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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 regard to design, performance, and power! RPM Magazine does not sell its mailing list or share any of the confidential information regarding its subscribers.


RPM Magazine has been a world leader in motorsports publishing for 17 years and has support locations in Ontario, Canada, Alabama, Texas, and Virginia, along with contributing writers and photojournalists worldwide. If you have a story that may fit within the focus and scope of RPM Magazine’s coverage, please email our Editor In Chief at editor@ 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 12 times per year by USA Publisher’s Agent, 10387 Main Street, Suite 300, Fairfax, VA 22030.

TRISH BIRO .............519.752.3705.......trish@rpm-mag.com

Periodicals postage rate is paid at Fairfax, VA and additional mailing offices.

Art & Graphics Director: Toby Brooks

Postmaster: Send address changes to:

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




Toby Brooks

Whatever you do...



ro street. Just say the words and car guys and gals usually split right down the middle between love and hate. Typically characterized by huge rear tires tucked up under the body, a low-slung stance, and some type of radical powerplant, the whole idea got its start when some creative young hot rodders took a look at NHRA pro stock cars and decided to try and make a street legal version of their own cars, emulating the look of Dyno Don Nicholson’s Mustang II, Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins, Vega, Bob Glidden’s Pinto, and any of a host of other professional drag racers. The reason for the divide is pretty simple, really. Hardcore speed freaks hate what the style eventually morphed into, as “emulating the look of a drag car and putting it on the street” escalated fairly quickly into an arms race of who could build the wildest—and by extension least practical—pro street car. By the mid ’80s it had become fairly common to have an insane amount of money tied up in cars that barely limped their way around a fairgrounds and never ever saw the track. But for those who love the look, there is nothing badder than darn near any ride slammed into the weeds with as much meat as possible stuffed inside the big rear wheeltubs. Sure they are impractical. Sure they are sometimes posers. There is just no denying the fact that they are fun to look at. There has been considerable debate over the years as to who REALLY built the first pro street car. Many erroneously attribute that distinction to Dayton, Ohio native Scott Sullivan who debuted his tubbed and blown 1967 Chevy Nova at the 1979 Street Machine Nationals in Indianapolis. However, several major publications had already featured fat-tired street legal creations, including Steve Lisk’s 1970 Challenger, Vince Hill’s Vega Wagon, and John Carpenter’s Vega GT. And even though it wasn’t featured, Gary Kollofski’s 1955 Chevy also debuted in 1977 with fat tires and a blown big block. As with most any trend, pro street grew in popularity until reaching a saturation point in the mid-’90s. Many had grown tired of having high five and even six figures tied up in something that really served no purpose other than being nice to look at. The pro touring movement grew from this pro street fatigue, and many celebrated the fact that they could once again actually drive their pro tour cars on the street without overheating while sitting in comfy interiors, riding on good suspension, and enjoying dependable modern horsepower. The magazines of the era were quick to celebrate the demise of the style, claiming “pro street is dead” on more than one occasion. Perhaps hungry

to tap into a new group of advertisers and broaden their marketing appeal or simply attention hungry to claim they’d blazed the trail to “the next big thing,” many mags jumped the fat tire ship to join the chorus of new pro touring disciples. In other corners of the street machine universe, the more race-oriented folks gravitated not to the showier pro touring style but the more hardcore fastest street car, 10.5 outlaw, and drag radial variations on the theme. While these rides were seldom very practical on the streets, at least they were quick and could put up solid numbers at the strip. This is the soil from which RPM initially sprouted and remains central to our core to this day: hardcore doorslammers and street machines that actually perform. While opening any major hot rod or street machine magazine in the mid- to late ’90s might lead you to believe otherwise, pro street never died. Guys like Rod Saboury, Mark Grimes, and tons others kept right on building them. They just rarely got featured. Hardly anyone took the time to notice when Saboury took his seemingly endless line of classic Corvette builds ever faster. While people brag today about twin turbos and 8, 7, and even 6-second street cars, Saboury is probably not particularly impressed, considering he was doing all that and more nearly 20 years ago. When you consider just how far technology has come during that time, it makes his feats all the more impressive. So when we see other mags start thumping their chests and patting themselves on the back to proclaim how important they are and how they’ve single-handedly ushered in the “rebirth of pro street,” we can’t help but shake our heads and laugh. How can you and yours take credit for bringing back something that never really left? In the words of that great philosopher Biff annen, “Hello? McFly? Think.” That’s a particularly tasty flavor of stupid. RPM has been featuring pro street cars—legit, high performance machines that aren’t afraid to blast down the track once in a while—ever since we started nearly two decades ago. We aren’t welcoming it back or taking credit for the rebirth of pro street, because it never left ur pages. Such would be asinine. We love it. And we always have. Meanwhile, we’ll keep doing what we’ve always done: feature the baddest cars on the planet, build the most wicked project cars in the publishing industry, and deliver you more pages of full-color action month in and month out than anyone else. If that sounds appealing to you, then hop in. Just don’t try to ride in the back seat. We had to trash it to make room for those huge tubs.


Project aPocolypSe .............................................

Mark DePriest fits up our new pproo stock rear spoiler and Mykal’s Custom wraps up paint prep!


THIS AND MORE IN THE NEXT RPM! march 2016 | RPM Magazine

ADVERTISER INDEX ACC Performance. ................. 76 Accufab Inc........................... 91 Aeromotive. ....................... 108 AFCO .................................... 93 Alan Johnson Performance (AJPE) ................................ 11 Alston Race Cars ................... 31 Applied Racing Components (ARC) ................................. 45 ATI Performance Products .... 29 Auburn Gear ......................... 89 Autoglym ............................. 99 AVAK/Ridgegate Tools .......... 25 Bad Attitude Engines ......... 103 Baer Brakes .....................10, 36 BES Racing Engines .............. 26 Bill Mitchell Products ......27, 58 Blower Shop........................... 5 Borla .................................. 112 Browell Bellhousing ............. 64 BTE Racing ........................... 19 Buffalo Mo orama ................ 80 C&C MotorSports................ 108 Calvert Racing Suspensions .. 14 Canton Racing Products ....... 40 CFE Racing Products ............. 83 Chassis Engineering ..........8, 59 CN Blocks ............................. 25 CNC Motorsports .................. 76 Coan Engineering ............20, 62 Competition Products .......... 93 COMP Cams .......................... 37 Crower.................................. 33 CVR Products ........................ 90 DART .................................... 18 Design Engineering .............. 57 Diamond Pistons .................. 52 DIY Auto Tune/MS3-Pro EFI .. 97 Drive Train Specialists (DTS).. 41 Dynocologists......................... 9 Dynomite Dynamometer.... 102 Dynotech Engineering........ 111 Earl’s Perf. Plumbing .......26, 94 Ed Quay Race Cars .............. 109 Edelbrock ............................. 21 Energy Suspension ............. 104 Erson Cams........................... 67 Fuel Air Spark Technology (FAST) ............................ 110 G Force Racing Transmissions 12 Gibtech Pistons .................... 81 Greyhound Package Exp. .... 107 GZ Motorsports .................... 59 Harland Sharp ........................ 9 Holcomb Motorsports .......... 84 HoleShot Wheels .................. 82 Holley................................... 76 Howards Cams Cams.................... 107 Hughes Performance.............. 7 Induction Solutions .............. 48 Innovate Motorsports........... 47 JE Pistons ........................79, 87 JET Performance Performance................. 102

J&K Converters ..................... 82 Karbelt/FAST ........................ 42 LenTech Automatics ............. 38 Lokar Performance Products 44 LUCAS Oil Products ................. 2 Lunati................................... 88 Magnuson Superchargers..... 97 MAHLE Clevite Inc. ............... 32 Manton Pushrods ............... 103 MAV TV................................. 98 Meziere Precision Mfg. ........... 8 Mickey Thompson Tires .....7, 83 MSD Ignition ........................ 15 Neal Chance Converters ...22, 61 New Century Performance ... 15 Nitrous Express..................... 87 Nitrous Pro Flow ................... 58 Nitrous Supply.................... 101 Parts Pro Perf Centers ......... 116 PBM Performance Products .. 38 Performance Improvements. 10 Perf. Plus Connection ....11, 109 Powermaster Performance ... 45 Precision Turbo ..................... 17 ProCharger ........................... 28 Proform Parts ..................53, 92 Proformance Racing Trans .... 27 Pro Systems Carburetors.. 22,87 Philadelphia Racing Products (PRP) ................................. 35 PTC ....................................... 16 Quick Fuel Technology .......... 51 Quik-Latch Products ........... 111 Racecraft .............................. 34 Racepak ............................... 41 Racequip .............................. 13 Renegade Racing Fuels. ....... 30 Rev-X Oil Products .........56, 100 RJS Racing Equipment.......... 24 Ross Racing Pistons ................ 5 RPM Magazine Subscribe! 114 S&W Race Cars ................... 113 Scorpion Racing Prods. ..36, 103 Shafi off acing Engines .12, 20 SM Race Cars ........................ 42 Smith Racecraft .................... 78 Steve Morris Racing Engines 46 Strange Engineering ............ 50 Summit Racing Equipment 115 Taylor Cable Products. .......... 51 TCI Automotive..................... 86 Ti64 ...................................... 66 Tom’s Upholstery .................. 67 Trick Flow ............................. 49 TRZ Motorsports................... 39 Tuned By Shane T ................. 18 VP Racing Fuels .............95, 105 WASP Cam ......................... 103 Weinle Motorsports ............. 39 Weldon High Performance . 106 World Products..................... 86

Made in aMerica & designed for: • STROKERS • NITROUS • TURBOS • BLOWERS • NaTURaLLy aSpIRaTEd Ross carries hundreds of proven, race winning, domestic and Sport Compact piston designs to fit virtually any engine combination. along with an extensive line of piston accessories and coatings, Ross has over 35 years of experience in the design & manufacturing of custom piston applications! Call or go online to see what Ross Racing pistons can do for you.

Custom / Stock Pistons

Piston Coatings

Piston Rings

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www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


march 2016

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

Often Imitated, Never Duplicated—For 17 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!

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


COVER STORY Long Time Coming



Bought back in 1976, Canadian Norman Berk’s cool pro street Firebird Formula is anything but old!

The NEMESIS ........................................................... 34

StingRage ..................................................... 54

When it comes to classic pro street, Terry Podschweit’s 1967 was…and is... a nearly unbeatable, unapologetic bully!

This sinister pro street 1966 Corvette has some serious anger issues!



Roooooooooad Triiiiiiiiip! ...............................................24 RPM heads to Arizona to kick off heir 2016 events with new “Road Trip” format!

Unstoppable Cool Cool...............................................26

Pro Pink ......................................................................... 44

This pro street 1970 Duster is an overnight success…30 years in the making

How pro street changed the game...and keeps changing it

Totally Rad Third Gen ......................................................92 Upgrading the tired old factory cooling system in our shop mule Iroc Camaro



Engine Build: Part 3 ....................................................100

Bad Attitude Engines adds finishing touches to our soon-to-be turbocharged small block Chevy

Work That Body..........................................................108 Preparing Project aPocalypSe Horse for its wild paint

No Poser...................................................................... 80

Although it is pretty enough to pass for a trailer queen, this nasty third gen Camaro is regularly flogged on the st eet and strip!


march 2016 | RPM Magazine

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


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march 2016 | RPM Magazine

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story by

George Pich


nyone into the big motored, wildly painted, fat tire’d pro street scene of the ’80s and ’90s knows that the movement lived a strong

and happy first life throughout the United States, but it was also all the rage in Canada, too. You couldn’t hit any event in the country and not find a solid group of friendly

Canucks touring the fairgrounds, mixing it up on the streets or getting into some action at the dragstrip beside their American counterparts. Maybe the timing of the first

photos by

Tia Elizabeth

wave of pro street’s calming was for a reason, as it seems that most of the folks building and driving these loud, brightly painted, overpowered monsters back in the day were

just about ready to settle down (a bit anyway) and raise a family or focus on a career. Now, with the resurgence of the movement that, as we’ve pointed out, never really died, back in

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016



full swing these same people who were wildly sowing their oats as adolescents through their pro street rides are the ones with the money and time to take a second crack at it! Just like Norman Berk, who has found the itch, time, and funds to build the pro streeter he had always wanted, until growing up got in the way. “This Firebird was the second car I’ve ever owned,” tells Berk. “I was just turning 18 when my father said I should consider buying a nicer car. He said he had a connection at a leasing com-


pany and I could get a good deal… and my choices at the time were a Mustang II, a Chrysler Cordoba, or this Firebird Formula. Well, how hard a choice was that for an 18 year old! I just about fell over when he told me that it was $6,300 dollars, though! But, I put a down payment on it and took the rest in a loan from my dad to buy the car that I cherished, cleaned and polished for many years to follow.” The car was just too nice for Berk to drive in

march 2016 | RPM Magazine

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016



PURTY BIRDY No wrap here! The bright orange and dark blue paint work was done by Scott Jahren and defini ely gets your attention. the winter and to this very day it has not seen a flake of snow. In fact, he tried to not even drive it in the rain if he could help it. Norm’s will to keep the car away from the elements and in good shape paid off s the original paint was still like new until 1989, when he first


march 2016 | RPM Magazine

got the itch to throw a new custom paint job on it. “The original paint was still perfect, so it was hard to make the commitment to strip the car down to nothing and repaint it,” tells Berk. “But I was happy that I did. The custom paint on the car now

is actually only the second time it was ever painted.” An admitted car enthusiast as far back as he can remember, Berk favored drag racing but followed many other motrosports along the way. “I follow a lot of the prototype and GT race cars and


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march 2016 | RPM Magazine

CHECK. CHECK. AND CHECK. Pro Stock style hoodscoop, wheelie bars and chute are all the makings of Pro Street. The “TU BAD” license plate can be seen behind the parachute and mount. have travelled to races such as the 24 Hours Of Daytona to watch those cars. Drag racing also took me to various tracks all over Canada and the United States, so many that I lost count a long time ago.” Berk got more involved in drag racing with a better known Canadian

racer named Jeff Arend, working with him on his Bad To The Bone altered for a couple of years. Now fully entrenched in the performance and racing lifestyle, Berk worked as the manager of a Canadian-based performance parts operation, Karbelt, which had stores in

Ontario and Quebec. From there, he would partner as an owner of Straight Line Racing in Scarborough, Ontario. Following his stint in the horsepower industry, he moved on to work in emergency services and his Firebird would take a bit of a rest in 1991 while he concen-

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016



PONCHO POWERED Norm wanted to keep the Pontiac all Pontiac, for now anyway. He admits to having plans for more horsepower after testing this .030 over 455 once the nitrous is installed and the car gets a few runs at the strip under its belt. L&E Chassis was responsible for fabrication of the headers.


trated on raising his two boys. “Even then, I always found time to play with my car and attend an event here and there to keep my interest in my favourite hobby alive.” he said. “Through the years, I always tried to stay on top of keeping the car in perfect condition and staying current with its modifications, that is, until I was in my late 40s and actually thought of selling it, or, doing something more radical with it.” Berk chose the latter and since he had always loved the pro stock/pro street look he thought that would be the next logical step for the Firebird. So, with

march 2016 | RPM Magazine

some extra time, a bit more disposable funds, and the responsibility that often comes with age and experience, the car was again stripped down to absolutely nothing but the roof and quarters and the complete pro street build began. The wild colors and paint scheme are certainly what catches the eye first. Scott Jahren of Scott Jahren Paint in North Tonawanda, New York applied the House of Kolor paint after also prepping and massaging the Bird’s body. A year build turned into several and despite “growing pains,” as Norman puts it, combined with

changes, retrofits and more changes, by 2013 the wild bright orange head-turning Formula was popping up at car shows in two countries. “The dark colour looks black,” tells Berk. “But it’s actually a very dark blue that also changes its shade in the light and at the right angle you can clearly see the blue in it.” The Firebird deservingly won Best Paint at the 2013 Buffalo Motorama show. Once you get past the curb appeal, you can’t help but notice the obvious quality and level of the chassis and fabrication work throughout the project.

