RPM Magazine April 2015

Page 1


ADVERTISING SALES For advertising information contact

TRISH BIRO .............519.752.3705.......trish@rpm-mag.com Art & Graphics Director: Toby Brooks Special Events Managers: Chris Biro, Raymond Knight events@rpm-mag.com Special Events Sales: Trish Biro: 519-752-3705 trish@rpm-mag.com Subscriptions/Address Changes: Circulation circulation@rpm-mag.com General Inquiries: 519.752.3705 info@rpm-mag.com


EDITOR IN CHIEF.........................................................CHRIS BIRO editor@rpm-mag.com

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 circulation@rpm-mag.com To subscribe to RPM go to www.rpm-mag.com or email Trish Biro at trish@rpmmag.com, 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 regards to design 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 15 years and has support locations in Ontario, Canada, Alabama, Wisconsin, Texas & 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@ rpm-mag.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.

Publication Return/Address Change Information USA RPM MAGAZINE (USPS Periodical #023474) is published monthly 11 Times/year, except for a combined issue in January/February by USA Publisher’s Agent, 10387 Main Street, Suite 300, Fairfax, VA 22030. Periodicals Postage Rate is Paid at Fairfax, VA and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to: RPM Magazine P.O. Box 24020 Brantford, Ontario CAN N3R 7X3 CANADA PUBLICATIONS MAIL INFO AGREEMENT NO. 40045044 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CDN ADDRESSES TO RPM MAGAZINE P.O. BOX 24020 BRANTFORD, ONTARIO N3R 7X3 OVERSEAS RPM MAGAZINE P.O. BOX 24020 BRANTFORD, ONTARIO, CAN. N3R 7X3



Chris Biro




n 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 www.rpm-mag.com and completed online! Or by simply emailing trish@rpm-mag.com. Do it today!

COMING NEXT MONTH: Project aPocalypSe Horse.................................... Finally on all fours? It’s looking good for us to get the Horse on the ground!

World’s Fastest 1965 Buick Skylark Convertible.................... Plus MORE of the wild street/strip and extreme doorslammer rides you just can’t get enough of!



april 2015 | RPM Magazine

ADVERTISER INDEX ACC Performance................... 93 Accufab Inc............................ 86 Aeromotive......................... 107 AFCO..................................... 30 Alan Johnson Performance (AJPE)................................. 11 Alston Race Cars.................... 38 Applied Racing Components (ARC).................................. 87 ATI Performance Products..... 17 Auburn Gear.......................... 98 Autoglym.............................. 82 AVAK/Ridgegate Tools......... 112 Baer Brakes....................10, 107 BES Racing Engines............... 54 Bill Mitchell Products.......42, 94 Blower Shop............................ 5 Borla................................... 108 Browell Bellhousing.............. 44 BTE Racing............................ 84 C&C MotorSports................... 56 Calvert Racing Suspensions... 42 Canton Racing Products........ 41 CFE Racing Products.............. 33 Chassis Engineering.........25, 56 CN Blocks.............................. 18 Coan Engineering.............26, 52 Competition Products........... 92 COMP Cams......................... 110 Crower.................................. 39 CVR Products......................... 64 DART..................................... 15 DEEZ Performance................. 91 Design Engineering............... 28 Diamond Pistons..................... 8 DIY Auto Tune/MegaSquirt EFI..................................... 50 Drive Train Specialists (DTS)... 85 Dynotech Engineering........... 21 Earl’s Performance Plumbing.97 Ed Quay Race Cars............... 107 Edelbrock.............................. 19 Energy Suspension................ 88 Engine Research & Development (ERD)........... 20 Erson Cams............................ 85 Fuel Air Spark Technology (FAST)............................... 46 FastMotorsports.................... 18 Fast Times Motorworks......... 78 Fonse Performance............... 41 Gatehouse........................... 113 G Force Racing Transmissions.22 GZ Motorsports..................... 78 Harland Sharp......................... 9 Holcomb Motorsports........... 89 HoleShot Wheels................... 12 Holley...............................37, 67 Howard’s Cams...................... 94 Ian Hill Rcng/Clearshot Cust.. 51 Induction Solutions............... 49 Innovate Motorsports............ 31 JE Pistons.........................45, 99 Jesel...................................... 13 JET Performance................... 50

J&K Converters...................... 21 Jon Kaase Racing Engines... 107 K&N Filters............................ 96 Lokar Performance Products.106 LUCAS Oil Products.................. 2 Lunati.................................... 16 Magnuson Superchargers.... 109 MAHLE Clevite Inc............... 101 Manton Pushrods.................. 34 MAV-TV................................. 81 Meziere Precision Mfg........... 34 Mickey Thompson Tires........... 7 Midwest Converters.............. 87 Mile High Crankshafts........... 12 MSD Ignition......................... 33 Neal Chance Converters....43, 66 New Century Performance.... 22 Nitrous Pro Flow.................... 91 Nitrous Supply...................... 47 Outlaw 10.5 Racing Assoc..... 20 Parts Pro Perf Centers.......... 116 PBM Performance Products... 50 Performance Improvements.. 10 Perf. Plus Connection.......11, 96 Powermaster Performance.... 56 Precision Turbo/ProInjectors.. 79 ProCharger............................ 29 Proformance Racing Trans..... 23 Pro Systems Carburetors... 45,48 Philadelphia Racing Products (PRP).................................... 9 PTC........................................ 25 Quick Fuel Technology........... 85 Quik-Latch Products.............. 90 Racecraft............................... 57 Racepak................................ 76 Racequip........................55, 100 Racing Radios.......................... 7 RAM Clutches........................ 80 Renegade Racing Fuels......... 21 Rev-X Oil Products............64, 83 Ross Racing Pistons................. 5 Rossler Transmissions.......... 111 RPM Magazine Subscribe!.114 S&W Race Cars.................... 105 Scorpion Racing Prods......23, 56 Shafiroff Racing Engines..13, 26 SM Race Cars......................... 55 Smith Racecraft..................... 95 Steve Morris Racing Engines. 35 Strange Engineering............. 34 Summit Racing Equipment. 115 Taylor Cable Products............ 67 TCI Automotive...................... 97 Ti64..................................... 104 Tom’s Upholstery................... 90 Trick Flow............................ 103 TRZ Motorsports.................... 40 VA Hot Rod & Cust. Car Show..53 VP Racing Fuels................36, 77 Weinle Motorsports.............. 54 WAR EVENTS......................... 24 Weldon High Performance.. 102 World Products..................... 50



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april 2015

Be sure to check out our Performance Directory on page 68!

Often Imitated, Never Duplicated—For 16 STRAIGHT YEARS RPM Magazine has been the ORIGINAL Voice Of Wild Street Machines and Extreme Drag Racing 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!





Beyond Sick............................................................... 32 Progress continues on Tom Bailey’s all-new Camaro...ONLY IN RPM!



Northern Attack....................................58

To the Extreme........................................................40 We announce our 2015 event line-up with seven events confirmed!

There’s a killer Barracuda lurking in the waters off the west coast!

Crate Expectations........................................... 22

Land Shark....................................................................... 8

The working man’s 10-second driver

Now for something completely different...

No Regrets................................................................... 90 Once Tony Merilic got his hands on this one-owner ’69 Camaro, he never let go



Street Cred................................................................... 80

Dan Marvin and his undercover 1990 IROC-Z street car win a lot of races based on first impressions


The Change-Up: Part 2..................................................54

Shaping Up.................................................................104

TRICK OUT Strength and Guidance..................................................95 YOUR TRUCK We upgrade to some tank-grade ICI Magnum bumpers

RPM Hardcore Horsepower Garage: Part 11................... 112

What it really takes to go from blown to twin turbo on an already-formidable street/strip warrior

and Vision X LED lighting

Virginia Rod Company continues chassis fabrication with a boatload of cutting-edge parts

More storage solutions from Trinity International... and they go together in a snap!



april 2015 | RPM Magazine

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


story by

George Pich

photos by

Richard Novak

With Pro Line Racing Engines and Diamond pistons, Q80 Racing team resets quarter-mile doorslammer record at 5.46 seconds and 272mph “Diamond’s contributions have been invaluable.” Doug Patton, Pro Line Racing Engines

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april 2015 | RPM Magazine

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>>Now for something completely different...


hen we were first approached by builder Greg Friedrich of “Gizmos” about a “special” project that he is involved in, we’ll admit that we completely miscalled it. We even tried to gently explain to Greg how RPM does not

cover “rat rods” or street rods that don’t pack a pretty serious ET behind them…whoops, sorry Greg, we had no idea! Land speed and street car are not two things that would normally go together, so what exactly is it? The car itself is an original steel-bodied (yes we said steel) 1934 Ford

three-window coupe. It’s fast—actually, brutally fast—as it is powered by an injected 572-inch Hemi. And are you ready for this? It is regularly street driven in marathon fashion then thrashed on the strip…just not a drag strip! Let’s start at the beginning. Around 15 years

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


LAND SHARK SALTY OL’ ROD On the street the car is run without the hood and hood sides. After all, it does have an injected Hemi—what a shame it would be to hide that. Ceramic coated custom headers feed into a full exhaust system for the street which is easily switched to the side dumps for duty on the salt.


april 2015 | RPM Magazine

ago, car owner Tom Conlan purchased the original 1934 Ford body with only one intention—to build a land speed car that he could drive to and from the salt flats. Most of you are probably picturing some type of extremely altered rocket-like creation and thinking, “… how the heck could he drive it on the street?” Once the car arrived at Conlan’s home, the transformation started immediately. In

fact, Conlan worked on the ’34 every day in his cramped attached garage for one year, taking only Christmas Day off. And the only help he had during that year was from some of the local car talent and a few drinking buddies. The intention was always to exceed 200 mph at Bonneville, but from the very beginning it looked as though he would have a very long road ahead (literally). The day the car was finished, Conlan set

out to the legendary Speed Week event and as soon as he made it onto the highway, he found himself behind a gravel truck that shot a rock that would pierce the oil pan. Determined not to let the mishap curb his enthusiasm, after towing the car home (and buying a bottle of rum on the way), Conlan called in a favor from a welding buddy and he was back on the road the next morning. Once he arrived at Speed Week for

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


LAND SHARK the very first time with his 1934 Ford (“race car”) full of road grime and 1,400 miles of achievement, Conlan would face his next hurdle—the SCTA tech inspection. Noting the Minnesota license plate and the rookie driver and crew, the first thing the somewhat smart aleck tech inspector said was, “how fast do you plan on driving this car?” Conlan’s response was simple, “200 mph.” The tech guy responded, “this car couldn’t do 150 mph… you will be lucky to see 125!” Conlan’s truthful response was that he had just driven 150 mph

through Nebraska with the windows down! From that very first outing, every trek the car made to and from Bonneville created more unique challenges, but also new friendships with like-minded car people. Conlan’s problems ranged from leaving specialty tools at home to breaking crucial parts and breaking down in the middle of nowhere.

Talk about a cool one-off piece! As far as the team knows, they are the only entry actually driving their car to the land speed events and racing there, too!

The custom fuel injection system feeds fuel to the Hemi and has been modified to help with clean, cool air flow when racing.

Dual parachutes grace the rear of the three-window coupe and are much needed at the 189mph top speed to date. The goal is still in excess of 200mph!


april 2015 | RPM Magazine

1934 FORD THREE WINDOW STREET/LAND SPEED RACE CAR Owner: Tom Conlan Driver: Greg Friedrich Chassis: Pete and Jake’s frame. Straight front axle, quick change rear axle. Roll cage built for SCTA rules. Suspension: Custom-built Afco double adjustable coil over shocks on the rear with Afco springs. Custom Gizmos anti-roll bar. Custom-built Afco double adjustable shocks on the front with a leaf spring. Body & paint: 1934 Ford factory Ford steel body (not aftermarket, not fiberglass). Not chopped and also not altered to fit the massive powerplant. Finished in gray primer. Frame and cage are powder coated to prevent corrosion from the salt. Engine: Ray Barton 572 Chrysler Hemi, naturally-aspirated 92-octane pump gas motor (850hp). Sheet metal intake, Stage 5 heads. Wet sump oiling system as no room for a dry sump. 20 mpg driving to and from the race track. Fuel delivery: Fuel Injected. Injector hat modified to fit into custom hood scoop used when being raced. Electronics: AEM electronics and ECU. Transmission & converter: 727 Automatic three-speed transmission with Coan converter. Rear differential: Quick change rear axle. Race division/class: SCTA (Southern California Timing Association) AA G altered–land speed. Best speed to date: 189 mph.

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


LAND SHARK “The continuing problems made Conlan, his sons, his friends and eventually myself a little more resourceful and inventive,” said Friedrich. “A few of our endeavors included making gaskets out of phone book covers and getting help from Speedy Bill at Speedway Motors shop, but the most impressive was complete strangers offering to help with parts, a garage, or anything they could do. The people we have met along the way have been amazing. You never know who you will run into. It might be a farmer with a barn full of parts or the head engineer of Toyota Racing Divi-

sion. We have experienced both and everything in between.” Racing the car has proven to be as much of a challenge for the team as the journey to get to the trackjust when they think they have the car figured out, another new curve ball is thrown at them. “We’ve had the engine fan go through the radiator at full speed down track which made the windows fog up instantly with zero viability at top speed!” continued Friedrich. “Tom has had the side windows roll down for

no reason at 180 mph which makes these cars extremely unstable and has actually led to others crashing. The ’34 has done 360-degree circles at top speed and continued on course, that’s a scary one! Racing a short-wheelbase brick may not be ideal, but it sure is an adventure, not to mention a challenge.” Friedrich and

CRUISE READY In street trim, the ’34 Ford stands as a cool original-bodied tribute to horsepower and hot rodding. Appearing as something from the distant past, the land speed street car turns heads with its class and numbering a permanent fixture on the sides.


april 2015 | RPM Magazine

Conlan met when Friedrich was living in California and decided to check out Speed Week. After spotting the Minnesota license plate in the staging lanes, which just happened to be Friedrich’s home state, he just had to spark up a conversation. Cards were exchanged and Conlan invited Friedrich to stop by

the shop some day when he was back in Minnesota. It was three years later, after Friedrich moved back home and started his own chassis shop that, by co-incidence, Conlan was referred to him. And so began their professional and personal relationship. Friedrich elaborated, “I had done work for Tom for two years before he would ask me to help with his tuning problems on the ’34. After installing a new AEM system and

RACE READY In race trim, the ’34 becomes a different animal with special wheels and tires, headlights removed, and the hood with scoop and hood sides in place to minimize drag and maximize airflow to the big Hemi.

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


LAND SHARK TIGHT SQUEEZE? You bet! The team emphasizes that the car is all-steel and uncut, even to shoehorn the Hemi in!

proving my work, Tom continued to keep me involved in the project for a couple of years while he continued to drive, and then he asked me to take the wheel three years ago. Of course I agreed and have been doing my best to improve the car along the way and try to finish what Tom had started 15 years ago. We’re just a group of regular hot rodders trying to do something different, with a goal to be the fastest real street rod in the world!” That admirable goal has not come easy for the team with being rained out at six different races over the last two years alone. “That’s a lot of miles

to put on and have to turn around and go home,” Friedrich said of the long distance adventures. To remedy this issue they tried expanding their racing to El Mirage, CA but found that Bonneville, UT is the best place for them to complete. “If Mother Nature could cooperate and we can continue to find helpful friends along the way, I know we will achieve our goals with our badass ’34 Ford,” he added. And just what needs to be done to accomplish their ultimate goal, you ask? They need to drive the car to the race track, exceed 215 mph on the track and drive the car home under






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april 2015 | RPM Magazine

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Full gauges and a Cheetah shifter are used inside the Ford. Um, we hate to be the one to break the news to you guys, but you need a new speedometer, 160mph just won’t cut it!

