bar, wing, dual chutes and zoomie exhaust.

inator 632 and then a split dominator N/A 796-incher. While Rod took a number of event wins in the ’57, it was his 1953 Vette that made some serious noise. Racing the car in NMCA Outlaw Street, Rod was the first in the 6-second zone on DOT tires and also won the 1998 World Championship. It was a real 2,800-pound 1953 Corvette converted into an outlaw street car complete with all working street legal equipment and a massive 800+ inch mill. The next summit to conquer was turbocharging. Ok, that doesn’t seem too difficult to any of our under 40 readers, but we’re talking 1999 folks, turbos were only scratching the surface of mainstream drag racing, and most people couldn’t get any sort of consistency out of them. In 1999 Rod built a twin turbo Firebird to run in Pro Street.



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With just a 388ci small block and twin 76mm turbos the Firebird set both ends of the record with a 6.77ET and 206MPH in that same year, which was way before anyone was laying down those numbers in a turbo car. The nitrous guys thought it was some type of black magic voodoo. This car was almost unbeatable,” Saboury added.

Of course, there were many more Rod Saboury street, strip and show stories from there, including the incredible twin turbo street legal 6-second ’63 split window Corvette that graced the cover of RPM Magazine back in 2008. With that car, after setting multiple records, Saboury travelled to Canada to run against the UK’s fastest street car, Andy Frost’s Red Victor 1 Vauxhall and Canada’s






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The factory style trim, chrome bumpers and original lights are all part of giving the Corvette that original look, not to mention street cred.

fastest street car, Boo King’s Nuclear Banana Camaro, only to be rained out. More builds would follow, though, each as unique as the one before it. And here we are today. As Rod said earlier, this 1963 Corvette represents something from all of his past projects, and that’s pretty special when you’ve built as many as he has… and in true fashion, this car has a unique story behind it, too. First off, this Corvette was never meant to be a street car, sort of. While it is a stock 1963 production Corvette body with original VIN number and trim tags, it was originally built by



Rad Rides by Troy as a static display to sit in a restaurant lobby. It was never meant to be driven, let alone built into the world class car it is today, but a year after taking on the project Saboury is touring the streets with serious horsepower at

his command, open zoomies, leather seats and power windows! Custom candy paint is by Rad Rides by Troy and graphics are by Bob Thrash. This is a street car, so expect every single light and item of street equipment to work exactly



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as it should, but maybe, just maybe the open zoomies will cause a problem while heading home on a late Saturday night. The original style chrome bumpers, lights and trim work are mixed with a custom rear wing, dual ’chutes and mono

Rod and Tina Saboury have definitely become legends in street machines and street car drag racing, in fact, they helped shape them both into what they have become today.






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Rod Saboury 6 second 1/4 mile - Shakedown running in promod category

This Corvette was never meant to be a street car...sort of... LOKAR

wheelie bar. The full tube chassis is an 8.50 certified Jerry Bickel piece with Strange struts up front and 4-link/coilover setup with wishbone out back. Strange also controls braking on all four corners. The race prepped Keith Black 512 Hemi with KB heads was reworked for street duty by Mike Janis and boasts a Crower billet crank, Pro Mod aluminum rods and Arias pistons… like we said, don’t expect lame parts in a Rod Saboury build, and that includes the induction! Being one of the pioneers in Pro Street (which were essentially over-the-top builds based on Pro Stock and Pro Mod drag cars), Rod went with a towering, attention-getting package true to the genre that includes a 14-71 Littlefield blower with Mike Janis carbon hat. Of course, everything had to be converted from alcohol to run 110 race gas for the street and the package is controlled by a FAST XFI system.





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What looks to an ex-alcohol funny car 512 Keith Black Hemi with Keith Black cylinder heads was reworked for the street by Mike Janis. A Crower billet crank, Pro Mod aluminum rods and Arias pistons rotate inside, while a 14-71 huffer with Janis carbon hat sit atop the creation. A FAST XFI system controls the beast.