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016




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march 2016 | RPM Magazine

“The craftsmanship in the build of the vehicle executed by Luciano Querin at L&E Chassis is second to none,” boasted Berk. If it seems like overkill, that’s because it is, at least for the current power level installed between the rails. “Luch built an amazing chromoly pro stock-style tube chassis for the car that is designed to meet SFI 25.2 specs,” he added. Which means the car would be legal to run sub-seven seconds in the quarter mile at

3,200 pounds. Inside the car, Berk found a nice mix of race, pro street, and original equipment that identify the car as the real deal. The silver powder coated cage is a carefully designed puzzle, and combined with the matching tinwork tells onlookers that this Bird was built to fly. Wanting to retain some OEM equipment to reflect the fact that the car, although having a tube chassis, was once an actual production car,

COMFY AND SAFE Aluminum racing buckets and RCI race belts hold driver and passenger in place inside the L&E Chassis SFI 25.2 spec full tube frame.

Berk used the factory dash with a mix of factory controls and aftermarket gauges, and a keen eye will notice the original tilt steering column and Firebird steering


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$84995 www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


NORMAN BERK’S 1976 PRO STREET FIREBIRD FORMULA Chassis Type & Mods: Chromoly pro stock-style tube chassis built by Luch at L&E chassis in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada. Suspension: FRONT: Fabricated tubular front suspension with Strange struts and rack and pinion steering. REAR: Four link with wishbone locator and Strange adjustable shocks. Body & Paint: Body is all original steel (46,000 original miles) except for ‘glass hood from Harwood, rear bumper from VFN, and custom fiberglass front bumper. Engine: Pontiac 455 .030 over with nodular steel crank and rods which are bronze bushed and pinned to 11:1 Venolia pistons. Machine work, balance, and assembly by Steffen Engine Machine in Oshawa. COMP Cams cam and valvetrain with the exception of Harland Sharp roller rockers and homemade stud girdle. Milodon gear drive and oil pump. Edelbrock Performer heads, owner-ported and assembled by Brad at Steffen Engine Machine in Oshawa. Ported Edelbrock Victor intake with Pro Systems Holley Dominator style carburetor Power Adder: NOS nitrous system. Electronics: Accel distributor with MSD 6T and MSD coil. MSD ignition wires. Transmission & Converter: Built TH350 currently installed, however, a street/strip TH 400 is in the works with a custom built 4200 rpm stall torque converter. Diff rential: Chevy 12-bolt with 4.56 gears, Moroso carrier and Strange axles. Strange brakes front and rear. Thanks: “My family and friends, Scott Jahren and his right hand man “Bud.” Special thanks to good friend John who helped with his truck, his trailer, his ideas, and suggestions, and with taking the time to listen to me whine and complain throughout the build.”


march 2016 | RPM Magazine

LONG TIME COMING wheel. Tweed covered aluminum race buckets, custom door panels, a Precision Performance The high Products race shifter and original style “Body by quality Fisher” door sill plates paint work finish off he area nicely. doesn’t end Fabrication work outside the includes tubular front car. Jahren control arms with Strange struts and rack and pinion is world renowned for steering. Out back sits a GM 12-bolt beefed up his attention with a Moroso carrier, to detail. 4.56 gears and Strange


axles suspended by an L&E four link with wishbone locator and Strange adjustable shocks. Power comes from a Pontiac mill. “More times than not, I get asked why I still have a Pontiac motor in the car and not a big block Chevy,” said Berk. “Although it would have been easier and less expensive to make power, I always like to be a bit different than the majority. Plus, I guess I wanted to

keep the car all Pontiac, as to not upset the Pontiac gods who would frown upon me for doing anything but, and would no doubt give me such a hard time at the many Pontiac events I attend throughout the year,” he laughed. “Besides, it’s a nice feeling when you’re standing there and somebody recognizes there is STILL a Pontiac motor in the car and they smile and say ‘way to go’.”

UNDERNEATH Out back, the narrowed 12-bolt rear has been stuffed with pa ts from Strange and Moroso, while the front suspension features Strange struts and tubular control arms. Strange brakes have been fit o all four corners.

A GREAT COMBO 1,081 HP & 841 ft-lbs. Torque

Matt Woodard built a powerhouse big-block Chevy for Super Comp class racing with an Edelbrock Super Victor II intake #2897 and Victor 24° cylinder heads. These components were prepped by Shaut Racing Heads and the block features a 4.625" bore and 4.50" stroke for 605 cubic inches. Testing was performed at Edelbrock’s R&D dyno facility in Torrance, California. “Making 1,080+ horsepower with conventional aluminum cylinder heads is really amazing.” — Matt Woodard





www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


LONG TIME COMING EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE Berk needed a fuel cell large enough for decent street drives, so he tucked a fabricated polished aluminum unit neatly between the rear chassis bars. A 455 Pontiac block was reworked, bored .030 over and filled with a balanced rotating assembly consisting of a nodular steel crank and rods pinned to 11:1 Venolia pistons. Machine work and assembly was handled by Steffen Engine Machine in Oshawa. Edelbrock Performer heads ported by Berk are equipped with COMP Cams hardware except for the Harland Sharp roller rockers and fabricated stud girdle. Topping the Poncho power is an owner-ported Edlelbrock Victor intake and Pro Systems Dominator style carburetor, and an NOS nitrous oxide system awaits installation. “The headers are a work of art built by L&E and are 2 1/8-inch primary tubes leading into 3 1/2-inch collectors,” added Berk. While not the 1,000-plus horsepower deserving of the chassis

spec, for now, Berk is happy to have a mill that mixes some street manners with power to spare when needed while shaking down the car on the street and strip. “We’re planning to get the car to the track early next season to get some baseline information before hopefully pulling the motor out and dropping a new one in,” said Berk. “I wouldn’t say that I have concrete plans as this motor is a strong runner, but the thought of a new powerplant is always in the back of my mind.” The most memorable experience with the car to date is when the Firebird took double honors at the Detroit Autorama. “When I heard my name being called, not only once, but twice at the Detroit Autorama, the biggest custom car show there is, that is definitely the best moment I’ve had with the car,” Berk explained about placing second in Pro Street and also winning Best Street

UNDER CONSTRUCTION The car being built at L&E Chassis. Notice the body above the tube chassis as its being created, and how about that wild ’80s/’90s paint before the makeover.


march 2016 | RPM Magazine

Machine at the same event. Berk often gets a chuckle when he pulls the car from the trailer as onlookers often prejudge the Firebird to be simply a pro stock-style drag car, or trailer queen. “Take a closer look,” says Norm. “Everything on the car is DOT legal... including the essentials of a real street car like headlights, taillights, and signals. I then direct their attention to the tilt steering, power windows, power door locks,

and even a rear window defroster for those wintery night cruises,” he laughed. “This past season, I have had more fun with my car than ever before as I have bumped into some old friends who are into the pro street scene now and I have also joined the East Coast Pro Street club. Great friends, great cars and great events have made for some fun times and hopefully many more to come!”

SHOWIN’ OFF Late in 2013 the Firebird collected three awards from the first wo shows it appeared at, two of those awards were from the Detroit Autorama.

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016




>> RPM heads to Arizona to kick off 016 events with new “Road Trip” format!


E WANT YOU! Attention all wild street machine and insane doorslammer drag car owners: do you want to be featured in RPM MAGAZINE? Wouldn’t it be cool to be read about in 34 countries in print and on over 5,000 newsstands in the world’s top car mag? AND be seen worldwide through RPM online? Then you need to be part of our 2016 RPM ROAD TRIP that will

be pulling into the Phoenix area March 19th! “In an attempt to include as many types of horsepower interests of RPM readers as possible, and provide them an opportunity to participate in and read about diversity in the world of wild street machines and fast doorslammer drag cars, we have been fine tuning our Extreme Events for a number of years,” explains RPM Editor In Chief Chris Biro. “In 2015 we were proud to announce that our lineup

included THREE completely different formats: drag races, car shows, and tour events (through the RPM Rocky Mountain Race Week), but we wanted more for you, so we developed our RPM ROAD TRIP events.” “An RPM ROAD TRIP will have RPM staff photojournalists and videographers make quick one day stops at pre-selected events around the country, and we will be there for ONE reason: to get the coolest cars from the streets and strips into RPM MAG!” he added. “We’ll be starting with our first ROAD TRIP near Phoenix, Arizona with plans of heading east and possibly even into Canada over the course of 2016!” Biro goes on to say. “It’s a whirlwind of a trip when we pull into town, but we have a lot of fun, meet a bunch of great people and get to check out some of the areas wildest rides! Like I said, our goal is simple: to provide the owners of the wildest street machines and

doorslammer drag cars access to getting in the world’s top car mag. So look sharp as we’ll be lining up features and also be taking video for our RPM YouTube Channel and RPM com-mercials!”


On March 19th, RPM staff ill first be heading just south of Phoenix to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler AZ to hook up with American DRAGCAR and their Arizona Race Company StreetCar Showdown Series to get an inside look at the series and its racers, and complete feature car photoshoots for upcoming issues of RPM! Right after racing’s done, the team will be heading slightly north to Glendale, AZ to catch all of the street car, muscle car and hot

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march 2016 | RPM Magazine

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rod action they can handle at the Saturday night Mixteca cruise night at 67th Ave and Bell Rd... “We’ve even heard that some badass doorslammer drag cars will be making their way to the cruise for a special appear-

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Clay Forrester in his street leg al Fox body Mustang takes on David Singletary in his ’69 Camaro during American DRAGCAR series action at Wild Horse Pass Mo torsports Park. American DRAGCAR photo

Brian Manske’s wicked turbocharged 7-second 1998 Drag Radial Trans Am will be in the house at Mixteca Saturday night!

ance that night!” added Biro. “Plus, the Mixteca cruise night organizer, Nancy Perry of Nancy Perry Productions, has even set aside special reserved spaces for RPM cars, so if you got what it takes, bring it!” WANT TO HAVE A SHOT AT GETTING YOUR RIDE FEATURED IN RPM? If you are going to be anywhere near these two stops on our 2016 Road Trip, then REGISTER NOW by emailing events@ rpm-mag.com with your name and short description of your ride accompanied by at least two high

quality photographs.


Don’t miss your chance to get in the WORLD’S TOP CAR MAG for wild street machines and insane strip warriors, and meet members of the RPM senior staff n person, including Editor-In-Chief Chris Biro and RPM Special Projects Director and creator of the RPM aPocalypSe Horse Toby Brooks. The RPM ROAD TRIP: ARIZONA is our first of several stops this year. Stay tuned for other stops coming soon!

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FAR LEFT & ABOVE: Over 500 cars of all fla ors and levels have been known to frequent Nancy Perry’s Mixteca Cruise– on March 19th though, expect some outrageously powered street machines & strip monsters to roll in for our RPM ROAD TRIP! Nancy Perry Productions photos





www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016




story by


Gary Kollofs

ki photos

>> How pro street changed the game…and keeps on changing it

Toby Brooks

f you’ve been reading other magazines, you’ve been lied to. For years you were told that pro street was dead. Pro street was impractical. Pro street was SO ’80s. And you bought the lie. Heck, most of us were taught that pro touring had captured the throne. People were sick and tired of the fairgrounds cruisers that could barely move under their own power or haul around their multiple power adders under the weight of all that chrome

and unnecessary nylon window netting. Some say Scott Sullivan, widely regarded as the father of pro street with his iconic blown and tubbed ’67 Nova, ironically also spelled the end of pro street as we knew it with his Cheez Whiz Shoebox that drove across country with Car Craft’s Jeff Smith in tow chronicling the whole awesome tale. Even though the ’55 was undoubtedly pro street, it seemed to have kicked off a r volt in the street machining world. People wanted more creature comforts in

their rides. As Hot Rod magazine so deftly noted in their description of Scott’s car in their Top 100 Rods of all time list, people were sick of polishing their cars all day and wanted, like Scott, to actually drive them. In just a decade, we went from the three most popular custom car magazines of the time— Hot Rod, Car Craft, and Popular Hot Rodding— seeming to compete with one another over which pro street builds would be featured in their pages in the mid ’80s to

nary a single tubbed car featured in any by the mid ’90s. Pro street had gone the way of bell bottom jeans and butterfly collars. Or at least that’s what we were told. Secretly— clandestinely— street machiners and hot rodders the world over still liked the style. But to own up to that fact and admit it, let alone



build one, would be like jamming out to a Milli Vanilli cassette blasting on your Jensen 6x9s while rocking your acid washed jean jacket and detangling your sweet mullet. It just wasn’t cool anymore. Or was it? As pro street’s proud papa Sullivan contended in 2012, “While pro touring is all the current rage,



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march 2016 | RPM Magazine

Toby Brooks

Caesar Mar


o agni phot

pro street cars will always be popular. Here’s why… correctly done, NOTHING looks more evil or badass.” I dare you to take a look at some of the iconic cars of the era and not admit they still remain, 20+ years later, the epitome of street coolness. And while some forgettable trends have certainly dated a handful of those cars, such is the risk you run and the price you pay to be considered “today’s big thing.” For me, the fascination with pro street began in earnest in 1986, when—at the impressionable age of 11—I attended the Street Machine Nationals in Du Quoin, Illinois. My timing couldn’t have been more perfect. While I missed out on some

of the earliest iterations of pro street, I had managed to report to Ground Zero at the onset of the first golden age of the trend. Folks like Scott Sullivan, Rod Saboury, Rocky Robertson, Matt and Debbie Hay, Rick Dobbertin, Mark Grimes, Troy Trepanier, and Al Hinds—just to name a few—were in the midst of the most relentless and over-the-top pursuit of pro street stardom the world had (and has) ever seen. But where did it all begin? And where did it go? And where is it going?