SPARTAN INTERIOR WITH A DASH OF SALT Inside is pretty bare bones and maybe not that comfortable on a 1,400mile haul. The tough part is keeping the floor pans from corroding due to the salt from the land speed race venues being tracked in. its own power, no easy feat indeed. While it looks like something out of a Mad Max movie, this real-world highway interceptor is powered by a naturally aspirated fuel-injected Ray Barton 572 Hemi that runs on 92-octane pump gas. A

Mopar 727 three-speed automatic transmission with Coan converter backs it up and is hooked to a quick change rear differential which obviously allows the team to change out the rear gears as needed when they get to the track. 1,400 miles is a long way

no matter how you slice it, so it’s convenient that the Hemi powered Ford gets an astonishing 20 miles per gallon on the highway between home and the next event…“it’s all the tune,” added Friedrich. Friedrich stressed that the body has not

been chopped or altered in any way, not even to fit the Hemi between the rails “…and it is snug” he joked. Nor are there any fiberglass parts on the car. And they run on the street, rain or shine, without the hood and hood sides but add a special hoodscoop for

2014 SUPER STOCK CHAMPION! Peter Biondo won the NHRA Super Stock title in 2014, his 7th NHRA World Title, using an ATI Transmission, Treemaster Converter, Supercase and Super Damper!











www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015



april 2015 | RPM Magazine


GOING FOR TWO HUNDRED A straight axle front with custom Afco shocks guides the ’34 down the road and track, while big brakes and twin parachutes help slow down the all-steel beast. Greg installs the race wheels with Mickey Thompson tires. Note the long, hardened wheel studs and wheel reinforcement plates. Each assembly is painstakingly balanced and marked as to where on the car it belongs.

RAM AIR The injector hat was modified to fit snugly into the custom hoodscoop, allowing cool outside air only to be funnelled in. A special screen in the plenum of the intake that catches bugs and small rocks is used for regular driving. When raced, the screen comes out as it is a restriction, so at that point there’s no air filter at all. “The only thing we can do is change the oil often to try to keep contaminants out of the engine,” Friedrich said.

the track. The coupe’s Pete & Jakes ’34 Ford frame and custom-built cage had to be powder coated to prevent corrosion from the salty conditions of most land speed venues and the car races on Mickey Thompson Bonneville experimental tires. Currently, the team has made the long trek with the car to nine different land speed events, most of which have been at Bonneville, UT, which is over 1,400 miles each way, and the

fact that it is always during the hottest weeks of the summer is just an added challenge. “The fact that we drive the car to and from the track is not a requirement for any land speed class,” explained Friedrich. “In fact, I don’t think anyone else does this,” he laughed. “It is just a huge personal challenge and problems always occur no matter how prepared we are.” An example of the trials and tribulations of driving an

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www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


HARSH ENVIRONMENTS The battle ground for this racer is a wasteland of elements that are not very friendly to any part of a metal machine. Friedrich (pictured lower right) pilots the Coupe during a November 2013 outing at Bonneville.

THE REEEAL POWER TOURERS Friedrich (left) and Conlan (right) stand by with the Land Shark fully dressed in attack mode.

GETTIN’ AFTER IT... This pic, circa August 2006, shows Conlan behind the wheel. Note the absence of the hoodscoop, coated headers and other recent mods to the package in an effort to reach that 200+mph goal.


april 2015 | RPM Magazine


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850-horsepower injected Hemi that distance happened just last summer while en route to Bonneville when they burned up two fuel pumps that had just been rebuilt prior to the trip. “What are the odds of that?” asked Friedrich. “Of course, we are well prepared now with our

chase vehicle and fixed the ’34 on the side of the road, just like we all did back in the day. Every trip, we make new friends and come home with another handful of new stories. That is why we drive the car. It’s an adventure, a challenge, and it brings us back to our roots!”

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015





>>You’re going how fast? With what? And how much did it cost? Jay Misener’s Coyotein-a-Fox body experiment proves to be a reliable, low budget 10-second terror!


rowing up in the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s— during the heyday of fast street cars where we would spend thousands of bucks just to get that little extra edge on the


guy in the other lane—who would have ever thought that we would see a “crate motor” basically dropped into a full weight production car and running 10-second ETs in the quarter-mile? Not me!

april 2015 | RPM Magazine

“Tens in the quarter” was always sort of the ultimate goal for a working guy’s real street car back then, and it is pretty quick even by today’s standards. Most of us just couldn’t afford it though,


story by

Stan Smith photos by

Tia Elizabeth

A Coyote trapped in a Fox’s body! Jay Misener’s ’88 LX hatch has one of Ford’s crate Coyote 5.0L engines with just a few bolt on parts installed and rips off 10-second elapsed times in the quarter, without the help of any type of power adder. The holes in the front fascia are evidence of a previous powerplant and were needed for air flow when the Stang was a supercharged 4.6 mod motor.


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www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015



april 2015 | RPM Magazine

CRATE EXPECTATIONS COYOTE-IN-A-BOX Freshly unwrapped, this is the way the Coyote looked upon arrival at Misener Motorsports.

LOOK AT THAT BODY... One of the few parts swapped out was the factory intake (below) which was replaced with a Ford Boss set-up and 85mm throttle body (left).

JUST A FEW MODS TO THE MOD (MOTOR) Long-tube headers were also installed. Other than the few simple mods to the intake and exhaust and a quick upgrade to the factory oil pump drive , the Coyote motor is otherwise unmodified. The Moroso pan allows easy fitment into the Fox body.

and then there were those guys who “said” they could go 10s no problem, but when it came to put their money where their mouth was at the track, very few could really run the number. Now, for basically around 8-grand, a few hours labor, and some fine tuning, you can go 10s right out of the box—or crate, in this case. Plus, your ride will be a joy to start up on

any given day—and no more feathering the gas to get it to stay running and crying your eyes out from the fumes! “I purchased the car for $500 when I was 20 years old,” said Jay Misener of his prize possession 1988 Fox body Mustang LX hatchback. “It was a teal green 4-cylinder 5-speed and I started stripping it right away. We painted the car orange and black

and installed a 306 cubic inch engine with hydraulic roller cam, Dart Windsor Jr. heads and a T5 transmission that went 12.1 seconds @ 112 mph.” This already sounds much like the same story as literally thousands of us have. Jay then went to a 347 mill with Dart Windsor Sr. heads and some more goodies and got the car to go 11.60s. Then, again as so many of the day

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www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


JAY MISENER’S 1988 FORD MUSTANG LX STREET/STRIP Owner: Jay Misener, Misener Motorsports, misenermotorsports.com Chassis: Stock frame front and rear. Suspension: FRONT: Tubular front K frame, bump steer kit, coil overs, manual steering rack, caster/camber plates. REAR: Adjustable upper and lower control arms, 50/50 shocks, stock springs, Chatterson Machine custom anti-roll bar and Chatterson 8.50 cert NHRA chromoly roll cage. Body & paint: Tri-coat custom candy orange paint with ghost flames done by Stacy Cromwell at CT Auto Collision. Engine: 302/5.0L Ford Coyote crate engine. Replaced factory oil pump gears with billet, added Boss 302 intake, BBK 85 mm throttle body, JLT cold air intake, and long tube headers. Other than that, the engine is completely stock! Rotating assembly: Stock Ford. Power adder: NONE! Transmission & clutch: Tremec TKO 600, Quick Time bellhousing, lightened steel flywheel, ProMotion Clutch. Rear differential: 33-spline Strange axles, spool, c-clip eliminators and 4.88 gear. Miscellaneous: Car runs at the track on a 26x10 slick and through the exhaust. Performance: 10.76 @ 125mph, 1.40 60 ft. Division/class: Street Eliminator with OSCA and the new Pro Stick Comp with PTRA. Special thanks: Brad Hager who helped originally put the car together and get it down the track, Stacy Cromwell who did the body and paint, Sasha Aleksic AKA “Skippy” who works at the shop and Alexus Gregory, Tim Biro and Rob Walton who all currently help with car.


april 2015 | RPM Magazine

CRATE EXPECTATIONS did, Jay tossed in a C4 auto trans and added a 150-shot of nitrous on the 347 and finally went 10.86. Then, after his next engine didn’t work out as expected, the car sat for six years until 2011, when he decided to go with some newer technology in the engine department, redo the paint, and replace the cage. During the downtime for the Mustang, though, Jay was building his business and also bought a chas-

sis dyno in 2010, moved to a larger location and now does everything from simple boltons to full builds, being able to dyno everything that comes out of the shop. Jay continued, “We slid in a 4.6 litre 2v mod motor that was carbureted with a Vortech V2 street supercharger and a C4 behind it that made 460 rear wheel horsepower (rwhp). Our first time out we went 6.79 in the eighth.

We replaced the C4 with a Powerglide and did some more dyno tuning to make 531 rwhp and went 9.84 @ 134 mph with a 1.39 60 ft in the quarter-mile.” Wanting to do more with the latest technology, have a more user-friendly combination and also create a project that would bring a new era of customer to his shop, Misener Motorsports in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, Jay decided to grab one of the new Ford 5.0L

Coyote crate motors he had been researching and hearing so much about. Originally, the Coyote was to go in his wife’s ’94 GT Mustang, but it never made it that far. “I sold the 4.6 combination and had nothing to put in my car. I saw the Coyote engine that was supposed to go in my wife’s car sitting there so I sweet talked her into ‘borrowing’ it,” laughed Jay. “Within three weeks my car was together and on the dyno with the current setup. This motor is unbelievable! Basically all

NEW HEART FOR THE HORSE One last look before heading to the install bay.

HEADED TO A NEW HOME All buttoned up and ready to go in the Fox body shop car.

SHE’S IN THERE The Coyote was initially slated to go in Jay’s wife’s ’94 Mustang, but some sweet talk landed it in Jay’s own car.

TAKE THIS MOD AND STICK IT Jay went back to a standard trans on this rendition of the Mustang and grabbed a bunch of new parts for the swap.

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


CLEAN CONFINES The final product is impressive and looks great under the hood of the ’88, almost as if it was made that way. Jay’s car is super clean in the engine bay and has had the “hole treatment” done to fill and cover all those unsightly factory holes in the firewall and inner fenders. Imagine getting a new Mustang with this motor and knowing you could change just a few parts and have a real-deal street/strip machine capable of blowing the doors off of a lot of the local street prowlers. And we thought the 225HP 5.0 liters of the ’80s and ’90s were fun!


• Keep plug boots from burning and cracking from header & engine heat

• Lower underhood temps and improve engine performance


• Protect plug wires, lines & hoses from engine & exhaust heat



april 2015 | RPM Magazine




(800) 264-9472 DesignEngineering.com


THE REST OF THE STORY Inside, Jay’s car is a pretty plain-Jane former daily driver Mustang. Nothing fancy and very little gives away this car’s potential other than the chromoly cage and relocated battery. However, under the car, items such as the sumped tank, beefed 8.8 rear diff, and stainless long tube headers tell a bit of a different story.

I did was put the Boss intake with 85mm throttle body on it, a cold air intake, long tube headers, put one of our custom Misener Motorsports tunes in it, and also replaced the factory oil pump gears with billet ones because they are known to have potential problems at higher RPM. It is pretty much stock from the crate and we went 10.76 in the quarter, and there is more in it!” Admitting that it is the easiest, least expensive and most dependable horsepower

he’s ever toyed with, Jay has it currently dynoed at 425 horsepower to the rear wheels, through the exhaust, and figures that with a few minor modifications and some more dyno time he can get even more power out of the 5.0. “We ran it both through the exhaust and open headers and it made no difference on the power on the dyno or the ET at the track, so we always run through the exhaust. I plan on playing with the tune and fuel to make some more power,”

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015



See the Mustang put over 400 ponies down on the chassis dyno by pointing your smartphone code reader to the QR code above.

It is hard to believe the capabilities of a pretty much stock motor in a full-weight car. The nearly-stockout-of-the-box Ford powerplant is putting 425 horses to the rear wheels, and Misener is confident that with a little tweaking, there’s plenty more where that came from. Yanking the wheels is a regular occurrence and we hear that the Coyote loves lots of RPM off the launch and through every gear! photoguys.ca


april 2015 | RPM Magazine

Misener added. “They apparently pick up 25-plus rwhp with E85 fuel and even more with race blends. I am also going to play with the clutch some more, as that seems to be a key element with these motors in the Fox body stick cars. I am pretty sure our clutch doesn’t slip enough so

we’re going to monitor driveshaft speed and see if we can get some more gains in that area as well.” “We’ve been much faster with other combinations and we were in the 10s a number of years back, but this is different,” said an excited Misener while

waiting to pack the car up after our photo session. “First, it’s a Coyote in a Fox body, no joke intended on that one, and it’s being raced with a standard transmission, which just isn’t too popular in Canada. Secondly, like I said, this was easy to do, cost-effective and is within most

anybody’s budget. Plus, when you’re done you have a very reliable streetable combination that you can drive anywhere and beat the livin’ heck out of on the weekends, and that’s a win-win situation no matter how you look at it!”


AFR change (%)

100 80 60




20 0 -20



150 200 Time (msec)




www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015



Beyond by

Dana Galus

>> Progress continues on Tom Bailey’s allnew Camaro... ONLY IN RPM!




o here we are in month number four and still waiting on the block!” exclaimed Sick Seconds 2.0 owner Tom Bailey. As promised, we’ll give RPM readers a glimpse at Sick 2.0’s drivetrain this month, to allow Tom and his

april 2015 | RPM Magazine

team to get back at the engine when the block is completed and they begin to assemble all that power. “We may be absent for a few months in RPM as we’ll be putting all of our energy into this ‘sick’ engine build so we can give you complete details as things progress,” added Bailey.

The car is set to debut at Detroit Autorama this week (March 6th), and then off to the Toronto Motorama. To make these events happen, Bailey will be debuting it with the alcohol version of Sick 1.0’s drivetrain. “It has been a plan all along to have this engine in 2.0 for some of the events

we compete in,” Tom explained. “It is a 3500-horse combo that will be capable of handling everything except the loftiest of our goals, and will allow us to get all the bugs worked out of the chassis without having the billet bad boy completed. The rest of the drivetrain will stay the same for both mills.”

ULTRA-TOUGH REAR The beefy rear diff assembly with massive Strange Ultra center section is a work of art and designed to transfer all of that raw power to the rear wheels.

STRANGE BINDERS To bring this beast from 300mph to a stop in a hurry are carbon brakes all the way around. They won’t distort with the intense heat and will have no brake fade like many conventional brake materials.

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015




(800) 208-1755


Crafted in the U.S.A.

The Rossler Transmissions Pro Mod 210 trans being used is based on a GM TH400 and comes with many years of hardcore research and development. The modular Reid Racing case is available with several differnt bell housings, allowing direct bolt-up to a number of common engines without the need for a clunky adapter.

So on to the drivetrain. Tom chose to back up the crank with a Meziere billet flexplate and a Meziere starter. “Their stuff is top notch and worry free. I have run their flexplate, starter, and water pump for years and have never had to replace them for any reason,” said Bailey. As we move back, we encounter the most crucial calculation in the mix, the torque converter. Tom elaborated,

“This will be an all-new design by the masters over at ProTorque. It will be the Evolution Series EV-1, a 4000+HP capable, user-friendly bolt-together design. It will also have all-newly designed “D” BOLT hardware to insure leak-free operation and safety, and an all-new billet drive side to decrease weight, increase strength, and lower rotating mass. ProTorque has made the most out of turbo cars,


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april 2015 | RPM Magazine

keeping them soft enough to run on the street without overheating but also tight enough that when the boost goes up these things lockup like nobody’s business. We used to run 8-9 percent slip at the stripe and now we run 2! That translates to a lot of miles-per-hour out the back door.” With the power of this new setup, Bailey figures

they’ll need to tighten the converter up even more than usual to make sure they can lay all the power to the ground, and to do that the team is working very closely with Rossler Transmissions. “Carl (Rossler) is the master of automatics and in my opinion has provided more innovations to automatic transmissions than anyone. He is going to

give us a torque converter pressure relief on our Rossler 210 Pro Mod transmission so that we can get the car to spool up quickly at the line and then pressurize the converter right before launch. He is also giving us a top secret 3-speed gearing combination. If you don’t know Carl then you have no idea what you are missing. He makes most of his

parts in house and doesn’t sell the pieces to anyone, so the only way to get the best is to buy his trans. And if something from his setup fails (which has not happened to us), he takes that part and improves it to try and prevent future failures.” Now is where things really take a twist for many readers. Because of all that

MUSCULAR FLEXING The Meziere billet flexplate is built to handle some serious horsepower.

STARTING TO BE AWESOME Even with 4,000-plus hp, Bailey figures this bad boy will never struggle to start Sick 2.0. As he put it “… this thing sings when it turns!”