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The Corvette interior is not overdone in any way and once again has more race influence than street. First off, you’re sitting beside a 4-speed Lenco with dual disc clutch and surrounded by a cage!



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Rod and Tina Saboury’s Blown Hemi Pro Street 1963 Corvette Chassis Type & Mods: Full tube chassis by Jerry Bickel. 8.50 certified. Suspension: Custom tubular control arms, Strange struts and rack and pinion steering up front. Strange coilovers and 4-link with wishbone in rear. Strange 4 wheel disc brakes.

Body & Paint: Stock 1963 Corvette body with original VIN and trim tags and hinged doors. Custom candy paint by Rad Rides by Troy and graphics by Bob Thrash.

Engine: 512 Keith Black Hemi with Keith Black cylinder heads reworked for the street by Mike Janis. Crower billet crank, Pro Mod aluminum rods and Arias pistons.

Induction & Fuel Delivery: Mike Janis carbon fiber hat. Converted from alcohol to 110 racing gas for the street. FAST XFI. Aeromotive fuel pump system with FAST fittings and equipment.

Power Adder: 14-71 Littlefield blower.


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Electronics: FAST XFI engine management. MSD 7AL-2 Plus and XS Power Voltage Stepdown Modules. MSD Super Conductor plug wires.

Transmission: Lenco 4-speed, dual disc clutch.

Rear Differential: 9-inch Ford, Strange 35 spline axles, 4.10 gear with spool.

Other Important Vehicle Information: Open Zoomie headers. C&R custom aluminum radiator, 16 volt XS Battery, Bux Customs leather seats. Originally built by Rad Rides by Troy as a static display car to sit in a restaurant lobby and never intended to be driven.

Thanks to: Special thanks to Legacy Innovations, XS Batteries and Wayne Waldman for all their help to make this one of my all-time favorite cars.

A 4-speed Lenco with dual disc clutch sends power rearward to the braced 9-inch housing with Strange 35 spline axles, 4.10 gear and spool. Rod has a knack for just the right

mix and the engine bay of this Corvette is no exception – it’s built with hardcore parts, is meticulously clean and well detailed but by no means overly blingy, in fact, it looks more

race ready than anything else. The interior, in our opinion, is another home run. RPM MAG was built on race and street and we see a solid mix of both inside Rod’s latest






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Miramichi World Street Race event 30 mile mandatory cruise; returning to the track


split window. First off, it’s got a full cage and 3 pedals with a Lenco 4-speeed in full view, which is very cool! Next has to be the dash panel. It’s not original but somehow looks like it should be there – a difficult thing to accomplish. Of course, it’s filled with a complete array of Ultra-Lite carbon fiber series gauges and a simple 6-switch panel. Mixing some style and comfort in for good measure, Rod had the low back buckets and door panels covered in gray


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leather, but aside from that the only creature comfort would be the power windows. Electronics, including the FAST XFI system, MSD 7AL-2 Plus box and XS Power Voltage Stepdown Modules are mounted to the passenger side firewall. Oh, and one last thing, Rod is always sure to have a pair of earplugs hanging from the rear view mirror. There are not many people that see over 26 national magazine covers, including 2 RPM MAG covers, but as long as Rod

Gauges and switches have been expertly installed in a custom dash that, if the 1963 Corvette were built today, could be factory installed…it just fits in that well. The only hint of luxury is the power windows and leather clad minimalist bucket seats and door panels. The factory style visors are a cool touch, too. Electronics are neatly affixed to the passenger firewall.



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LEGENDARY BUILDS This is just a small example of Rod Saboury’s impact on street car drag racing and street machines. From left to right: His first race car was a 1969 Z28 purchased new. Rod eventually built it into an award winning Pro Street ride when he was done racing it. The ’53 Corvette was the first street car in the 6-second zone on DOT tires. With 800+ inches of naturally aspirated power, the original bodied car had full working street equipment. The small block twin turbo ’99 Firebird set the world of Pro Street drags on fire when Rod took both ends of the record with a 6.77ET and 206MPH. Not only did this add a huge “boost” to successfully running turbochargers in drag racing, but it had the nitrous crews looking for what type of black magic was up Saboury’s sleeve. Then there’s the stunning burgundy twin turbo true street split window 1963 Vette that could drive for hours and bang off 6-second ETs. Rod made the haul to Canada with it to defends USA only to have the event rained out, but not before he made the cover or RPM MAG and the event T-shirt! Finally, Rod’s latest project, an ex-Super Stocker Corvette that he plans to race and street drive with a mild (by Saboury standards) 700+ HP small block.