Contrary to popular belief, Sullivan’s awesome blown and tubbed 1967 Chevy Nova, debuted in 1979, was not the first-ever

pro street car to be featured in a major magazine. In case you were wondering, that distinction belongs to a number of cars, including Vince Hill’s Vega Wagon (Feb. 1977 Hot Rod), Steve Lisk’s 1970 Dodge Challenger (Aug. 1977 Car Craft & Sept. 1977 Hot Rod) and John Carpenter’s Vega GT (Aug. 1977 Car Craft). And while inexplicably not given a full feature, Gary Kollofski’s 1955 Chevy also debuted on the national scene in 1977 and was honored as a top ten build of 1977 by one major pub. However, Kollofski had already been running the car with a narrowed rear end and a blown big block for two years. The magazines finally began to realize that the

idea of transferring the styling cues of a pro stock car over to the street was not just a passing fad…it was rapidly becoming the next hot trend. After the handful of well-executed tubbed cars that garnered accolades in the late ’70s (pro street cars represented less than 10% of all features in the three most popular custom car magazines most of the time between 1977-1980), the ’80s witnessed a steady increase of both quantity and quality of pro streeters. By 1986, the number grew to between 2652% depending on the particular magazine you read. Coverage peaked in 1991, with over 55% of all features for the year in all three magazines being pro street builds. Hot Rod magazine

HISTORY CLASS Pro street initially emerged in the mid ’70s with cars like Gary Kollofski’s iconic blown and tubbed 1955 Chevy (first and se ond from left), but rapidly evolved in the ’80s with over-the top machines like Rick Dobbertin’s Pontiac J-2000 (center). By the ’90s, the genre began to split into cars like Rod Saboury’s steady stream of ultra-quick street legal Corvettes (second from right) and Mark Grimes’ triple-blown Eurosport (far right), built mostly for show.

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


James Broo

Gary Kollofski

RECOGNIZE THE TRI-FIVES Gary Kollofski’s 1955 Chevy (left) might have been one of the first p o street cars, but Scott Sullivan’s ‘Cheez Whiz’ is one of the most recognizable. It set new standards for what it meant to have a practical, yet still cool ride.


s ks photo


had devoted full features to a whopping 97 pro street cars that year. And who could blame them? Incredible cars that sparked the imagination and wowed the senses seemed to debut each year. Following Sullivan’s Nova, Rick Dobbertin threw down the gauntlet early, debuting his blown, nitroused, and twin turbo’d 1965 Nova in 1982 and capturing the highly coveted Best Pro Street at the Street Machine Nationals in both 1982 and 1983. Matt and

Debbie Hay weren’t far behind, introducing the movement to the beauty of late model builds with a 1979 Mustang in 1983, followed by an alcohol-burning blown and injected 1984 Oldsmobile Ciera in 1984. All the while, Rod Saboury kept right on building one killer Corvette after another…most notably a 1963 split window that changed what we thought we knew about a low-slung stance on a street car. Tons of other builds rolled out over the

march 2016 | RPM Magazine

course of the next few years, too. Rocky RobertRobert son brought hot rodding into the modern era with his high tech Buicks… the first of which was a turbocharged V-6 1985 Buick Somerset in 1986. That also happened to be the year Rick Dobbertin showed up with his incredible twin turbocharged, twin supercharged, 20-port nitroused 1985 Pontiac J-2000. The car featured a flip front end, an air-actuated flip up body, and a fully polished stainless steel chassis. It was not

only wild, it was wildly divisive. People either loved it or hated it…but there was no denying the incredible level of maniacal detail in the build. It has been widely dubbed “the pro streeter that will never be topped.”


The 1988 Nats were arguably the single most impressive gathering of freshly built, cutting edge, high-end pro street cars the world has ever seen. Oh sure, there were

several noteworthy cars that made a splash prior to 1988, and there have been plenty of awesome cars in the years since. But the sheer volume of breathtaking, one-ofa-kind street machines debuted in 1988 may never be duplicated. It was unbelievable. Nearly everyone who was anyone in the pro street game rolled out a trick new build just in time for the event. A double-blown pink 1988 Thunderbird from Matt and Debbie Hay was countered by

RPM EXCLUSIVE Left: Troy Trepanier’s Chevelle

Rock y Robertson photo

Right: Rocky Robertson’s EFI’d and nitroused V6 Buick LeSabre

a triple-blown 1987 Eurosport from Mark Grimes (a follow-up to his “America’s Best Street Machine 1965 Malibu debuted in 1986). Monochrome pink and electronic fuel injection from Rocky Robertson’s 1988 Buick LeSabre was countered by monochrome Cheez Whiz Orange with a nitroused big block 1955 Chevy from Scott Sullivan. The build quality just kept getting better and the competition was

fierce. High style was in style. As the cars got better and better, so too did the popularity of pro street heavy summer events. In 1989, over 100,000 spectators showed up for the Street Machine Nationals, effectively multiplying host town Du Quoin’s quaint population of around 6,000 17 times over. For one weekend in June, the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds had almost as many “residents” as Peoria.

The late Stan Shaw was well known for building hard-running pro street cars much like Rod Saboury. This all steel ’57 Chevy ran consistent high 9s on street tires in the late ’80s, which is pretty impressive considering the technology of the time.

James Brook s


Chris Rini’s Nitrous Assisted Pro Mod ran a best of 3.75 & 199 MPH using an ATI T400 Outlaw Lock-Up, Outlaw Converter, Max Duty Super F and Super Damper!






www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016



Marc Telder photo

Rick Dobbertin photos

Few cars of the first e a of pro street are more recognizable than Matt & Debbie Hay’s 1988 Thunderbird and Rick Dobbertin’s 1985 Pontiac J-2000. Both were made into plastic model kits by Revell, meaning most anyone could build a wild pro streeter of their own for less than 20 bucks. Revell recently re-released the T-Bird kit.


Upstart builder Troy Trepanier got his start in pro street, showing up with a raspberry-colored Chevelle that was the first of a seemingly endless list of ever more creative builds that he launched into a career. Other builders like Wally Elder, Todd Clark, Gary Buckles, Richard Boyd, Steve Gantz, Brett Voelkel, Wayne Bushey, Kim Gough, Bob Maynard, and Danny Taylor debuted their own versions of pro street cool, too. Classic pro street builds like Terry Podschweit’s Mustang in

march 2016 | RPM Magazine

this issue kept coming, too. Countless others built cars of their own. Pro street was king. But a new king was about to be crowned.


It seemed as though the trend would go on forever. Features were plentiful and events were more popular than ever. However, a rising swell of resistance had started to gain momentum, as the highly impractical “fair-

grounds queens” seemed more and more like an unattainable goal for most standard-issue, real-world street machiners. Pro touring initially took root as an anti-pro street movement focused on building cool cars you could actually drive. Within just a few short years, a number of magazines seemed to take pleasure in declaring pro street

was “dead,” despite ample evidence to the contrary. Percentage of pro street features hovered between 22-41% in 1997, then without warning plunged to around 5% in 1998 where it remained for more than a decade. Pro touring and rat rods seemed to take center stage in many circles. However, RPM Magazine has been true to the roots of the original pro

Toby Brooks photo

John Jackson

street movement since our inception some 16+ years ago. High performance street strip cars like Rod Saboury’s incredible twin turbo Corvette continued to push the envelope and our perception of what a street car could do on the street, and strip. Such builds paved the way for more modern wicked quick pro street builders like Tom Bailey, Jeff utz, and Larry Larson. However, in other places, fat tired cars were treated like harvest gold appliances

and shag carpet of the ’70s: regrettable trends that need not be revisited. If you picked up one of those other mags, you’d think no one had built a car with a legit non-mini tub for the better part of two decades. What you wouldn’t realize was that it was nothing but a lie.


In 2012, I decided to make the trek to a spin-off of the old Du Quoin show, the Street Machine Summer

Nationals show held annually in Minneapolis/St. Paul. In all honesty, I headed to Minnesota not expecting much. In fact, I brought my camera and as I prepared to enter the fairgrounds I silently thought to myself, “I’m going to take a picture of every tubbed car on the grounds today.” In my heart I knew it wouldn’t take long, but I wanted to document the few dinosaurs that remained, lurching around the fairgrounds with that unmistakable blower whine and WHOOMP….WHOOMP… WHOOMP. They were endangered

species, after all. They dede served to be captured in their natural environment before they vanish for good, right? So I thought. I could not have been prepared for what I saw next. My camera’s memory card couldn’t hold all the pics I wanted to take. Sure, there were some clapped out racecars with license plates on site, slicks and all. However, some other really cool cars—some new builds, some old—were there, too. Michael Taylor’s red Monza, a classic build from back in the day, was still sporting a ginormous


Some of the top-of-theheap builds of the ’80s and ’90s relied on outrageous induction systems like Mark Grimes’ triple-supercharged Eurosport (left), while others like Gary Buckles’ Camaro took a more subtle approach with a well-detailed naturally aspirated Tuned Port Injected small block and tons of body mods to go with an incredible slammed stance.

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


RPM EXCLUSIVE scoop way above the roofline and managed to snag an Editor’s Choice award. A slime green Chevelle wagon with a blown and injected big block was there. And although nearly every magazine still published had led me to believe you needed a turbo’d LS engine, huge brakes, and 20-inch wheels to be relevant and cool today, it hit me: PRO STREET WAS STILL COOL. In fact, it had never stopped. We were lied to, friends. Enthusiasts have finally started realizing that pro street never died. It merely got morphed into a newer—and dare we say even more exciting—genre. The truth is, there has never been a better time to build a no-holds-barred pro street build than right now. We’re enamored with the possibilities that didn’t exist for others back in the day. The thing is, that iconic styling, coupled with modern technology like air suspensions, electronic fuel injected powerplants with creature comforts like air conditioning, and high tech materials is the perfect storm. If you’re a fat tire fan, then you’re in for a treat, because pro street can be everything it has ever been and more. Enjoy the ride.

The resurgence in pro street’s popularity has led to some exciting developments in the past few years. The rejuvenated interest in the genre has encouraged builders young and old to embark on fat-tired builds. Pro street legend Rocky Robertson is currently build building a 1948 F-150 (left). You can follow the build on the RobertRobert son’s Auto Shop Facebook page. Meanwhile fellow legendary builder Wally Elder is currently putting together what proves to be an incredible new car of his own—a Dodge Daytona clone (right) with a pro mod chassis and an all alualu minum blown and injected Chrysler Hemi, a tribute to a similar build Elder completed over 20 years ago. You can follow Wally’s progress on both the Tubbed and Pro Street Era Facebook pages.


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march 2016 | RPM Magazine

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march 2016 | RPM Magazine

Toby Brooks

story and photos by


ull disclosure: usually magazine features are fairly sterile things, devoid of much emotion and full of endless details about the build. The author typically refers to the magazine as an entity,

like “we saw this…” or “we asked that.” At RPM we’ve worked to change that over the past 17 years by building personality into our features, but this will take the experience that much further as

the views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of RPM Magazine. Instead, they’re all mine. The first time I laid eyes on retired auto mechanic Terry Podschweit’s beautiful

1967 Mustang you see here, I was blown away. At the tender age of 11, I had been to the 1986 Street Machine Nationals in Du Quoin, Illinois and fell absolutely head-overheels in love with pro street. My dad had tak-

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www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


THE NEMESIS en me to the show, and it required a total of about 30 seconds to realize I was enamored with pretty much anything with fat tires tucked up under the quarter panels. The next spring, my dad purchased a well-executed pro street build of his own: a blue metallic 1966 Nova with a mildly cammed 350. We hit the show and cruise circuit later that summer of 1987, frequenting several local events within driving distance of our hometown Harrisburg, Illinois, less than 50 miles from Du Quoin. Also within that 50 mile radius was the small town of West Frankfort, Illinois, home of the Redbirds—and Terry Podschweit. At one of the first

shows we attended, I spotted the compact and wiry Podschweit and his blown and thenblack classic ’Stang from across the fairgrounds. With flawless gloss black sheetmetal, polished Centerlines, and a whining Dyers supercharger poking through the hood, I was pretty sure my dad’s car had lost the pro street class before the judging even began. I was right. Not only did Podschweit beat us at that show, it seemed like he was at every other show we attended that summer, too. And every show, the result was the same: Podge’s Mustang: first place. Everyone else: thanks for coming. In my 11-yearold mind, it wasn’t fair. Here was this

dude I didn’t even know with this car we couldn’t beat. He even looked like a bad-boy hot rodder, wearing mostly black all the time over his lean muscular build with greased-back hair straight from the Outsiders. We were no Socs by any means (if you miss this reference, stop here and read the book referenced in the prior sentence. We’ll wait for you), but this Ponyboy-looking guy and his villainous black Ford were smacking us around like we were. Over the course of that summer, I can honestly say I grew to dislike that Mustang tremendously. And by extension, I didn’t care for the guy who built it. Sure, I had never spoken to him, but

THIS PONY STILL SHINES Although Podschweit’s Mustang was last painted in 1992, the House of Kolor Kandy Brandy Wine still looks great. With the big meats in back, a Dyers blower through the hood, and an NOS nitrous system, it is everything pro street ought to be.


march 2016 | RPM Magazine

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


TERRY PODSCHWEIT’S PRO STREET 1967 MUSTANG Chassis Type & Mods: 2x3 mild steel backhalf by owner, Dave Wilburn, and Robin Buckingham. Suspension: REAR: Ladder bars with Koni double adjustable coilovers. FRONT: Stock front with Koni double-adjustable shocks. Body & Paint: Tim Braddy applied House of Kolors Kandy Brandy Wine. Suicide doors, custom molded and extended decklid, custom rocker moldings, shaved door handles, and custom front spoiler. Engine: 347 ci small block Ford with Scat stroker crank, Eagle H-beam rods, and Arias 8:1 blower pistons. COMP hydraulic roller cam with COMP roller lifters. Induction & Power Adders: Dyers 6/71 supercharger mounted atop Weiand aluminum blower intake. Carter AFB 750 carbs. NOS Pro Shot Fogger nitrous system. Mr. Gasket Street Scoop. Fuel Delivery: Holley mechanical and electric fuel pumps. Electronics & Ignition: MSD 6 AL box with MSD distributor. Transmission & Converter: TCI C6 trans with TCI 4,000 RPM stall converter and JW flexplate. Diff rential: Narrowed 9-inch Ford with 31-spline Moser axles and 4.10 Richmond gears. Assembled by Mike Beasley. Exhaust: Hooker 1 7/8-inch headers. Mike Yadro 3-inch exhaust with SuperTrapp mufflers. Tires and Wheels: Centerline Auto Drag wheels with Mickey Thompson Tires. FRONT: 15x3.5 with 26x4.5-15 tires. REAR: 15x15 with 33x21.5-15 tires. Special Thanks: Dave Wilburn & Robin Buckingham for assistance welding the backhalf. Son Tim Braddy for bodywork and fabrication on suicide doors and co-design along with owner. Sons Rodney and Brian assisted on every aspect of the build. Wife Vicki for love and support.


march 2016 | RPM Magazine

surely anyone who won that much had to be an arrogant jerk, right? Later I saw the car around at other shows. It was treated to a new candy paintjob, suicide doors and bunch of other tricks. I really didn’t bother to look, though. At that point it just seemed like he was taunting everyone. If it beat us before, now that the guy had redone it, the distance between him and the rest of the field would be even greater. We had absolutely no chance. My dad grew disgusted with the whole idea of wasting $25-$30 to register and wait around all day for a show

that couldn’t be won because “that Mustang” showed up. Dad eventually gave up on the whole local car show scene and chose to spend his Saturdays doing more productive things. This car was my Duke Blue Devils. My New England Patriots. My New York Yankees of pro street. If you can’t beat ’em, at least you could hate ’em. And I did. The car was a nemesis. Or so I thought. Fast forward to 2011. I was in town visiting family for the holidays and working on my book, Sensory Overload: Hot Cars, Cool Builders,

and Wild Times at the Street Machine Nationals and I decided I’d see if I could at long last talk to the guy who had beaten my dad and me like rented mules all those many years ago. After all, I knew Podschweit had won several awards at the show and was there seemingly every year (Terry actually attended every single year the show was hosted in Du Quoin from 19861998). I called the number in the phonebook and scheduled an appointment. I drove over and introduced myself and the two of us talked along with his wife Vicki for hours about cool cars

THE NEMESIS LOOKIE HERE... The Dyers supercharger, Carter carbs, and Mr. Gasket scoop tower above the 347 ci Ford small block. Engine detailing is superb and has stood the test of time.