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


BEYOND SICK street driving that Bailey’s Sick 2.0 will see, they will need to run some type of overdrive. A Gear Vendors Overdrive unit has been chosen for the project and will essentially turn the car’s 3-speed automatic into a 4-speed. “The overdrive allows us to cruise the expressway at 80 mph, or whatever the legal limit is, at less than 2,000 RPM, which means it is better on parts and more fuel efficient,” Bailey explained. “Last year with Sick 1.0 we averaged 12 mpg, so not to shabby for a 3000+ hp street car. But where 2.0

will be different is TORQUED OFF in the standing mile This is the new events. With those ProTorque EV-1. events, we will be Tom feels bad running a double covering it up with overdrive to make a bell housing. “It’s the most of the just too pretty,” he RPM on hand and said. “This thing to mathematically is beyond belief, be able to achieve a 300mph pass. Due strong and stout to the fact that we best describes this will be going from a jewel. And now it’s 34.5-inch tall tire to adjustable at the a 28-inch tire, that track!” second overdrive will come in handy.” OVER DRIVIN’ Based on some top This Gear Vendors multi-overdrive secret calculations will keep Sick 2.0 RPMs right RPM Magazine just for both street and interstate happens to have, it driving and standing mile runs looks like Sick 2.0 in excess of 300mph! A flip of should be capable a switch in the cockpit is all it of a 308mph pass takes to engage the unit, helping at 8200rpm for the anyone with a high horsepower mile event! Behind the Gear application to save parts and Vendors unit will be improve fuel economy.

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april 2015 | RPM Magazine

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PUT THE SAME PERFORMANCE ON YOUR CAR! • Self-tuning fuel table strategies greatly simplifies tuning process • Individual cylinder fuel and spark control allows you to unlock your engine’s potential • All features are standard with no additional upgrade costs! • Consistent closed loop fuel control • 4GB internal data-logging • Intuitive software • Integrated wideband oxygen sensors (HP™=1, Dominator®=2) • 3 Integrated rev limiters & user programmable safeties • Supports coil-on-plug applications • User programmable inputs/outputs (HP=8, Dominator=86) • 24 injector capability (Dominator), 16 injector capability (HP) - High or low impedance • Multiple power management tuning options • Fully featured time, speed or gear based boost control • 4 stage wet/dry progressive nitrous control • Integrated water or water/meth injection • Dominator - electronic trans control, dual drive-by-wire capability



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All trademarks listed are property of their respective owners.

BEYOND SICK SICK SHAFT, BRO... A custom carbon fiber driveshaft with 1480 yoke will take every bit of the 4000+ horsepower unleashed on it!

THAT’S A BUNCH OF SPLINES, THERE This Strange axle for the floater rear end set up is getting close to the size of a baseball bat!

a PST carbon fiber driveshaft that will connect to a bulletproof rear differential assembly. A Strange Ultra Case with a 9.5 inch gearset and full floater rear end with a custom case fabricated by Skinny Kid Race Cars will


tackle the transition of the power to the asphalt. “It is a thing of beauty but it is all business. We’ve got some massive Strange axles inside that beast and Sick 2.0 will be stopped on all four corners by Strange carbon brakes,” added Bailey. Now that we have some solid insight into what’s backing up that

april 2015 | RPM Magazine

4,000-plus horsepower, we need that billet motor between the rails soon to show how all these parts will put it to the ground! Sit tight, we will catch up in a month or so with Tom and Sick Seconds 2.0 to get all the details and give them straight to you, only in RPM!

SOURCES Bailey Racing


Gear Vendors www.gearvendors.com 800.999.9555

Meziere www.meziere.com 800.208.1755

ProTorque www.protorque.com 631.218.8700


www.pstds.com 888.218.8700

Rossler Transmissions www.rosslertrans.com 330.530.5000

Skinny Kid Race Cars

skinnykidracecars.com 248.668.1040

Strange Engineering

strangeengineering.net 847.663.1701



! e m e r E xt

>>We announce our awesome 2015 event line-up with seven events confirmed!


nce again for 2015, RPM Magazine will be going from ‘mild to wild’ and everywhere in between when it comes to horsepower with a confirmed SEVEN EVENTS in two countries: three wild drag race events and four ultra-cool high power shows! Most recently, RPM Magazine has just struck a deal with the Rocky Mountain Race Week to be the title sponsor, making it the RPM MAGAZINE ROCKY


MOUNTAIN RACE WEEK! The event will take place July 12th –July 17th will be held at multiple venues in a tourthen-race event format and can be found on facebook. LUCAS OIL PRODUCTS is back to support Extreme horsepower with RPM in 2015 and the following events will be MAIN EVENTS in the RPM/Lucas Oil Extreme Event line-up. • RPM/Lucas Oil Products WAR In The NORTH, JULY 3-5 St Thomas Raceway Park,

april 2015 | RPM Magazine

In 2009, RPM filled a quaint race venue in Holt Florida with hundreds of heads-up race cars for their 10th Anniversary Birthday Bash event and literally overflowed the place with spectators that were backed up from the front gates to exits in both directions off of the interstate. Tony Weber photo

story by

RPM Mag Staff

Sparta Ontario, Canada • RPM/Lucas Oil Products WAR By The SHORE, July 24-25, Thompson Raceway Park, Thompson, Ohio RPM Magazine/Lucas Oil Extreme Events will also be supporting the following: • ScottieD TV Kavalcade Of Kool, June 12-13th, Auctions America Auctions Park Auburn, Indiana • Second Annual Pro Street Night at Iron

Bridge Sports Park, June 13th, Chester, Virginia • BRANTFORD POWERFEST Car Show & Street Festival, July 18th downtown Brantford, Ontario, Canada • RPM MAGAZINE SOUTHERN FRIED FESTIVAL & CAR SHOW, Aug 22-23, Hampton Virginia which is presented by Live Wire Media and RPM/Lucas Oil Extreme Events


RPM brings the WAR to YOU! Hardcore International Fast Doorslammer Drag Racing—two events, two countries, one goal: to win at any cost! WAR HAS BEEN WAGED ON THE DRAGSTRIP! “Kristal Cowle took us to WAR, so speak. War on the drag strip that is,” said RPM Editor-in-Chief Chris Biro. “In working with her

Fed the masses...

We’ve filled far away tracks with fans…in the rain! Renegade Racing Association last year, we knew we’d be doing something bigger and better in 2015 with her. It was Kristal that came up with ‘WAR By The SHORE’ for our Ohio event July 25th at Thompson Raceway Park and we carried on with it for the ‘WAR In The NORTH… This IS Sparta’ event July 3-5th at St. Thomas Raceway Park in Sparta, Ontario, Canada.”


RPM/Lucas Oil Products WAR In The NORTH…This IS Sparta! www.rpmwarinthenorth. com. JULY 3-5. St. Thomas Raceway Park, Sparta Ontario, Canada. This innovative, high energy, all-out doorslammer and street car-based event will be held at the historical St. Thomas Dragway in Sparta, Ontario. With a lineup of wild classes at all

levels coupled with incredible show cars, this event will be non-stop action!

WAR In The NORTH Classes

Real Street Outlaw presented by PRO SYSTEMS & HARLAND SHARP is An Outlaw street car class with all types of street-legal vehicles doing battle! Canada’s Fastest Street Car, Boo King’s Nuclear Banana Camaro will take on ALL challengers from ALL countries! Full chassis cars with big tires allowed but the question is will a small tire, badass turbo street ride take out “THE KING?” Only time will tell! You will see INSANE mega-powered OUTLAW street cars go at it, but not before they make a real street cruise! Watch big tire, full-tube chassis cars versus small tire warriors! ALL cars are welcome & there are prizes for ALL levels of power! Full rules and payout info at www. rpmwarinthenorth.com

“Reviving our classes with street cruises combined with heads-up racing that we did up until 2008 was a must,” Biro explained. “The World Street Events that we started in 2005 were fantastic and set the pace for many to follow. We wanted to have a battle of the fastest street cars side-by-side in eliminations rounds rather than time trialing after cruising. So both our Real Street Outlaw and Plate Nitrous Street classes have full city/highway cruises followed by heads-up drag racing,” he added. SPARTA SMALL TIRE SHOOTOUT – HEADSUP BATTLES & GRUDGE RACING! TWO small-tire based heads-up, NO-TIME, no qualifying, instant green classes! IT IS NO HOLDS BARRED GRUDGE RACING! The Street King class presented by Ian Hill Racing/eshine.ca will see

insane street machines with stock-type suspensions battle it out…winner take all! The Outlaw class will get crazy, as both stock suspension and back-half cars go at it with a 29.5x10.5 or 315 radial max size tire! Action will be high flyin’ as no wheelie bars are allowed! With organized no-ET grudge racing just taking root in Canada, RPM joined forces with its founder and added this exciting battle to the WAR lineup. “Being the first large standalone event to bring real no time and grudge racing to Canada is an exciting venture for us,” said RPM’s Raymond Knight. “We love the excitement and edgy feel it brings to the table. These are the cars we often feature in RPM, so it’s a great fit for the magazine’s northern event.” “We’re so excited to be part of the WAR In The NORTH with the Sparta

Small Tire Shootout (SSTS) classes, and only good things have been happening since we announced it! In fact, payouts for our classes have just received a shot in the arm!” exclaimed SSTS series frontman Matthew Tamburro. “We’re already posting a minimum $3,500 going to the winner in our Outlaw class, and $2500 going to the winner in our Street King class!” He continued, “We’re making regular official sponsorship announcements to give recognition to those who have stepped up to support the Sparta Small Tire Shootout at the WAR In The NORTH. Don’t miss the opportunity to race or spectate at Ontario’s premier winner-take-all grudge race shootout this July 3-5th! Stay tuned for more sponsorship information from the SSTS, and we will be updating payouts as support continues to roll in!”

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


EXTREME EVENTS ...Had police escorts (Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada, 2008)

…And police antics (Belle Rose, Louisiana, 2005)

Tamburro and his crew are the pioneers in Small Tire/No Time/Grudge racing in Canada and invite cars from both the USA and Canada to come out and have some fun racing at St. Thomas Raceway Park. “Like we said, this type of racing is fairly new north of the border but is catching on like wildfire!” added Knight. “It is insane and anything can happen, which keeps cars and fans coming back for more.” SSTS can be found online at www.smalltireracing.wix.com/ssts or contacted by emailing jokersincracing@gmail.com NITROUS NATIONALS! THE FAMED NITROUS NATIONALS RETURNS TO ST. THOMAS WITH TWO CLASSES OF NITROUS-ONLY ACTION! RPM is bringing back an event that was once a huge draw to St. Thomas, the NITROUS NATIONALS. It was nothing to see thousands of people and literally hundreds of race cars pack into the relatively small venue on a Wednesday night for the Nitrous Nationals back in the ’90s. “We really wanted to bring back the Nitrous Nationals and keep it nitrous cars only. It was a huge deal back then and it just seems that the nitrous guys don’t get enough places to race against each other, and they have some killer cars!” said Biro. NITROUS EXPRESS NITROUS OUTLAW


april 2015 | RPM Magazine

will see big tire Pro Mod-style nitrous cars versus the world! Awesome sky-high nitrous purges and headers lighting up the night await fans of all ages! PLATE NITROUS STREET presented by LenTech Automatics will host small tire, plate nitrous system only (carbureted or injected), stocktype suspension cars and will have fans going wild with wheels-in-the-air MADNESS! But they better be real street cars because Plate Nitrous Street INCLUDES A STREET CRUISE right alongside our Real Street Outlaw class! PTRA SHOWDOWN: FOUR CLASSES OF PRO TREE RACING! The Pro Tree Racing Association joins in on the fun with Pro Comp, Open Comp, Pro Stick Comp & Trophy Comp. For RULES visit: www. protree.ca Hosting the Pro Tree Racing Association just adds to the diversity of the WAR In The NORTH event, and the staff at RPM have deep roots with PTRA owners Kelly Cooper and Glenn Tovey as both have been involved with RPM pretty much since day one! “We’ve featured both Glenn and Kelly in RPM at some point,” Biro said, “Heck, Kelly even came to No Problem Raceway in Louisiana for our first ever World Street event in ’05! So to see them starting to pick up steam as they grow their own series is incredible.”

“Glenn and I are extremely excited to be a part of the WAR In The NORTH,” said PTRA’s Kelly Cooper. “All our efforts over the last couple of years have culminated into this event. Sue (Cooper) and I began our racing lifestyle at the first RPM event, so it is fitting that we are now a part of what will be a great race. Chris, Trish, and their team always put on a quality event for the racers and fans alike, and the PTRA works hard to provide the best index racing experience around. We can’t wait to showcase this to the world!” The PTRA can be found online at www. protree.ca or you can get more info by contacting Glenn Tovey at 519-456-3157 or Kelly Cooper at 519-892-6914. The series invites all racers from Canada and the USA to come out. Remember, St. Thomas Raceway Park is only two hours from the Port Huron USA/Canada border and two and half hours from the Niagara Falls borders. ADDED EVENT ACTION • DERKZEN DRAG RACE SCHOOL will take place FRIDAY July 3rd. LIMITED SPACE! To register visit: www.derkzenmotorsports.com/ drag-race-experience • JET CAR MANIA SATURDAY!!!!! • Sat Night LIVE MUSIC with BARCODE www.barcodetheband.com and a charity Canada Day & Independence Day

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


EXTREME EVENTS …Shipped cars from afar… Andy Frost (UK)...

Boo King (CAN)...

A new fast doorslammer and street car based event that features a lineup of exciting favorites with a few completely unique new classes that will blow your mind and promise an action-packed event!

WAR by The SHORE Classes


...and Rod Saboury (USA), the three fastest from three countries.

• BBQ KIDS AREA With BOUNCY FUN HOUSE & MORE!! “I can’t even begin to tell you how excited we are to be working with RPM Magazine on their 2015 Canadian event,” tells Jay Morse of St. Thomas Raceway Park. “It’s an opportunity that we are pulling out all the stops for and the plans we have will blow everyone away! All I can say is that if you want to experience the way the feeling and energy at a drag race should be, and was back in the day, you need to be at St. Thomas Raceway Park for The WAR In The NORTH in July.”


RPM/Lucas Oil Products WAR By The SHORE July 24-25, Thompson Raceway Park, Thompson, OH www.warbytheshore. com


april 2015 | RPM Magazine

promises big power/small tire insanity! Rules can be found at www.warbytheshore.com If you think you got what it takes, bring it to WAR July 25th! No matter your association or affiliation, we invite you ALL! RPM will have photographers swarming the place and our commitment to Outlaw Limited Street races is to feature EVERY OLS car that shows up to run in RPM Magazine (unless of course you have already been featured). We’ll also guarantee to add $1,000 to the win payout and $500 to R/U if 17 or more cars show up for OLS, and help Kristal and her WAR staff make this an event to remember. To us at RPM, this class brings back the fire and enthusiasm that made small tire street car drags famous and we want to do our best to ensure its survival...OLS is just plain badass! The cars are out there, we just need to work collectively (all orgs and tracks hosting OLS) to encourage racers to compete at different venues and events. By the time this article reaches newsstands, there will be more exciting announcements regarding the Outlaw Limited Street class.

We’ve crowned champions (yes that is the original “Yellow Bullet”)

REAL STREET SHOWDOWN presented by HARLAND SHARP: Real street machines go to WAR! Heads-up 1/8th-mile battles to determine who has the fastest real street car! 32 RACERS INVITED—16 CAR QUALIFIED FIELD—8 GOLD CARDS FOR 2016 Rules are few and can be found at www.warbytheshore.com THIS CLASS IS INVITE-ONLY BASED ON YOUR APPLICATION You can find the application link in the Real Street Outlaw section of the event site or go directly to it at rpm-mag.com/real-street-showdown-application/ This class was created to be like

pulling up alongside a car at the lights and running. The MINIMAL rules are simply meant to qualify it as an original style street car (as opposed to a full chassis car). We all choose what type of car we want to build and race, so no whining! Don’t wait to sign up for the action though, as the final 32-car invite list will be chosen from a max of 80 entries and there were over 40 submitted in the first week they opened! In addition to the $5,000 winner’s purse in the Real Street Showdown class, one of the MAJOR prizes up for grabs is an RPM Magazine Team Marketing package with print exposure worth over $5,000 more! This includes ad space in six issues of RPM

Witnessed some pretty wild drag racing...

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015



april 2015 | RPM Magazine

...even in Friday testing.