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and Tina Saboury keep building killer race and street machines, we’ll keep telling the world about them. They, along with builds like this 1963 Pro Street Corvette, are the stuff legends are made of. So what’s next for Rod? “I bought a ’66 Corvette Super Stock car that I’m putting a

700+hp small block in. I am going to race it some, hoping to run in the low 9s but I am also going to drive it on the street as well. I’m still roofing by trade but will always be working on some cool car! Hey, there’s worse things you could do, right?” RPM



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Story & Photos: Eddie Maloney 92

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The father/son project is a big part of our car culture, and seems to be growing in popularity with the latest generation of gearheads.


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he dads and moms who grew up with muscle cars owned by their dads and moms are passing the torch down to their children, only now, horsepower has taken on a whole new meaning thanks to the ingenuity (and piles of broken parts) from the 40plus crowd. This is exactly the kind of story New Jersey native Cole Sammartino had growing up, which eventually led up to one pretty badass LSX powered Nova. “I have been into cars since day one,” Cole explained. “My

dad started me off very young purchasing me Hot Wheels and other car themed toys for many years. At 4 years old he had me driving a bobcat and forklifts and by the tender age of 8 I was behind the wheel of his 46 Willys Jeep (off road of course),” he added with a smile. Starting as a driver long before most us, when Cole turned 10 his father felt it was the right time to start looking for their father/son project. The project? A 1973 Chevrolet Nova that would continue to be improved up to this very day. “It was 2004

■ The sleek Oxford White Nova has come a long, long way since Cole and his dad found it rusting by the roadside with a for sale sign in it. “The most memorable moment in my car hands down is the first test drive before we bought it. I was 10 years old, and I remember my dad asking me if I was ready. Before I knew it, he floored it and started rowing gears… as he went for the 3-4 shift the shifter handle pulled out of the shifter base and he was holding it in his hand! The car was by far the fastest thing I had been in at that age, and it was mind blowing for me then that my dad broke the shifter from shifting so hard. Good memories and plenty of laughs.” Cole Sammartino



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■ Despite not reaching the car’s potential with the new combination just yet, Cole competed at some big events in 2021 such as the famed LS Fest in Bowling Green, Kentucky, as well as FL2K at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Florida.


january 2022 | RPM Magazine

when my dad and I started looking for a project, something that would cost less than $2,000, when we came across this rusty 1973 Chevy Nova SS on the side of the road priced at $2,400 obo. It was a running car outfitted with a heathy 327 and Super T-10 4 speed. After test driving the car, my dad managed to talk the guy down to $1,600 and we drove the car home that day. I was probably the happiest 10-year-old kid at that time!” After getting the Nova, Cole really started to learn about cars and once he hit high school he expand-

ultimately he started working at the local Ford dealership. Over the course of the next 7 years, Cole and his father managed to completely restore the all-steel Nova, including replacing both 1/4 panels, floor pans, rockers, trunk ed that knowledge in his auto shop panels, and repaired the doors, and classes. During that time, Cole fenders, as well. competed in many competitions such as SkillsUSA and the Ford My buddy Brian Dillion, AAA Challenge. He won at the my dad, and I did all the state level in both competitions and placed at the national level, paint and body work, too,” as well. His success led to many he added. scholarships offered his way, but