STEAMROLLERS Podschweit handled the ladder bar backhalf himself with the help of friends Dave Wilburn and Robin Buckingham. The narrowed 9-inch was fit ed with Moser axles and Richmond gears before being hung via Koni coilovers and smoothed and painted body color by son Tim Braddy.

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


THE NEMESIS and great times. The smiles were full and the conversation easy…and that’s when I realized just how stupid I had been as a kid. It turned out Terry Podschweit was no villain at all. He was actually one heck of a guy. It wasn’t his fault he built a car no one around could beat…and it was still sitting in his garage. When he offered, I eagerly went to look, and for the first time since a stupid trophy was handed out in 1987 I saw it with fresh eyes. It was killer. Podschweit first acquired the car nearly accidentally in 1984. “I was driving to look at a Corvette in a neighboring town when I spotted the front end of a Mustang,” he said. “I turned around and looked at it, and after negotiating with the owner, we struck a deal for $2,500. I rushed home to get the money, pick up my son Tim from high school, and went to get the car while he drove the other car back home,” Podschweit added. An original S-code 390 4-speed car with just 37,000 miles on the clock at the time, it was straight and clean. Podschweit added a blower, painted it black, and


enjoyed it that way until he attended those same 1986 Street Machine Nationals and picked up a bad case of pro street fever himself. “After the show, we took the car home and decided to back half it. It pretty much stayed that way until 1992 when we redid it just the way you see it here,” he said. Podschweit built the 302—bored and stroked to a more spacious 347 ci—himself with the help of Jack Chaplin on machine shop duties. A Scat crank swings Eagle H-beam rods and 8:1 compression Arias blower pistons, while a COMP hydraulic roller cam (279 I/490 E) cam pokes COMP lifters and Manley pushrods. Lightly ported factory heads have been equipped with ARP studs and COMP roller rockers before being dolled up with ProForm chrome covers. A Weiand aluminum blower manifold was smoothed and painted before serving as a pedestal for a 6/71 Dyers supercharger pushing compressed atmosphere pulled through a Mr. Gasket Street Scoop and a pair of Carter AFB 750 carbs. A Holley mechanical fuel pump has been augmented to work along

march 2016 | RPM Magazine

NICE MIX The all black interior has been treated to plenty of custom touches like a B&M shifter, Grant steering wheel, custom swivel racing buckets and harnesses, and aftermarket gauges, but still retains the factory dash and door panels. Above, the ’Stang sports a rare factory overhead console.


HOW DO YOU GET IN THIS THING, ANYWAY? Son and ace body man Tim Braddy handled the paint and all body mods, including the suicide doors and trick rear deck lip. Above you can also see the unique swivel racing buckets, NOS nitrous bottle, and chrome roll bar.

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www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


THE NEMESIS with a Holley electric pump, and an NOS Pro Shot Fogger supercharger plate nitrous system was added, as well. The engine is lubricated via a Melling high volume oil pump in a Milodon 7-quart pan. A BeCool aluminum radiator was partnered with a ProForm chrome water pump to keep the small block from getting too toasty. Ignition duties are managed by an MSD distributor and 6AL box, while Hooker 1 7/8 coated headers route the spent gases through 3-inch aluminized tubing and era-perfect SuperTrapp mufflers all installed by Mike Yadro. Backing the mill is a TCI C6 transmission with a 4,000 rpm TCI stall converter and JW flexplate. The narrowed Ford 9-inch rearend was assembled by Mike Beasley who outfitted it with 31-spline Moser axles and 4.10 Richmond gears. The 2x3-inch mild steel backhalf was installed by Podschweit and friends Dave Wilburn and Robin Buckingham. The ladder bar setup employs Koni double-adjustable coilovers, while the front suspension is stock with the exception of matching Konis there, too. The car


rolls on polished Centerline Auto Drag wheels— 15x3.5 in front and 15x15 in back—with Mickey Thompson Sportsman tires all around (26x4.5-15 front, 33x21.5x15 rear). Paint and body on the car were adeptly managed by son Tim Braddy. Mods are aplenty, but none are wilder than the suicide doors. Additionally, the ’Stang was treated to a molded decklid extension, extended quarter panels, a custom front spoiler, and hand-built rocker moldings. The House of Kolor Kandy Brandy Wine paint might be 20 years old, but it is still deep enough to swim in. It is unfettered with graphics, further contributing to the timelessness of the build. Inside, the cockpit is a nice mix of classic Mustang and classic pro street, with black vinyl covered RCI racing buckets on swivel mounts. Simpson harnesses and a chrome roll bar add a measure of safety, while a host of AutoMeter gauges point to meaningful numbers on both the dash and the exterior cowl. A Grant GT steering wheel and B&M shifter round out the custom parts and pieces inside, nicely complementing the rare factory overhead console. Although the

march 2016 | RPM Magazine

THE CHAMP Terry wore his 1996 Street Machine Nats winner’s jacket to our shoot (left). The pic to the right? That’s not his. It is one of many Second Place trophies my dad and I won at local car shows. All Terry’s are bigger and say “First Place” or “Best of Show.”

TIME CHANGES EVERYTHING Owner/builder Terry Podschweit (right) and his son Tim Braddy proudly stand behind the ‘Stang I used to love to hate. Now I just love it. car is devoid of a big banging stereo system, Podschweit says “…sounds are supplied by Dyers and SuperTrapp.” With the Nationals gone after 1998, Podschweit still hung onto the car but did need to go through it and freshen it up a bit before the event’s return in 2013. Back in the day, the Mustang garnered runner-up Grand Champion Pro Street at the show on two occasions, and in a cool twist, the largely unchanged Ford was honored with an Award of Excellence in 2013, as well. But here’s the coolest part: at the 2015 show, Podschweit and Braddy came by the RPM booth to talk pro street and check out the under construction build that is still consuming my life, Project aPocalypSe Horse.

After silently pacing around and closely inspecting the car for several minutes, Terry looked at me and said, “This is an incredible car already. My car is nothing compared to what this will be,” he said matter-of-factly. More moving words have rarely been uttered in my direction. A guy I had unfairly considered something of a childhood villain who had the car that was unbeatable in my little world 30 years prior was not only now a genuine friend, but he was actually complementing my build. I had been wrong all along. Terry Podschweit and his ’67 Mustang weren’t the bad guys after all. They were both heroes. It just took me three decades to realize it.

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


story by

James Williams


e hear it all the time here at RPM. “I used to have a Boss 429 Mustang…” or “My first car was a Hemi Cuda…” or “My cousin had an original Yenko Camaro, and I could have bought it for next no nothing back in the day…” Almost universally, such opening statements are quickly followed by “…boy, I sure wish I had that car today.” It seems muscle car regret is an almost universal affliction in the street machine


march 2016 | RPM Magazine

world. We either wish we never would have sold a certain car, we wish we would have bought another car, or sometimes both. For Tampa, Florida resident Dale Renner, there is no such remorse when it comes to his decision to hang on to his 1970 Plymouth Duster he acquired in 1985 at the tender age of 15. However, that doesn’t mean he’s immune to the notion of regret. Dale’s father, Earl “The Duke” Renner, immersed him into the muscle car era at an

photos by

Renea Shupiery

early age, hauling his bouncing baby boy home from the hospital in a Comet Cyclone and later cruised the neighborhood together in a Plymouth Road Runner. “My early heroes were Kevin Wolfinger, Jef Fern, Matt and Debbie Hay, Rod Saboury, Ken Faust, Rick Dobbertin, Rocky Robertson, and Jim Geese. I always loved pro street,” Renner said. The plan was always to do the Duster up pro street style; however, after getting married, the project was mothballed due to lack of

funds. “I got involved in dirt racing for four years but was just getting ready to get back to my passion of fat-tired rides,” he added. Unfortunately, before the build could begin in earnest, Renner got the call no one ever wants to receive from a parent: his father was sick. It was lung cancer. And it was bad. “I took care of him until his passing three months later,” Renner said softly. “If I

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


had it to do all over again, I would have built the car sooner so my dad could have seen it,” he confessed. The trivial regret so many of us express about buying and selling cars pales in comparison to thoughts that we should have or could have done something differently before a loved one’s untimely departure. Dale missed his dad. And it hurt. “My father and I always talked about tubbing the car,” Renner said. “A few days after the funeral, we


gutted the car and started the process of turning it into the car we had always dreamed of,” he said. Call it what you may, it was nothing short of wrench therapy for Dale and his family. In the span of around complet two years, Renner completed a build that he hadn’t been able to really even start the previous three decades. When the car was purchased, it was lime green with a 6-pack hood and a ‘roll bar’ that had been

march 2016 | RPM Magazine


NEWLY SCOOPED The US Body Source fi erglass lift-off six pack style hood sports matte black graphics for a cool factory-style look, but with an MSD EFI system, this Mopar is far from oldschool.

CLEAN ALL AROUND As if the factory Moulin Rouge/Panther Pink color isn’t cool and unique enough, Renner used copious amounts of high gloss black to cover all the clean tinwork and the aluminum fuel cell in the trunk. The end result is an incredibly well-detailed area that really highlights the quality Vanishing Point Race Cars tube work. A relocated NAPA battery and the necessary plumbing and filt ation for the MSD fuel delivery system round out the goodies in back.

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016



crudely crafted from exhaust tubing and stick welded in place. However, a little post hoc research revealed that the Plymouth was in fact a rare FM3 Plymouth Moulin Rouge color (Dodge actually called the exact same color code “Panther Pink”). In other words, it was bright pink right off he dealer’s lot. “As soon as I got things in order after my dad’s funeral, I could think of nothing more than to tear into this car as a tribute to him,” he added. And not only would the car be tubbed and filled with go-fast goodies, it would be pink. Vanishing Point Race Cars was selected to first install a chromoly backhalf with a cus-

tom 4-link and a narrowed Ford 9-inch rear. Shortened 35-spline Moser axles were installed along with 4.89 Moser gears in the stiffened housing. Aldan Eagle double adjustable coilovers help smooth the ride. Up front, a chromoly K-member with custom A-arms was installed. Magnum Force 2-inch drop spindles help get the ride height down along with another pair of Aldan Ea-

MORE MEAT THAN THE BUTCHER SHOP The narrowed and braced Ford 9-inch rear sports a matching pink paintjob, as do the custom-fabbed wheelie bars. Check out the Chrysler PentaStar -shaped backing plate for the battery disconnect.

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march 2016 | RPM Magazine

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DALE RENNER’S PRO STREET 1970 PLYMOUTH DUSTER Chassis Type & Mods: Chromoly backhalf and tubular K-member by Vanishing Point Race Cars. Suspension: REAR: Custom 4-link with Aldan Eagle doubleadjustable shocks FRONT: Magnum Force 2-inch drop spindles and Aldan Eagle double-adjustable shocks. Body & Paint: PPG original factory color FM3 Moulin Rouge/ Panther Pink basecoat/clearcoat by Rich Mitman, Gary Naughton, and Top Notch Body Worx. US Body Source fiberglass lift-off ix-pack hood. Matte black factory style graphics. Engine: 347ci Plymouth iron block with Chrysler crank and rods and Eagle 13.7:1 pistons. Mopar Purple Shaft cam with Cloyes double roller timing chain. ARP fasteners, Melling oil pump, and Milodon 8-quart oil pan. Chrysler X heads with Harland Sharp roller rockers. Induction & Fuel Delivery: Mopar Performance M1 aluminum intake with MSD Atomic EFI system. MSD electric pump. Electronics & Ignition: MSD 6 AL digital box with Pro Billet Distributor and MSD Super Conductor 8.5 mm wires. Transmission & Converter: Chrysler 3-speed auto TorqueFlite with Transmission Specialties 5,500 rpm stall converter and ATI SFI-rated flexplate. Differential: Narrowed and braced Ford 9-inch housing with Moser 35-spline axles and Moser 4.89 gears. Exhaust: Ceramic coated Hooker 1 7/8-inch headers with 4.5-inch exhaust and Spin Tech mufflers. Wheels & Tires: Centerline Warrior with Mickey Thompson front tires and Hoosier Quick Time Pro rears. FRONT: 15x7 with 26x7.5-15 tires. REAR: 15x15 with 33x22.5-15 tires. Thanks: Wife Kim and son Dalton Renner. Jef Wenhold, Darren Transue, Jim Geese, Don Carey, Mike Frey, and mom and stepdad. Built in tribute to the late Earl “the Duke” Renner.

gle double-adjustable shocks. Braking duties are adeptly managed by a 4-corner Wilwood Drag Lite disc brake system. A Wilwood aluminum master cylinder has been plumbed with custom stainless lines. The car rides on a set of Centerline Warrior wheels measuring 15x7 in front and standard-issue pro street huge 15 x 15 in rear. The polished aluminum hoops have been shod with 26x7.5-15 Mickey Thompson Sportsman tires up front with 33x22.4-15 Hoosier Quick Time Pros out back. Power for the Pentastar comes in the form of a pretty radical naturally aspirated Plymouth 340 ci mill that has been bored 0.030 for a total of 347 cubes. Renner and pals Jeff enhold and Darren Transue handled the build. A Chrysler forged crank swings Eagle full floating connecting rods with Eagle 13.7:1 compression pistons. A Mopar Purple Shaft high-lift am is spun via a Cloyes double roller timing chain and pokes Chrysler solid lifters and Mopar chromoly pushrods into Harland Sharp roller rockers. A pair of cast iron Chrysler X heads cap the cylinders with plenty of flow, and ARP studs and fasteners have been used throughout to help keep the high-compression Mopar mill fully assembled.

