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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.

For advertising information contact

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




Chris Biro




o end the season the past few years, I have been rerunning one of our favorite Editor’s Rants of all time, so why break from tradition? It’s one that makes us think of “the way things were,” or maybe that getting back to basics or adopting the grassroots approach isn’t such a bad thing sometimes. Or, it might just get a chuckle on a dreary December day, and that’s ok, too. First, though, a quick thank you to our readers for being part of RPM, and to the many new readers that joined us over the course of 2016; welcome, enjoy and think of RPM as your magazine. We publish articles about cars just like those being worked on in your garage, owned by people just like you. So from all of us here at RPM to all of you, we wish the very best this season has to offer, and, if I can offer up some sound advice–spend some quality time with the family during the holidays, but don’t forget to turn some wrenches on that hot rod to prepare it for 2017...see you then!



Before you read on, just to be clear, I am all for progress, innovation, science, better health, and moving forward, however, some things–read “some” things–just might make more sense the way we used to approach them. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this with the spirit in which it was written. Congratulations! CONGRATULATIONS to all those born in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s and yes, maybe even some born during those crazy 80s! First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos. They took aspirin, ate bleu cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, white bread, and tuna from a can. Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking! Mom didn’t have to go to work to help dad make ends meet, she worked only if she wanted to. We would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags, and riding in the back of a pick-up on a warm spring day was always a special treat, not a crime. If someone cut us off while driving we’d flip them the bird, and they would return the favor, without getting out a bat, knife, or gun at the next light. We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. Take-out food was limited to hot dogs, fish and chips, and maybe a pizza. You didn’t line up at the drive-thru for your morning coffee but got up earlier and made it yourself. Even though all the stores closed at 6:00pm and didn’t open on weekends, somehow we didn’t starve to death. We shared one soft drink with four friends from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. We could collect bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy a whole bag of penny candy, sports cards, bubble gum and some fire crackers. We ate cupcakes, white bread, and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in them, but we weren’t overweight because... WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING! We’d leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to

reach us, yet we were O.K. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes! We’d hop-up our bikes with banana seats and long forks and didn’t need some guy on the TV reality show of the month to tell us how to do it. We built tree houses and played in river beds with Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. We did not have any video games at all, and when we did finally get them it was for occasional entertainment with the whole family. No 200 channels on satellite TV, no DVD movies, no surround sound, no personal computers, no internet, internet message boards and forums or social media, no cell phones or other handheld devices and no texting... we did have friends though and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits. We were given pellet guns, jack knives, and slingshots for our 10th birthdays. We played with toy guns that looked like real guns, only because it was cool. And every young boy wanted to be a policeman or fireman! At 13, we learned to drive the family car at the empty mall parking lot on Sunday. Christmas was Christmas not Xmas. No really, it was! We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled out for them. Football, baseball and hockey had tryouts and not everyone made the team. And those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that! Getting onto the team was a privilege based on merit, and not due to special rules, threats, fear, or guilt... There were very few football, hockey, or soccer moms and dads who cared more about their kids becoming the next million-dollar star over just letting them play and have fun. Strange but true! If a company we bought something from made a mistake, we gave them the benefit of the doubt and simply called them about it, and they either fixed it or they didn’t, and they would live with the word of mouth (good or bad) AFTER we gave them a shot at fixing it. We did not go on social media (because there was none) and smear the company’s name first. We did not talk back or we’d get spanked, and knowing that kept us in line…most of the time. Our teachers used to belt us with big sticks, rulers, or leather straps, and knowing that kept us in line…most of the time. And bullies always ruled the playground at school, until someone stuck up to them. The idea of a mom or dad bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 70 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success, and responsibility, and we LEARNED how to deal with it all! And YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS! You were allowed to grow up as kids, before the lawyers, governments, and big businesses regulated our lives for our own good. You may want to let your kids read this so they will know how brave their parents truly are. Have a great holiday season and fantastic 2017! Chris Biro, Editor In Chief

december2016 | RPM Magazine

ADVERTISER INDEX ACC Performance................... 33 Accufab Inc............................ 29 Aeromotive......................... 110 AFCO..................................... 21 Alan Johnson Performance (AJPE)................................. 11 Alston Race Cars.................... 96 Applied Racing Components (ARC).................................. 35 ATI Performance Products..... 45 Auburn Gear.......................... 80 Autoglym............................ 105 AVAK/Ridgegate Tools......... 101 Baer Brakes......................10, 32 Bear’s Performance............... 24 BES Racing Engines............... 27 Bill Mitchell Products............ 83 Blower Shop............................ 5 Borla................................... 102 Browell Bellhousing.............. 65 BTE Racing............................ 19 C&C MotorSports................. 110 Calvert Racing Suspensions... 41 Canton Racing Products........ 26 CFE Racing Products.............. 30 Chassis Engineering...........8, 32 CN Blocks.............................. 91 CNC Motorsports................... 44 Coan Engineering.................. 62 Competition Products........... 40 Crane Cams........................... 47 Crower.................................. 97 CVR Products....................... 100 DART..................................... 18 Design Engineering............... 17 Diamond Pistons................... 28 DIY Auto Tune/MS3-Pro EFI. 109 Drive Train Specialists (DTS)... 83 DRIVEN Racing Oil................. 53 Dynocologists.......................... 9 Dynomite Dynamometer...... 94 Dynotech Engineering........... 34 Earl’s Performance Plumbing.88 Ed Quay Race Cars................. 24 Edelbrock.............................. 46 Energy Suspension................ 86 Engine Research & Development (ERD)................................. 42 Erson Cams............................ 15 Ford Performance/Karbelt..... 15 G Force Racing Transmissions.85 Gibtech Pistons..................... 25 Granatelli Motorsports.......... 51 Greyhound Package Exp........ 91 GZ Motorsports..................... 43 Harland Sharp......................... 9 Harwood............................... 81 HoleShot Wheels................... 41 Holley...............................13, 82 Howard’s Cams...................... 95 Hughes Performance............... 7 Induction Solutions............... 48 Indy Cylinder Head................ 66 Innovate Motorsports............ 67

JE Pistons.........................39, 99 JET Performance................... 20 Jesel...................................... 30 LenTech Automatics.............. 41 Lokar Perf. Products............ 111 LUCAS Oil Products.................. 2 LUCAS Oil Racing TV.............. 89 Lunati.................................... 98 MagnaFuel............................ 79 Magnuson Superchargers.... 109 MAHLE Clevite Inc............... 108 Manton Pushrods................ 103 Meziere Precision Mfg............. 8 Mickey Thompson Tires....7, 107 MSD Ignition......................... 14 Neal Chance Converters....22, 64 New Century Performance.... 14 Nitrous Express...................... 85 Nitrous Pro Flow.................... 35 Nitrous Supply...................... 38 Parts Pro Perf Centers.......... 116 Performance Bending........... 43 Performance Improvements.. 10 Perf. Plus Connection.......11, 59 Philadelphia Racing Products (PRP).................................. 37 Powermaster Performance.... 59 Precision Turbo...................... 16 ProCharger.......................... 113 Proform Parts.................78, 106 Proformance Racing Trans..... 42 Pro Systems Carburetors... 23,82 PTC........................................ 52 Quick Fuel Technology........... 34 Quik-Latch Products............ 107 Racecraft............................... 36 Racepak................................ 27 Racequip..........................52, 93 RAM Clutches........................ 90 Renegade Racing Fuels......... 76 Rev-X Oil Products............58, 92 Ross Racing Pistons................. 5 RPM Magazine Subscribe!.114 S&W Race Cars.................... 112 Scorpion Racing Prods........... 12 Shafiroff Racing Engines..12, 20 Smith Racecraft..................... 77 Steve Morris Racing Engines. 61 Strange Engineering............. 63 Summit Racing Equipment. 115 Taylor Cable Products............ 39 TCI Automotive...................... 84 Ti64....................................... 33 Tom’s Upholstery................. 103 Trick Flow.............................. 49 TRZ Motorsports.................... 31 Tuned By Shane T.................. 18 VP Racing Fuels................50, 87 War Dogs............................. 104 Weinle Motorsports.............. 31 World Products..................... 84

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december 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 CAR Best of the Best..................................................42

The best cars of the year from the best mag on the planet? Yeah, we think so.


Shannon Butler proves fast toys aren’t just for boys with her nasty twin turbo Mustang

Carried Away............................................. 54 One thing led to another, and the next thing he knew, Joe Capps had himself a 2,400+ hp 1971 Cuda



Shop Talk: When is Enough Enough?............................36 You just never really know, do you?

No Takebacks........................................................24

Kyle and Amanda Avery haven’t always been thrilled with their 1968 Nova...but they are now!

From Mild to Menacing in a Day!.........................100 We transform our 2015 F150 from average to awesome in no time flat!



Nice Rear End............................................................. 110 We protect and equip a bulletproof S&W Race Cars fabricated 9-inch housing with components from Moser Engineering and Baer Brakes

Historical Value......................................................78 Some things are better left alone...


december2016 | RPM Magazine

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016


story and photos by

Tabitha Sizemore


ast toys aren’t just for boys. And if you don’t believe us, then stop what you’re doing for the next few minutes and take some time to check out this stunning—and deadly fast—Fox body Mustang. With just a glance we think you’ll quickly agree that Indiana native Shannon Butler can prove that statement.