From Anthony DiSomma’s nasty turbocharged Stang in 2005...


to thank/promote your team and sponsors and a full feature story in RPM! ROSSLER TRANSMISSIONS OUTLAW 4.80…brings 1/8-MILE MADNESS TO THE WAR! The only rules are that there aren’t many rules! This class is WAR BY THE SHORE’s version of LAWLESS MAYHEM! NO RULES, NO MERCY...JUST ALL OUT WAR! “We’re very excited to add this battle to the WAR,” said Cowle. “There are so many Top Sportsman guys on the local scene that have been wanting to run with the RRA for years but our strict rules have left them on the outside looking in...well not this time! As long as your car has working doors and is IHRA-legal to push the limits of 150 mph in the 1/8th, then BRING IT…and HOPE YOU BROUGHT ENOUGH!” OHIO OUTLAW AA/GASSERS WILD WHEELSTANDING NOSTALGIA! The Ohio Outlaw AA/Gassers are presented by ScottRods Custom Hotrods and Fiberglass and puts the KICK in kick start your heart…these guys will light the pipes and rotate the earth during the WAR! “We’re so excited to be a part of the War By The Shore race,” said Micky Hale of the Ohio Outlaw AA/Gassers. “All of our guys are looking forward to giving you our best nostalgia show in front of the street car crowd. I know

Kristal has been putting a lot of effort into making this a big time deal and it’s getting a lot of buzz around here…we just can’t wait!” RENEGADE RACING SHOOTOUT: 8.90/9.90/10.50/11.50 1/4-mile Drag Racing “Was Renegade destined to go to war?” asked Cowle? “Six years ago, before a single race was ever run, my late husband Tommy set out to take Index Racing in Northern Ohio to a whole new level. He and three others founded the RRA’s original 8.90 class, which has since grown to include 9.90, 10.50 and 11.50 index classes. Tommy left me to carry on his legacy alongside the racers that have fought to turn the RRA into a driving force in our local racing scene and now we are instrumental in leading the charge in an ALL OUT WAR with the hottest thing to hit the shore of Lake Erie in racing in a long time. And we are ready to make The WAR By The SHORE the next must do event for all racers in every class!” Also included at the WAR By The SHORE will be Box/No-Box. 32 car fields and best reaction times make the cut. Second chance race one field for all unqualified cars. The folks at Thompson Raceway Park have guaranteed to provide one of the most welcoming, safest tracks to race at/on for the event. “I can’t begin

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


EXTREME EVENTS to say how proud and excited we are to host the WAR By The SHORE event,” commented Jim Curtis of Thompson Raceway Park. “This will provide an excellent opportunity to prove our track will hold the caliber of car this event will bring.”


“To say RPM Magazine is excited to be the title sponsor for the Rocky Mountain Race Week is a huge understatement!” exclaimed Biro. “We literally just put this together with the event coordinator Matthew Frost. They need major support from our industry to pull an event of this magnitude off and the RPM Magazine ROCKY MOUNTAIN RACE WEEK is a perfect fit. It reaffirms our commitment to fast street and strip cars at all levels.” “They have definitely taken an existing concept and made it better,” continued Biro. “We’ve already talked to a number of the regular players in the ‘tour’ drag racing world and they are pretty excited about this event and looking forward to being part of it. I want to stress though, we need to see a wide variety vehicles involved and at RPM we give press to everyone, not only the winners. We are dedicating some serious real estate in several issues of RPM for this event, so sign up now to participate!” Registration for the event started the

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second week of February ...to Dan Flanigan’s nitrous Camaro in 2014. and the classes quickly filled to a point where the event was a 100% go and dates and venues could be solidified. Race Week dates and venues are as follows: SUNDAY, JULY 12 is tech and secure trailers at Bandimere Speedway, Denver, Colorado. MONDAY JULY 13 is the first round of time trials at Bandimere Speedway, Denver, Colorado. TUESDAY, JULY 14 is the second round of time trials at Pueblo Motorsports Park, Pueblo, Colorado. WEDNESDAY, JULY 15 is the third round of time trials at S.R.C.A Dragstrip, Great Bend, Kansas. THURSDAY, JULY 16 is round four of time trials at Kearney Raceway Park, Kearney, Nebraska. FRIDAY, JULY 17 is the fifth and final round of time trials followed by the award ceremony at Bandimere Speedway, Denver, Colorado. There are general rules that ALL entries will have to meet and the class rules can be found on the event facebook page. All classes

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EXTREME EVENTS are quarter-mile with the exception of the ‘Rowdy Radial’ class. In all, there are 12 classes as follows: • Unlimited • Pro Street • Outlaw Street • Limited Street • True Street: Four indexed classes; 10.00-10.99, 11.0011.99, 12.00-12.99, and 13.00- 13.99 • Hot Rod/Gasser: Cars must be 19281967 • Sport Compact • Ultimate Radial • Rowdy Radials The group has committed to a payout for every class and for their Unlimited class they have advertised a total payout of $25,000 to be split between the three best averages of the five days as follows: 1st place: $15,000, 2nd place: $7,500, 3rd place: $2,500. RMRW officials have also advertised $19,000 to split between the other classes that is


april 2015 | RPM Magazine

We’ve seen jets (Grand Bend, 2010)...

...and wheels-up Ohio Outlaw AA/Gassers ( at the WAR By The SHORE in 2015) Johnboy photography

We’ve helped to show off some cool street cars, too (Auburn, Indiana 2014)

based on car count in each class. After the event hits the predetermined 300 car limit, a confirmation email will be sent to all admitted applicants along with instructions regarding entry payment procedures. Visit the event’s Facebook page or contact Matthew Frost with any questions via email at mfrost@inoutofs. com.

SHOW IT OFF AT FOUR RPM/ LUCAS OIL EXTREME SHOW EVENTS! The headliner of the RPM 2015 show lineup will be the RPM


August 21-23 in Hampton, Virginia, presented by Live Wire Media and RPM/Lucas Oil Extreme Events “This event was just so hardcore, we had to jump in with both feet,” Biro said of their 2014 experience visiting the Southern Fried Festival show as observers only. “With so many wild street, street/ strip, and race cars on-site— not to mention the awesome display of musclecars, trucks and bikes—it’s a kickass good time. Music, cars, BBQ & more, all in the great state of

Virginia in the scenic Hampton area,” added show promoter Brad Hoffman of Live Wire Media. “This event has developed a life of its own, with over 125 top-notch BBQ competitors cooking to compete for the Virginia State BBQ Championships, 700 to 900 of the most amazing hot rod, musclecar, pro street, drag race, and restored classics all descending on Hampton to celebrate everything that we love; friends, cars, music, and food. It all comes together for this great weekend, with a boat load of amazing cars and people just soaking up the summer sun and having hotrod fun.” The event set a whole new concept in motion. A major melting pot car show with a music festival and world famous BBQ competition. The vibe was amazing, the cars made your jaw drop, the music filled the air with great sounds, the smells of BBQ made your mouth water, kids played, parents relaxed…the show had a lasting impact on those that attended. For 2015, the show is branded as the RPM Magazine Southern Fried Festival & Virginia Car Show, August 22-23rd (Sat 10 am-8 pm Sun 10am-5 pm). There will be a special Welcome Party Friday August 21st at 5 pm for preregistered car owners and the

show itself will have several areas/classes including; Badass Street, Modern Muscle, Pro Street, Race, Custom & Collector Zone, Monster Motor Zone, Street Rod Alley, Tough Trucks, and more, along with a huge display of custom & restored bikes. “We will see a massive growth in 2015 from all of the exposure the 2014 event experienced,” continued Hoffman. “People can’t wait. The Music festival will grow to showcase some of the region’s best up-and-coming stars in country, and rock. Vendor Alley will have custom shops, Eastern Truck & Accessories, apparel vendors, parts stores and, of course, the RPM Magazine set-up will be in full force giving away thousands of free magazines and searching for feature cars.” The RPM Southern Fried Festival will be promoted at the upcoming Virginia Hotrod and Custom Carshow, April 11-12 at the Hampton Convention Center. You can register your car there to get in on that welcome Party August 21st! For more

info on this great event email brad@ live-wire-media.com or call 410-2139473.


BRANTFORD POWERFEST Car Show & Street Festival Brantford, Ontario, Canada, July 18th RPM Magazine/Lucas Oil Extreme EXTREME EVENTS will be supporting full, exclusive event coverage for the Brantford POWERFEST Car Show & Street Festival. www. brantfordpowerfest.com This gig is so big that the entire downtown of Brantford city is closed off for an incredible INTERACTIVE show with everything from antique to all-out insane street machines and wild race cars! Special events and

Check out the Team’s Quick16 1969 Camaro at Motor Rama Toronto, March 13 - 15 and the London Speed and Custom Car Show March 21 - 22 www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015



april 2015 | RPM Magazine

Had some killer tunes, nighttime parties, lots of bench racing and made many new friends along the way (“family photo” Southern Fried Festival 2014). AND NOW – We’re doing it all over again…join us for the fun in 2015!

displays going on all day in Brantford’s Harmony Square and surrounding streets. For info and pre-registration visit www.brantfordpowerfest.com This is a large all-welcome car, truck, and service vehicle show with vehicles from 2 countries! Through RPM KIDS First Foundation, 100% of ALL proceeds from the show go ONLY to pre-approved Children’s charities where the money goes DIRECTLY to help the kids!

PRO STREET NIGHT with RPM at Iron Bridge

Sports Park, June 13th, Chester, VA. www.eastcoastprostreets.com When approached about getting a bunch of like-minded car guys together for a small gathering, East Coast Pro Streets director Doug Fields ran with it! “I really thought about something a bit bigger than just a few of us when I came up with the Pro Street Night,” explained Fields. “Facebook just sort of blew up with it. Last year was the first year and we had about 85 pro street cars and about 200 other hot rods, and the event was only advertised for three months! We had no idea of the response we were going to get!” The event is more of a good old-fashioned bench racing and chat day among people with a common interest: the love of hot rods, hanging out, and not being judged on whose car is faster or better. “Being able to talk about each other’s builds and just having a good time is what the Pro Street Night is about,” he continued. “The response was so overwhelming from last year and with everyone asking whether or

not we would be doing it again, this year I took the liberty of renting the entire Iron Bridge Sports Park in Chester, VA. The response has been huge—almost overwhelming—already.” Fields figures the day will attract in the area of 150-200 pro street cars in addition to 300-400 more hot rods and musclecars cars from six different states. “I’ve never seen anything take off like this. These guys have nowhere to go where they just fit right in, I guess. This is the place for them. So many people have the cars, but in their hometown there might be only four or five total at their local hangouts. Here, at our get-together, the pro street cars are parked side by side in the Pro Street Zone.” “I would also like to thank the following sponsors: Live Wire Media, RPM Magazine, Tubbed Magazine, and Jerry Gary’s Pro Street Era group for their help in promoting the biggest pro street gathering on the east coast.” RPM MAG/Lucas Oil Products Extreme Events will also be supporting the TOP 12 Wildest Machines pick from the ScottieD TV Kavalcade Of Kool event in Auburn, Indiana June 12-13th at Auctions America Auctions Park. www.kavalcadeofkool.com or www.auburnshifters.com Operated by the Auburn Shifters Car Club, this year’s show includes: • FORT WAYNE SCCA AUTOCROSS: All registered cars are eligible to compete in “The King of the Road Challenge.” Visit: www.fwscca.com for more details. • SKILLS AND GAMES: Driving and individual competitions for adults and kids. • CLUB PARTICIPATION: Preregistered clubs









with 10 cars or more can set up club areas on Friday. These clubs will choose their favorite cars for the “Best Of The Best” trophy. • PANCAKE BREAKFAST • CAR CORRAL: For car corral information contact Greg Payne 248-921-0967 or musclecargreg@gmail.com • GIANT AUTO SWAP MEET: 8am – 5pm Friday & Saturday


Whether you are into hardcore doorslammer drag racing, wild over-the-top high performance street machines, cool summer cruises, good food, good music, good people, or good times, it is safe to say RPM Extreme Events has you covered for the summer of 2015 and beyond. So what are you waiting for? Get your ride ready we’ll see you there!


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www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015





CHANGE-UP >> What it really takes to go from blown to twin turbo on an already-formidable street/strip warrior


ike we have been telling RPM readers since day one, when you follow along with our RPM projects, you are seeing them in real time. Chances are that most of the work you are reading about today was actually completed only a few weeks ago, pretty cool huh? We think so! We want you to get your hands dirty, toss tools and curse right along with us… and oh yeah, we have to wait for parts just like you! If you don’t believe us, just ask


Tom Bailey and Glenn Hunter. This is the real world folks, not a fantasy land of milk and honey magazine projects. “It’s been a struggle to get stuff accomplished since last month,” Hunter said of the work on the ’56 screw-blower-to-turbo conversion completed for this series. “The delay with parts has been killing us. Even though this is a magazine project, we have to wait in line just like everyone else. I mean, what good is it unless we can give readers

april 2015 | RPM Magazine

Glenn had Superpro Performance also finish the fuel rails for the intake. Tommy V makes this look easy, but these holes have to match up exactly to the injector placement or they end up as a few pounds of scrap aluminum!

Fuel rail mounts are made and test fit on the intake. Once the mounts and rails are finished, the new fuel injection intake is now officially ready to go!

After the first row of injectors holes are completed and the bungs welded into place the second set of injector holes are drilled on the Bridgeport. With both rows of injector bungs welded in, the new fuel rails and injectors are test fit together. The next task is to fab up some fuel rail brackets to keep things stable, then trim the fuel rails to length and thread the ends for AN fittings.

a look into the reality of doing a project like this? The fact is it’s not easy, but the end results are well worth the effort.” While waiting on some parts, Glenn was able to get started, and finished, on other important items, like the intake manifold for the project. The Pro-Filer Sniper II intake was machined to take the 16 injectors for the new twin turbo setup and some cool new fuel rails were fabbed up by Glenn’s buddy, Tommy V of Superpro Performance in NY. “We are working with what we have so far,” Glenn added. “Tommy V has been hard at work on the intake manifold and fuel rails

and I’ve been tied up with getting these big turbos in the right spot, making sure there is clearance for the front tires while turning and as they move through suspension travel. I want readers to know that so far, the turbo placement has been the toughest thing we’ve been faced with. There is just a lot to think about.” Glenn knows he also has to consider the location of turbo hot side inlets, making sure they are positioned in a location that will work with the header collectors on both sides. Then there’s the look. Considering all the mechanical factors, plus knowing that you want the setup to look good when

IN FOR ALTERATIONS Glenn’s new Pro-Filer Sniper II intake was drilled to accept the 16 fuel injectors he will be using for the new twin turbo application. First, the factory bosses in the intake are milled off and drilled out larger to accept the new injector bungs.

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015



Shaft Mount Rockers

Glenn’s new Borg Warner S400 Series 88mm turbo twins arrived, overdue, but in good health February 24th at 9am…pass out the cigars!


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Having friends is great, especially ones that can make trick stuff for your car and save you a few bucks in the process. Check out these 5/8-inch 304 stainless header flanges Glenn’s buddy Eric whipped up. all is said and done, makes for a tedious job. “We tried a few locations and then came up with what you see here—mounting the turbos high, but still under the hood, just inside of the inner edge of the fender and below the top support of the radiator cradle. We feel that this will allow the headers themselves to look as uniform as possible.” The intake side of the turbo-

chargers will also work well in this position, allowing Glenn to pipe through the open sides of the radiator support which will allow for a good air supply and also satisfy things in the looks department. “Without the turbos, we were stuck in the mud,” said a frustrated Hunter. “Besides Tommy working on the intake manifold, we didn’t have much else we could do without them.

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april 2015 | RPM Magazine

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THE CHANGE-UP The headers could be started using the new flanges but work couldn’t go very far until the turbos arrived.

Finally, the twin turbochargers have been located to satisfy hot and cold side requirements as well as making sure that they are out of the way of any suspension or steering interference, plus, they look darn good!

With the turbos positioned roughly in their final mounting points, now the headers can be sorted out, mocked up, and eventually custom fabricated to fit.

Glenn is well on his way to roasting the rear hides again... but this time with twin turbo power under the hood!

We got them Tuesday and today is the first day that we are actually making headway on mocking up on the car itself. We’re onto the header configuration now that the turbos are in their final resting place and we are hoping from here we can make some serious progress.” Tune in next issue as the Change-Up continues and we see a solid turbo setup in place in our wicked street/strip ’56 project and can work on the piping to intake manifold. We’ll check in on those headers and look at the actual exhaust system for the new combination, and talk about cam specs as the camshaft choice has been made and it is on its way. Glenn’s ECM unit will head back to Big Stuff 3 for boost control upgrades, and we’ll look at suitable wastegates and blowoff valves as well.