A Melling high-volume oil pump labors from within the depths of a cavernous 8-quart Milodon deep-sump pan to keep the internals adequately lubricated while a Mezeire water pump has been partnered with a BeKool direct fit aluminum radiator to keep things cool. Up top, a Mopar Performance M-1 aluminum intake has been equipped with an MSD Atomic fuel injection system that is fed by a matching MSD fuel pump. The electronic fuel injection system helps the car maintain some decent street manners despite the typically race-only compression. A high-flow K&N air cleaner adds a cool look and keeps the Florida bugs out. A host of other Mopar Performance parts have been added to complete the engine build including a pair of aluminum valve covers and a high output alternator. Ignition chores have been assigned to MSD, where a 6AL digital box works in conjunction with a Pro Billet distributor and 8.5 mm Super Conductor plug wires. Exhaust duties are handled by a pair of Hooker 1 7/8-inch collector headers that have been covered in a cool Jet Coat Ceramic finish. The remainder of the exhaust was fabricated by Renner with the help of Gary Naughton using 4.5-inch tubing and

a pair of Spin Tech mufflers. The combo was good for 630 hp and 580 ft./lbs. of torque, which is pretty impressive for a 347 ci combo with no power adders whatsoever. Backing the engine is a Chrysler TorqueFlite 3-speed transmission assembled by Jeff enhold with B&M parts. A Transmission Specialties 5,500 rpm stall converter has been bolted to an ATI flexplate and a chromoly driveshaft ends the power rearward. With the chassis and driveline buttoned up, Renner turned his attention to getting the Duster’s sheetmetal ironed out and back to the eye-popping factory hue. Rich Mitman and Gary Naughton shared in prep duties, installing a lift-off fiberglass Six-Pack style hood from US Body Source in the process. A Year One factory replacement wing was bolted up and a stock sharks tooth grille was installed in the otherwise unchanged factory shell. The PPG basecoat/clearcoat FM3 factory color was augmented with matte black 340 Duster graphics down the side along with matching accents on the hood. Top Notch Body Worx in Sellersville, Pennsylvania handled the final spray and polish. Lastly, Renner focused on the car’s interior, where the big tubs have been comple-

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march 2016 | RPM Magazine


MANIC COMPRESSIVE The 347 cubic inch Plymouth powerplant has been assembled with Eagle 13.7:1 pistons and a Mopar Purple Shaft cam for some serious naturally aspirated power. The MSD Atomic EFI setup adds a dose of civility to an otherwise untamed engine combo that produced 630 hp/580 ft./lbs. of torque on the dyno. With a little nitrous, Renner would be well north of 800-850 hp.

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


PRO PINK FAMILY AFFAIR Pro street is a big deal in the Renner house. Check out the family’s matching “Pro Pink” t-shirts!

WELL EQUIPPED The all black interior sports AutoMeter gauges, a Grant GT steering wheel, and a Hurst Quarter Stick. A custom mini bucket seat has been mounted between the tubs and upholstered to match the black tweed racing buckets up front. Stroud harnesses keep all occupants firmly strapped in place.

mented by a trio of seats: two Kirkey Drag seats up front and an owner-fabbed kids seat between the tubs—a tip of the cap to pro street legend Mark Grimes who did the same to his builds back in the day. All have been covered in black tweed. Mopar Performance Ghost Series gauges fill the dash

and a Hurst pistol grip Quarter Stick shifter has been mounted centrally on the trans tunnel. A Grant 763 GT steering wheel adds another race-inspired touch, and the black Richard Hartman-installed interior contrasts nicely with the Panther Pink cage tubing snaking its way throughout the

ultra-clean cockpit. Renner is quick to thank friends and family who helped along the way. Son Dalton Renner served as the “crew chief” and is now responsible for the overall upkeep of the car, and wife Kim has been an incredible support every step of the way. Friend Jeff Wenhold was there

throughout the build, and Darren Transue helped with wiring and overall assembly. Jim Geese, Don Carey, as well as welder Mike Frey were also instrumental in the build. Lastly, Renner is thankful to his mother and stepdad for their constant support. So after two years of hard work, Dale

Renner finally idled his pro street Mopar out of the garage, fully completed and ready to cruise. It was the culmination of a dream that he’d had rolling around in his mind for more than three decades, finally at long last fulfilled. And somewhere The Duke smiled.

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march 2016 | RPM Magazine

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www.rpm-mag.com | february 2016


story by

Toby Brooks

photos by

Keith O’Fallon & Kurt Pfitzner



remember my first encounter with this car back when I was about 9,” recalled St. Louis-area resident Keith O’Fallon. “My friends and I were riding our bikes around the neighborhood when we hear this thunderous ‘thump-ker-chunk-kerchunk!’ noise echoing from a few streets over. We didn’t know what it was, but curiosity made us pedal as fast as we could to find out. It was coming from a house on the dead end street,” he said.

“What we encountered has stuck with me to this day. It was some old jet fighter-looking car, half primered with no hood, jacked way up in the back, sporting a set slicks sticking way out! It looked mean as hell and was just as loud— it was kind of scary. I had never heard or seen a car like that before but for some reason I liked it. It was the first time I had seen the guy who lived there. I later found out that just happened to be one of only two times he fired that freshly-rebuilt L88 427 to break it in. I

remember every time he wacked the throttle he would smile ear to ear,” he added with a chuckle. A young O’Fallon could only assume the owner was happy because that noisy, smelly old car didn’t blow up and send parts flying everywhere. Little did anyone know that when the garage door went down, that Corvette would sit for nearly 24 years, and take another 14 to finally roar to life once again as the sinister pro street rip-your-face-off blown big block creation you see here.

!!! 56 march 2016

| RPM Magazine

DREAM MACHINE Keith O’Fallon has been dreaming of carving up this classic ’Vette ever since he was a neighborhood kid on a bike checking out his neighbor’s hot rod. Over three decades later, it is a reality.


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www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016 wrap



JUST PLAIN NAAAASTY... A slammed, fat-tired flat black classic Corvette is enough to send chills down your spine, but when it has a blown and injected big block stuffed etween the framerails, it is downright wicked.

58 march 2016

| RPM Magazine



DON’T TEST THIS VETTE A look out back shows all you need to know: a fabricated rear end with coil overs, a huge aluminum wing, a single drag chute...and a valid Missouri license plate. The huge Mickey Thompson rear meats have been neatly tucked well up under the fi erglass shell, and a custom 4-link setup ensures the well motivated Chevy can hook up when O’Fallon punches the fun pedal.

Over the years, O’Fallon became friends with the car’s owner, Carl Evans, who eventually revealed the true reason for that maniacal grin. It was a wild and rabid case of gearhead fever. Anyone who has it knows that it is not only incurable but also a highly contagious bug. And back in that garage all those years earlier, the

instant Evans whacked the throttle, he had passed the disorder to the impressionable young O’Fallon. After moving from the area in the early 1990s, O’Fallon rarely saw Evans and the two somewhat fell out of touch. However, by the mid-‘90s—the zenith of the first age of pro street—O’Fallon had bought and sold a handful of project cars and parts and was on

the hunt for THE car to build his pro street dream. “I looked at various cars, but nothing really jumped out as ‘the one.’ I would always think about that Corvette on the dead end street a few blocks over, but figured it wasn’t within reach,” he said. One day friend Kurt Pfitzner—now owner of the “King of the Hill” monster truck for which O’Fallon currently serves

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www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016



60 march 2016

| RPM Magazine

BOOSTED & JUICED RAT It doesn’t get any more oldschool pro street than a blown big block with mechanical injection. The 447-cube mill is as fun to listen to as it is to look at.

as crew chief—mentioned that he had recently seen Evans and had told the old neighborhood gearhead that O’Fallon was looking for a car. “Kurt said that Carl might be willing to sell the ’Vette. I didn’t believe him, as I know Carl had many offers over the years from

people wanting to restore it and he always said he would never sell it,” O’Fallon recalled. “So I went to visit him and ask if he would sell it to me. I was positive that even if he did, it was out of my reach, but I had to know. It was the first hotrod I can remember being

scared of, and along with the lasting impressions of Bill Weckman’s and Rod Sadboury’s Corvettes, I knew it was my shot at pro street immortality,” he added. While O’Fallon and Pfitzner were looking the Corvette over, Evans asked why O’Fallon was interest-

ed in the car and if he intended to restore it. “I just looked at him, paused, and said, ‘No, I’m going to cut it up!’ I told him that those 33-inch Goodyears needed to be tucked underneath and that I was going to stick my 8/71 blower on it!” O’Fallon said with a hearty laugh.

Most assuredly somewhat stunned, Evans sought further clarification. “He asked if he heard me right. Everyone else wanted to restore it for investment potential. I assured him that as an impractical performance enthusiast, that wouldn’t happen,” O’Fallon added.

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


STING RAGE KEITH O’FALLON’S PRO STREET 1966 CORVETTE Chassis Type & Mods: Full tube 4130 chromoly. Rear fabrication work by Bud Payton, front chassis and control arms by owner. Suspension: REAR: JBRC 4-link with Y-bar track locator and sway bar, Strange double adjustable coilovers with 150-pound Hypercoils. FRONT: CCP 2-inch drop spindles with Wilwood billet hubs, Strange singleadjustable shocks with 325-pound Hypercoil springs. Body & Paint: Custom removable front clip and rear trunk access panel. Sikkens Matte Black paint by Spanish Lake Body Shop. Engine: 447 ci big block Chevy with GM forged steel crank, Scat H-beam rods, and Ross 8.25:1 blower pistons. COMP Cams solid roller cam with COMP adjustable belt drive. Brodix Big Brodie aluminum heads with Reher Morrison stud girdles and valve covers. COMP Ultra Pro Magnum roller rockers with Smith Brothers pushrods and Crower solid roller lifters. Induction: BDS aluminum supercharger intake with 8/71 Littlefield blower making 18 pounds of boost. Hilborn 4-hole mechanical injector with Hilborn scoop. Nitrous Supply 175-shot blower plate system. Electronics & Ignition: MSD 6 BTM box with Blaster HVC 2 coil and Pro Billet Distributor. Crank trigger with magnetic pickup. Transmission & Converter: Owner-rebuilt B&M TH400 with Kevlar band kit. Converted to clutch-turbo with Hays clutch. Rear Diff rential: Bud Payton 9-inch fabricated sheetmetal housing narrowed to 29.5 inches. Mark Williams housing ends with doubler plates on all brackets. Strange 35-spline axles with 5/8-inch studs. Strange spool with Richmond 4.57 gears Tires & Wheels: Weld Pro Star wheels with Mickey Thompson Tires. FRONT: 15x4 with 26x7.5-15 tires. REAR: 15x15 with 33x21.5-15 tires. Special Thanks: Bud Payton: chassis guru, amazing welder and craftsman. I credit him with my fabrication know-how. Pat O’Fallon: brother, misc. help. Kurt Pfi zner: friend, partner in crime, fab work & fiberglass, prime & paint. Mike Burrows (friend), John Armantrout (friend), Doug Albietz (ABT Racing Engines), Mike Chilando (Alky Digger), Mike Wallace (Glass Specialties), Sam Shaprio (Shapiro Steel) and Dan Saitz (Hyperformance Motorsports).

Evans paused, looked at the same face with wide eyes he’d seen poking around his shop decades before, and said he would sell it to O’Fallon as way to fulfilling the car’s destiny. Evans had always intended to put a tube chassis in it, which was why the car had sat all those years. Evans proceeded to share the full history of the car. The riginal owner

purchased the car new in 1966 and street raced it around the town of O’Fallon, Illinois not far from the St. Louis area. The Chevy was born Laguna blue with bright blue interior and sported a 327 small block with 4-speed trans from the factory. In early 1968, the initial owner felt the need to go faster, so he picked up a 427 from the dealer and installed it.

Evans received the car as its second owner in the early 1970s as a high school graduation present from his parents since his dad worked for the Corvette plant in St Louis. The ar had been equipped with a 9-inch ford rear end with a four link in late 1974. The 974 city tax stamp is still on the windshield along with the DMV inspection decal.

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016



64 march 2016

| RPM Magazine


BLACK ON BLACK The no-frills interior features a dash full of AutoMeter instrumentation, carbon fi er tubs and matching carbon panels, a pair of Kirkey race buckets equipped with G-Force restraints, and a black powder coated Nitrous Supply N2O bottle.

The Stingrage’s cool quick release-secured trunk lid is so well executed that most onlookers don’t even realize that it was never offe ed on the ’66s. A pair of Optima Red Tops flank the trick fabricated aluminum fuel cell. O’Fallon has used every square inch of the car to stuff it full of all kinds of go-fast pro street goodness. “After being garaged with just over 50,000 original miles, it was a great start for my build. I had finally found the perfect car to pro street,” O’Fallon said. “We shook hands, I handed over $8700, and I hauled it home.