We caught up with Butler and her jaw-dropping 1986 Mustang, nicknamed ‘REDRUM’, at US-41 Motorplex recently, and trust us when we say this girl certainly isn’t messing around…she’s wheeling one heck of an impressive hot rod. It goes without mentioning that the “four-eye”, as the pre-1987 Mustangs are

known, is a head turner in most any state of restoration or modification, but this car in particular is spotless from top to bottom and inside and out yet sees regular trips to the dragstrip, which makes keeping it that way a daunting task. Even

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december 2016 | RPM Magazine

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REDRUM FAST TOYS AREN’T JUST FOR BOYS! Shannon Butler proves girls can wheel fast cars, too, with her 1986 Ford Mustang, nicknamed REDRUM.

during the dull day of our rained-threatened photoshoot, this ’86 was still gleaming. House of Kolor Candy Brandy Wine paint compliments the body of the Mustang and the workmanship throughout it top-shelf, giving this racecar an


art-like allure. It’s as easy on the eyes as it is fast. If there are drag car-inspired definitions of the term eye-candy, this one would be on the list. Before the ’86 became Shannon’s hot rod of choice, she spent about six years

as a spectator while her husband raced. “My husband Geoff used to have a 1968 Chevelle and when he raced I would always tag along. After a few years, I decided I could do this,” said Butler. Once she was ready to give it a go, Shannon

december 2016 | RPM Magazine

jumped behind the wheel of the Chevy and was instantly hooked… and the rest is history. The ’Stang came along about two years later and Shannon has been racing now for nearly a decade and a half, and competitively for about five years.

When a family member tells you to do something, you always listen, right? Not in the tale of this fast Ford. The Butlers got the Mustang for $5,000 from Geoff’s aunt and it was in mint condition with only 50,000 miles on it. However, it was

www.rpm-mag.com | december2016



SWEET AS KANDY Once Emerald Green, then Kona Blue, REDRUM now glistens in the sun with its flawless House of Kolor Kandy Brandy Wine paint. sold to them under the condition that it never be modified. “Well, after I got the ‘go-fast bug’, all bets were off!” laughed Shannon. The Fox body has had a few modifications and endured some challenges over the years, but the end result is an amazing all-round ride. “She has been quite a few colors in


december 2016 | RPM Magazine

her lifetime,” continued Butler. “She was Emerald Green for about eight years, before I started to beat up on her quite a bit and she started looking kinda rough.” After that, Shannon opted to paint the car Kona Blue for a short stint with a ProCharged combination. Heartache came a few months

after the updates as Shannon wrecked the car in June of 2014, just six months after it was painted blue. Both car and driver suffered from the devastating event. “I sustained three broken vertebrae in my lower back with multiple bruises and lacerations,” said Butler of her injuries. Once it was determined

www.rpm-mag.com | december2016


that Shannon was on the mend and was going to be good to get behind the wheel once again, the damage to REDRUM had to be assessed – was the car even salvageable? After a thorough going-over, even though the Mustang was pretty torn up, Shannon and Geoff knew they could bring it back to life. “We really wanted to save this car and come back with it better


december 2016 | RPM Magazine

than ever. I started racing with this car and I will finish racing in this car,” Shannon said. “It took a little over a year to rebuild and to our amazement it went smoothly.” And so, with the help of many good people who stepped up to help, REDRUM was once again back on track, “Steve from Motor City Solutions helped us with a new hood and front end, which he hand delivered to us.

BLACK MAGIC LAUNDRY OUT BACK Dual chutes mounted beneath the fabricated pro stock-style rear wing help slow REDRUM during grudge race and no-time runs.

www.rpm-mag.com | december2016



december 2016 | RPM Magazine


LOOK MOM... TWINS! Dual Bullseye Power turbochargers are positioned out front on the Mustang to pick up maximum amounts of air. The 434 cubic inch AES engine is equipped with a Callies Crank, Diamond Pistons, and Oliver Rods topped with Yates C3 heads, an owner modified Edelbrock intake and owner fabricated upper intake elbow. And Wild Bill Devine invited us out to his factory and we wound up with a sponsorship from Bullseye Power,” she added. Considering all the new power that was coming Shannon’s way and the fact that she

had sustained injuries during the crash, Geoff decided this would be the ideal time to upgrade the car’s chassis. Also, a color change was in order as just maybe blue wasn’t Shannon’s lucky color. Along came the Candy

Brandy Wine paint and with it the Ford also earned the nickname, “REDRUM.” According to Shannon though, the four-eye Mustang’s real identity is “Betsy”. “I am really the only one that knows her by


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december 2016 | RPM Magazine

Betsy,” tells Butler. “I named her that when I bought her, but I didn’t really think I could have announcers saying, ‘here’s Shannon Butler driving Bet-

sy,’ so I needed to come up with a badass alter ego.” And from that point on “REDRUM” would be that alter ego. The new 25.1E chassis was home-

built along with the majority of the changes to the Mustang. The amazing paint work was completed by Jon Wise from Midwest Fox Rods and tin


HOMEGROWN The 25.1E chassis was garage built, a serious upgrade after Shannon’s unfortunate accident in which she sustained several injuries

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SHANNON BUTLER’S 1986 N/T FORD MUSTANG Chassis Type & Mods: Home-built 25.1E chassis. Suspension: FRONT: stock front suspension. REAR: 4-link with Menscer Motorsports shocks. Body & Paint: House of Kolor Candy Brandy Wine color painted by Jon Wise from Midwest Fox Rods. Ti64 titanium fasteners throughout entire car. Tin work by Troxell from US12 Speed and Custom. Engine and Rotating Assembly: 434 cubic inch built by AES. Yates C3 heads. Jesel shaft rockers. Jesel belt drive. Callies Crank. Diamond Pistons. Oliver Rods. Induction & Fuel Delivery: Owner-modified Edelbrock intake and fabricated intake elbow. Big Stuff 3 on alcohol with Billet Atomizer Injectors. Power Adders: Twin 80/87 turbos by Bullseye Power. Electronics: : Big Stuff 3 with Racepak display and MSD Grid. AMS1000. ARC switch panel. Go lithium 16V battery. Leash Bump Box. Transmission: BTE Powerglide with PST carbon fiber driveshaft. Differential: 9-inch Ford with Strange center section. Strange 40-spline gun drilled axles. Performance: “A lady has to have some secrets!” Special Thanks: First and foremost, husband Geoff. Shannon is thankful from the bottom of her heart for everything her husband does to ensure she is able to do what she loves! Father-in-law Gary Butler for helping make Shannon’s dreams come true. Wild Bill Devine from Bullseye Power. Jack French from Billet Atomizer. Steve from Motor City Solutions. Jon Wise from Midwest Fox Rods. Rocky Troxell from US12 Speed and Custom for the awesome tin work. Buckley Motorsports for all their support. Brandon from BTE. Errol McCollum from TPS. And last, but not least: Gavin Butler and Milan Crncevic for helping crew on the car.


december 2016 | RPM Magazine

REDRUM BOOTY CONTROL The ‘86 sits on a 4-link rear with Menscer shocks that suspends a fabricated and heavily braced 9-inch Ford rearend.

work was provided by Rocky Troxell from US12 Speed and Custom. No longer a supercharged combination, twin turbos from Bullseye Power now peek through the front clip and supply healthy amounts of boost to a



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IT’S STOCK. I SWEAR. Shannon bought REDRUM from a family member, under the rule the car was to never be modified…that didn’t last long!

SHANNON AND FAMILY Left to right: Son, Gavin Butler, Shannon, and husband Geoff Butler. Below: Husband Geoff lines Shannon up at the US41 Motorplex.

Yates headed 434-inch Ford built by AES. A Callies crank, Oliver rods, and Diamond pistons rotate inside the small block while Jesel shaft rockers take commands from the top secret camshaft. A Jesel belt drive controls cam timing. REDRUM gets her power to the ground by way of a trickedout BTE Powerglide, a PST carbon fiber driveshaft, and a 4-link/coil over setup suspending a braced Ford 9-inch rear with Strange 40-spline gun


drilled axles. What we can’t tell you is just how fast this bad girl is. As Shannon puts it “a lady has to have some secrets.” However, if you want to find out what this female piloted four-eye can do just keep watch for REDRUM in the no-time and grudge racing scene. You might not see the ET on the time clock but it’s a pretty sure bet you’ll see Shannon Butler beating up on the boys!

december 2016 | RPM Magazine

www.rpm-mag.com | september 2016


story and photos by



f you’ve been in the high performance drag racing and street machine scene long enough, you’ve

Toby Brooks

probably experienced it. In the nearly-constant search for better, faster, and cooler, you made a deal that you later

december 2016 | RPM Magazine

regretted. Sometimes you lament the ride you gave up. Other times, you realize that maybe you aren’t as crazy about the

“Their pistons are awesome, we use Gibtec flat tops in our Small-Block Modified engines and in every Comp Eliminator engine we build. The specifications are exactly what we call for and their service is impeccable. We have yet to put one in an engine that didn’t improve the power”– Tom Martino, MB Race Engines

Custom designs to fit your needs...fast! Phone: 303.243.3340 and visit: GibtecPistons.com

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016


NO TAKEBACKS BAD IN BABY BLUE The Nova sports a slick Tripoli Turquoise basecoat/clearcoat paint job, but the wicked looking Champion beadlock wheels with Mickey Thompson tires spoil the surprise: this Chevy is no simple stock update or restomod.


december 2016 | RPM Magazine

ACCURATE GROUND SPEED REGARDLESS OF WHEEL SPIN OR WHEEL STAND MODERN ROLLING STOCK The 15x3.5-inch Champion Stripster wheels up front sport the same black ano/machined look as the rears, giving the Nova a sleek, contemporary look. new car you acquired. Regardless of the source, a stinging case of buyer’s remorse sets in, making you wish you could go back in time and undo the whole thing. Case in point, consider Marion, Illinois native Kyle Avery. He and his wife Amanda had a cool 25.5 cert 1971 Camaro that was driven and raced around Southern Illinois before Kyle struck a deal he would later regret—at least for a while. “In 2012, I drove to Northern Michigan to trade our Camaro for this Nova, a 1992 Camaro, and two truckloads of parts, but by the time I got

home I was sick with regret,” Avery recalled with a look of discomfort. “I wanted to take it all back, but by then the deal was done and there was no turning back,” he added. Lacking other options, Avery opted instead to focus his efforts on turning the Nova into a capable strip performer that could also be enjoyed by the whole family on cruise night. As a result, he sold virtually all of the add-ons that came with the car and set to work creating his vision of a modern classic street machine. The car had already been treated to a unique Tripoli Turquoise basecoat/clearcoat