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january 2022 | RPM Magazine

■ Most of the interior is factory, aside from the 10-point cage, Grant GT wheel, Holley dash and Hurst shifter. Even though Cole street drives the Nova it usually has a single race seat installed. Because the car was just mildly mini-tubbed, the rear seat could have been kept, but you have to shed weight off a full steel car somehow! www.rpmmag.com


january 2022


The most unique part of this build in my opinion is the stripe I had my neighbor custom make for me. It’s one off. I know there’s not another Nova with the same stripe.” Cole Sammartino


january 2022 | RPM Magazine


...He still had that itch to go quicker and faster... During the years it took to restore the car, Cole bought his first drivetrain combo, a 383 cubic inch small block Chevy paired up to a TH400 automatic transmission. The combination resulted in 11.60 ¼ mile times in the Nova, which wasn’t too bad for a pump gas/ foot brake combination. After a few years, Cole needed more so he built a Dart block based 421-inch small block. He added 18-degree cylinder heads, a solid roller cam, Dominator carb and a host of


■ The heartbeat of Cole’s Nova is a built Chevy 6.0-liter LS-based motor mated to twin VSRacing 6766 series turbochargers. He can run and tune it for both E85 and 93 octane fuel thanks to the Holley Terminator X EFI system. The super clean install, with the turbos mounted on either side of the custom rad, almost looks factory in the car.


january 2022 | RPM Magazine



january 2022


■ There are two very distinct parts of this Nova that you won’t see often at this level. First, Cole rows the boat through a manual transmission – a Tremec T56 Magnum with adjustable twin-disc clutch. He also runs a GM 12-bolt rearend, shortened and beefed up with a Strange 35 spline axle and spool package, 3.42 gears and a LPW cover.

other goodies, that netted roughly 689 horsepower on race gas and 9.80s down the 1320. Unfortunately, he would lose interest in that combination due to its unreliability on the street, and that is when he decided to go with a more reliable turbo LS engine. It was a 3rd gener-

ation 6.0-liter LS with a S475 turbo with auto trans which pushed the 3600lb Nova to 8-second ETs, but that still wasn’t enough for Sammartino. By this time, Cole had been serving in the United States Army for many years but still had that itch to



january 2022 | RPM Magazine

go quicker and faster. The latest and greatest combination is a twin turbocharged, 366 cubic inch LS pushing nearly 1,200 horsepower running on E85 fuel, but as you might imagine, now the big challenge is to harness that power and get it down the track.

Nicholas Cole Sammartino’s Street/Strip 1973 Chevy Nova Chassis Type & Mods: 10pt chromoly custom bent rollcage by Fusion Fab in Milliville, NJ. They also did a the min-tub and moved the leaf springs inboard at the same time.

Suspension: Front: TRZ upper and lower control arms, Menscer Motorsports coilovers, Front sub frame tubing work by Fusion Fab. Rear: Calvert Racing slip mono leafsprings with sliders, CalTracs traction bars, Menscer Motorsports shocks.

Body & Paint: Body and paint were done by Brian Sammartino (my father), Brian Dillon, and owner. Oxford white single stage. Hood is a steel 2” cowl. Front bumper and lower valance are VFN fiberglass products. Rest of the car is all steel.

Engine: Gen 3 stock 6.0L LS block bored .010 over to 4.010. Stock stroke (3.622) Callies Dragon Slayer crank, Callies Ultra H beam rods (6.125), Wiseco -3.2cc flat top pistons with tooled steel pins, ARP main and head studs, Johnson drop in slow leak down lifters, Custom ground Comp Cam (.610in .613ex lift 237in 243ex duration @.050 on a 114 lsa). Trick Flow LS2 220 as-cast, BTR .660 lift valve springs, BTR trunnion rocker upgrade, and Comp Cams Magnum chromoly push rods.

Induction & Fuel Delivery: Holley 4500 split intake manifold, 4500 Holley elbow, WARR 102mm throttle body, Bosch 210 injectors, two 4303 MagnaFuel fuel pumps (second pump is on a Hobbs switch), MagnaFuel boost reference regulator, -10an feed lines, -8an return, and has Flex Fuel.

Power Adder: Twin VSRacing 6766 turbos mounted to 1 7/8” Flowtech headers, 4” down pipes, twin VSRacing 44mm wastegates and 50mm blow off valves, and Treadstone 1300hp intercooler.