With the car now in his possession, O’Fallon’s mind started conjuring all the wild tricks and modifications he had in store for the Chevy. The project started in the late ’90s while the Street Machine Nationals were still going strong and the iron of pro street was still hot. However, when many major publications suddenly trumpeted the death of bigtired pro-style builds, O’Fallon’s initial motivation waned. The roject was shelved. “Pro touring was the trend, but I refused to give in. I am a die-hard pro street fanatic,” he said. The lan was initially to build a late-’80s or early ’90s era pro street car focusing mainly on the stance, wheels, and powerplant via a back-half and a mild blown big block. However, as anyone who’s had the fever can attest,

those more budget-friendly and milder initial intentions gradually spiraled out of hand once the build finally fully commenced. In a subtle twist of fate, it was the return of the Street Machine Nationals to DuQuoin after a 15 year hiatus in 2013 that spurred the build back on track. “When my friends and I heard the Nats were going to return to DuQuoin, we knew it was time to finish the car. The xcess of the Street Machine Nationals was something that had to be experienced,” O’Fallon said. “It would leave you in awe during the event and leave you waiting anxiously for next year. For those of us who always knew what cool was, it’s great to see it live it again,” he added. The rst step in the process was to scrap plans for a simple back half, instead opting for a full chromoly tube chassis with a chromoly sheet metal 4-link housing. Bud Payton handled the rear portion of the build and the custom housing, fabricating a custom 4-link with Y-bar track locator and sway bar. Before being suspended via Strange

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


66 march 2016

coilovers, the rear differential was cut down to 29.5 inches, stuffed with shortened Strange 35-spline axles, 5/8-inch studs, and a Strange spool with Richmond 4.57 gears. Up front, O’Fallon managed fabrication chores himself, installing CCP 2-inch dropped spindles, Wilwood billet hubs, and Strange single-adjustable shocks along with the custom control arm setup. Braking duties are managed by Wilwood 4-piston DynaLite brakes with vented billet rotors fore and Aerospace Components 4-piston calipers and vented billet rotors aft. Owner-fabricated stainless hardline with stainless braided fl x hoses to the calipers ensure a leak-proof delivery of stopping juice. With the chassis fully fabbed and TIG’d, O’Fallon turned his attention to the power. A 1967 4-bolt main 427 block was punched out to 447 cubes. AMT Racing Engines in St. Louis assembled the engine using a GM forged steel crank with Scat H-beam rods on custom Ross 8.25:1 blower pistons. A custom-ground COMP solid roller

| RPM Magazine

cam manages the valvetrain and is spun via a COMP adjustable belt drive. Up top, a pair of Brodix Big Brodie aluminum cylinder heads were ported, polished, and otherwise massaged by AMT before being equipped with Reher Morrison stud girdles, COMP Ultra Pro Magnum roller rockers, stainless valves, and carbon-fiber hydrodipped aluminum valve covers. A Melling Select wet sump pump pulls from a Hamberger 8-quart pan to keep things lubricated, while Cometic gaskets provide the seal. ARP fasteners throughout keep things that are meant to be together staying together. Make no mistake—the induction system is classic old school pro street. An 8/71 Littlefield blower pushing 18 pounds of boost has been mounted via a BDS aluminum intake and topped with a true 4-hole Hilborn mechanical injection setup with scoop. A Nitrous Supply 175-shot blower plate system with 15-pound bottle has been installed for an added surge of ponies when necessary.


continued on page 76

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


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STING RAGE MSD ignition has been employed throughout, with a 6 BTM box with boost retard controller, a Blaster HVC 2 coil, and a Pro Billet distributor all teaming to light the fires. Spent fumes exit via an owner-fabbed and modified DynaTech 16-gauge mild steel header kit that has been treated to a NitroPlate coating. Flowmaster Delta Flow mufflers were modified to accept the 4.5-inch tubing moving rearward, but the resultant exhaust pulse is nearly hypnotic at idle and akin to a concussive blast when O’Fallon wings the throttle. Backing the estimated 1,000+ horsepower engine is a B&M GM TH400 threespeed transmission that O’Fallon rebuilt using a Red Eagle Kevlar band kit and equipped with a Hays clutch for an old-school clutch-Turbo setup.


march 2016 | RPM Magazine

Rolling stock is also classic pro street, with Weld Pro Stars and Mickey Th mpson Sportsmans filling the wheel wells. Up front, 15x4 wheels have been shod with 26x7.515 tires, while a pair of ginormous 15x15 rear wheels equipped with 33x21.5-15 tires steamroll out back. A pair of Goodyear slicks are available when needed. The s nister hot rod was first prepped by O’Fallon and Pfitzner, then priming and the final spray was handled at Pfitzner’s Spanish Lake Body Shop. The Sikkens two0stage matte black color covers a body that is stock dimensionally, but has been heavily modified. First, the front clip was separated to make it appear as a factory fender but be removable. The ear deck was modified to make a removable access panel, a commonly overlooked

modification on the 1966 that did not offer factory trunk access. O’Fallon also handled fabrication chores on the aluminum rear wing and chute mount. Moving inside, it is all business, with huge carbon fiber wheel tubs taking up much of the room (“Sometimes I wish I would have started with a bigger car… these Corvettes are little!” O’Fallon joked). A host of custom-made carbon fiber panels have been installed throughout, nicely complementing the drag seats with black tweed covering. AutoMeter Carbon Fiber UltraLite gauges have been combined with an AEM air/ fuel sensor to keep tabs on the car’s data, while a Grant 13-inch wheel with quick release hub provides easier access in and out of the car while managing turning duties.

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


STING RAGE BUILT NOT BOUGHT Keith O’Fallon poses behind his 1966 Corvette. G-Force 3-inch Pro Series 5-point camlock harnesses help keep occupants seated, while a SafeCraft nboard fire suppression system with a polished tank protects against unwanted flames.


O’Fallon and friends engaged in what he describes as “…an insane thrash the month leading up to DuQuoin 2015 to tear the car apart, paint the chassis, reassemble as much as possible, and get the car back together,” but all was not in vain. “We literally worked day and night until noon on Friday (the weekend of the event), then loaded it in the trailer and hit the road. Th re was no way that we were going to miss the Nats!” he added. Rolled out for the world to see, the finished product weighs in at a svelte 2750 lbs. and produces just over 1000 hp on pump gas (1100+ on


race gas with more boost). It retains the stock dash, windows, door panels, electric flip up headlights, and windshield wipers/motor. Plans are to eventually add era-correct subtle graphics and air conditioning in true O.G. pro street style. The ar was a hit, and parked next to Matt & Debbie Hay’s Th nderbird, it was strikingly

march 2016 | RPM Magazine

reminiscent of Nats-goneby with Rod Saboury’s 1963 ’Vette. “As much fun as it was to drive it on the infamous DuQuoin fairgrounds for the first time, in all honesty the most fun was just building the car,” O’Fallon said. “All the weekends, late night thrash sessions, making all the cool pieces—you can’t beat the comradery of drinking

beers and BSing with your buddies. I may own the car but sharing with friends, family, and other car nuts is what makes the best memories,” he concluded. In this day of injection molded plastic and CNC-cut perfection, the quality of many contemporary builds has never been higher. Tolerances are tighter. Fit is better.

But one look at this sinister matte-black Bowtie and you see that it has a nearly-forgotten—almost organic—quality absent from many contemporary builds. It is loud, raw, and decidedly old-school. But that’s exactly the way O’Fallon wanted it. So look at this wicked classic Chevy all you want. Just don’t make it angry.

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www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


story by

W photos by

James Williams

Mark @ GoDragRacing.org, Tara Bowker & Louis Fronkier

hen the third generation Camaro was first introduced for the 1982 model year, it was heralded as a next-generation muscle car for a new era. Although the F-body cars always handled adeptly, they sported such forgettable engine combos as a 2.5L four-banger and the almost-perfectly named Cross-Fire Injection (many refer to the setup as “ceasefire injection” or “mis-fire injection”) pig of a 165-horse 305 ci LU5.

While the newly redesigned “every man’s sports cars” looked awesome, they often lacked the performance to back up their good looks. By the late ’80s, Chevy engineers had managed to add a little muscle to the previously anemic Miami Vice-era Camaros, but even the celebrated L98 Tuned Port Injection 350s still only produced around 250 smog-equipment-laden horses. For many, the third gen became a poster child of the clean styling but anemic muscle of the era.

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Jeff Lutz and the Mad Max 69 Camaro 6.05 at 251mph Fastest Street Car

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www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016



Mark @GoDragRacing.org photos

GETTIN’ AFTER IT You’d be hard pressed to find ma y pro street builders back in the day who would do a big smoky burnout like you see Caron performing here...let alone burying their foot in the pedal and wadding the rear meats on another strong launch.


At the same time, the initial pro street movement was growing in popularity—and suffering many of the same criticisms. Fairground queens with Roots-blown engines, multi-port nitrous, and huge rear tires oftentimes looked killer but ran like garbage. Coupled with all-show-and-nogo ploys like non-functional blowers, two-bolt main blocks with stock internals, and other

march 2016 | RPM Magazine

such compromises that didn’t look bad but did more to harm performance than help, many folks turned on the movement, decrying the style to be nothing but a bunch of posers dedicated to looking—but not actually going—fast. Long Island, New York native Harold Caron has always had a soft pot in his heart for the ’82-’92 Camaro body style. With the look of Lee Shepherd’s

Reher-Morrison IROC pro stocker firmly planted in his grey matter, Caron acquired this 1984 model in 1990 at the impressionable age of 18, and although the build has taken a full 26 years to get to the point of street and strip perfection you see here, the project was nearly derailed before it even began. Short on funds, Caron had all but signed the Bowtie over



www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


NO POSER to a family member when second thoughts got the best of him. He managed to hold out a while longer before finding a new job and shoring up his cash fl w enough to hang on to the car of his youth. Some time later he commenced on putting together that Shepherd-inspired third gen his mind had conjured up. The rst task was to get the chassis massaged to fit some monster rear meats and get the Chevy’s already relatively low ride height even closer to the pavement. Hell Bent Race Cars was more than happy to back half the car, carving up the unibody to make way for a chromoly 4-link setup with a wish-


bone track locator and anti-roll bar to help the hook. A narrowed Dana 60 housing was stuffed with heavy-duty goodness from Strange Engineering, including a pair of shortened 35-spline axles with 5/8-inch studs and a steel spool. A pair of QA1 double-adjustable coilovers with 150-pound springs were selected to handle the bumps, while a pair of custom 72inch chromoly prostyle wheelie bars with Wheelie Wheelz urethane wheels provide a measure of safety for Caron’s soon-to-be-notorious wheels-up launches. Although Caron opted to retain a small block powerplant, it is a far cry from the wimpy

march 2016 | RPM Magazine

Louis Fronkier photos

WHO YOU CALLIN’ UGLY? The polished Enderle Big ‘N Ugly scoop crowns the four-digit horsepower mouse. Although the engine bay is show quality, make no mistake...this Chevy is driven hard and cruised often!

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016



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HOOKED UP Caron is well known for his wheels-up launches with plenty of wadded up big tire in the back.

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mouse you’re likely to find under the hood of a stock third gen. Richie “The onster� Haubold of PCHS Racing Engines started with a Dart 352 ci 4.02inch bore block then installed a rotating assembly consisting of a Lunati 3.48-inch stroke Pro Mod crank, 6.000-inch Eagle rods, and thermo coated 9.25:1 JE pistons. A PCHS/Cam Motion solid roller cam (0.686I/0.667E) was slid into position next and spun via a Jesel belt drive. A Titan billet oil pump was coupled with a Moroso com-

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petition eliminator oil pan on the bottom end, while a pair of heavily reworked CNC ported AFR 227 23-degree aluminum heads were equipped with Jesel 1.6 shaft ockers up top. Penetrating the Harwood bolt-on fiberglass cowl hood is a polished BDS 8/71 Stage 2 Air-Loc Roots supercharger that has been crowned with a 16-port BDS electronic fuel injection system and a cool and inappropriately named polished Enderle 5-inch butterfly “BigN-Ugly� scoop. The FI is fitted

HAROLD CARON’S PRO STREET 1984 CHEVY CAMARO Chassis & Suspension: FRONT: Full chromoly AJE tubular K-member with tubular lower control arms, Koni adjustable drag struts with coil over kit, Flaming River manual rack. REAR: Jerry Bickel chromoly Pro 4-link kit with wishbone and anti-roll bar built by Hell Bent Race Cars, QA1 double adjustable coil over shocks with 150-pound springs, and 72-inch chromoly pro-style wheelie bars with Wheelie Wheelz wheels. Body & Paint: Two-tone PPG base coat/clear coat black and white with Chrysler Silver stripe. Fiberglass Harwood bolt-on hood (rest of body is original glass and sheet metal). Custom fabricated pro-stock style rear wing. Stretched rear wheel openings (3 inches) to accommodate rear tires. Engine: 352ci Dart small block (4.02-inch bore), Lunati 3.48 stroke promod crank, 6.000 inch Eagle rods, 9.25:1 J.E. custom pistons with thermo coating, AFR 227 23 deg. heads with CNC port work. Jesel belt drive system and shaft rocker set (1.6 ratio). Titan billet oil pump with a custom aluminum Moroso Comp. Eliminator oil pan. Induction: BDS 8/71 Stage 2 Air-Loc Roots blower with an Enderle 5-inch butterfly “Big and Ugly” hat. BDS EFI system with 16 160-pound injectors. Big Stuff 3 CU. Car runs on E-85. Full RCD crank support system. 14mm Kevlar belt and pulley combo running 1:1 with engine for 16 lbs. of boost. Electronics & Ignition: MSD Digital 7 box with Blaster HVC 2 coil and Pro Billet Distributor. Crank trigger with magnetic pickup. Transmission & Converter: Select Performance TH400 with reverse manual valve body and trans brake. Pro Torque 5,200 rpm Revolution stall converter and CSI molded Kevlar tranny shield. Rear Differential: Narrowed Dana 60 with all Strange internals including steel spool, shortened 35-spline axles, and 5/8-inch studs Wheels and Tires: FRONT: 15x3 Weld Aluma Star 2.0 wheels with Mickey Thompson 26x7.5-15 tires. REAR: 15x15 double bead locked HoleShot Hole Star wheels with 33x18.5-15 Mickey Thompson ET Street tires. Performance: 9.52 mph @ 147 mph at 10-pounds of boost. New setup at 16-pounds not yet tested but made 875 rwhp and est. 1,100 at the flywheel. Special Thanks: Marc Poldino (Hell Bent Race Cars), Richie “The Monster” Haubold at PCHS Racing Engines, Select Performance Transmission, ProTorque converters, Guy Russo, Anthony Mussilli and Matt (Perfect Ten Auto Body).



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www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


Louis Fronkier photos

INSIDE SCOOP The Camaro sports a black factory-style interior that has been updated with AutoMeter gauges, a Hurst Lightning Rods shifter, and a Grant GT wheel, and a chromoly Funny Car-style cage. The battery and fuel cell reside in the trunk storage well, and a pair of Jaz racing buckets with G-Force restraints.






Lunati has the perfect camshaft for your drag race application. New state-of-the-art computer lobe profiles provide higher lift under the curve, resulting in increased power and throttle response. Tailored power bands also create more usable horsepower and torque for when it matters. Each camshaft utilizes a premium core made in the USA – and all adhere to strict quality-control standards.







march 2016 | RPM Magazine

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NO POSER with 160-pound injectors squirting copious amounts of fuel and is controlled by a Big Stuf 3 ECU. The blower lower produces 16-pounds of boost while spinning via a Kevlar belt at a 1:1 ratio with the crankshaft, and the progres progressive linkage on the Enderle

hat helps the engine’s street manners tremendously. A unique dual fuel system keeps the thirsty Mouse adequately pumped with E-85, as a Bosch 044 pump handles typical driving duties, while a Magna Fuel 750 EFI pump kicks in when the throttle goes past 25% open. Caron says the corn-derived E-85 makes more power than the far more expensive C16 race gas and helps the engine run 10 degrees cooler. The ombo is good for 875 rwhp on the chassis dyno, and flywheel numbers are estimated to be in the 1,100 hp range. With that much power, a bulletproof trans was a must. A Select Performance TH400 with a reverse manual valve body and trans brake was chosen. Additionally, a Pro-Torque 5,200 rpm Revolution stall converter insures efficient power transfer without compromising streetability. A CSI molded Kevlar shield

has been installed should the tranny’s innards decide to try and break free to find residence somewhere in Caron’s calves or thighs in the midst of another dragstrip run. The amaro rolls on 15x3.5-inch Weld Aluma Star 2.0 wheels shod with 26x7.5-15 Mickey Th mpson Sportsman tires up front and gargantuan 15x15 double bead locked HoleShot Hole Star wheels and 33x18.5-15 Mickey Th mpson ET Street tires out back. A Wilwood billet master cylinder has been plumbed to Wilwood Pro Street front discs and Strange Pro rear disc binders. Believe it or not, the classy black and white paint on the car is now more than 15 years old, but still looks great despite regular cruising, showing, and racing. Body mods are minimal but include a shaved fuel filler door, antenna hole, and clearanced rear valance to make way for the wheelie

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


NO POSER Tara Bowker photos


Louis Fronkier photos

Caron proudly poses by his cool Chevy.

bars. Additionally, the rear wheel openings were stretched three inches and a Hell Bent Race Cars-fabricated aluminum pro stock spoiler was installed before Anthony Mussilli and Matt from Perfect Ten Auto Body sprayed the PPG basecoat/clearcoat twotone paint with tasteful silver graphics. Lastly, the Camaro’s interior is a nice mix of modern safety and factory pieces, with most of the original black and grey panels and dash still in place amidst the silver 10-point chromoly funny car-style cage

Caron has a room full of trophies—both show and race—to provide ample visible evidence that he doesn’t just pretend to be fast, but that he can actually back it up with consistent 9-second passes in the almost all-steel, and resultantly heavy, Chevy. So while the uninformed might think that third gen Camaros are underpowered and that fat-tired pro streeters are nothing but trailer queens, you’d be wise not to rush to judgment on this bad Bowtie. It’s no poser.