Add ground speed to any Racepak V-Net recorder or dash, utilizing our new GPS Ground Speed module. • Requires no externally mounting rpm sensor pick-up • Requires no calibration or special programming • V-Net plug and play installation simplicity


www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016


NO TAKEBACKS COLD BLUE STEEL The classic Chevy is 100% steel, including the 4-inch cowl induction Goodmark hood. All the factory trim, emblems, and chrome bumpers are pristine and add to the street appeal of this street machine.

paintjob by the previous owner. A Goodmark 4-inch steel cowl induction hood and a custom-fabricated front air dam round out the body mods. However, it was what Avery planned to put under that hood that would make the

car a capable performer at the track—not to mention a reliable street cruiser. First, Avery sourced a 2006 GM LQ4 LS powerplant yanked from a Chevy pickup. The 364 cubic-inch engine was completely

disassembled and meticulously reassembled by Avery himself using the stock GM crank, Callies forged connecting rods, and Diamond 9.4:1 compression pistons. A COMP Cams hydraulic roller cam was partnered with GM

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

Diamond’s turbo pistons make big power and combat heat and pressure. • Forged from 2618 aluminum with Herculean pin bosses that accomodate tough TP-1 or H13 tool steel piston pins • Lower skirt rigidity maintained by full-circumference designs that boast the strongest-known stiffening ribs • Hard-coat anodizing, ceramic crowns, and moly skirt coatings available • Fastest turnaround time on custom pistons Questions? Knowledgeable Tech Support: M-F, 9AM-5PM EST


december 2016 | RPM Magazine

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www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016


KYLE & AMANDA AVERY’S 1968 CHEVY NOVA STREET MACHINE Chassis Type & Mods: Stock GM front subframe with Competition Engineering subframe connectors. Suspension & Brakes: FRONT: Stock control arms and spindles with Hotchkis 2-inch drop coils and KYB shocks. Factory front disc brakes. REAR: Avery Performance triangulated 4-link with Viking doubleadjustable shocks and Ford Explorer factory rear disc brakes. Body & Paint: Tripoli Turquoise prepped and painted by previous owner. Goodmark 4-inch steel cowl induction hood and customfabricated front air dam. Engine: Avery Performance-built 364 ci 2006 GM LQ4 LS engine. GM crankshaft and Callies connecting rods. Diamond 9.4:1 compression pistons. COMP Cams hydraulic roller camshaft 0.620 lift, 235@0.050 duration intake/0.620 lift, 235@0.050 duration exhaust grind camshaft with GM LS7 lifters and Trick Flow 5/16-inch 0.080 wall chromoly pushrods. GM aluminum 317 cylinder heads with CNC porting. Induction & Fuel System: Holley Hi-Ram aluminum intake with GM truck drive-by-wire throttle body. HP Tuners ECU programming. Power Adders: Twin VS Racing 76mm compressor/65mm turbine turbochargers. Exhaust: VS Racing up & forward 1 7/8-inch to 3-inch stainless turbo headers. Stainless 3-inch exhaust with 6-inch Dynomax round mufflers installed by Avery Performance. Transmission & Converter: GM 4L80e transmission 4-speed automatic transmission with HD2 valve body and RevMax 3,800 RPM stall converter. Differential: Ford 8.8-inch rear with Strange 31-spline axles and 3.31 gears assembled by Avery Performance. Tires and Wheels: FRONT: 15x3.5-inch Champion Stripster wheels with 165/50R-15 tires. REAR: 15x8 Champion Stripster XV double beadlock wheels with Mickey Thompson S/S 275/60R-15 radials.


ROLLER LIF TERS O F T E N C O PI E D, B U T N E V E R D U PL I CAT E D. Jesel Keyway Lifter bodies are fitted with a keyway pin that rides in an index slot milled in a bronze lifter bushing. This design provides precise cam/roller alignment and eliminates the added weight of tie bars or tall lifter bodies associated with Dog Bone-style lifters. We build all of our Roller Lifters with exotic materials for the rollers and axles, friction reducing coatings on the bodies and precision sorted bearings that are cooled and kept free from debris by pressure fed oiling. Our Keyway Lifters are available in .937”, 1.062” and 1.095” body diameters and various roller diameters. The smallest combination tips the scales at just 97 grams. U.S. Patents 5,864,948 / 5,673,661 / 5,746,167 For product videos and information, visit us at Jesel.com or call us at 732-901-1800


december 2016 | RPM Magazine

LS7 lifters and Trick Flow chromoly pushrods, while aluminum GM 317 cylinder heads were torqued down using a Pro Comp stud kit. A Brian Tooley Racing trunnion kit was also added to further fortify the otherwise stock GM valvetrain. Topping off the modest mill is a Hol-

ley Hi-Ram aluminum intake with a GM truck drive-by-wire throttle body that is pressurized by a pair of VS Racing 76/65 turbos. Spinning the twins is a pair of VS Racing custom stainless turbo headers. The setup features dual Tial blowoff valves and has been set up to push around 14

pounds of boost in current trim. Dual Walbro 450 electric fuel pumps keep the EFI system fully pressurized. From there, the Avery Performance-fabbed 3-inch exhaust with 6-inch Dynomax mufflers help keep the exhaust note legal-ish. The

UNDER PRESSURE Under the cowl induction hood lurks a twin turbo LS powerplant that has been mildly fortified within...and heavily boosted “without.” The VS Racing 76/65 turbos throw around 14 pounds of boost through the Holley Hi-Ram intake.

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016



FAMILY HAULER Kyle and Amanda swapped their all-race Camaro for the street-friendly Nova partially because there’s room in the non-caged interior for hauling the kids on cruises. The updated interior is clean and comfy.

Chassis Engineering’s Four-Link Suspension and Subframe Kits

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SITTIN’ PRETTY Avery kept much of the Chevy’s suspension stock, modifying it slightly to improve ride height and enhance hookup. Hotchkis 2-inch drop springs with KYB shocks up front have been partnered with an owner-fabbed triangulated 4-link on Viking double-adjustable shocks in the rear. The Ford 8.8-inch differential was pulled from an Explorer SUV and still sports the factory discs.

entire hot side tubing maze has been wrapped in DEI titanium heat wrap—including the turbo housings—to help keep under hood temps down. Also assisting in that effort is a large Northern aluminum dual-pass radiator with a custom dual electric fan system. And what street-savvy classic would be complete without an AC system to keep occupants cool? The Nova has been fitted with a Vintage Air Gen 4 air conditioner to ensure the whole family stays happy during those hot and muggy Southern Illinois summer cruises. Backing the LS is a GM 4L80e 4-speed auto transmission that Avery rebuilt himself. An HD2 valve body was partnered with a RevMax 3,800 RPM stall converter and a factory GM flexplate and a PST 3-inch steel driveshaft helps herd the 712

RWHP back to the rear differential. The Nova sports a slightly lowered stance thanks to a pair of Hotchkis 2-inch drop springs up front and a custom Avery Performance triangulated 4-link setup out back. KYB shocks and factory discs up front have been partnered with Viking double-adjustable shocks and Ford Explorer factory discs mounted aboard the Ford 8.8-inch rear end out back. Like most of the rest of the build, the differential was assembled by Avery in his shop using Strange 31-spline axles and 3.31 gears. He also installed a pair of Competition Engineering subframe connectors to help firm up the chassis. The interior of the Nova looks almost entirely stock at first glance, but Avery has hidden several new-school tricks in the all-black confines. First, the factory cluster has been replaced by a custom ABS insert that holds a Scan Gage digital display flanked by a pair of Auto Meter analog gauges. Meanwhile, the column-mounted Innovate Mo-

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016


torsports air/fuel ratio gauge mounted to the factory column provides a subtle clue that this Chevy isn’t sporting a typical old 4-barrel-topped mouse motor. A Corvette steering wheel compliments the clean black front buckets and factory rear bench nicely, while a hidden digital audio system keeps the dash clean and uncluttered. Avery is pleased with the car as it sits, but like so many others, admits that it will never really be “done.” Plans call for a new paint job and a beefed up short block to hold more boost. Meanwhile, he is quick to direct praise and thanks to friends Chad Brock, Jeff Hayes, Chris Mezo, and Dustin Dillow who have provided everything from moral support to parts and fabrication skills along the way. Last but certainly not least, Kyle is especially thankful to wife Amanda for the help and support every step of the way. So while the Averys may have spent a


december 2016 | RPM Magazine

NO TAKEBACKS POSIN’ PROUDLY Amanda and Kyle smile for the camera at our shoot during the 2016 Street Machine Nationals.

few days wishing they hadn’t traded their Camaro for the Nova, such thoughts were fleeting, as four years, lots of hard-earned dollars, and countless hours of hard work have all been expended in turning it into the smooth family-friendly street machine you

see today. And with a twin-turbo’d LS and air conditioning, it is safe to say that the end result is a cool ride that can dish out all the fun Kyle and Amanda can take. Even if it initially came with a poor return policy.