Tara Bowker photo

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


story by

George Pich

photos by

Pete Ores

NORTHERN ATTACK Barracudas are voracious, opportunistic predators, relying on surprise and short bursts of speed to overtake their prey. — Wikipedia


t took quite some time for Dean Branham to get his 1969 Barracuda to this stage in its existence, but all the hard work, trials and tribulations have been more than worth it. “My dad bought this car in 1998, and it was a clapped-out, rusted mess with a 318 and bald tires. But it moved under its own power, so we drove it home and parked it in the field where it sat for five years.” Back then, Dean was racing a 1968 Coronet that was good for low 10s, but it was just not enough. “The Coronet was cool but was just not scratching my need for speed itch,” Dean admitted. “I probably mowed the grass around that Barracuda a hundred times but never saw it as an old tired relic. Instead, I envisioned a Hemi super stocker doing a wheelie. So as I shot grass clippings into the grill for the last time, I hooked it up to the lawn tractor and pulled it into the garage.”


Branham decided it was time to build a race car and the first version of the Barracuda was completed in 2006. With the massaged naturally-aspirated alcohol-injected 540 engine out of the Coronet and 700 pounds less weight to move, it ran 9.10 at 150 MPH with a completely stock body other than a fiberglass hood and fenders. While in the process of building the car in this first configuration, Dean came to a crossroads in the design. “Given what SFI had mandated on tubing placement in 2004, the double frame rail inside the drivers area was not as common as it is

now, so transmissions were often taken out inside the driver’s area and pulled through the door. The thought of wrestling the transmission through the door area was not very appealing to me, so I went on my own and made a removable transmission crossmember. With the car still in the build stage, I took the finished chassis in for NHRA certification and the Division Six Tech Director took photographs of my newly-designed crossmember and submitted them to SFI for approval. If you’re under your car and removing your transmission through the bottom with a removable crossmember, this was the first car to ever have it,” he said. From there, the car would be reinvented a few times before it reached the maximum badass level it’s at now. While the new-found power and speed kept Dean happy for a bit, in a little over a year he would be installing a ProCharger F3 onto the engine and get a big wake up call. “I found out the hard way that with boost there is a long list of upgrade parts you need,” recalled Branham. “I fondly remember having my foot on the cylinder head with a pair of vice grips in hand, pulling my (what I thought at the time were good) pushrods out of the engine. Eventually, most of the bugs got ironed out of that combination but I really couldn’t envision it going much faster than the 7.45 at 185 mph it was running.” In 2009, after running deep into the 7-second range in the quarter-mile with the ProCharged setup, Dean went with a set of more serious Predator cylinder heads and a pair of 88 mm turbochargers on that same engine.

60 april 2015 | RPM Magazine

SICK FISH Dean Branham’s ’69 Barracuda Outlaw has all the looks and power of true predator.

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015



SINISTER STANCE After realizing the switch to twin turbos was too much for the car in its current form, the chassis was re-visited and this vicious stance is just one product of the work.

IN THE LIME LIGHT This dangerous machine casts a mean shadow as the Vegas sun sets.


Branham recalled his final awakening, “When I see video of the car back then with the twins on the wedge motor, I shake my head at the spectacle. People would line up to watch a run, but not to see how fast I would go. They wanted to see if I would make it to the end of the track without crashing. This was a problem and it needed to be addressed, which is when we decided to do the full makeover.” As a part of the overhaul project, the chassis was further tweaked, the ride height lowered and a one-piece front end was installed along with a fiberglass trunk lid and doors—taking over 200 more pounds off of the car. This configuration would stand for five years and “ran like a 6.80 bracket car,” as Branham put it, but that was the limit to the reliable power, as Dean found out again that the more he pushed that combination, the more he discovered its limitations. In September, 2013 it broke for the last time. “When your competition has you covered, you can do one of three things: 1. quit, 2. be happy with where you are at and have fun racing or 3. step up and cover the competition.” Dean exclaimed. As you can guess, Branham chose option three. “‘Chop the front end off of the car and stuff a Hemi in it’ sounds easy when you say it fast,” he laughed. “But my 2014 year had me locked in my garage day and night to get this latest program ready to roll.”

62 april 2015 | RPM Magazine

“I started buying parts for a new Hemi engine in November and began assembling the current rendition of this work in progress,” he continued. “The 88 mm turbos that I used for the past couple of years were in need of repair, so I contacted Alamo Turbo out of Calgary, Alberta and they set me up with two Garrett 91 mm turbos for this new project. This all happened at a very good time, as money was getting tight and this sponsorship would really help get me on the track for the late half of the 2014 season.”


The first outing for the Barracuda with the new engine combination was in Mission, BC, Canada and was a more than interesting experience with the massive power now readily available to Branham at the twitch of his right foot. “When I arrived in Mission on Wednesday for testing, it was raining and it did not stop until Saturday morning. This meant that my test and qualifier would be wrapped up into one but I had no tune-up for the Hemi and had to write a whole new program which was considerably different than the old program. On Sunday morning, upon initial start-up of the car, it backfired and broke the starter. Running around the pits, I tracked down a starter from a local racer and bolted it on the car but still missed my very last qualifier. So heading into eliminations would be a shot in the dark.” All things considered, round one went relatively well for Branham and the Barracuda went straight and made it down the track with a round win. Round two was a close race against

See the ’Cuda in action by checking out this YouTube clip on your smartphone!

WHAT’S THAT SMELL? BULLETPROOF A Strange Pro Mod rear diff with 4-link and coil-overs help plant the power and get it down track.

Branham burns the buns in Vegas after the long haul from BC, Canada to Vegas. The fans love “different” and.....

www.rpm-mag.com | DECEMBER 2014


LOOK MOM...TWINS! The low-slung twin 91mm turbochargers from Alamo just peek out below the body with the front end on, but with it off you get a real feel for their true size.

Paga Agatonovic, with Dean just edging him out at the finish line. “Paga took the first exit and I was taking the second exit when I noticed a small flame under my hood,” Dean explained. “I pulled my fuel shut off and coasted around the corner to a stop with my car still on fire. Pulling the fire system did not

slow the fire because a fitting on the fuel rail sprayed fuel on the underside of the hood and all I could do was stand there and watch my car that I just spent every weekend in my shop for almost a year on burn. Words cannot explain my anguish at that time, as not only was I exhausted from doing a mara-

FORCE-FED ELEPHANT An overhead shot shows the real estate the Hemi and associated hardware take up in the front of the mighty Mopar.

cvrproducts.com For more information visit

64 april 2015 | RPM Magazine


NORTHERN ATTACK thon final assembly before the race, but then seeing my hard work just go up in smoke had me crushed. With the fire, I bypassed the scales to put Paga back in the race as I did not want to see an uncontested final, and he won. Two weeks later he called me up and then mailed me a check for $1500 dollars, the money that I would have had if I went over the scales.” With Dean’s home track, Mission, undergoing a major upgrade which caused a delay in the season due to concrete problems, all of the races were moved to late September. The SCSN (Street Car Super Nationals) in Vegas, just down the coast from Dean, was in November, so he knew that if he wanted to get back out with the Barracuda he needed to access the situation and get it back together, pronto.


CANADIAN...OUT BACK Twin chutes and long wheelie bars: both essential in getting the Barracuda from A to B safely!

continued on page 76

A complete assessment of the damage was the first order of business. Right off the start, two of Dean’s friends stepped up to handle all of damage to the body and paint, which was concentrated to the front clip and doors. Dean’s side of the equation was to pull the engine out for inspection and while at it, replace every wire and hose along with powder coating all of the turbo tubing. Time was running short and it looked

like once again he would be under the gun approaching race weekend. “It was the weekend before SCSN when I took the car to Calgary and assembled it with the freshly painted clip and doors, courtesy of Alternative Restorations and Rick Barnhart,” explained Dean. “And with a quick test fire to make sure it ran, we rolled it out of the shop, through the snow and into the trailer for the 24hour drive down to Vegas.” Heading south to run Outlaw 10.5 at the SCSN, Dean knew that there was a testand-tune on the Wednesday before the race and that with only three passes on the new engine, the opportunity to test was essential to developing a tune-up specific to the Vegas climate and track. “On the first pass the car got loose and I had to abort the run,” he explained. “On the second pass, when the car shifted into second gear, something broke in the transmission and we coasted to the end of the track. Once we were in the pits and got the car up on the stands, we pulled the transmission to see what happened. The forward drum had broken off of the input shaft which was a big problem because I did not have a spare.” It took one call to Rossler Transmissions on Thursday morning and the parts were overnighted directly to Dean at the track for Friday morning.

!!! www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


SWEET TRANSFORMATION Dean had enough of mowing grass around the Barracuda and one day decided he’d pull it from the weeds and make a race car out of it. The first configuration saw a 540-inch alcohol wedge motor installed from another car he was racing (bottom left), then a ProCharger was added (bottom middle). Then, after a five year run with twin turbos on that same motor, a twin turbocharged Hemi was created to take the car up to the ultimate level (bottom right).

66 april 2015 | RPM Magazine

NORTHERN ATTACK CLASSIC DASH Two thumbs up for Dean’s choice to leave the factory dash and gauges intact.

Come 10:30am, the game was back on and Branham rebuilt the transmission in record time for his crew to install in the Barracuda. Knowing that he had now missed two qualifiers and the clock was ticking for number three, he had to

CLEAN, SIMPLE, AND SAFE The workmanship on the double rail chassis and fit and finish throughout the inside of the car is second to none, as is the supersano electronics install.

make a dash for the lanes. “When we got to the lanes, gremlins from the fire showed up, or so we thought,” Branham continued. “The boost controller failed to activate. We wiggled the wires and the controller worked, so thinking it continued on page 76

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


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DEAN BRANHAM 1969 PLYMOUTH BARRACUDA OUTLAW 10.5 Chassis: Double frame rail tube chassis, 107-inch wheelbase, 2950 pounds. Suspension: FRONT: Strange Ultra front struts. REAR: 4-link with Strange Pro Mod rear sway bar and Penski 8300 rear shocks with air bleeds. 86-inch wheelie bars and chromoly 3.5-inch driveshaft. Body & paint: Plymouth “Green Go” paint and original-style body stripe. Fiberglass front clip, doors, hood, and trunk. Carbon fiber rear wing. Factory dimensions retained on all parts.


Engine: Brad Anderson Hemi. BAE 8X cylinder heads. Billet block. Bullet camshaft with CamFX lifters, Manton tool steel pushrods, Manley titanium retainers, intake, and exhaust valves, Daileys Engineering dry sump with Peterson oil tank. Jesel belt drive with vertical-mount distributor. Rotating assembly: Bryant billet crankshaft, GRP aluminum rods, JE pistons, and Akerly & Childs rings. Induction: Hogans sheetmetal manifold. Enderle 1200 camdrive fuel pump. 8 Billet Atomizer 225 injectors, 8 Precision Turbo 550 injectors. Two Accufab 90mm throttle bodies. Power Adder: Alamo Turbo 91mm GT5591 Turbochargers, 60mm wastegates, ProCharger blowoff valves. Electronics: Big Stuff 3 fuel injection. AMS 1000 boost controller. Pulse leash bump box. MSD 10 ignition box. Transmission: Rossler XHD210 TH-400 transmission. Neal Chance bolt-together torque converter. Rear differential: Strange 4130 sheet metal rear end. Best performance to date: 6.58 @ 212mph

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76 april 2015 | RPM Magazine

was a bad wire in the harness, we made a new harness to get us by and it worked.” Saturday morning came, and being somewhat confident that they had a working race car, the exhausted crew towed to the lanes for another qualifier. So far the Mopar was qualified back around mid-twenties in the ladder, a definite disappointment for the team. Dean explained his next bout of frustration.

“As I got into the staging lanes, I cycled the boost controller just to be sure, and it didn’t work again! I really needed to get a run in to sort the fuel curve out, because so far I had not made a run under any real power. With the hood off in the lanes and no time to diagnose the problem that we thought was fixed, the gates got hotwired to 25 psi on the top of the gate. We then made a pass and went 6.80 with only 20 psi

into the engine!” Back in the pits, Branham and his team got right on it, pulling out the brand new sensor that was installed just before Vegas and installing a borrowed sensor in its place, “…and ta-da it worked like a champ,” he laughed. “Now we had a little more data to work with and the car can make boost, everything is starting to come together, right?” In the final qualifying run, although


www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


NORTHERN ATTACK posting a respectable 6.61 at 201mph—good enough for number 8 position—and gave the team some much-needed data. However, the car felt strange on the first to second shift and would not shift into high gear. This saw the crew working to correct the problem into the night. The SCSN can be a war of attrition, and come Sunday there were only 3 out of 12 first round pairings. With Dean’s first opponent broken and unable to make the call, he took advantage of the bye run to make sure the car was in line for the next round. “The car pulled nice though the front half but then laid over on the topend from hitting the limiter in second gear when the car failed to shift into third again. It was a decent 6.58 at 212 with a 4.26 at 173 to the 1/8thmile with 28 psi for boost, but there was no doubt we had some problems.” Dean’s luck, good or bad, was about to be tested against some tough competition as they faced the number seven qualifier in the second round,

Outlaw 10.5 veteran Mike Murillo. “Mike knows his stuff and is a past SCSN winner with a fast car, so we needed to plug more power into the car if we wanted to get by him. With the shifter drama figured out and the tune up getting closer each pass, we saw a small light at the end of the tunnel, but round two would tell.” With the massive twin turbo’d Hemi set on kill at 35 psi of boost, Branham took the attention-getting lime green Barracuda into the burnout. “When I backed up, confident we could make this run count, the oil tank overflow dripped out oil onto the track and I was backed out. My season was now officially over,” he added, trying to stay positive about the ordeal. The tow back to the pits was quiet, but the long drive north toward home gave the team the time needed to reflect on the experience and the run that never was. They would now have to wait until spring in Canada to get back out, but be able to do so with promising performances under their belt.

78 april 2015 | RPM Magazine

NICE TRY... “I look at that event as a good time and a fun adventure,” Dean said, reflecting on the experience. “Even with the problems, we’re a few steps closer to having the car worked out. I spent time with good friends and met new ones, and we brought back a healthy car with a lot of potential.” For 2015, Dean says the car will be back after a thorough going-over with some testing come spring. So keep a close eye out for this wild Barracuda lurking near the Pacific coast, waiting patiently to devour its next prey.

340 Wedge? Yeah.... riiiiiiiight. More like monster twin-turbo Hemi !

www.rpm-mag.com | DECEMBER 2014


>>Dan Marvin and his undercover 1990 IROC-Z street car win a lot of races based on first impressions by


Stan Smith

or Buffalo New York’s Dan Marvin, it’s not about glitz, glitter or how much dough you dropped on making your car look good in the pits. And as far as car shows go, nothing could be further from his mind. For Dan, it’s simple—beat the other guy and have fun doing it! Call it a sleeper, a grudge racer that doubles as a driver, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, or whatever you want, but to get respect in the world of hardcore real street car drag racing, you gotta earn it. Case in point: when Dan rolls up to the starting line of any drag strip in his plain-Jane


photos by

Tia Elizabeth

looking 1990 IROC-Z, if his opponent doesn’t know him, they chuckle then lose the race. If the driver does happen to know Dan, they know they need to be on their game, and then, more times than not, they lose the race! To say that Marvin is passionate about drag racing is an understatement. He races in at least two different organizations in two different countries and enters as many classes as he can at each event. Plus, he signs up for any type of Outlaw real street car class he can, including the upcoming WAR By The SHORE Real Street Showdown class at Thompson

april 2015 | RPM Magazine

Raceway Park in Ohio, July 25th. You wanna talk about street cred and respect? “Dan (Marvin) is truly the ‘Iron Man’ of the OSCA,” said Mike Bennett, co-founder of Canada’s Ontario Street Car Association (OSCA). “Since the inception of the index classes in 2002, Dan has not missed a single race. What`s even more impressive is the fact that he almost always double-enters in 10.90 and Open Comp and wins regularly in both! He`s probably one of the most well-rounded racers I`ve ever seen and a great

KEEPIN’ IT SIMPLE Hmmm, looks like a stock 14-second street car…not! No parachute, no fancy graphics, plain, well enjoyed interior, no aftermarket wheels, no huge hood or slew of fiberglass parts. You don’t have to spend a boatload of cash to go fast. Do your homework on what works well and what doesn’t, and even more importantly, what parts work well together. Take a Shafiroff pump-gas friendly 434-inch small block Chevy for example: it works very well, and Dan has lots of time slips to prove it!