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(a necessity with the glass t-tops). Jaz plastic racing buckets with race harnesses add a hint of pro stock look, as do the now-rare Hurst Lightning Rods Lenco-look shifters. The actory e-brake lever has been converted to deploy the Deist parachute, and an AutoMeter shift ight has also been stealthily plugged into the spot where the factory cigarette lighter once resided. A dash full of AutoMeter Phantom gauges help Caron keep tabs on things, and the Grant GT wheel lends a classic finishing touch.

march 2016 | RPM Magazine



TOTALLY RAD THIRD GEN >>Upgrading the tired old factory cooling system in our shop mule Iroc Camaro


Toby Brooks


pringtime is on our minds at the RPM Garage, and this time of year has us dreaming of hot new events, blue skies, and warmer temps. Around these parts, we’re ready for things to start heating up. However, one thing in the shop wasn’t ready for the mercury to start climbing: our shop mule 1990 Iroc Camaro. The third-gen Camaro was a radical departure from traditional automotive styling, with very little frontal grille area to accommodate adequate airflow through the radiator. The Iroc and Z-28 versions were particularly problematic, with the small lower fascia opening ducted into the throttle body for a functional cold air intake—and not through the radiator. With little other choice, GM engineers developed a lower air dam intended to route air from


1: Our old Camaro was running hot, so we decided to upgrade the factory radiator (inset) with an aluminum unit from AFCO and a number of other parts to get things cool again.

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3: We thought about trying to use the factory fans with the new AFCO radiator, but they were noisy, inefficient, and di ’t fit the thicker core. We called up AFCO for one of their dual 14-inch electric fan shroud kits. 4: An uncooperative factory steering box wouldn’t allow the dual 14s, so we picked up a 12-inch unit and modified the sh oud to fit one 12-inch and one 14-inch an. We could have gone with a single 16-inch unit, but this setup will move more air.

2: While the new AFCO unit was a direct fit, e opted for a unit without an integrated transmission cooler like the factory unit shown here. Instead, we opted to upgrade to a B&M Super Cooler.

under the fascia up into the factory rad. Even with the deflector in place, our small blockequipped third gen was struggling to stay cool despite the fact we were in the dead of winter. Typical temps exceeded 230 degrees. We knew before summer hit, we needed to upgrade the cooling system. Our first call was to the good folks at


AFCO. Although well known for their extensive line of shocks and other suspension components, AFCO also boasts an impressive assortment of cooling system products, as well. We decided to change pretty much everything in our bone-stock Chevy’s system with the exception of the water pump, which seemed to be doing fine (besides, when

www.rpm-mag.com | march

2016 93




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5: The multimeter showed that the factory fan wiring wasn’t operational, so we needed another option.



we decide to upgrade the entire powerplant, we’ll replace it with a high flow unit then). The first order of business was to select a radiator. We opted for an aluminum satin finish crossflow design (PN 10680257) without a transmission cooler. AFCO says it will keep even a turbocharged small block happy, so our currently bone-stock pig of a 305 should be plenty happy. The factory unit was barely passable, and the dual row 1-inch core AFCO unit would provide a significant increase in cooling capacity while still mounting in

the unmodified factory location. AFCO’s Direct Fit radiators are 100% aluminum and fully TIG welded in the USA. They come ready to install right out of the box with a billet filler neck and a brass drain cock fitting. We also ordered a dual electric fan kit to replace the marginal factory dual fan system. While we were at it, we also ordered two gallons of AFCO high performance coolant and a bottle of AFCO Super Coolant Additive. In order to complete the install, we decided to swap out to a cooler 175-degree thermostat we picked

up at a local auto parts store and secure a dual electric fan relay kit (PN 30117). The Painless kit includes everything you need to wire up the fans for a 185 degrees on/175 degrees off utomatic setup and after unsuccessfully playing with the factory wiring, we decided it was best to go with a stand-alone aftermarket system. While we were at it, we ordered a couple of lengths of Painless’ PowerBraid wire loom to make the install look tidy. Next we had to get the old stuff out. After wrestling with corroded hose clamps, stubborn bolts, and

6: The Dual Fan Relay kit from Painless Wiring came with everything we needed to get our fans operational. We also snagged some of Painless’ cool PowerBraid to tidy up and protect our install. 7: Installing the new 185-degree on thermostatic switch in the passenger side cylinder head was no picnic, but thanks to the lift, we got it snugged in place with minimal difficu y. Without a lift, you should plan on pulling the exhaust manifold. Thankfully, we didn’t have to.

www.rpm-mag.com | march

2016 95



9 8: We mounted the Painless dual fan relay just behind the passenger side headlight on the core support, putting it inches away from the battery. 9: The included 70-amp fuse was mounted on the back side of the core support. Connectors were heat shrink wrapped and all wires were covered with PowerBraid for protection.


march 2016 | RPM Magazine

10: We opted to fabricate a new shroud out of 18-gauge aluminum using our sheetmetal brake. We added the six dimple died holes to lend a little style and add some extra rigidity. a floor full of spilled antifreeze, we were on our way. We started by getting the fan wiring addressed first using the Painless kit and it was— dare we say—painless. We mounted the relays behind the passenger side headlight near the battery along with the 70-amp fuse holder on the radiator support and secured the wiring

with the PowerBraid. Probably the hardest part of the whole install was removing the factory thermostatic switch from the passenger side cylinder head and replacing it with the new unit from Painless. The Painless kit receives power and ground in the engine bay and sends power and ground out to the fans individually. The

only other connections required are to the air conditioning compressor to automatically kick the fans on when the AC is on and another to a switched power source so that they don’t run when the car is off. We routed that to the interior and tied it in to the aftermarket stereo connector. When AFCO calls their radiators Direct



Fit, they aren’t lying. Our unit slipped right into position unmolested right out of the box. However, due to the thicker core, the factory upper mounts don’t quite reach. AFCO provides an aluminum extension piece

that will adapt the mounts to fit; however, since the mounts are integrated into the factory dual fan setup we were scrapping, we opted to make our own. Unfortunately, the dual fan system we ordered was not

11 & 12: Using an 1/8inch drill bit, we carefully drilled the radiator’s upper and lower trim, then used some tiny 3/8-inch long sheetmetal screws to attach the shroud to the radiator. Be careful here, as it would be easy to nick the core and create a leak.


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15 13 & 14: Using Earl’s Performance fittings and -6AN braided hoses, we tapped into the factory trans cooler lines and routed them up front, where we mounted a B&M SuperCooler just in front of the AC condenser using two aluminum mounts.


as simple. The factory steering box on the 1990 Iroc mounts far forward relative to earlier designs, putting it all but into the radiator core. Although the radiator fit without a problem, the neatly constructed and TIG welded shroud with twin 14-inch fans wouldn’t fit with our steering box. AFCO makes a single 16-inch fan shroud that would work with our application, but we opted to build a dual setup of our own using a 14 and a 12-inch fan. It probably would have looked better to stay with a matched pair of 12s, but we were looking for maximum airflow. A single 16 inch fan flows 2200 CFM, while our setup of a 14 and a 12 pulls a total of 2710 (1555 + 1155) CFM. The last item to address was the transmission cooler. Without an integrated cooler in the radiator, we mounted a B&M SuperCooler using aluminum flat stock for brackets. We then plumbed the system using Summit Racing Equipment -6 AN hoses back to the factory coolant lines, then used Earl’s Performance


adapters to convert the factory lines to a -6 AN connector. Lastly, we fabbed up a custom upper mount using a sheetmetal brake and added some dimple die cutouts using tools from Nexgen Offroad (we’ll cover them in an upcoming Cool Tools feature next month). We then filled the system with the AFCO coolant and additive and checked for leaks. Although it hasn’t yet warmed up enough to know with full certainty, the fan system operated flawlessly, kicking on once the car reached around 180 degrees on the factory gauge and promptly shutting off when the temp dipped back below 170. Out on the road, temps remained at least 30 degrees lower than they had been, hovering just shy of 200 throughout the duration of our halfhour shakedown run in stop-and-go city traffic. We are happy to say that our cooling system upgrade was a success and that our shop Iroc will be much cooler this summer.

march 2016 | RPM Magazine

15 & 16: Since the factory upper mount wouldn’t fit the thicker AFCO core, we fabricated a new mount from 18-gauge aluminum and treated it to dimple died holes thanks to our Nexgen Off oad 1.5-inch die. We filled the sys em with AFCO coolant and Super Coolant Additive and checked for leaks before securing the polished billet AFCO radiator cap.


AFCO Racing Products www.afcodynapro.com 800.632.2320

Painless Performance Products www.painlessperformance.com 800.423.9696

Earl’s Performance Plumbing 17: Success! The car used to live around 230-240 degrees, but thanks to the new AFCO radiator and fan system with Painless Wiring, it usually hits around 200 before the fans kick on and pull it back down to around 175.

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>> Bad Attitude Engines adds finishing touches to our Back On Track soon-to-be turbocharged small block Chevy


Blake Robinson


hen we left ff a few months back, we were still waiting for some final bits and pieces to complete our 400inch turbocharged E85-gulping small block. And thanks to our project engine builder, Tommy Eufemia of Bad Attitude Engines in Morriston Florida, we’re Back On Track! Follow along as Tommy finishes off this mighty mouse motor.

We used Cometic Gaskets for all of our gaskets and seals, and I’ll touch on a few specific qualities of their products that were mandatory items for this build. First, we installed the Cometic MLS (multi-layer steel) head gaskets on the block over the dowel pins. Next, the Milodon head studs were screwed into the block. Going about things in this order was much easier than trying to put the gaskets on over the studs and prevents bending the gasket which can lead to a leak path, especially

1 & 2: To prevent damaging the gaskets, Tommy installed the Cometic MLS head gaskets before the head studs, using the dowel pins as guides.


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march 2016 | RPM Magazine

under boost. Eufemia prefers head studs to head bolts because the twisting motion when torque is applied to the fine threads at the top of the studs, while the course threads are already in the block and only stretch when initially torqued.


All the studs, nuts and washers were first coated with ARP lube and then torqued in three equal steps starting in the center and working outward in an X pattern. We chose Cometic MLS head gaskets. Cometic has been making these types


of gaskets for years and they are a very eff ctive way, both in cost and quality, to seal the heads to the block. The technology they put into their head gaskets is evident.

In fact, the gaskets work so well that Eufemia now only O-rings heads that will see tremendous amounts of cylinder pressure. Cometic intake gaskets were used, as

3: The transformation from short block begins as we torque down our assembled Brodix heads.

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016


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march 2016 | RPM Magazine

well. These matched our Brodix cylinder head intake ports perfectly, which meant no trimming was needed. Next up we installed our roller lifters. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, in RPM Magazine, our builds are real world and completed in real time! That means no magazine tricks or TV BS where you get years of work made to look like it is simple and takes a few months to

do. We know that with every project, big and small, comes challenges, big and small, and it’s our job to talk about them. During planning and some mockup assembly we discovered the horizontal link bar lifters we were planning to use were hitting the reinforcement ribs in the lifter valley of our World Products Motown block. After a quick conversation explaining our dilemma, our new Johnson Lifters roller

4: This set of made in the USA Johnson Lifters roller lifters are not only high quality but they helped us get past a small bump in the road during the build.

5: Our Manton pushrods are flat out nasty with 210 radius balls on both ends and .118 wall material.


lifters were on the way. These lifters have direct roller axle oiling which is a big plus for any engine build. They also have a full round lifter body for extra strength and come .300 tall to clear any lifter bores. Johnson Lifters have been supplying many of the OEM applications for years and have a great reputation

for quality products, and they got us out of a bit of jam here for sure. From there, we used Manton Pushrods to make our set of custom length pushrods, but went a few steps further and upgraded them with 210 radius balls on both ends which is a must on engines with wide angle rocker geom-

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7 6 & 7: Too bad you can’t see this stuff until e pull a valve cover, as our Scorpion Performance Endurance Series 1.6 ratio aluminum roller rocker arms and stud girdles look as good as they will perform in our turbo’d mouse motor.

etry. We also upgraded the pushrods to .118 wall material for added rigidity, and anyone who has seen a Spintron test will tell you that there’s no such thing as a pushrod that is too stiff! Moving upward on


the engine, we used Scorpion Performance Endurance Series 1.6 ratio aluminum roller rocker arms and a pair of their rocker stud girdles, or more properly known as valvetrain stabilizers. Both were anodized

march 2016 | RPM Magazine

blue. As a quick note, Eufemia tells us that he also uses Scorpion’s sister company Anodize Inc. for all of his own valve cover anodizing. Eufemia set the valvelash on the tight side (.018) due to the

expansion of the aluminum heads once they get to temperature. The intake valves are set just as the exhaust starts to open and the exhaust valves are set when the intake is halfway closed. This is the most accurate

method to ensure you are on the heel of the cam lobe when adjusting. We used a borescope during mockup to check port alignment between the intake manifold and the heads before bolting


8: The Johnson Lifters roller lifters and custom Manton pushrods are installed and ready to go. on our Weiand Team G intake manifold. Everything looked good, so it was time to cap off ur small block. When installing any intake manifold, Eufemia recommends not using the

cork or rubber end strips as they tend to leak. Instead, he runs a bead of Permatex Ultra Black silicone along the block end rails. Our black Bad Attitude Engines valve covers were installed

9 9: The Cometic intake gaskets we ordered matched our Brodix heads perfectly, so no trimming was required.