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016




>>You just never really know, do you? story and photo by


december 2016 | RPM Magazine


s a gearhead we have this unexplainable addiction for more. More tools, more horsepower, more stopping power, more traction, more timing, more compression, more fuel, more boost, more shine, the list goes on and on. My first encounter with this phenomenon came at a very early age. One of my friends

was fortunate enough to get a new Schwinn bicycle for his birthday. This was no ordinary bike. It was the one that had a T-handle stick shift on the top tube and a very fat slick rear tire. My worn out, cheap Huffy could not hold its own against this hot rod bike in the “cool” department. There was no extra money in the household for me to get a new bike, so the old saying “necessity is the mother of invention” took over. I un-earthed one of my old bikes from our scrap pile and cut the front forks off at the fattest part of the tubing. I then cut

This was the culprit for the latest decision to rebuild bigger, better, faster, and stronger than ever. A simple little valve keeper on the cylinder 1 intake valve broke in three pieces.



the bottom portion that had the axle tabs off of my perfectly working Huffy. As luck would have it my plan actually worked. I slid the Huffy forks into the donor bike forks and had an immediate chopper. Since my welding skills at 9 years old were non existent, I drilled a hole through all of the tubing and ran a bolt through them and “peaned” the threads over the nut to create my own locking fastener. I took the motocross style handle bars off the Huffy and put on a really high “ape-hanger” style set of bars from one of my sisters old bikes. My Dad liked my 9-year-old ingenuity and fabrication skills enough to reward me with the widest

rear slick tire our local bike shop had. Or maybe it was a reward for the slave labor I endured helping him fix everything. If the chopper front end, ape hanger handle bars, and my new beefy rear tire were not enough, I felt the need to completely disassemble the bike and prep the frame for a new paint job. I watched Dad

When the valve keeper broke the valve bent just a little bit. Thank God the piston was fine and all that needed to be repaired was the valve and guide. Of course we could not leave the heads alone so a complete valve job was done in the pursuit for more flow.


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www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016


SHOP TALK paint several cars in our driveway and knew enough about sanding and taping to prepare my Huffy for its makeover. I used a ladder and tied a piece of rope to my basketball net and hung the bike frame so I could paint every angle and let it dry safely. I sanded the frame after each coat and applied three coats of the darkest blue I could find in a rattle can. The bike turned out amazing and surprisingly, it actually worked. I was a busy boy over the next few months making custom choppers for all


of my friends. Who would have thought that this was the beginning of my custom shop. I eventually graduated into go-carts and received the lesson of a lifetime as dad agreed to help me build one from ground zero. We made our own frame, seat, and suspension. The transmission was so awesome. I told my dad I wanted a stick shift so he designed a belt drive pulley system that was hooked to a gated stick shift in my cockpit. The further I pushed the shifter forward, the more tension it applied to the

belt, thus making it go faster. We made it look like a dragster and I tweaked that thing every week until discovering the wonderful world of off roading. Dad told me I was on my own building the next one but he would be more than happy to assist if I needed help. So I tore apart my perfectly running drag cart and stole many parts from it to make my off-road buggy. My OCD soon got re-directed to mini bikes which turned into dirt bikes, and eventually full-blown motocross racing bikes. So the

december 2016 | RPM Magazine

question, ‘When is enough ever enough?’ proved that enough was never enough at this stage in my life. Fast forward many years and things have not changed at all. If you spend any time at a drag strip, car show, or even the local hangout, you are eventually going to see something that inspires you and tickles your gearhead chromosome into an unstoppable desire to improve your own car. As a matter of fact, this very magazine is responsible for more upgrades than my budget and wife care to

admit. Here is where the title of this article comes into full play. My worn out, old Huffy worked perfectly and got me around without any problem whatsoever. The same can be said for my go-carts, and all of my dirt bikes. My Pro Street Camaro upon completion with version 1.0 worked perfectly and was quite the looker. Yet week after week, I found something else that I needed to either make it run better or look better. With every upgrade there was a very primal sense of accomplishment in the

The Merlin big block spent an entire day at the spa (some people call it a machine shop) getting a complete makeover. I even sanded and deburred every inch of the block and applied 3 coats of red and 3 coats of clear coat, sanding between every coat. When it is back in the engine bay who is going to notice? I will know! solitude of my shop. Shutting the lights off and closing the door to the shop gave me a very temporary relief from this gearhead addiction for more. However, this feeling did not last very long, as it was just a

I lifted many engines out of a car with my hoist, but I NEVER lifted a car from the engine with it before this. It is not the safest or easiest way to do it but it was the only way at my home shop. The valve keeper may have started this make-over, but lifting the car off the k-member made it an easy decision to re-build in overkill mode.

matter of time before something tickled that gearhead chromosome once again. Perhaps it was the fact that I never really had an extra dollar to spend on replacing a “non-broken� part and had to get by on

whatever was available financially. My car has seen numerous changes since version 1.0. In the beginning the upgrades were merited solely by function. Then at some point parts were simply replaced be-

cause there was something better available that I could afford. My most recent need for improvement was the result of a broken valve keeper. Removing the 572 Merlin big block from my ’94 Ca-

maro is no easy task. Although I have a completely tubular K-member and A-arm assembly, the front coil-overs make their home in the stock shock towers. The only way to take the engine out is to lift the car

from the k-member. Doing this in my home shop was not an easy option, as I have a mid-rise lift that has a piston in the center of it. The car had to be lifted off the K-member with an engine hoist. With the engine,

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016


SHOP TALK Here is the factory dash and steering column on my shop floor. This was the third time that I completely gutted the interior to make improvements. Hopefully this will be the last! transmission, and complete front end out of my car, I pondered over the thought of having to do this procedure yet another time and I believe the “when is enough ever really enough” thought entered my mind. After many sleepless nights and a long discussion with my wife, we made


the decision—or better yet, the commitment—to build the car the way I really wanted to. Half of me loves the mammoth tired, menacing, street pounding roar of a Pro Street machine. A quarter of me loves the completely detailed, glamour and glitz of a meticulous show car.

december 2016 | RPM Magazine

The remaining quarter of me loves the data logging, high horsepower, lightweight Pro Mod drag car. So the decision to make Big Red combine all of this was made once and for all. There would be no part left unpainted or uncoated. Every bolt and nut would be of the highest grade.

All of the engine, drive train, and suspension components would be monitored by a gauge or data logger. The highest quality fuel system from the cell to the filters, pump, regulator, and carb would be installed. The best internals for my 572 Merlin would be installed with absolute

An air saw is one of the best ways to completely ruin a perfect stock dash piece. After taking numerous measurements and saying a little prayer, I cut into the panel to make room for the data logger’s digital display.

I was so pleased with the finished product. I slit a piece of vacuum hose down the center and made my own custom trim to complete the install. The rest of the available real estate in the dash panel was also custom fitted to make home for some gauges, warning lights, and a switch panel to control everything. Hopefully enough is really enough because I labored over this little piece.

precision. Yes, my friends, this is taken on a life of its own. I sent a picture of a completely gutted interior to my buddy with a caption that said, “I have a problem, somebody stop me!” His response was a simple, “Yeah right. That’s not going to happen.” That was the third time I gutted the interior. My ultimate goal for version 7.7 is to have the most sick, naturally-aspirated 1994 Pro Street Camaro ever built (maybe one of the only ones!). I want to race it in

the True Street class which includes a 30 mile pre-race cruise and three subsequent passes. I also want to enter it in the Pro Street and Pro Builders show class. Perhaps the most important task of all is that it must be able to take my daughter to the local ice cream shop on the occasional day off from life. I believe when that day comes I will finally be able to say, alright enough is enough! Well, at least until the next issue of RPM comes out. Keep wrenching!

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016



BEST of the BEST >>The best cars of the year from the best mag on the planet? Yeah, we think so.


december2016 | RPM Magazine


wo years ago, we decided to use some space at the end

of the year to honor the nastiest, most wicked cars we had featured over the course of the previous 12 months. We called

it our “Top Gun Shootout,� and we opened it up to online voting so that you, our readers, could determine exactly which cars

were and were not our eight best rides of the year in a field of 32 bracket single-elimination online tournament.

That first year was well received by most, but we heard grumblings and rumors early in the contest that there was a possibility of some electronic shenanigans to try and unjustly influence the

results. We were able to catch it early and preserve the integrity of the competition, but after we dealt with a similar situation yet again for the second installment last year,

we decided then and there to change up the format for 2017. As a result, this year there was no tournament-style elimination. Instead, we opted to poll our staff to see which rides they liked the

best. It was a tough process, with everyone selecting—and defending—their picks. After lengthy discussion, we finally narrowed the list down to eight unanimous selections that

have earned the title of RPM 2017 Top Guns with one Top Gun of the Year. We also picked another eight wicked rides that we’ve included here as 2017 Top Gun honorable mentions.

It was a heck of a year here at RPM. We featured five different makes from owners from three different countries on our covers!

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016


R A E Y e h t f o N U G P O T




1971 Plymouth Barracuda | 572 ci twin turbo Hemi

december2016 | RPM Magazine


Mark Sheridan’s street/strip1971 Plymouth Cuda might live across the pond in Great Britain, but it stole the show on the cover of our September issue. With a twin turbo 572 Keith Black Hemi and a trick Andy Robinson Race Cars tube chassis, it has all the modern tech and classic cool that a car could possibly have. Throw in the menacing black paint, and it is easy to see why it was a consensus pick as our Top Gun of the Year. -Matt Woods photos

This list isn’t intended to sew discord or create hard feelings in any way. We at RPM firmly believe that every street machine and high performance drag car is a personal expression of the owner, and as such worthy of respect. Beyond that, if your car was selected for a feature in our pages in 2017 but didn’t make the list, don’t be offended. We’ve already told you your car is among the best simply by being featured. Instead, this list is an assembly of opinions. And you know what they say about opinions...they’re like a certain part of anatomy. Everyone

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2017 TOP GUNS has one and they often aren’t pleasantly fragrant. We say all that to say this: thumb through the next few pages to reminisce back on an awesome year of killer cars in the pages of your favorite magazine.


F ern

1970 Chevy Camaro | 355 ci twin turbo SBC

It might have been a long time coming, but Jef Fern’s silky smooth 1970 Camaro represents the new era of pro street in nearly every respect. While the engine

bay is a glistening cross between modern power adders and a bag full of chrome plated snakes, the incredible Bux Custom leather interior exudes street rod smooth. The Blue Bomber helped us all kick the summer blues way back in January and has helped usher in a resurrection of killer big tire street bruisers reminiscent of the pro street glory days of the ’80s and ’90s. -Louis Fronkier photos

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





december2016 | RPM Magazine


World’s Fastest Door Slammers Rely On Crane cams

Wooo Nation's Keith Berry drove his Z06 Corvette to victory at the 2016 “Lights Out 7” event at South Georgia Motorsport Park. His 4.500 inch bore-space, Small Block Chevy engine was built by Pro Line Racing LLC, using a Crane Cams custom-made, tool steel WoooDoo WoooDooo™ Cam.