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015



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STREET CRED NEVER WOULDA GUESSED IT... Tagged and insured, Dan puts a lot of miles on his real street car. Then, if wants to, he can bang off high 8-second runs just for kicks!

guy with a great attitude to boot.” “I know Dan’s car can run pretty hard as he is a competitor in our 9.90 class,” said Kristal Cowle of the Renegade Racing Association. Then, after we let her in on the somewhat secretive 8-second quarter-mile potential of Marvin’s Camaro she went on to say, “That dog! I

had no idea! He has never shown those cards at an RRA event.” “This car is the real deal! Dan drives it everywhere and we need more cars like this out there– real street cars that can run hard,” added Brian Prior, the owner of the shop “2 Fast Garage” that Dan proudly displays on his windshield.

If that isn’t earned respect, we don’t what is. So before we even started our photo shoot, when Dan said “my car isn’t magazine worthy” we completely disagreed and explained that a proven-fast and street driven machine like his is more in tune with reality than most. So yes Dan—it is magazine worthy!


“I’m a first generation car guy,” Dan explained. “I’m the oldest of four kids, and childhood road trips would have me glued to the road when my siblings were sleeping. I even

went to a vocational high school for auto mechanics and remember being corrected for which way a lug nut went on (bevel in) and telling my sophomore high school teacher that I was going to drive 18-wheelers like my Dad when I grew up.”

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www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


STREET CRED IROC’N & ROLLIN’ Best friend and 2 Fast Garage owner Brian Prior is the motivation and tuner behind Dan’s success with the car. Only 5500 IROC-Zs were produced in 1990, as GM gave up the IROC license mid-year and went back to calling them Z -28s again. 3200 came with a 350, and 2800 with 4-wheel disc brakes which included the better Borg Warner rear end with 3.23 gears. “My favorite part, and what I believe is the most unique feature of the car is the 3-inch widened factory aluminum rims,” Marvin said.

Dan recalled his first car, a 1965 Chrysler Newport with a 383 two-barrel and posi rear that was handed down from his grandfather. “I fixed up the Newport at school and whooped my friend on a regular basis in his ’73 Olds Cutlass with a 350 Rocket,” he laughed. “I really learned to drive, though, in a ’74 Chevy wagon that weighed 5000 pounds and had a 400 small block. I flipped the air cleaner lid over and tweaked that Q-Jet carb to get as much as I could out of it.”

Marvin’s next ride was a ’79 Malibu wagon with a 350. “I’d regularly race my buddy in his parent’s 302 Crown Vic and beat him every time!” I think we all see a definite pattern developing here during Dan’s youth. Getting a little older and little more serious about what he wanted to drive, in 1981 Dan bought himself a ’68 Chevelle. “The first Chevelle was midnight blue lacquer with a 327, 780 Holley, a Torker intake, 202 Fuelie heads, headers with cherry bombs and

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april 2015 | RPM Magazine

NO TRAILER QUEEN Yep, we like to call it a well-enjoyed interior! In just the first two years he owned it Dan put 32,000 miles on his IROC-Z, and many many more since. Sometimes just a quarter-mile at a time though. was backed by a Muncie 4-speed and 12 bolt with 4.11s. You could hear me coming a mile away!” Unfortunately though, that car got totaled hanging out on Ohio Street at a street race. Having dwveloped a solid love for Chevelles though, Marvin would next grab a red 1970 which he would trade a few years later for a ’66 Chevelle original SS car. Dan elaborated on the ’66, “Although the big block was long gone, it had a 400 small block with a stupid big cam, turbo 350 with a tight converter and a 12-bolt with

3.31s. I drove this car from 1984 to 1987, during the second musclecar era, and ate 5.0 Mustangs and TPI third-gen Camaros for lunch with it all day long!” 1988 rolled around and Dan backed off of cars and sold the Chevelle after being laid off. A few years later though, a friend threw him the keys to his 5.0 Mustang with a stick and it was all over. “I was hooked again!” Dan exclaimed. “So I went shopping and the car I found was a three-monthold 1990 Camaro with 3000 miles. It had all the right stuff, was fully

WORKING STIFF The IROC started to literally rip apart once Dan got some serious power. After laser straightening everything, the toothpick frame-connectors were tossed and some serious work was done underneath along with the 12-point cage.

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015



april 2015 | RPM Magazine


DAN MARVIN 1990 IROC-Z CAMARO STREET/STRIP Chassis: Stock with frame tied and 12-point cage Suspension: FRONT: Stock suspension with recirculating ball steering, front sway bar removed, 6-cylinder coil springs and 90/10 Competition Engineering struts. REAR: All aftermarket heim joint with Spohn stock-style suspension with adjustable torque arm, panhard bar & lower control arms. Lower control arm relocation brackets on rearend and double adjustable coil-over shocks with a drag race rear anti-sway bar. Body & paint: Stock except for 3-inch fiberglass hood. Paint by Steve Schans of Silverbird Towing in London, Ontario, Canada. Engine: Pump gas-friendly 10.5:1 compression Shafiroff 434 ci small block Chevy 0.30 over, 4.155 bore Motown block with 4-inch stroker crank. Stock out-of-the-box from 2004 AFR 227 heads, 76cc chambers. COMP Cams solid roller w/276 Intake, 288 exhaust @ 50 on a 112 lobe separation angle. 1.6 ratio COMP Cams rockers with girdle. Lift is 609 intake, 651 exhaust. Rotating assembly: Fully forged & balanced Scat crank, Lunati Pro Mod rods, and JE Forged pistons. Induction and fuel: 950 cfm Pro Form carb on an Edelbrock Super Victor intake ported by Mike Janis of JAN-CEN Motorsports. Power Adder: NOS nitrous system with two plates, Big Shot and a Cheater. Dedicated fuel system consisting of a 2-gallon fuel cell with a Holley Blue fuel pump. Electronics: MSD Ignition, Pro Billet distributor, Digital 6 box with a multi retard box. Transmission: Powerglide with 1.80 billet first gear, 9.5-inch tight 4500 stall nitrous convertor built by Competition Transmission in North Tonawanda, NY. Rear differential: Custom Ford 9” with spool, 3.70 gears and 35 spline axles. Best performance to date: 8.97 @ 152mph in the quarter-mile. Special thanks: A huge thanks to Brian Prior at 2 Fast Garage. We started building the car in my driveway before he had opened up his own speed shop. He is the brains behind the combo as I am just a dumb truck driver with an expensive habit. He is my best/closest friend. Not only would I not make it down the track, I wouldn’t make it TO the track without him. Also, thanks to Steve Schrans and Heather Ireland. We all have friends who make offers to help. The first time he said to me “let me paint your car” I didn’t take him too seriously. But he persisted, so the winter of 2011/2012 he took it and did an outstanding job!

It even has a stock-appearing 1-in-2-out muffler in the factory location and weighs in at over 3,400 pounds…WITHOUT the driver! We’ll admit it, even we were duped...until we saw it run! optioned and the 350 TPI was a full two seconds faster than a 305 IROC at low 14s vs. almost 16. I put 32,000 miles on it the first two years and only added a few bolt-on mods, but it would still smoke 5.0s!” After toying with the stock heads and getting nowhere, Dan grabbed a new LT1-style intake, a set of AFR heads, long tube headers, and went racing to the tune of low 12s in the quarter. With a 100-shot of nitrous oxide, Marvin got the car into the 11.70s with his wheels in the air on the launch! “I was making 450+ HP and the stock block with hypereutectic pistons gave up. I found a budget short block—an early

1970’s 010 block with cast steel crank, pink rods, and forged pistons for $2000. I plopped my AFR heads on it with a bigger cam and went 12s on just the motor.” Dan had only taken his Chevelles to the track a handful of times but admits when he went to the faster motor in the Camaro, he was all-in. “I had my mid-life crisis early, at 36,” he joked. “When I asked myself what made me happiest and what I wanted to do with my life in 1999, I became a regular at the drag strip.” Cutting his teeth at Lancaster Dragway’s 1/8th-mile amateur/street car nights, he would win 11 times over a 3-4

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


STREET CRED year period. Then, looking for something different, Marvin showed up to his first OSCA (Ontario Street Car Association) event and slowed the car down to run the 13.0 class. “Only one other car showed up and it could only run mid 13s,” Dan remembers of his first, more serious, event. “On elimination Sunday, the forecast was 100% chance of rain, so all I needed to do was show up and I would win the 13.0 class. I was the only car that went down the track that day and the skies opened up while I was making my pass! That was 2002 and since then I’ve been to every OSCA event, and a lot of others as well.” Making the switch to carbureted on the push of his best friend, Brian Prior at 2 Fast Garage, Dan got the car to go 12.00 on the motor on its first run after the switch and tuned it to


high 11s, then into to the 10-second zone with a shot of nitrous. “After two seasons of 200+ passes and lots of street miles, we pulled the motor down for inspection and found it was just about to eat a bearing,” Dan said of the 383. “The two-bolt block and the rods weren’t strong enough for where I wanted to go. An assembled and balanced forged 383 short block was going to cost me about $3400, but for $1200 more I got a Shafiroff 434 pump-gas friendly 10.5:1 compression motor with a Motown block and H-Beam rods. And I got a set of AFR 227 heads, which were the largest made in 2004. To this point I had been too conservative on cam size, but not anymore! Brian (Prior) and I spec’d a stupid big nitrous cam for it. During the first ride on the street with the

april 2015 | RPM Magazine

OUT OF THE HOLE IN A HURRY Hangin’ the hoops is commonplace for this sleeper. “I remember trying to make my first 9-second pass when I went to a ‘Glide with a brake. I never used a trans-brake before, so after eight seasons of foot-braking it was an adjustment. I’m staged at the tree, throttle wide open, staring at green as I push harder on the throttle, finger on the trans brake, looking around for what’s wrong. LET GO OF THE BUTTON, DUMMY!” laughed Dan. TOP RIGHT: Look closely at the passenger side of Dan’s window as he slows at the end of a run. He’s entered in THREE different classes! Dan’s obvious skill to adapt and conquer behind the wheel of a race car is a big part of his winning combination. Ron Rigby photo

HEAVYWEIGHT POWERHOUSE We think RPM readers will agree that this 3,400-pound rocket WITHOUT driver is about as inconspicuous as it gets. Out back there are some serious tricks and parts used to hook the Camaro, and since Dan enjoys the occasional big wheelie when he sprays the hell out of it, he doesn’t want to change a thing.

new motor, I leaned into it and knew right away it was like my 383 on a 100 shot of spray, meaning I could now run 10s on the motor!” And that is exactly what Dan did. He dialed the car in to run mid-to-high 10s and added a two-stage cheater NOS kit to easily run mid-9s. When he added a big shot plate and -6 supply line, he would go low 9s at 145-148 MPH, with 1.32-1.35 60-foot times. “When I started going fast I quickly found that I was separating the body from chassis with my entry-level frame connectors. We laser-straightened everything, installed new frame ties to the unibody and a 12-point cage. The first time back out was August 2011 for a local King of the Street night. I drove an hour and a half, pulled a 2-foot wheelie, went 9.20 on one stage with a 1.31

60-foot on a street car night and took first place!” Since that point, Dan has amassed a number more wins to his credit and has gone into the 8-second zone with his nitrous-assisted small block street driven IROC. He admits though, of everything about the car, the rear wheels are probably his favorite part. “I had the rear wheels widened by three inches at Weld Craft in Detroit. It really makes the “showroom stock” look I was shooting for. Sure, I pay a weight penalty of at least 100lbs, but the amount of times people have told me how they were shocked when I pulled a huge wheelie and ran low 9s is PRICELESS!” So now that the world knows Dan Marvin can run 8s in his IROC, we’re anxious to see what he has in store for 2015!

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015




Toby Brooks

photos by

Tia Elizabeth

april 2015 | RPM Magazine


>>Once Tony Merilic got his hands on this cream-puff one-owner ’69 Camaro, he never let go

indsight can be a tricky thing. Most of us can reflect back and wonder how our lives might be different had we taken that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, asked out that cute brunette, or tried out for that exclusive team or club. And when we get right down to it, most car guys and gals can usually spout off at least one ride that they wish they hadn’t let get away. We didn’t ask Yorktown, Virginia’s Tony Merilic about his employment history, his luck with the ladies, or his athletic pursuits, but we’re pretty sure he harbors no wonderings or feelings of what-ifs when it comes to cars, because he’s been the proud owner of this now-silky-smooth pro street 1969 Camaro ever since 1979.

“I purchased the car when I was 18 years old from Jack’s Auto Supply where I worked as a mechanic-in-training,” Merilic said. “I financed it all on my own and paid $3,000 for it. I drove it daily to high school and my job,” he added. The classic Chevy was a one-owner, putted around town previously by the proverbial little old lady, and was in excellent condition. Originally yellow with black stripes, the first-gen had rolled out of the GM plant with a factory 4-speed and a 307ci small block. Far from an overnight sensation, the Camaro benefitted from a steady process of improvement for over 30 years by the hands of Merilic and his cadre of gearhead friends, including Ronnie Talbott and Gene Ferguson. “I would

work on the car and change something on it—then I would decide to add something a little more, and the next thing I knew it looked like it does now,” he said. “I had quite a few friends who had classic cars and we started going to car shows and hanging out. It has taken me 35 years to get it to this level,” he added. “This level” is a modern take on the classic pro street look, including a host of chassis, performance, and aesthetic mods. One of the first things noticeable is the gorgeous House of Kolor custom-mixed Kandy Brandywine and Kandy Apple paint. Previously mentioned pal Ronnie Talbott of Talbott’s Auto paint prepped and sprayed the car, using the same color throughout but adding a custom marbelizer

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015



two-tone effect up top separated by a highly detailed airbrushed chrome trim graphic. Other exterior mods include a ’glass cowl induction hood that has been fully finished top and bottom, shaved door handles, trick flushed side marker lights, a billet grille, and custom billet bezel taillights. Aside from the paint, the pro street requisite big-n-little rolling stock also demands attention. Iconic Cen-


terline Convo Pros have been fitted with Mickey Thompson Sportsman tires all around. Up front, 15 x 4-inch wheels have been shod with 26x7.5 skinnies, while huge 15 x 15 wheels have been mounted with massive 29x18.5-15 fatties out back. In order to tuck the obese meats, the car features an owner-fabbed backhalf. A narrowed 9-inch Ford hangs from a custom ladder bar suspension that has been

april 2015 | RPM Magazine

travel-dampened via coilover shocks. The custom rear framework has been tied to the factory front clip via custom frame connectors to stiffen the unibody construction. A full quartet of Heidts custom tubular upper and lower control arms were installed to not only add cool looks but also shave a few pounds off of the nose, while Moroso drag shocks smooth the ride. The highly detailed engine compartment showcases a 750-horse 383 stroker small block that has been thoroughly intensified, fortified, and beautified by Merilic and buddy Gene Ferguson. The GM 4-bolt main block features a stout rotating assembly consisting of a 3.750-stroke Lunati Pro Series crank, Lunati rods and high compression JE Pistons. Anticipating some modest spray, the bottom end of the block was stiffened with the use of a Lunati stud girdle, while a

custom-grind high lift camshaft adds some audible intimidation. More noticeable modifications to the mill include the polished aluminum Brodix Track 1 heads and the polished and chromed Edelbrock intake. A highly detailed Quick Fuel 950 4-barrel sits atop a body-colored thermal spacer, and a billet 14-inch air cleaner crowns it all. Cast aluminum valve covers and a plethora of billet parts inhabit the confines of the Camaro’s doghouse, and a polished stainless steel firewall adds even more bling. Meanwhile, gallons upon gallons of candy paint and clear coat carry the custom hues of the sheetmetal into the interior of the engine bay. A tried-and-true MSD ignition with a 6AL box handles the sparking duties, and a Nitrous Oxide Systems plate system adds some additional liquid horsepower. An aluminum Be Cool radiator helps

maintain the mighty Mouse’s thermal regulation. Backing the mill is a beefed Chevy Turbo 400 transmission that features a 5,500 RPM stall converter. The car sports a plush, street-friendly interior, the handiwork of Kirk’s Upholstery. A pair of custom racing buckets have been trimmed in black traditional leather with custom red ostrich leather inserts and equipped with RCI harnesses. A body-color fabricated tubular center console houses a B&M shifter, and custom embroidery abounds on the door panels and rear trim panels. A custom billet steering wheel crowns the custom polished steering column. The dash has been crowned with a Covan’s custom padded top and filled with Auto Meter instrumentation—for the second time. “One night in 1995, my car was stolen out of my garage in the back yard,” Merilic recalled. Thankfully, the Cama-

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015



ro was recovered the next day in a nearby field a few blocks over, muddy and scratched on the exterior and filthy with dirt inside. “Despite the paint being scratched, it was in pretty good condition. The only thing the thieves took off the car was my gauges. I was so relieved—I thought I was never going to see it again,” he added. These days, Merilic is happy to say the car is safe and sound in his shop, and the only thing getting stolen are


april 2015 | RPM Magazine

a number of local car shows. “My girlfriend Tracy loves the car as much as I do and we spend most weekends working on it together and going to car shows with friends. We have won lots of trophies,” he said with a grin. So while the majority of us probably lament the loss of our first car (or our

best car) as a result of sale, or theft, or some countless other unfortunate event, Tony Merilic has managed to hang on to his prized Bowtie ever since his teenage years. We’re pretty sure that after one look at his potent candy creation, you’ll understand why he’s so glad he did.







story and photos by

Chuck Scott 1: One part tow rig, one part Mad Max. I wonder how many cars will back into this bumper in the parking lot? And would we even notice if they don’t say anything?