Electronics: Holley Terminator X with flex fuel, boost control, and a Holley 7” digital dash.

Transmission & Converter: Tremec T56 Magnum and Advanced Clutches adjustable twin disc clutch.

Rear Differential: Shortened 12-bolt, Strange 35 spline axle and spool package, 3.42 gears and LPW differential cover.

Other Important Vehicle Information: Car runs on 93 octane and E85. Has a Ron Rhodes core support and Champion LS swap radiator.

Wheels & Tires: Champion Wheels 15x12 with 6.5 back space rear wheels and 15x3.5 fronts. 28x10 Mickey Thompson Pro Bracket Radials.

Best ET & MPH: New combination, but previous single turbo auto trans setup went low 8s.

How Many Years Racing?: Since I was allowed to race at the track (2011).

Thanks to: My dad (Brian Sammartino) who helped with the whole build and restoration. We bought this car back in 2004 as a project together and completely restored the car from the ground up. This was my first car and I never plan on getting rid of it. Brian Dillon for help with body work and paint. Doug Harris for chassis and cage work. Raz Performance machine for engine machine work and assembly. MGP tuning (Miles Genier) for dyno time and tuning assistance. Myatt’s Garage (Justin Myatt) for track assistance and parts. Brittney Sammartino (wife) for always being by my side at the track and garage.



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january 2022 | RPM Magazine

■ Check out how Cole and his dad found the Nova, it wasn’t much but they had a vision and they never imagined it would reach the point of where it is today – a twin turbo LS powered small tire street car running low 8s! Just 10 years old when they found the car, this shot of Cole was a few years into the project.



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The new heartbeat is a Gen 3 stock 6.0 block bored .010 over to 4.010. A stock stroke (3.622) Callies Dragon Slayer crank, Callies Ultra H-beam 6.125 rods, Wiseco flat top pistons with tool steel pins swing inside the block. A custom ground Comp camshaft (.610 intake and .613 exhaust lift with 237 and 243 duration respectively at .050 on a 114 lsa) was used with Johnson drop in slow leak down lifters. Trick Flow LS2 220 heads were studded in place as-cast with BTR .660 lift valve springs, BTR trunnion rocker upgrade, and Comp Cams Magnum chromoly push rods. Twin 6766 series turbos from VSRacing were added to the package along with 1 7/8” Flowtech headers, 4” down pipes, twin VSRacing 44mm wastegates and 50mm blow off valves, and Treadstone 1300hp intercooler. Induction and fuel delivery is handled by a Holley 4500 split intake 108

january 2022 | RPM Magazine

manifold, 4500 Holley elbow and WARR 102mm throttle body with Bosch 210 injectors. Two 4303 MagnaFuel fuel pumps (second pump is on a Hobbs switch) with MagnaFuel boost reference regulator, -10an feed lines and -8an return lines were used to feed the hungry LS. The Holley Terminator X is setup with a flex fuel sensor for running either 93 octane or E85. Here’s where Cole wanders outside the box a bit. With this combination he decided to toss the auto trans in favor of a standard gearbox. A Tremec T56 Magnum transmission with Advanced Clutches adjustable twin disc clutch now transfer the power rearward, and, as opposed the usual 9-inch, Cole went with a fortified shortened 12 bolt rearend with a Strange 35-spline axle and spool package, 3.42 gears and an LPW differential cover. The car was only cut to allow for a

min-tub and moving the springs inboard, so it still rides on leafsprings. Calvert Racing’s slip mono leafs with sliders were used along with their world famous CalTracs traction bars and Menscer shocks. Aftermarket control arms were used in conjunction with coilover shocks up front. The Nova is obviously a much different animal now and the big power twin turbo/stick shifted combo makes driving around town a blast, and days at the dragstrip even more fun! While the combination has shown promise with a handful of halftrack hits to date, it should bring the Nova into the very low 8-second zone in 2022. For Cole Sammartino and his dad, the Nova was their first father/son project, and it is far from over. But the fact that he was just 10 years old when they started building it, makes Cole one lucky kid! RPM



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