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www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016





2004 Ford Mustang | 400 ci turbocharged SBF

Donavan Simpson’s 2004 Mach I Mustang started out as a theft recovery, thanks to a turbo’d small block Ford and a host of other go-fast tricks, the only thing stolen now is yet another victory over a wouldbe competitor. This modern missle graced the pages of our April issue and is a worthy recipient of a 2017 Top Gun. -Tabitha Sizemore photos

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december2016 | RPM Magazine

Power Up.

Take your racing to the next level with Trick Flow Super 23 230 cylinder heads for small Chevy. They’re the closest you can get to 18° cylinder head performance in a 23° design. Perfect for 400 cubic inch and larger engines using standard small Chevy valvetrain parts and headers. Highlights: angled spark plugs, extra-thick decks and walls for porting, raised valve cover rails, the best quality components, and your choice of CNC Street Ported runners for significant performance gains or CNC Competition Ported runners for maximum flow and performance.

Winning isn’t easy, but it’s easier with high performance Trick Flow parts on your engine! Dyno Results Super 23 230

Test Engine: 11.5:1 compression 406 c.i.d. with Trick Flow Super 23® 230 cylinder heads (TFS-3241T001-C03), mechanical roller camshaft (266°/270° duration @ .050"; .630"/.630" lift; 112° lobe separation), Trick Flow 1.5/1.6 ratio roller rocker arms (TFS-31400522), Edelbrock Super Victor intake manifold, Hooker Super Competition headers with 17⁄8" primaries, open exhaust.


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www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016


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1970 Plymouth Duster Pro Mod | 521 ci twin turbo BAE Hemi



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december2016 | RPM Magazine

Like our 2017 Top Gun of the Year, this slippery new pro mod owned by Chris Isaacs and Spencer Tramm is yet another British Mopar that is as gorgeous as it is fast. Sporting a slick and swoopy fiberglass body and a 521 ci twin turbo Brad Anderson Hemi, it has already blasted low sixes at over 220 mph in the quarter. Isaacs and Tramm stole the cover of our April issue and the car was a staff favorite without exception. -Matt Woods photos

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016


2017 TOP GUNS Our very first RPM Road Trip to Arizona brought us an impressive crop of feature cars, and one of the most unique was Glen Bolz’ Ginger Ale Metallic 1966 Chevy Nova. The full tube chassis Chevy sports a Steve Morris Racing Engines 540 BBC with a water-to-air intercooler setup and a monstrous F3 ProCharger. We may have waited all day at Wild Horse PassMotorsports Park, but it was worth it, as the car graced our May issue. -Toby Brooks photos



continued on page 90

1966 Chevy Nova | 540 ci ProCharged BBC


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december2016 | RPM Magazine

www.rpm-mag.com | july 2016


story by

Toby Brooks

photos by

Lucio Vergara



s so many obsessions do, it started simply for Hawthorn Woods, Illinois native Joe Capps. He just wanted a capable performing Mopar street car. But an enabling friend can always spur us along to go further than we thought we would, and for Joe, that was good buddy Matt Renz of Midwest Muscle Cars.


“Matt and I both set out to just put together some cool street cars, but I guess you could say we got a little carried away,” he said with a laugh. Yeah, Joe. I guess we could say that. “My dad and older brother were both GM guys,” Capps recalled. However, at the tender age of 9 years old, a neighbor’s 1969 Super Bee set the Pentastar bug deep in his brain and

december 2016 | RPM Magazine

he’s been consumed ever since. That obsession led to the acquisition of this 1971 Cuda back in 2007. The car had already been treated to the pro street look and a warmed-over 440 when he discovered it online in a garage in Las Vegas. After flying out to look it over and agreeing to a deal, the car was shipped home and work promptly began. By 2008, the 440 had been rebuilt, but the car

had already become a bit mundane for Capps’ taste, so a new nitrous mill was slid between the frame rails. After posting a best et in the 9.60s and at Renz’s urging, Capps decided to step it up a bit. The car was shipped to Rod Competition Specialties (RCS) in Butler, Wisconsin where Pat Spangenberg started work on a full chromoly 25.2 cert chassis. Up front, the car has been fitted with 2-inch

HARD WORK PAYS OFF Joe Capps is your typical hard-workin’ Chicago dude, and he has opted to spend much of the fruits of his labor on his Mopar addiction. His incredible 1971 Barracuda is one of a slew of impressive rides in his expansive shop.

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016


TIRE CARNIVORE Capps’ ‘Cuda sits low on a Rod Competition Specialties 25.2 cert chromoly chassis that was fabbed to make room for a pair of enormous 33.5x17-16 steamroller meats out back.

!!! 58

december 2016 | RPM Magazine


dropped spindles and Strange double-adjustable shocks with Strange disc brakes. In the rear, the fabricated narrowed 9-inch housing rides on a custom-fabricated 4-link with matching Strange double-adjustable shocks and Strange disc brakes. Rolling stock consists of American Racing wheels with 15x3.5s up front and 16x16 double

beadlocked monsters out back mounted up with Hoosier 27x4.515 front runners and monstrous 33.5x17-16 QTPs out back. While chassis updates were underway, Capps called Steve Morris to get started on a power plant capable of propelling the arrow-straight Mopar closer toward its new 6.0 cert threshold. The first

iteration was a 1,600+ big block bullet with an F2 ProCharger. Morris started with a spacious 540 cubic inch aluminum Mopar block and fitted it with a Callies crank, Oliver rods, and Diamond pistons. A COMP Cams solid roller bumpstick was spec’d out and spun via a Jesel belt drive. Indy Cylinder Head aluminum heads were equipped with

Jesel roller rockers before being lowered into position. An Indy aluminum intake was then bolted in place along with a Wilson Manifolds billet elbow. A FAST XFI 2.0 efi system was added along with an octet of Precision injectors. A belt-driven F2 ProCharger was added next on a SuperCharger Store gear drive, along with a Chiseled Perfor-

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016


CARRIED AWAY mance water-toair intercooler to help manage boost temps. MSD ignition lights the fires, while spent gases exit through a pair of RCS-fabricated 2 ½-inch stainless headers and a full 5-inch exhaust. A Moroso 10-quart pan

keeps the Titan wet sump pump happy as it lubricates the reciprocating assembly, while a Mezeire remote mount electric pump was paired with a custom aluminum radiator to keep things cool. Again not quite satisfied

with south of 2,000 horsepower (and who is, really?), Capps decided to shorten the wick a bit and have Morris step up to an F3 ProCharger. The combo was good for 2,449 horsepower at 33 lbs. of boost on Morris’ engine dyno but

LOW BLOW(ER) The beastly Steve Morris Racing Engines 540 cubic inch mill sports a massive F3 ProCharger mounted low out front on a SuperCharger Store crank-driven gear drive. After passing through a water-to-air intercooler mounted in the cockpit, the pressurized atmosphere flows through a Wilson billet elbow, through the intake, and into the cylinders via aluminum Indy Cylinder Head units. A FAST XFI 2.0 controller manages the Precision Turbo & Engine injectors. The combo was good for 2,449 hp on the SMRE engine dyno.


december 2016 | RPM Magazine

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016


CARRIED AWAY JOE CAPPS’ 1971 PLYMOUTH BARRACUDA Chassis Type & Mods: Rod Competition Specialties (RCS) chromoly full tube 25.2-cert chassis. Suspension & Brakes: FRONT: 2-inch drop spindles with Strange double-adjustable shocks. Strange disc brakes. REAR: RCS custom 4-link with Strange double adjustable shocks and Strange disc brakes. Body & Paint: Tommy Gun Gray/black basecoat/clearcoat paint by Pat Spangenberg at RCS. Factory steel fenders and quarters, fiberglass hood and deck lid. Lexan front and rear windows. Custom air intake/chin spoiler by RCS. Engine: Steve Morris Racing Engines all-aluminum 540 ci Chrysler. Callies crank, Oliver rods, and Diamond pistons. COMP Cams solid roller cam. Indy Cylinder Head aluminum heads with Jesel roller rockers and Jesel roller lifters. Jesel belt drive. Mezeire remote-mount electric water pump, Moroso 10-quart wet sump pan with Titan mechanical oil pump. Custom fabricated and CNC-machined valve covers. PowerMaster alternator. Power Adder: F3 ProCharger with Chiseled Performance water-toair intercooler. Exhaust: RCS 2 ½-inch stainless headers with 5-inch exhaust. Transmission & Converter: TSI GM TH400 with Coan 3,500 stall converter. Differential: Custom fabricated 9-inch Ford with Strange 40-spline axles and 4.30 gears. Tires & Wheels: FRONT: 15x3.5-inch American Racing wheels with 27x4.5-15 Hoosier tires. REAR: 16x16 double beadlocked American Racing wheels with Hoosier Quick Time Pro 33.5x17-16 tires. Special Thanks: Matt Renz of Midwest Muscle Cars, Pat Spangenberg of Rod Competition Specialties, and Steve Morris of Steve Morris Racing Engines.