>> We upgrade to some tank grade ICI Magnum bumpers and

hen planning out our ultimate race car tow rig build, we realized that replacing the old factory chrome bumpers on our F-250 could modernize our truck’s look while providing some serious protection. After shopping Google Images for aftermarket bumpers on Ford Super Duty trucks, we found that ICI bumpers had the exact look we wanted.

light our path with enough Vision X LED daylight to land a plane Then, when we found out they had a new RT version with the fabricated-style pre-runner light mount, it was a done deal. When the new ICI Magnum front and rear bumpers arrived, we were greeted by the sturdiest wooden crates we had ever seen. The massive overbuilt crates were just a hint to the pure fabricated beefy goodness that waited inside. These are some really, really,

really, heavy duty, well-made bumpers and make the OEM pieces feel like they were made out of tin foil. The front bumper is designed to mount up to a 16,500lb winch and both front and rear bumpers have integrated large shackle mounts. We went with an optional front hitch receiver that mounts in place of a winch in the Magnum bumper. ICI sells a nice winch cradle that will plug into a hitch receiver so

you can use the winch when you need it, then quickly take it back off for storage. It would be a great idea to fab a receiver inside your trailer under your workbench so could also use your winch inside the trailer to pull in your car. The ICI front bumper has light mounts under the RT light bar and a pair of nice recessed fog light holes for 4-inch round lights. We figured with such a high end set

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015



2 2: Once uncrated the boxes, we laid the bumpers out with all the hardware and accessories to make sure we hadn’t lost anything in transit. If you stub your toe on these monsters, you will probably lose a leg. tional incandescent bulbs, but Vision X takes that to another level with pulse width modulation. Basically, the light’s internal circuitry pulses the LED at a rate faster than the human eye can see. This reduces the time the LEDs are on while producing 100% light output. And


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april 2015 | RPM Magazine

4 & 5: All ICI bumpers start out with a computer design to fit properly and complement the vehicle’s styling before the first steel plate is CNC plasma.

3: We ordered a pair of Vision X driving lights, a 21inch light bar and a couple flush mount wide beam LEDs for auxiliary rear backup lights.

www.karbelt.com www.karbelt.com

of bumpers, we should probably get the very best lights to go with them. When it comes to lighting, there are few that compare to Vision X. There are wannabe LEDs everywhere you look, but you get what you pay for when it comes to real deal off road lights. Vision X builds high quality lighting for commercial construction, agriculture, the mining industry, military and even NASA, not to mention professional off road racing. When you hold a Vision X light bar in your hands, it is obvious you have the real deal. LED lights are already super-efficient and last much longer than conven-

Keep it clean with a K&N Recharger Kit

Distributed throughout Canada by

8: The ICI bumpers have slick recessed mounting brackets that work perfectly with our Vision X driving lights. Here, Evan mounts the lights before the bumper is mounted so he doesn’t have to lay under the truck later. The optional front hitch receiver mounts in place of a winch, giving us several options in the future like a removable winch mount, a receiver and ball to move a trailer from the front, a bike rack or cooler carrier, or even a work platform for making underhood service easier.


6 & 7: All ICI bumpers are MIG welded by hand by a real live American craftsman before receiving it’s super durable twostage powder coat finish.



To Run Like A Pro... Use The Best

$% ' ' '( #$, ) ) . ' + )' # ( )*% ! + '( , ## # + #) # $) % ' $'" # # *' ! )- $# ) )' / ' $, ' ! ' #(" (( $#( ' * !) $"%! ) !- # , , ) # " ) ' !( # $#) # $+ ' - '( $ . ' , ## # (* (( # #$, $, $ %' ( !- " ) ) % ! ) ( $ ) / $, ' ! ' #(" (( $#( . !($ $ '( $" %! ) ! # $ %' " *" )$'&* $#+ ') '( ! )$ # ! $'( %$, ' %%! ) $#( ) ( ()' # ) $#+ ') '( # *()$" * !) $' !$ $' " !! !$ # # ( , ) "*!) %! () ( $ %$, ' '(






Earl’s Performance Plumbing brought aviation fluid transfer technology to the automotive and marine performance markets over four decades ago and today’s top teams still rely on Earl’s. With the most extensive line of plumbing products available, you can count on Earl’s from start to finish. From every level of hose & hose ends, adapters, brake lines, radiator & heater hoses, to coolers, gaskets & accessories, Earl’s has the highest quality plumbing selection that is still second to none!

• Available in (12) unique setups with 1.98, 1.80 or 1.69 Straight-Cut 12DPI Super Set Planetaries for unrivaled performance & durability pass-after-pass • Feature a 2-Piece HDT-Coated Reid Case (standard or shorty), PRO-X™ Ringless Input Shaft & Aluminum Gerotor Pump & X-Wide Kevlar Band, plus countless other

• Available in (7) unique setups for Powerglide racers or TCIŽ

• Utilize a custom-designed steel stator, billet mounting ring, urnace-brazed as well as hand-brazed turbine & pump assembly, three sets of internal bearings & heat-treated & reinforced steel turbine splines 9382k

TECH LINE: 270-781-9741 www.earls.com

TRANS HELP 1.888.776.9824 • TCIAUTO.COM ™

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


RPM TRUCK TECH combined with Vision X’s Electronic Thermal Management, their lighting provides up to 50,000 hours of LED life. That’s almost six years of continuous use. With extreme LED life, a sturdy extruded 6061 aluminum housing that is dust proof and submersible in up to 3 meters of water, it is needless to say that you won’t


9: The ICI mount reinforcements bolt in place of the factory tow hooks. These add heft to the mounts and spread the load inside the frame extensions. They are slotted to allow the bumper position to be adjusted.



april 2015 | RPM Magazine

10 10: With the help of everyone in the shop, the bumper is wrestled into position while Evan bolted up the intermediate brackets. These brackets permit side to side position adjustment. It is advised that you have at least one other person to help mount the bumpers. A couple pieces of cardboard wedged between the bumper and fenders will help prevent damage to your paint while mounting and adjusting your new bumpers. 11: With the optional receiver mount installed we had nowhere proper to mount the front license plate. You might not have to worry about that if your state doesn’t require a front tag like North Carolina, but the Commonwealth requires one. Dennis made me a receiver mounted tag bracket in about four minutes with his vast collection of vintage machine shop equipment.

BBC 632 Nitrous Series

BBC Open Chamber Blown Alcohol Dome

Designed for Nitrous-fed 632 engines using aluminum rods.

Designed for high horsepower, blown alcohol BBC engines. Ideal for use in Top Dragster and Top Sportsman engines

• Vertical gas ports • Designed with large pin boss span and extra clearance to accept aluminum rods • Designed with 3/16″ oil rings for improved oil control (critical in nitrous engines) • Intake valve relief edge has been machined to remove thin outside area, reducing hot spots and likelihood of preignition • Utilizes JE Pro Seal Hardened Nitrous Series .043″, .43″, 3/16″ ring package

5.OOO'' / 5.3OO''

• Made from forged 2618 alloy

bore spacing piston

• Heavy duty .200″ wall wrist pins included

New “777F”

• Valve reliefs accept oversized valves and are compatible with angle milled heads.

• • • •

4.810″ - 5.140″ Bore Extremely durable in high HP engines Up to 1.094'' diameter pin Starting at only $805 MSRP per set

• Accumulator grooves & Double forced pin oilers

• Precision CNC machined ring grooves accept 1/16″ , 1/16″ and 3/16″ rings.

Pistons • Rings • Pins

15312 Connector Lane • Huntington Beach • CA • 92649 • 714-898-9763 • Fax 714-893-8297


www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015



Best Value in Safety Since 1975! Pro Model Full Face Helmets • Exceeds Snell SA-2010 Rating • Lightweight Prepreg Composite Shell • Comfort Fit Blended Nomex® Interior • Distortion Free 3mm Polycarbonate Low Fog Shield • Tear-Off Posts Hand Ratchet To Eight Positions • Silicone Eyeport Gasket Seals Out Dirt • Slick Aero Design With Chin Spoiler • Available In White, Gloss Black, and Flat Black • Stocked in Sizes XS - 3XL

351 / 355 Nomex® & Suede Gloves • Exceeds SFI 3.3/1 or 3.3/5 Ratings • Single Layer or Double Layer Nomex® Knit Construction • Hook and Loop Adjuster Strap • High Grip Suede Leather Reinforced Palm • Colors are Black, Red and Blue w/ Grey or Black Suede • Soft, Supple and Comfortable • Stocked in Kids Sizes & Adult XS - 3XL

Pro Model $254.99 Sport Mod $184.99

from $44.99 / $54.99 SFI-1 and SFI-5 Suits, Jacket & Pants • Exceeds SFI 3.2A/1 or 3.2A/5 Ratings • Pyrovatex® FRC and Nomex Construction • Fresh, Stylish Designs • Black Epaulets, Belt, and High Back Collars • Contrasting Black Arm & Leg Stripes • Black Wrist and Ankle Cuffs • Brass YKK Zippers • Pleated Back Panel for Flexibility • Colors are Black, Red, and Blue • Stocked in Kids Sizes and Adult Small - 5XL

303 / 305 Series Racing Shoes • Exceeds SFI 3.3/5 Rating • Suede Leather Upper • Pyrovatex® Flame Retardant Liner • Molded Flexible Rubber Sole • Padded Ankle & Arch Support • Achilles Flex Opening • Stocked in Sizes 1-20

from $69.99 / $99.99

1pc Suits from $104.99 / $269.99 Jackets from $62.99 / $154.99 Pants from $62.99 / $144.99

Latch & Link Belt Sets • Exceeds SFI 16.1 Rating from • Premium 3” Polyester Webbing • 3” Hardware Ends Installed $74.99 • 4pt V-Type or 5pt Design • Wrap Around or Bolt-in Mounting • Available with Hans Shoulders • Can Be Re-webbed (SFI) Upon Expiration • Now available in Black, Red, Blue, Yellow, Purple, Platinum, Green, Pink and Camo

RaceQuip also manufactures SFI rated window nets and mount kits, as well as a complete line of gear for Jr. Dragster Racers.

WWW.RACEQUIP.COM • 813-642-6644 100

Online Orders Are Shipped From The Nearest Stocking Dealer.

All Prices Shown are Racer Net – Shop Our Dealers for Best Pricing.

april 2015 | RPM Magazine


RPM TRUCK TECH 12: The rear OEM bumper has a simple bracket system that bolts to the sides of the rear frame rails. The very well braced mounts for our ICI rear bumper bolt up on each side and the new bumper goes on just like the OEM unit.

13 14



13-15: On to wiring our Vision X LED driving lights and 21-inch light bar. The complete light kits come with everything needed for installation, including a pre-wired harness that is as close to plug and play as possible yet still be universal. You basically plug in the weather-sealed connectors at each light, find a good ground, route the harnesses by your battery to drop off the main power leads, then continue the rest into the vehicle’s cabin to mount the toggle switches and ignition switch controlled power source. The relays and switches are already wired for zero confusion. You may have to unplug the switches temporarily to get the harness through the firewall. 16: We couldn’t have world class lighting up front and then have to rely on the puny incandescent OEMs when we’re in reverse. With the F-250’s dark tinted rear window, the little factory backup lights don’t cut much darkness. To mount them we would need to cut a couple holes in our new ICI Magnum rear bumper. A few plunge cuts with a cut off wheel and the big holes are cut.

be replacing them before the vehicle is replaced. To install our heavy metal bumpers and hardcore lighting, we turned to our friends at Carter’s Towing and Fabrication once again. While Dennis (Carter) was busy repairing a broken frame on a big dump trailer, his son Evan got busy throwing on our new ICI Magnum bumpers and Vision X lights.

mahle hV385 goes


with all steel 1mm, 1mm, 2mm rings

MAHLE has a long and storied history of leading the way in developing technology for the finest engine builders in the world. This technology continues to breed success on tracks around the world, and MAHLE has done it again. The engineers at MAHLE revolutionize performance piston ring technology with the introduction of HV385 performance ring sets. A MAHLE patented high-tech process employing supersonic application technology leading to improved part consistency, greater bonding, and reduced drag. www.mahle-aftermarket.com

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015





20: The flush-mount Vision X backup lights look right at home in the ICI Magnum rear bumper and the rear bumper looks killer on the truck. Ford should work out a deal with ICI and make these bumpers a factory option.

17-19: These three photos show an honest comparison of our new lights compared to the factory headlights. The first (17) shows the visibility distance with the truck’s factory high beams on. The second (18) adds the two round driving lights with a 10-watt LED each, producing 860 lumens each. We probably have them aimed a little low for optimum distance, but we figured as bright as they are, we should aim them fairly low to avoid blinding oncoming traffic. The two Optimus Round driving lights effectively tripled the actual sight distance over the truck’s factory high beams. The third photo (19) adds the 21-inch Xmitter light bar with 36 5-watt LEDs for an extra 17,748 lumens. We chose both the driving lights and light bar with 10° narrow beams for distance, but Vision X offers several beam choices for each of their many light sizes and wattage choices. You can choose a wider beam for more coverage, or something in between for all round use. They even have some bars with both narrow and wide beams in the same light for the ultimate in localized daylight.


SOURCES Innovative Creations www.icionline.com 800.626.8746

Vision X Lighting Systems www.visionxusa.com 800.994.4460

Designed to meet the demanding

rigors of racing. Engineer ed to WIN.



8 7 7. 9 3 5 . 3 6 6 1 W E L D O N R A C I N G . C O M


april 2015 | RPM Magazine

Win Big.

Trick Flow’s new PowerPort® 365 aluminum cylinder heads were created for you to win races. These new extreme performance race heads for big block Chevy engines flow a massive 424 cfm @ .900" lift. The high-strength castings can withstand enormous amounts of compression and rpm. Rectangular-shaped 365cc CNC Competition Ported runners, 119cc heart-shaped chambers, CNC bowl blended valve seat transitions, 24° intake valve angles with 4° side cants, and the highest quality valvetrain components help make PowerPort 365 heads the best choice for your car. Use PowerPort 365 heads on your engine and turn your goal of winning into reality! Airflow Results PowerPort 365

Lift Value .100" .200" .300" .400" .500" .600" .700" .800" .900"

Intake Flow CFM 78 155 239 301 349 385 411 418 424

Exhaust Flow CFM 63 134 198 246 277 301 318 328 337

Tests conducted at 28" of water (pressure). Bore size: 4.600"; exhaust with 2" pipe. To view more airflow charts, go to TrickFlow.com and type the part number you want to see into the Search box and then click “Search.”


Some parts are not legal for sale or use on any pollution-controlled motor vehicles.