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10: The blacked-out Weiand Team G intake was installed and the total package was almost ready to head west. Once it arrives in the shop, we can finally install it and egin the process of installing the fuel delivery and twin turbo induction system in the car.

11: Bad Attitude Engines signs their work with a pair of valve covers before the engine leaves the shop.

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march 2016 | RPM Magazine

next and match the block paint perfectly. Because these are the very last pieces we install before shipping, we like to think of it as a painter signing their completed work of art. Eufemia wanted to extend his personal thanks once again to all the people who helped with this build to get Blake Back On Track! We won’t be dynoing the motor, as Blake has opted to install the total package then dyno the car on a chassis dyno to get a feel for everything and help tune the motor in its rightful home. From here, we’ll secure the completed Project engine to a pallet and ship it off o Texas via truck freight where Blake and his team will be waiting with open hands to install it in the car and get busy on turning those mocked-up parts and turbo system into the real deal!

SOURCES Bad Attitude Engines www.badattitudeengines.com 352.528.5386

Manton Pushrods www.mantonpushrods.com 877.626.8667

Scorpion Performance www.scorpionperformance.com 352.512.0801

Johnson Lifters www.johnsonlifters.com 734.955.6500

Cometic Gaskets www.cometic.com 800.752.9850

Milodon www.milodon.com 805.577.5950

Weiand Racing Equipment www.holley.com/brands/weiand/ 270.782.2900

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016



1: Michael Lee at Mykal’s Custom Autobody has been hard at work ironing out the dents and dings and doing a few body mods as the Horse inches closer to paint.


PART 23 >>Progress continues on Project aPocalypSe Horse’s wild paint



t sure is fun to see progress on a project car, especially one so long in the making as our Project aPocalypSe Horse. After nearly two years of ups and downs, two different

march 2016 | RPM Magazine

chassis shops, and a long list of items left n the “to do” list before hopefully debuting this summer, it is very cool to start to see things come together, and this month was no exception.

After arriving to Mykal’s Custom Autobody last month thanks to Donnie and Julie Wilson and a brief stay with our buddy George Norovich, Project aPocalypSe Horse is hitting


Toby Brooks

full stride in hopes of primer and paint within the next month or so. Mykal’s owner Michael Lee has been busy going over the factory shell, ironing out the various dents and dings the car

2 3

2: No matter how careful a place tries to be, nearly two years and two chassis shops left our Horse a little beat up. And although the car was a clean one-owner with just 70,000 miles on the clock, it had a few dents and dings to begin with. Lee scuffed the body to determine where to focus his effo ts to ensure a glasssmooth final p oduct. had acquired since rolling off the Ford assembly line nearly a decade ago. He was also busy addressing some other custom body mods, too. Last month we showed you how Lee welded up the factory fuel filler door and installed the 2014 Boss 302 heat extractors in the stretched Harwood hood. He also got started on a re-do of the custom stretched conversion fenders allowing us to put a 2013-2014 Mustang nose on the 2006 shell.

This month, Lee turned his attention a bit lower on the car. With the 5-inch stretch to the nose, the factory rocker moldings no longer fit. Additionally, the zoomie header dumps would most assuredly melt the factory plastic. To combat both issues and provide a finished look to the headers, Lee started crafting a pair of hand-formed steel rocker moldings that will be mounted via Quik-Latch Products black anodized mini-latches.

4 The rockers will be painted body color on the outside and be coated with hightemp heat resistant ceramic coating on the underside. This should protect them against the exhaust heat generated by the rocker-mounted 4-inch Borla exhaust. To further combat the heat issue, we have already

contacted our friends at Design Enginnering (DEI) and ordered up plenty of their Extreme Heat Sheild and Titanium Header Wrap. Coupled with a ceramic coating in the tunnel and an open perforated/ventilated steel mesh to protect the area, we are confident the car will be protected from the

3 & 4: The car looked unfinished without the lower rocker moldings in place, but with the stretch and the zoomies, the factory pieces simply weren’t going to work. We needed another option.

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016



february 2016 | RPM Magazine



5: Lee used a sheet metal brake to mock up this prototype steel rocker molding for the car. The large holes in the bottom are intended to allow additional cooling for the chassis-mounted exhaust, and these openings will be treated to a dimple die to add strength and beauty to the finished product. Although the exterior will receive paint, the interior will be coated with high-temp ceramic coating.


6: This table full of goodies from Design Engineering, Inc. will be used to protect the car from the ravages of the concealed exhaust system. The Extreme Heat Shield (roll in back) will line the tunnels, while the Titanium Header Wrap will cover the Borla tubing. We also picked up some spark plug boot covers, too.

intense heat from the exhaust. Lee started by bending up some 18-gauge steel on his new Woordward Fab 48-inch sheetmetal brake to create some pilot pieces. Using a hole saw, he added large evenly-spaced cutouts on the undersurface of the panels to both improve airflow and reduce weight. In the finished pices, these openings

will be treated to a dimple die treatment to add some extra rigidity, not to mention a cool look. The opening around the headers was cut by hand with a pneumatic cut-off heel and dollied down to round over and finish the edges. After a trial fitment of the mockup including the Quik-Latches, Lee is now ready

7: The rocker moldings will be attached using Quick Latch black anodized mini latches. These will not only add a cool race look, they will also be functional in allowing the pieces to be removed quickly to enhance access to the car’s undercarriage.

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016



RPM PROJECT CAR to begin fabricating the full length pieces. He will also need to fabricate end pieces for the rockers to complete the wheel openings and fully enclose the headers for a finished look. Lee then turned his attention to the driver’s side fender just like he did last month with the passenger side. Lee began by piecing two 2006 LKQ factory replacement Mustang fenders toward the rear to complete the stretch. He then created a specially modified portion

of a 2014 unit to complete the leading edge and meld the 2013-2014 front with the 2005-2009 body. Unfortunately, the factory wheel openings are fairly different between the 2005-2009 front end and the 20132014 version we are swapping to. That’s no problem at all for an accomplished metalworker like Lee, who added a matching body line in the newer piece using his planishing hammer before tacking the three pieces to each fender

9 10: Using two driver’s side 2005-2009 Mustang replacement fenders from LKQ, Lee used an arc-shaped cut to build out the stretch then tacked the two pieces together. In this photo you can also see the raw steel of the 20132014 piece being worked down to match the larger wheel opening body line found on the older-style fender with that of the new style. 8 & 9: Here the mockup piece is roughed into shape with the QuikLatch mini and the opening for the zoomie headers. This opening will most likely be trimmed out using a CNC-cut stainless steel trim ring and a rolled inner lip will be fabricated to finish out the t ailing edge of the wheel opening. The large holes in the bottom will allow for aqequate airfl w to enhance cooling.

11: Lee spent a signifi ant amount of time getting the body lines just right. While this could probably be approximated with plastic fille , it would never hold up the way steel will. Sure it takes longer and requires more skill, but this is the proper way to perform this modifi ation.



march 2016 | RPM Magazine


12: Lee’s head shop assistant, daughter Jocelyn, was mighty hungry while we were there. Unfortunately, we made her late for a lunch date with her dad at McDonald’s while we were taking pictures. Sorry Ms. Lee!!



13: We borrowed a utility trailer from our buddy Ben Brewer at 13 Sins Garage to haul the myriad of aftermarket parts as well as the few remaining factory pieces back to the shop. Just sorting and organizing took the better part of two days, but we’ll be ready when the car is done at Mykal’s.


in place. Combined with the stretched Harwood hood, the front end is shaping up great. Before he can finish welding the fenders and prepping them for paint, our friend Mark De-

Priest is heading to town next month to fabricate a chromoly understructure to ensure the fenders are firmly mounted in place. While he’s at it, he is going to weld up the wheelie bar attachments and

14: Plumbing the three-stage NOS nitrous system is going to be a chore. We started bending up some filler od to see if we could come up with a routing that we liked.

www.rpm-mag.com | march 2016



15: This great looking and highly functional clear view fil er and high-fl w adapter arrived recently from Billet Connection. We’ll tell you more about it soon, but it was too cool looking not to show off this month. hen we get the car back, we’ll pull the body off and en Brewer, Jeff M ore, and rest of the crew at 13 Sins Garage will help us finali e all the small brackets and finishing touches on the chassis for pieces like this, a CVR oil accumulator, a RacePak SmartWire system, and all the Summit Racing Equipment plumbing you can image to get the fuel, cooling, airride, nitrous, braking, and CO2 intercooler systems operational.


march 2016 | RPM Magazine

SOURCES mount his custom-built pro stock style rear wing. However, until the front fenders can be shored up a bit, Lee has opted to turn his attention elsewhere and get the remainder of the body ready for paint. Elsewhere, we loaded up all our extra parts that didn’t quite make it onto the car at Virginia Rod Company from where they were temporarily stashed, at Norovich’s Pro Streets in West Frankfort, Illinois. We are slowly picking through the myriad of parts and pieces to determine what we have, what we still need, and develop a game plan for getting it all done. At this point, it is like a 1:1 scale model kit... with no directions! Back at our shop, we pulled out the trick Visner Engine Development billet intake to start working up some plans for plumbing. We’ve also ironed out the details of finishing up the last little bit of fab work, wiring, and plumbing at 13 Sins Garage in Lubbock, Texas when paint is complete. There’s tons left o do, but it is awesome seeing the Horse inch ever closer to completion. Tune in next month to see us keep trying to debut the Second Coming of Pro Street.

Mykal’s Custom Autobody http://on.fb.me/1mJcqMx 618.842.7676

Quik-Latch www.q-latch.com 469.387.0212

Design Engineering, Inc. www.designengineering.com 440.930.7940

Visner Engine Development www.visnerengine.com 616.726.6600

Nitrous Oxide Systems www.holley.com/brands/nos 866.464.6553

13 Sins Garage www.13sins.com 806.683.9076

Billet Connection/ Clear View Filtration www.clearviewfiltration.com 509.467.7584

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Low Cost, No Hassle, Landed Cost Shipping. Choose landed cost service and all duties, taxes, and clearance fees are included. In-stock parts shipped same day, delivered to your door, with no hidden fees. Questions? Complete details available in Customer Service section of SummitRacing.com, talk via Live Chat, or call us 24/7.

Keyword: Flowtech Full Length

Adjustable Conversion Engine Mounts for GM LS


Call by 10 pm EST: In-Stock Parts Shipped That Day! 1.800.230.3030

Tech: 1.330.630.3030

Int’l: 1.330.630.0230

SCode: 1603RPC • Prices good through April 1, 2016. Typographical, description, or photography errors are subject to correction. Some parts are not legal for use in California or other states with similar laws/regulations. Please check your state and/or local laws/regulations. © 2016 AUTOSALES, INC.


XX Carbon Gaskets

Made of Taylor's proprietary 100% carbon felt material on a steel core; nothing to burn out... • Withstands long term exposure to over 2000°F • Superior sealing ability even on the worst flange surfaces • These gaskets are perfect for nitrous, turbo and blower motors.

Ask a sales rep for details

Direct Replacement

XFI Sportsman™ Throttle Body EFI Engine Control System

The programmable and custom-tunable unit is now available with a 4150-style, 1200-horsepower-capable throttle body to provide easy installation when upgrading a previously carbureted setup. The throttle body is based on the popular EZ-EFI 2.0®.

Max-Clean Fuel System Cleaner & Stabilizer

A state-of-the-art synthetic fuel system cleaner that deeply penetrates and cleans injectors, carburetors, intake valves and combustion chambers to restore fuel economy and reduce emissions.

Throttle Bodies

BBK Power+Plus throttle bodies are direct replacement units that increase airflow for improved performance over stock. Available for many late model American muscle cars and trucks, including Mustang, Camaro, Charger, Challenger, Chrysler 300, Magnum, Raptor, F Series, Jeep, Viper, Camaro, Corvette, and many more.

Zinc Plated Steel Oil Pan

Converts a floor jack to a transmission jack. Eliminates the need to clutter your garage with a second, expensive jack just for transmission work. Designed to work with most automatic transmissions and nearly any hydraulic floor jack that has a removable pad with a 1-3/16″ center hold.

Transmission Floor Jack Adapter

Engineered to provide the visual lowering you are looking for with OEM quality. Unlike many other offerings on the market, Belltech specializes in not only ride comfort & quality, but increasing the handling performance of your Sport Truck or SUV as well.

Coil Spring Kits

Drag Race/Road Race PN 20548 • '79-Up Ford including '05-Up Mustang • Ford 4.6L/5.4L SOHC/DOHC • Rear Wet Sump 7-quart capacity • 6.250" Depth • Clear Zinc Finish

PN 11722

Now Available For '15-'16 Ford Mustang

GT350 5.2L Coyote Intake Manifold PN M-9424-M52 Looking to take your 5.0L Coyote engine to the next level? Ford Racing's GT350 5.2L Coyote intake manifold will add power and torque to your 5.0L powerhouse.

Ask a sales rep for details

• Original equipment GT350 intake manifold • Requires GT350 87 MM Throttle Body • Intake is tuned for 7500 RPM peak power • Will fit 2015-2016 5.0L Coyote engines

Wheel Studs Extra-long and designed for use with extra thick high-performance and racing wheels. With a tensile strength of 190,000 psi, these heat-treated, cadmium-plated 8740 chrome moly wheel studs are a necessity for any car in competitive racing.

For a limited time Edelbrock is giving a FREE air cleaner and fender cover with the purchase of a new Edelbrock Performer or Thunder Series carburetor. Valid on purchase made between 03/01/16 - 04/30/16

For complete details visit www.BigCarbDeal.com

Timing Kits

• Large .250 diameter seamless double roller chain • Billet steel cam sprocket • 3 keyway crank sprocket, +4°/-4° cam adjustment • Press fit roller thrust bearing & bronze washer options • 9 keyway steel crank sprocket options, heat treated with black oxide coating RECOMMENDED FOR STREET-STRIP, CIRCLE TRACK, CLAIMER & HOT ROD APPLICATIONS

Ford V8 Motor & Transmission Mounts Stabilize your Ford drivetrain and experience powerto-the-ground performance with these polyurethane motor and transmission mounts. Race proven and driver friendly!

Direct-fit Flex-a-fit Aluminum Radiator and Electric Fans Featuring patented side tank technology. The “T” channels offer 130 percent better heat transfer, a durable mounting system for the radiator, electric fan and optional oil cooler or expansion tank. The dual 1-inch all-aluminum radiator core is hand welded in the U.S. to the Flex-a-fit side tanks. Supplied with Flex-a-lite electric fan systems with Variable Speed Controller and clutch fan emulator.

Ask about one for your project


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THE RIDES Cover Story - StingRage - This sinister pro street 1966 Corvette has some serious anger issues! Long Time Coming - Bought back i...

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THE RIDES Cover Story - StingRage - This sinister pro street 1966 Corvette has some serious anger issues! Long Time Coming - Bought back i...

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