SCOOPED The ProCharger is fed directly through a hand fabricated chin spoiler with an integrated air intake.

has not yet seen the strip in race trim. Backing that copious crowd of equine equivalents is a similarly fortified transmission. A TSI-built GM Turbo 400 has

been partnered with a Coan 3,500 rpm stall converter to minimize the likelihood of driveline breakage. While paint and body on the car were respectable when

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Capps initially acquired the Cuda, after such an awesome engine combo and clean chassis, it was time for an upgrade there, as well. Spangenberg and his crew at RCS were again tapped to pitch in on the build, this time prepping and painting the nearly 50-year-old Plymouth (geeze, was 1971 really that long ago??) sheet metal. The Cuda was treated to NOS steel fenders and rear quarters, while


december 2016 | RPM Magazine

the factory roof and doors were smoothed and massaged back to better than new condition. A fiberglass hood and deck lid were added, and RCS installed a Lexan windshield and rear

READY FOR ACTION Although the ‘Cuda has been done for four years, Capps hasn’t had the time to get it out to the track yet. The 25.2-spec RCS chassis features lots of carbon fiber and some slick tinwork to go along with Auto Meter gauges and Stroud saftey gear.

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016



december 2016 | RPM Magazine


SLICK FISH Capps’ ‘Cuda wears a slippery RCS paint job consisting of Tommy Gun Gray with black graphics and a factorystyle ‘540’ script.

PREPARED FOR FLIGHT With the fiberglass deck lid removed, you can see the huge carbon tubs along with a fabricated aluminum fuel cell and a pair of batteries. The twin Stroud parachutes and mile-long wheelie bars give the rear a no-nonsense look.

window to further lighten the heft. RCS also fabricated a custom air intake/ chin spoiler before spraying the car a custom mix Tommy Gun Gray two-stage color with factory-style black graphics with “540” logos integrated in for good measure and bragging rights. With the car complete underneath and outside, it was time to focus on the interior. A single Corbeau bucket resides on the driver’s side with a custom fabricated water tank mounted where the passenger seat used to be. A Cheetah Turbo Shifter has been installed to command the gear changes, while a full set of Auto Meter Carbon Fiber gaugContinued on page 76

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016


Page 68


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december 2016 | RPM Magazine

es fill the dash. Stroud safety equipment rounds out the lengthy list of high performance goodies and serves to keep Capps secure when he finally gets to lay down a pass. Oh yeah… about that. The car has been “done” in its current state for nearly four years but has yet to make a pass at the drag strip or a single appearance at a show. It would seem that the crazy-busy life of a successful contractor is great for many reasons, an

abundance of free time is not one of them. Capps promises to rectify that soon, and is planning to attend the 2017 Street Machine Nationals in DuQuoin, Illinois. But as always, “done” is a relative term. As we’ve seen in the past, Capps might just get impulsive yet again and decide that 2,400 horsepower isn’t enough…and who knows what could be next. After all, he’s proven he does have a tendency to get “carried away.”

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016



t RPM we’re firm believers that the history of performance and muscle cars must be kept alive and documented for generations to

come. And occasionally, we stumble across something so incredibly rare that we have to pass it on to our readers, and this Malibu Super Sport is no exception. With only 230 produced

for overseas export from North America, the owner of this virtually untouched ’66 Malibu SS knows that he has something special. “I think it’s better to keep this car as original

as possible,” says Richard Sloot. “This is exactly the way I purchased it back in 1999, and to the best of my ability I want to keep it that way,” he added. The “built for export only” status

story and photos by

George Pich

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december 2016 | RPM Magazine




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Most onlookers see a 1966 Malibu. Those that are more into the car culture might think that somebody stuck some Malibu SS emblems on a “survivor”. The really curious and more enlightened, though, would see all the little things that add up to a car you will probably never find anywhere else.

of this Chevy is what makes the production numbers so low and the car so extremely rare, however, a long list of “SS” options and some little-known facts about the small block equipped Malibu SS of 1966 definitely don’t hurt the equation. All on its own, an unrestored 1966 Malibu SS is a tough

find today, but literally at our first glimpse we knew there was something up with this one. For starters, some of the car’s tags and badging are considerably different than any we’d seen in the past. And then there’s the flat hood on a ’66 SS that just didn’t sit right with us. The front grille is also minus the “SS” treatment and has an

emblem with an outline of the Swiss Alps that reads “GENERAL MOTORS SUISSE S.A. BIENNE,” and the speedometer and odometer are in kilometers instead of miles as they were for all GMs built for North American use at the time. Knowing that it wasn’t until approximately 10 years later (1977) that cars in Canada started

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016




How the car ended up back in North America after spending 30-plus years in Switzerland is an incredible sequence of events considering it was originally purchased by a Swiss buyer. There are some scratches on the right side of the car that were there when Sloot bought it back ’99 and he made the decision to leave them rather than mess with the factory paint.


december 2016 | RPM Magazine


Horsepower is attracted to horsepower. The attention of these two large horses to our photoshoot location was not planned in any way. being produced with readings in kilometers, we knew we were onto something special here. Look a bit further and the VIN tag on the left door pillar has “G.M. Canada D.D.” imprinted on it indicating it was produced there, but here’s the rub, unlike U.S. produced cars, in 1966 Canada had only two series’ of this platform, a 300 and the Malibu. The SS was a





package based on options in Canada in ’66 more than power as engine and transmission choices were reduced for Canadian units. Because SS Malibus stateside were SS 396 some doubt the existence of a 1966 Malibu SS without the big block. Well we’re here to tell you it does exist, and this is one of them. The only thing that would have made this particular car more of an enigma is if it had a 396 engine with its “136” VIN number (as all 1966 SS Malibus




www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016 81 RPM-DEC/2016

HISTORICAL VALUE built in the USA have the “138” VIN number). Yes, that’s right, just as this car is an authentic flat-hooded small block 1966 Malibu SS, there could actually be 1966 Malibu SS cars equipped with a 396 engine bearing the 136 VIN number in existence – they would have been built in Canada. However, from there, for the purpose of this story, it is extremely unclear whether any of the 396 equipped “136”


VIN cars were ever specifically built for overseas export as this small block SS car was. So the long and short of it is that this Malibu was originally built and exported through GM Overseas Export Sales for the GM facility in Biel, Switzerland and was purchased by a Swiss buyer there. Somehow, a second owner purchased the car and over thirty years later, quite incredibly, it was shipped by him back to


A flat hood on a 1966 Malibu SS…impossible! ….Definitely possible. No SS grille treatment but instead a very interesting emblem on the left with an outline of the Swiss Alps that reads “GENERAL MOTORS SUISSE S.A. BIENNE.”

december 2016 | RPM Magazine


This Super Sport is virtually untouched bodywise except for various paint touch-up completed prior to Sloot’s ownership. Every panel on the car is the original GM steel.

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016


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Emblems are easy enough to switch out, but this original flat hooded, small block 1966 Malibu SS came with them. And the CH bumper sticker? The official name in English for Switzerland is ‘Swiss Confederation’ and in Latin that is Confoederatio Helvetica, which is abbreviated CH.

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Both the VIN tag on the driver side door post and body tag located on the top portion of the right fenderwell are great pieces of evidence in tracking this car’s journey.

its country of origin, Canada, and then ended up in the hands of Sloot in 1999. In fact, Sloot first heard about the car at a large automotive flea market while it was still in the sea container being shipped back. Sloot arranged to immediately purchase it when it hit the mainland. The car is completely unrestored aside from a recover on the lower portion of the passenger seat and some paint touch ups over the years, and Sloot is so bent on keeping it that way that it still bears several scratches on the right side that were there when he bought it. Admittedly, he really does

not want to do anything that might devalue the car. But don’t get the wrong idea—this SS is no show pony as Sloot can be found driving the rare Chevy from time to time. With the owner’s blessing, we went through the Malibu from top to bottom and even found the original “CHEV” stampings on the trunk pan and of course the body tag located on the top portion of the right inner fenderwell which also has the GM Swiss destination written in French, just like the grille emblem. We even got to leaf through the original paperwork that came with the car

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There are areas of the interior that show minor wear due to usage and age, but they add character to a cool piece of muscle car history. Some of the differences in the export-only cars are so subtle, including this document holder located on the right kick panel. All the export documents and the service manual were kept here.


december 2016 | RPM Magazine


Like kids in a candy store we carefully leafed through all the original documentation, even though we couldn’t read a word of it as it was all produced in French. We did figure out that the initial inspection was done in Geneva and the first oil change in Paris, France. including the manual and service record book, both written completely in French. The service log shows that the original inspection was completed in

Geneva, Switzerland and the first oil change in Paris, France. While there’s no roll cage or 800 horsepower mill between the rails here, options on

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016



the Chateau Slate Metallic Malibu SS include the 250 hp 327 ci small block 4-barrel, Powerglide transmission, and posi rearend along with several creature comforts like

tilt steering, power windows, brakes and steering, and even a 4-way power seat! Then there are the export-only items such as the speedometer in kilometers and




Material obtained from GM rated the 327 4bbl at 275 hp. The only item that would add immensely to the rarity of this “136” VIN numbered SS is if it was equipped with a 396-inch big block, however it is unknown if any were ever built for export, as the engine was generally an “ordered” option.



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december 2016 | RPM Magazine


Options are plentiful and some quite rare such as the vanity mirror and power 4-way seat, but it was options rather than power that made this car an SS. The “Super Sport” package for GM Canada was, we feel, poorly named in marketing material as “Sports Option.” hood panel crown molding delete. We also found a factory dimmer on both the floor and steering column (we can only figure that the latter was a requirement of the Swiss DOT), a Chevrolet vanity mirror on the passenger side not mentioned in any paperwork, and that it was ordered with the spare tire delete, possibly for shipping weight.

It’s hard to resist the allure of any bodystyle from the first coming of the American muscle car, let alone one with a “once removed then returned home” story like this Malibu. And with just 91,846 original kilometers showing on the odometer (that’s just 57,070 miles), we agree with the owner: some things just are better left alone.