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015



SHAPING UP PART 15 story by

Toby Brooks

photos by

>>Virginia Rod Company continues our chassis fabrication with a boatload of cutting-edge parts — and some old-fashioned hot rodding craftsmanship


hings were going fast. Really fast. After over 13 months of little to no progress at another shop, we moved our Project aPocalypSe Horse east to the capable confines of Virginia Rod Company (VRC) and our chassis build seemed to transform overnight from nightmare to dream come true. In the span of less than two months, Donald Williams and Bobby Starcher had our 2006 project car Mustang nearly ready to come off of the jig, and had it not been for some change in plans and some weather-related shipping woes, that’s precisely where we’d be. Either way, we are close. Really close. With the heavy lifting on the interior cage fab wrapped up, Starcher turned to the rear suspension details. The S&W Race Cars chrome moly fabricated rear housing (pn 45-052cm, MSRP $1,795) had been narrowed an additional two inches and fitted with an S&W moly 4-link kit with rod ends (pn 40-137smcm, MSRP $838). However, a bare housing needs guts—and in our case, guts that could withstand the rigors of more than 1,300 horsepower. We turned to the pros at Moser.


april 2015 | RPM Magazine

A street-driven car that is capable of four-digit horsepower is a challenge in many ways, because race-only parts that can withstand all that power typically don’t get exposed to the multi-directional forces associated with driving up inclines, turning corners, and generally cruising on the street. On the other hand, parts intended for street use only often lack the strength needed to hold up under high horsepower. Axles in particular pose a considerable challenge, as the larger diameter high-spline count varieties tend to be somewhat brittle. After speaking with Jeff Fosnaugh of Moser about our application, he suggested a pair of Moser’s non-lightened custom length alloy 40-spline axles (pn A40cst, MSRP $465). Although star flanging, lightening, and gun drilling are available, we were more concerned with all-around durability and versatility as opposed to absolute lightest possible weight and maximum strength. The 40-splines fit the bill perfectly. We fitted them with Ti64 titanium wheel studs. With the axles selected, we then needed to pick out a center section and ring and pinion. We

THROW DOWN: In case you missed it last month, see the Boss on the dyno by pointing your phone here!




1: The dynamic duo of Donald Williams (left) and Bobby Starcher (right) of Virginia Rod Company have our project back on track and oozing with awesome...just like their beards.

2: The Moser Ultra thru-bolt aluminum center section not only reduces heft out back, it also adds brute strength capable of withstanding high horsepower applications like ours. 3: We opted for equally tough Moser 40-spline axles. Here, you can also see the S&W Race Cars anti-roll bar installed. The linkage mounts from the front of the housing up to the billet arms above, which are in turn mounted to a splined shaft that passes through the frame to equalize traction from side-to-side. The system is particularly importanf for launch and can reduce 60-foot times significantly.

3 4&5: Starcher attaches the upper mount to the S&W wishbone out back. The wishbone has a slip joint that permits rearend travel fore and aft, but prevents side-to-side motion that can cause the car to lose straightline stability.

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015



6: Williams and Starcher adjust the S&W Race Cars anti-roll setup.

6 selected Moser’s Ford 9-inch thru-bolt aluminum case center section with a 40-spline steel spool and a 1350-series yoke (pn 3M, MSRP as specified $1,430). Although Moser offers custom powder coating, we selected a raw aluminum finish. We also specified an aluminum Daytona pro/street pinion support and requested a 3.89 ratio gear, good for solid launches with our Rossler 210 trans and 33-inch tall Mickey Thompson street tires or Goodyear slicks, but also friendly on the interstate with our Gear Vendors overdrive engaged. We will do a full feature on setting up the rearend in a future piece. However, for now, it was time to get that rearend properly suspended and secured in place. After the 4-link was installed and the rear filled and fitted, Starcher installed the S&W Pro-500 chrome

moly wishbone kit (pn 40-251, MSRP $239) and the S&W 1 1/8” diameter anti-roll bar kit (pn 40090, MSRP $399). For those perhaps unfamiliar with 4-link rear suspension, the wishbone is utilized to locate the rearend in the body and prevent lateral movement of the rear in the chassis. Historically, a single track locator bar has been used for this purpose; however, a single bar is prone to deflection. To prevent this, chassis shops began turning to a three-point wishbone (some have even gone to a four-point X-brace in extreme applications). Although there seems to be some debate, mounting the wishbone rear attachment to the top of the housing rather than the bottom accomplishes two things. First, it increases ground clearance (a must for our application). Secondly, it makes removing the


7&8: Our initial plan to replicate a typical pro stock-style front strut with a factory replacement Ride Tech 2005-2010 Mustang strut and factory spindle and hub was clearly going to be a challenge. Not only was our unit heavy, the factory spindle wasn’t exactly pretty, either.


center section for inspection and maintenance much easier. For an individual who might need to quickly change gearing, this could be critical. Starcher chose the upper mount. Next, the anti-roll was installed. This splined shaft is fitted through the chassis and capped with billet aluminum arms that articulate down to the housing via tubes and rod ends. This serves to equalize traction from side to side and prevent body roll. Ordinarily, the downward mounts articulate on the back side of the housing; however, to accomodate our Ride Tech adjustable ride height, Starcher chose to mount them up front. All that is left now is to mount our Ride Tech Shockwaves and the rear suspension will be complete. Next up, the gang at VRC turned their attention to the



april 2015 | RPM Magazine

Horse’s front suspension. After a few days work, it became apparent that our idea for an airstrut suspension up front wasn’t going to look the part. After seeing the Ride Tech strut mounts tacked in place with the factory Mustang spindles, we decided to go another direction. Our initial intention was to basically replicate a pro stock/pro mod strut suspension with a few twists. First, we wanted a durable spindle that would be able to withstand the rigors of potholes and other road hazards while driving around town or on the highway. Secondly, we wanted the adjustability and ride that only air could offer. We turned to the experts at Ride Tech for a solution. Ride Tech founder Bret Voelkel was the first person to put air bags on a pro street suspension back in the ’90s, with his killer-cool 1970


Mustang serving as a jumping off point for his new business, then Air Ride Technologies. Voelkel pointed us to engineer Rodney Mason to help equip the Horse with a set of bags of her own. The idea was a good one, but unfortunately our hideously ugly factory spindles ruinied the whole svelte race vibe we were after. Sure, it would have been durable and somehow Starcher was actually able to get the incredibly long assembly under the hood line. But it weighed around 4,000 pounds (give or take) and man, was it ugly. After consulting with Williams and Starcher, we went back to the drawing board. Initially, we considered having a pair of lightweight spindles fabricated to work with the struts. Not only would they remove some of the added heft encountered with the factory pieces, they would add back in

9: Although many drag race purists may bristle, a control arm Mustang II suspension fit our needs better. The S&W Race Cars arms had to be slightly narrowed to get the appropriate track width, but install was otherwise smooth. In this pic, the Wilwood spindle and hub have also been installed and the Summit Racing Pinto steering rack has been slid into place. Notice the trick Starcher-fabbed motorplate behind the blower drive. some cool factor that the original parts simply don’t have. The Ride Tech struts looked cool, but the entire assembly would ordinarily be hidden under and in the factory shock towers. Unfortunately, the only three shops we found that were willing to take on the task of building a pair of custom spindles were backed up for a minimum of two months, not to mention the custom assemblies would cost anywhere between $1,500-$2,000. With our timeline and budget already well beyond initial projections, we considered other options. A Mustang II (MII) front suspension was suggested next. The lightweight, compact design has been popular among the street rod crowd for decades. Not only were the parts readily available, they were relatively inexpensive and would also leave extra room

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


RPM PROJECT CAR in a steadily-tightning Boss Nine-and twin ProCharger filled engine bay. We opted to forge ahead with the new gameplan. The first order of business was to order a set of S&W Race Cars MII upper (pn 36-401, MSRP $185/ pr) and lower (pn 36-403, MSRP $239/pr) control arms with ball joints. Next, we needed spindles and hubs, so we called our friends at Summit Racing and ordered a pair of Wilwood MII 2-inch drop spindles (pn 830-9807, MSRP $175 each) and Willwood billet hubs (pn 270-10812, MSRP $130 each). New parts on the way, we were getting back on track. As always, a change of this nature often leads to a domino effect of fitment hurdles in other areas. For example, our custom Baer brakes were ordered to fit the factory 2005-2010 Mustang spindles. As such, they won’t be a direct bolt-on fit now, but it is certainly nothing the guys at VRC can’t



10: Nothing on this thing is easy. The motor plate had to be totally redesigned to stay low and out of the way of the March Performance accessory drive. Starcher built it out of quarter-inch aluminum and cut it to cleanly nest between the twin framerails, but we will be sending it out to be made out of carbon fiber.

12 11 11&12: Speaking of twin framerails, Starcher also got the rails bent and tacked in for the trans tunnel. The Rossler 210 trans and Gear Vendors overdrive fit like a glove.

april 2015 | RPM Magazine


13: With the front suspension re-sorted and nearly complete, Williams and Starcher have started game planning for other parts of the build. Here, Williams holds up the Miller Speed Sports zoomie slide valves . Using components from Borla, the VRC gang will fabricate a set of stainless zoomie headers that also can be corked and run through custom body-mounted side dump full exhaust.





14-16: No detail goes unexamined at VRC, even the window net mounts that will eventually hold DJ Safety nets. “I’ve driven cars for years and busted my head and ripped my clothes on net mounts more times than I can count,” said Starcher. Now, he helps ensure that doesn’t happen to customers, as he tucks the mounts up and out of the way. Our skulls and clothes thank you, Bobby. handle. At the same time, our Ride Tech struts will no longer be suuitable for our application, so we again called Mason and ordered a pair of Shockwaves for the front. With any luck, we’ll have all four corners of the suspension wrapped up with brakes in place by next month.

Elsewhere on the car, Starcher began working on the enumerable chassis details required to finish out a build of this magnitude. In addition to fabricating the seat mounts, he installed a cool pair of highly-thought out S&W window net mounts (pn 75-370,

MSRP $49 each) and mounted the tabs for the trick new Aeromotive dual Stealth Cutty Series fuel cell (more on this system in an upcoming issue) and we received our carbon fiber wheel tubs and sheet stock from Eston Livingston and his business, Wildside Composites.

TSV Technology

We started from a clean sheet to create the most efficient, most advanced supercharger ever created for GM LS engines. Our revolutionary new intercooler design delivers more power than the competition run-after-run, regardless of how hot it is outside. With factory-like drivability, a bypass valve for enhanced fuel economy, and OEM-level fit and finish that looks great under the hood, Magnuson's Heartbeat is true horsepower without compromise.

www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


RPM PROJECT CAR 17: Even the seat mounts get the cool treatment. Starcher fabricated them as low in the chassis as possible to maximize head room.

17 18

18: This 15-gallon Aeromotive Cutty Series Stealth fuel cell features twin pumps that can provide delivery for up to 1,600+ horsepower applications in a convenient drop-in package. More on this cool system soon! 19: The carbon fiber tubs from Wildside Composites arrived. VRC will be installing the tubs, carbon fiber sheet, and CF tube protectors once the body is dropped back in place.

While we didn’t quite get her rolling, VRC continues to make excellent progress on our build and to say that we are pleased with their workmanship would be an understatement. As we have learned, building anything takes

SOURCES Virginia Rod Company

DJ Safety


www.djsafety.com 323.221.0000

S&W Race Cars


time. And building anything well takes even more time. So tune in next month, as hopefully we’ll be able to mount up some tires and wheels and maybe even hang some sheetmetal on this thing!

www.swracecars.com 800.523.3353

Moser Engineering www.moserengineering.com 260.726.6689

Ti64 www.ti64.com 201.733.9111

Ride Tech www.ridetech.com 812.481.4787

Summit Racing www.summitracing.com 800.230.3030

Borla Exhaust www.borla.com 877.462.675

Aeromotive www.aeromotiveinc.com 913.647.7300

Rossler Transmissions www.rosslertrans.com 330.530.5000

Gear Vendors www.gearvendors.com 800.999.9555

Wildside Composites wildsidecompositesllc.com


www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015



: PA>>RTMore11storage solutions from Trinity International...

and they go together in a snap!

RPM’s continuing do-it-yourself shop series shows how you can put together your own modern workspace, too! story by


Toby Brooks

n undergrad, I remember having to do a project where the professor assigned us to design a new facility based upon a list of needs and wants. I distinctly recall one of the instructions more than any other: you can NEVER have too much storage. Now a few years later, I’ve come to realize just how true those words really were. Case in point: our 30x50foot Nucor Building Systems shop has come a long way in the past year, from little more than an idea and a poorly poured concrete pad to a functional workspace with a finished office, a cool Epoxy Masters floor, and a Greg Smith Equipment four post lift to name a few features. We also added some really useful Pit Pal Products cabinets and organizers, as well as a beautiful 72-inch Trinity International rollaway tool chest. However, we quickly discovered that


april 2015 | RPM Magazine

as useful as those efforts were, we still had a mess on our hands. As the old prof used to say, we needed more storage. We again turned to Trinity to see what they had that might help. After calling and speaking to a representative, we decided to get a 27-inch tool chest top (#THL-RT22712, MSRP $799), two small countertop wood boxes (#TWM-3501, MSRP $99 each), two 48x24inch EcoStorage five-tier wire shelving racks (#TBFZ0915, MSRP $203 each), and two 60x24-inch five-tier wire shelving racks (#TFBC-0904, MSRP $219 each). Install was a cinch. All items came delivered via LTL frieght securely bundled on a pallet. The 27-inch chest top came fully assembled other than the sturdy stainless handles that bolted on via six 10-mm bolts. The chest features precut drawer liners, a dual gas pressurized lifted

lid, and a keyed lock. It is a perfect place for smaller hand tools and smaller parts. We placed it on the lower shelf of our Trinity International 48-inch stainless table. As easy as the 27-inch chest top was to assemble, the Trinity table top wood box was even easier. This new item in Trinity’s inventory features even smaller storage—eight felt-lined fully removable drawers plus a hinged lid—in a lightweight, compact, but still secure package. All that this unit required was a quick unpacking from the box and placement on our work surface and it was ready to go. The only Trinity items we ordered that required any assembly at all to speak of were the Trinity heavy duty wire shelving racks. The innovative design utilizes a smart slip-sleeve design that wedges the support posts into the welded wire racks for a fast, secure, and tool-free



2. Our Trinity International order came securely bundled, strapped and shrinkwrapped to a pallet right to our door via LTL curbside freight.



9. With the caster in place, the first two-piece slip-fit fitting is installed. Posts are marked with nothches about every inch, allowing you to adjust shelf height during or even after assembly. Ensure that each fitting is installed at the same corresponding height to keep the installed shelf level.

3. The new Trinity International wooden box measures 20.75x10.5x13.75-inches and is a perfect add-on for a big roll-away chest. We discovered that as spacious as our new chest was, we still needed stoage for smaller tools like Allen wrenches, drill bits, etc. The felt-lined eight drawer cabinet filled the need nicely without consuming a lot of valuable countertop work space.


1. Our “wall-o’-storage” has really shaped up, but we found that even with our huge 72-inch Trinity International 11-drawer chest, we still needed some small drawer storage for various odds and ends, not to mention some open storage for larger power tools such as our cutoff saw, etc. Trinity to the rescue again, as their wooden tool box and 27-inch 6-drawer roll-away top provided all we needed and more. Coupled with their easy to assemble shelving units, we were organized in no time.

4-6. The Trinity International 27-inch tool chest top comes fully assembled with the exception of the heavy duty handles and even includes pre-cut grippy drawer liners. It is lockable and features a gas-lifted lid. The hardest part was pulling off the white protective film (as you can see we were only halfway done here when we snapped pic #4).



7. Everything required to assemble the Trinity fivetier shelving system is included in the box. We had each unit together in about five minutes.


8. Our units came with both casters and foot levelers. We opted for casters. Either one simply threads into the lower four shelf posts.


www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015




10 & 11: Once the lower post has been assembled with caster and slip-fit fitting, it can be installed into the lower shelf. Once all four corners were secured, we turned the rack right side up and installed the remaining two lower shelves in the same manner.



assembly. From start to finish, we had each of our four racks assembled in about 20 minutes. How’s that for easy? With our storage well in hand, we really need to finish up the insulation, wallboard, and priming and painting next.

Unfortunately, our shop is functional but not yet finished, a dangerous state that frequently lasts for years in many garages. However, we are hoping that we can finalize these last few remaining projects soon so that we can show you the finished project in the coming months. Now get out to your garage and get to work! 14: Assembly complete! Now to finish the wall install on the other side of the shop, roll the shelves in place, and start loading them up!

12 & 13: With the lower portion fully assembled, all that was left to do was thread the four upper posts in and repeat the slip-fitting/shelf install for the remaining two posts. Five minutes and we were done, and each shelf is rated to hold 600 (60-inch) to 800 (48-inch) pounds. Although we selected chrome finish, Trinity also offers the shelves in a cool black powdercoated finish, too.


april 2015 | RPM Magazine


Trinity International www.shop.trinityii.com 800.985.5506

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www.rpm-mag.com | april 2015


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