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016



...continued from page 52 Another ride we discovered at our Road Trip: Arizona was Nick & Patti Mueller’s incredible pro street 1955 Chevy. Sporting a nasty 762 cubic inch naturally aspirated Goodwin Racing Engines big block with BBC hemi heads, it blasted consistent seven-second passes in the scorching Phoenix heat with no problem whatsoever. When a flawless classic steel body is partnered with four-digit horsepower, it’s a slam dunk for recognition among our Top Guns. -Will McDougle photos


nick & patti

1955 Chevy Bel Air | 762 ci Goodwin Racing BBC


december 2016 | RPM Magazine

adam & andrea

Adam & Andrea Britz proved that it was possible to breathe new life into an old drag car when they reclaimed this cool little 1960 Ford Falcon and put it back on the street. Fitted with a nitroused 521 BBF, it was a fan favorite at the 2016 DuQuoin Street Machine Nationals. -Toby Brooks photos


1960 Ford Falcon | 521 ci nitrous-assisted BBF

8 & 9: Ok, what do you do as an encore after raising a Roush Mustang 15 feet in the air in 2015? Simple, go big or go home! Once again, PowerFest sponsor Ken’s Towing flexed their towing and recovery prowess as they raised this massive cement mixer truck to the delight of all. -Brian Milne photos

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016


2017 TOP GUNS Canadian Pano Moros’ Pontiac Tempest is one wicked machine, sporting a 4-stage nitrous assisted 706 big block and a double rail chromoly 25.2-cert chassis. Moros originally purchased the car in 1987 and has been constructing it ever since. The heavily-sprayed Poncho took the cover of our November issue and was a unanimous pick for a Top Gun thanks to its unique body style and heavy use of “the juice.” -Shirley Goddeeris photos



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december 2016 | RPM Magazine

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2017 TOP GUNS 2017 TOP GUNS HONORABLE MENTION While we let our readers vote and decide last year to cut our initial group of 32 down to our eight Top Guns, this year we decided to handle it ourselves. And while the previous eight rides were unanimous staff picks, there was another batch of cool cars that we simply couldn’t leave out. As a result, we picked these eight as our 2017 Top Gun Honorable Mentions. Each is worthy in its own right and representative of the diversity and quality of cars we featured this year.


F riedrich

1966 Chevy Chevelle

Pete Ores photos



Tara Bowker photos


december 2016 | RPM Magazine

2002 Pontiac Grand Am



2014 Ford Mustang GT

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Mar tyn


1992 Ford Mustang convertible

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016


2017 TOP GUNS michael


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1982 Chevy Monte Carlo



1993 Ford F-150


december 2016 | RPM Magazine

Tia Elizabeth photos

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Pf nister

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Hay s

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december 2016 | RPM Magazine

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story and photos by

...IN A DAY!

George Pich


>> We transform

our 2015 F150 from average to awesome in no time flat!

e’ll be honest, we got sick and tired of being made fun of for our mundane 2015 F150 shop truck. We just heard one too many “hey look at the magazine guys driving around in a stock pickup,” comments and decided to do something about it. First, we tugged at the project department’s purse (and heart) strings for a budget and decided on just a few upgrades that would maximize good looks for the money. The goal was to collect the necessary parts first, then we’d turn our relatively low-key hauler into a slick ride with that offroad look

(something we all want in our work trucks) in a single day! Just like any 16 year-old kid with his first car, we needed some wicked wheels and tires. The right wheels and tires on any vehicle can make the biggest difference, but because we’re not 16 and this is a 2015 pickup, we couldn’t just slap anything on. We had to have something with drop-dead good looks and the performance to match. Before the news skins, though, we needed a few other items that would enhance our wheel and tire choice. Most half-tons today are notorious for that raised-up rear stance. This is partly because of the rear squat that happens

as you add payload in the bed or tongue weight from a trailer. As you put weight in or on it, the stance levels off. Given that, we knew that we needed to level the truck first for both clearance and looks. Adding a leveling kit is a great cost-effective way to bring the front end of your truck up without a lot of work and without compromising ride quality, but choosing the right kit can be a job in itself. After checking out the many top brand leveling kits on their site, we contacted our friends at Summit Racing Equipment to order a ProRyde Suspension Systems Adjustable Upper Strut Lift/ Leveling Kit. Sure, you can

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put any type of leveling kit on your truck, but if you’ve ever seen the truck in the other lane with the front end sitting higher than the rear because he didn’t install the right leveling kit, the choice is clear. LIFTmachine (the original name of the ProRyde patented product) kits are award-winning and can be adjusted to your liking after they are installed on the vehicle, now that’s cool! The next challenge is that now that the front end of your hauler is sittin’ all up and proud and level with the rear, when you load up the bed with weight or hook up your trailer, you might just be looking at the sky as you

december 2016 | RPM Magazine


刀椀瘀攀琀 ⬀ 刀椀瘀攀琀 一甀琀 ⬀ 刀椀瘀攀琀 匀琀甀搀


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1: The LIFTmachine ProRyde Suspension Systems Adjustable Upper Strut Lift/Leveling Kit is an award winning leveling kit that allows you to adjust ride height after it is installed on the vehicle. 2: The ProRyde kit we chose installs in about two hours and allows 1.5 to 2.25 inches of adjustability.

drive down the road, and this causes two problems. First, the weight is no longer distributed across the chassis of your vehicle correctly and too much weight on the rear of the truck means less on the front which can cause problems with steering and

braking. Secondly, those haunting catcalls will return, only now they are laughing about how wimpy your suspension is…but fear not, Air Lift Company has just the solution for all of your problems and it’s called the Air Lift RideControl System.

㄀⼀㐀ᴠ ⠀㘀⸀㐀洀洀⤀ 刀椀瘀攀琀 一甀琀 ㄀⼀㈀ᴠ  ⼀ 䴀㄀㈀

A family-owned business based in Lansing Michigan, Air Lift has been solving the world’s land cargo problems since 1949. And since we had already been using their products for years, they were the obvious choice for this project. We ordered an Air Lift RideControl kit #59570 and while placing our order we had a weak moment and decided to “upsize it” and add one of Air Lift’s new state-of-the-art SmartAir II Automatic Self-Leveling Systems. The install of both couldn’t have gone smoother and the decision to drop the extra dollars on the SmartAir II was the right one.

The system flawlessly both pumps air in and purges air out of the air springs to always maintain your desired ride height. Now the icing on the cake! The reason we started all of this was to give our work truck a good swift kick of cool by adding wheels and tires along with a more aggressive stance. We’ve got the stance, so now on to the wheels and tires. After searching for what seemed like forever for the right wheel and tire combo for this truck, we kicked aside all the here-today-gone-tomorrow wheel manufacturers, the ones that couldn’t answer our questions in English, and the ones

刀椀瘀攀琀 匀琀甀搀 㔀⼀㄀㘀ᴠ ⼀ 䴀㠀 

刀椀瘀攀琀⼀刀椀瘀攀琀 一甀琀 䐀爀椀氀氀 䄀搀愀瀀琀攀爀猀

䔀û漀爀琀氀攀猀猀 愀渀搀 䔀ϻ挀椀攀渀琀 䜀攀琀 琀栀攀 樀漀戀 搀漀渀攀 昀愀猀琀 䄀嘀䄀䬀 刀嘀䐀 愀渀搀 刀一䐀 䐀爀椀氀氀 䄀搀愀瀀琀攀爀猀 ∠ 䰀攀瘀攀爀愀最攀 琀栀攀 瀀漀眀攀爀 漀昀 瀀漀眀攀爀 琀漀漀氀    昀漀爀 攀û漀爀琀氀攀猀猀 爀椀瘀攀琀椀渀最 ∠ 唀瀀 琀漀 ㈀砀 愀猀 昀愀猀琀 愀猀 洀愀渀甀愀氀 琀漀漀氀猀 ∠ 匀洀愀氀氀 瀀爀漀漀氀攀 昀漀爀 攀砀琀爀攀洀攀 瀀漀爀琀愀戀椀氀椀琀礀 ∠ 唀猀攀 礀漀甀爀 搀爀椀氀氀 昀漀爀 搀爀椀氀氀椀渀最 愀渀搀 爀椀瘀攀琀椀渀最⸀    一漀琀 漀渀攀 漀爀 琀栀攀 漀琀栀攀爀⸀ 䴀漀搀攀氀猀

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




刀䤀䐀䜀䔀䜀䄀吀䔀 吀伀伀䰀匀 ☀ 吀䔀䌀䠀

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016




3-5: Having a hoist/lift and the right tools to separate the truck’s frontend is important and we opted to have the pros at Misener Motorsports tackle the install. The ProRyde kit itself installs in minutes on top of the factory strut and features Ÿ-inch thick steel top and base plates, plus there is no spring disassembly required and lift is adjustable by using a ½-inch ratchet.


december 2016 | RPM Magazine



7 8

6-7: We installed the Air Lift RideControl kit #59570 on our shop truck to get back that level stance for times when we load some heavy cargo or hook up to our car hauler. 9: Our SmartAir II Automatic Self-Leveling System (part number 25490) is a single path kit meaning that air is supplied to both air springs equally. If you have the need to inflate each spring to a different pressure than the dual path kit # 25491 is also available. While installation takes a few hours, it is fairly straightforward, as no lines or controls run into the cab and the kit includes a pre-assembled wiring harness, electronic sensor system and compressor. You need to find a quality constant-on power source (direct to the battery is suggested) and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding compressor location.

8: The install was simple with upper and lower brackets and an air spring that are installed and positioned above the leafspring on our F150. The leafspring is then raised to the lower plate for the u-bolts to be installed. Aside from that, you’ll need to run air lines and the factory jounce bumpers have to be slightly modified for clearance, nothing that a few minutes on the bench grinder won’t take care of. Follow the directions and this is an easy DIY job on Saturday afternoon. where you know the finish will be peeling off before the year is out and opted for the tried, tested and true quality of Mickey Thompson. Not only does Mickey Thompson have some of the nicest looking truck wheels on the market, they build them to last – on and off the road. We ordered a set of M/T Metal Series MM164B


20x9-inch wheels with a similar-to-factory 18mm offset to replace our stock 18x9 wheels, and then went to work with some math to figure out what tire would fit them without interference. Call us old school or just plain practical, but we didn’t want our tires sticking way outside of the factory wheelwell flares, nor did we want ultra-low profile tires that would affect the vehicle’s ride. Instead, with

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10: We found a nice location for the SmartAir II compressor tucked up beside the framerail away from excessive exposure to the elements. The small solenoid in the background of the photo is the exhaust solenoid which is activated to expel air from the system when the ride height becomes too high, such as when a heavy load is removed from the truck bed.



11: The electronic height sensing system of the SmartAir II is truly ingenious. It activates the compressor when your rear ride height is low and the air-exhaust solenoid when too high. Adjustments to the suspension are completed by simply moving the magnet side of the height adjustment up or down in its slotted mounting bracket.

12-13: The Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ P3 is a cutting edge tire that delivers both on and off the road. We’ve driven on a lot of all-terrain tires and were surprised by the minimal road noise from such an aggressive looking tire. There’s some but it is not overwhelming. We did a lot of homework on the right wheel and tire size combo so you don’t have to and ordered the LT305/55R20. They don’t rub/interfere with the truck and handle like a dream.


11 15: One picture says a thousand words….We ordered the Metal Series MM164B 20x9-inch wheels with an 18mm offset to replace our stock 18x9 18mm offset wheels.


december 2016 | RPM Magazine


14: Even the packaging of Mickey Thompson’s M/T Metal Series MM164B says quality! Do yourself a big favor and stick with trusted brand names when it comes to both tires and wheels.


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december 2016 | RPM Magazine


16 & 17: To avoid damage, careful installation using the right equipment is a must. 18: The BedTred pro bed liner installed in a snap.

some serious internet surfing for truck photo comparisons, we found our happy place. Now think about tires for these badboys for a minute. How could we possibly skin such a sweet set of wheels with off-shore or cheap, goofy looking tires? We couldn’t! Once again the choice for all-round performance and the “my truck makes mini vans pee themselves” good looks we were after was

Mickey Thompson. The factory tire on our F150 was a 275/65/18 and to fill the wheelwells just enough, not compromise our ride and raise the truck to the perfect height, we went with a set Mickey Thompson Part # 55232 Baja ATZ P3 LT305/55R20. According to the folks at Mickey Thompson, the Baja ATZ P3 has a unique ‘hybrid’ design between an all-terrain and mud terrain to give




www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016




19-20: The Truxedo Titanium Hard Roll-up Tonneau Cover is a tough-as-nails ultralow profile cover can be easily rolled up and fastened in place via straps to allow full bed access for tall cargo. the grip needed for weekend adventures and the smooth ride to get you down the road in comfort. The extra wide footprint and beefy tread blocks provide great all around traction, plus they look absolutely insane! Now that we had the exact look we set out to accomplish, since we had some time left at the end of the day we decided to install two of our favorite products that we equip all of our pickups with, A BedTred Pro Series bed liner and Truxedo Titanium Hard Roll-up Tonneau Cover. Check out our install photos as both these products combined took just over an hour to install and provide protection to the bed of your truck and cargo that is second to none. So there you have it. We turned a stock boring half-ton into a ride that gets looks wherever it goes, can tow darn near anything and can also indulge in the odd offroad excursion when the itch arises. We’re thinking now that we need a bit more exhaust tone to add to our work truck driving experience….



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december 2016 | RPM Magazine

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www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016



1: After some minor fab work, powder coating, and bending up some brake lines, our S&W fabricated 9-inch housing was looking good. Follow along as we show you how we filled it with a Moser center section and axles and Baer Brakes.



>>We protect and equip a bulletproof S&W Race Cars fabricated 9-inch housing with components from Moser Engineering and Baer Brakes



t sounds worse than it is. The title of this article could be considered by some as offensive or even constitute harassment. But after we stepped back and just looked at it, it was clear that

december 2016 | RPM Magazine

story by

offensive or not, it was dead on. We have a nice rear end, and we aren’t ashamed of it. In fact, we are pretty proud of it. With more than 1,500 horsepower on tap, we knew our

driveline needed to be up to the challenge. As a result, we started with a nearly indestructible S&W Race Cars fabricated chromoly 9-inch housing. After it had been prepped to the appropriate width to

Toby Brooks

fit the Ride Tech drop, it was nearly ready for powder coat. We added a trio of tabs for the brake lines as well as another set of tabs for the S&W wheelie bar and sent it off to BMC Powder Coat in Slaton,

2 2: The clues to a well-planned build are in the details. We planned out where the Fragola Performance bulkhead fittings would need to go and welded three tabs on prior to powder coating. 3: We then took the housing and the wheelie bar to BMC Powder Coating, where owner Steven Brosch and right hand man Wes Hamer got everything ready for coating.


Texas for some added beautification. Steven Brosch and Wes Hamer at BMC prepped and coated the housing a cool Stealth Gray Charcoal color, and when we got the housing back,

it was time for assembly. We selected a Moser Engineering through-bolt aluminum center section with a 40-spline spool and a 1350-series yoke. Although Moser offers

custom powder coating, we selected a raw aluminum finish. We also specified an aluminum Daytona pro/street pinion support and requested a 3.89 ratio gear, good for solid launches

with our Rossler 210 trans and 33inch tall Mickey Thompson street tires or Goodyear slicks, but also friendly on the interstate with our Gear Vendors overdrive engaged. After bolting

4 4: As the housing was away getting prettied up with powder coat, we readied the rest of the rear end for assembly. This aluminum throughbolt center section from Moser Engineering came fully assembled and ready to go with a 40-spline spool and a set of 3.89 gears. With our 33-inch tall rear tire and the Rossler 210 trans with Gear Vendors overdrive, we should be able to motor down the interstate at just below 2,000 rpm. Although the third member can be installed with silicone, we ordered a reusable gasket from eBay to keep things neater in the event we needed to pull it for a gear swap in the future.

www.rpm-mag.com | december 2016



7: With the axles in position, the Baer billet retainer/ caliper bracket is carefully fished in place and secured with four 5/16-inch Allen bolts and Nyloc nuts. The housing can now be filled with gear lube to check for leaks.



5 & 6: Here you see the HUGE Moser 40-spline axle for the driver’s side along with the Baer Brakes billet retainer/ caliper mount. We Gun Koted the back side of the axle flange, then slid it in place in the housing.


december 2016 | RPM Magazine


8: With the bracket in place, we then installed the rotor and loosely mounted both of the Baer SS4+ Deep Stage calipers. These need to be centered on the rotor using the supplied shims. We’ll replace the hex bolts with Performance Engineering cup washers and Allen bolts, but the provided bolts will do for now. You can also see the black anodized Fragola bulkhead tee fitting installed. We are ready for plumbing.



up the third member, we then slid the enormous Moser 40-spline axles into place. To retain the axles, we popped open the boxes to our Baer Brakes dual caliper SS4+ Deep Stage rear brake setup. The trick machined Baer caliper brackets also serve as axle retainers, so we used some Performance Engineering fasteners and bolted them in place. With the third member

and axles in place in our freshly powder coated housing and the Baer Brakes calipers loosely mounted in place, we again pulled out our Brake Quip 1/4-inch stainless line and tools and promptly plumbed them up using Fragola Performance fttings. Utilizing the tabs we had already welded in place, we mounted the black anodized bulkhead fittings to the housing and carefully

9: Grabbing our tools from Brake Quip, we got ready to plumb the 4-caliper rear setup. Here from left to right you see the Brake Quip Brake Tube Pliers (top left), Professional Tube Bender (bottom middle), and stainless tubing cutter (top right). 10-12: We started off by plumbing two lines from the bulkhead tee up top over to the tees at the axle ends. Using our Brake Quip Professional Flaring Tool made the job a cinch. We then plumbed out to the calipers off of the outboard tee bulkheads.


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13: The small bracket on our S&W housing made a perfect spot for a billet action cam mount.


14: With the wheelie bar coated, too, we installed the trick Philadelphia Racing Products billet wheelie bar wheel.

13 bent up the appropriate lines using the Brake Quip tubing bender. After securing the lines to the housing using some billet brake line clamps, our rear end was now plumbed and ready. Last up, we also fit up the S&W Race Cars wheelie bar on the new mounting tabs. Our housing came from S&W with two small lightweight tabs out back, but they were not suited for wheelie bar mounting. Rather than cut them off, we fabbed up a trick little ount for a billet action camera mount that we sourced from eBay. The end result is a cool little piece that can provide valuable footage following a future pass down the strip.


While we were finishing up the wheelie bar, we installed a cool billet wheel from Philadelphia Racing Products that looks somewhat like our one-off Budnik wheels. While we didn’t get as far along as we had hoped, we do have big plans to finish

up tinwork and chassis fab next month and finally get this entire chassis to BMC for coating. Then it will be off to paint, so hopefully sometime around the new year, the Horse will at long last be getting some color. Stay tuned...it’s really starting to come together!

december 2016 | RPM Magazine


Baer Brakes

www.swracecars.com 800.523.3353

www.baer.com 602.233.1411

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Moser Engineering

www.bmcpowdercoat.com 806.828.1037

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Fragola Performance Systems

Performance Engineering

www.fragolaperformancesystems.com 866.337.2739

www.performanceengineeringparts.com 918.243.5588

Brake Quip

Philadelphia Racing Products

www.brakequip.com 877.431.0075

www.prpracingproducts.com 215.969.3550

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Profile for RPM Magazine

RPM Magazine December Issue 2016  

Carried Away...One thing led to another and the next thing he knew Joe Capps had himself a 2,400 + hp 1971 Cuda. Top Guns - Best of the Best...

RPM Magazine December Issue 2016  

Carried Away...One thing led to another and the next thing he knew Joe Capps had himself a 2,400 + hp 1971 Cuda. Top Guns - Best of the Best...

Profile for rpmmag