RPM Magazine May 2019

Page 1


ADVERTISING SALES For advertising information contact


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF.........................................................CHRIS BIRO editor@rpmmag.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@rpmmag.com To subscribe to RPM go to www.rpmmag.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 20 years and has support locations in Ontario, Canada, Alabama, Texas, and Virginia, along with contributing writers and photojournalists worldwide. If you have a story that may fit within the focus and scope of RPM Magazine’s coverage, please email our Editor In Chief at editor@ rpmmag.com. Submission of an article does not guarantee that it will be published. Revolution Publishing & Media Inc. (RPM) / RPM Magazine IS NOT responsible for errors or omissions in ANY advertisement or article. Advertisements may be rearranged or altered at the sole discretion of RPM to allow the ad to fit in the space purchased by the advertiser. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE ANY ADVERTISING WHICH WE CONSIDER TO CONTAIN MISLEADING, OFFENSIVE OR FALSE INFORMATION. REPRODUCTION OF ANY INFORMATION HEREIN IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT.

Publication Return/Address Change Information USA RPM MAGAZINE (USPS Periodical #023474) is published monthly 12 times per year by USA Publisher’s Agent, 10387 Main Street, Suite 300, Fairfax, VA 22030.

TRISH BIRO ...............519.752.3705.......trish@rpmmag.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 Manager: Chris Biro events@rpmmag.com Special Events Sales: Trish Biro: 519-752-3705 trish@rpmmag.com Subscriptions/Address Changes: Circulation circulation@rpmmag.com General Inquiries: 519.752.3705 info@rpmmag.com




Chris Biro

find out what it means to me...



t’s no secret that one of my pet peeves is respect, or rather, lack of it. Despite growing up as a broken-family somewhat troubled kid, I always respected others, until they did me wrong. I always stuck up for and defended the weak, the elderly and anyone being harassed or abused, and it sometimes put me in situations I did not want to be in. I by no means consider myself old or old fashioned, but I have a hard time adjusting in today’s fast changing world where lack of respect, preying on the weak, hurting or abusing others, spouting off obscenities to people you don’t even know and being the most obnoxious personality is sometimes rewarded on the web and social media. I just can’t figure that out and I find myself constantly trying to resist the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” mentality. I can’t even imagine my response if I was a live TV reporter and some mindless fool yelled obscenities behind me while I was reporting. Check out this link on the web and judge for yourself...WARNING STRONG LANGUAGE IS BEING USED https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6JW5Etuehg Watch how the reporter handles the situation, she has much more restraint than I would have towards these compete idiots. This woman has a job to do, a career and future to be excited about, possibly family waiting at home for her, why should she be exposed to this? Things like this make me wonder what has the world come to. Incidences of disrespect that our RPM staff undergo pale in comparison to the example above, but nonetheless, I strongly feel that we should be respectful of each other, particularly if we are in the same industry. Whether it is person to person, company to company or racer to racer. Friendly smack-talk and rivalry is one thing, but dissing somebody for no reason is another. We are a family company and pretty much everyone here is a car-crazy horsepower junkie. We’re not part of a big conglomerate; in fact the exact opposite. RPM has withstood the test of time and survived the most troubling economic uncertainty (2008 and the 5-year aftermath), been copied a half dozen times, not to mention

resisted purchases by bigger entities that would either kill RPM or change it completely. We don’thire cheap or subsidized unskilled labor, instead we hand pick every single person that works for or contributes to RPM, and we’re damn proud of it! We value our readers and advertisers, without them, there would not be an RPM. When any one of them from anywhere in the world calls or reaches out to our staff, we do everything possible to treat them with respect, help them, and make them feel as if at that moment in time they are our only customer. We are here for you, the car owners, hardcore enthusiast, racer and industry companies. We want to connect the dots between every part of this relatively small industry. Our marketing and sales department obviously makes hundreds of calls every month to readers, potential readers and industry companies alike. It’s part of what we do. We’re not spam calling or emailing, and we’re not calling from Better Gardens to talk to you about your subscription or purchasing an ad for your performance or race-related business. So when our office staff calls, don’t dis them or hang up them. Show some respect. They have earned it after 20 years of serving this industry! If they caught you at a bad time or you’re not interested, just tell them that. RPM has worked hard to be the #1 independently owned car mag in the world that features such a diverse line up of street and strip doorslammers – all cars with industry manufactured and sold parts installed on them. I would like to think there is still a level of professionalism left in the world today—that it’s not all dog eat dog and that the loudest most obnoxious people fueled by gangster-like internet personas and fame don’t always get what they want. But I also think these things—along with the constant bombardment from spammers and unwanted pop-ups and ads, both on the phone and online—can taint the way some of us act or do business with others. But honestly, we’re the good guys!


Rockin’ and rollin’................................................................

As summertime begins to heat up, so does the action! We’ll have more new tech, including cool fabrication tips and tricks more of the doorslammer drag cars and insane street machines you love!


THIS AND MORE IN THE NEXT RPM! may 2019 | RPM Magazine

ADVERTISER INDEX ACC Performance................... 95 Accufab Inc............................ 60 Aeromotive........................... 10 AFCO..................................... 87 AFR: Air Flow Research.......... 93 Alan Johnson Performance (AJPE)................................. 61 Alston Race Cars.................... 18 ARP/NPW............................. 83 ATI Performance Products..... 49 Auburn Gear........................ 110 Aurora Bearing.................... 106 Autoglym.............................. 41 AVAK/Ridgegate Tools........... 42 Baer Brakes....................10, 107 Be Cool.................................. 90 BES Racing Engines............... 39 Bill Mitchell Products.......42, 85 Blower Shop............................ 5 Borla..................................... 36 C&C MotorSports................... 51 Calvert Racing Suspensions... 47 Canton Racing Products........ 27 CFE Racing Products.............. 66 Chassis Engineering...........8, 22 CN Blocks.............................. 78 CNC Motorsports................... 46 Coan Engineering................ 113 Competition Products......... 103 Crane Cams........................... 91 Crower.................................. 34 CVR Products....................... 108 DART..................................... 11 Design Engineering..........26, 58 Diamond Pistons................... 96 DREAM JOB......................... 101 Drive Train Specialists (DTS)... 13 DRIVEN Racing Oil................. 45 Dynocologists........................ 16 Dynomite Dynamometer...... 20 Dynotech Engineering........... 66 Edelbrock.............................. 94 Energy Suspension...........46, 98 Erson Cams............................ 20 FUELAB................................. 24 Granatelli Motorsports.......... 80 GRP Connecting Rods............ 30 GZ Motorsports..................... 25 Harland Sharp....................... 22 Harwood............................... 64 HoleShot Wheels................... 35 Holley.................................2, 43 Howard’s Cams...................... 81 Hughes Performance............... 7 Ian Hill Racing....................... 85 Induction Solutions............... 32 Indy Cylinder Head................ 18 Innovate Motorsports.......... 109 JE Pistons.......................53, 105 Jesel...................................... 14 JW Perform. Transmissions.. 111 Kinsler Fuel Injection............. 97 LenTech Automatics.............. 38

Lokar Perf. Products............ 104 MagnaFuel.............................. 9 Magnuson Superchargers...... 31 MAHLE Clevite Inc................. 50 Manton Pushrods.................. 66 Meziere Precision Mfg............. 8 Mickey Thompson Tires......7, 28 MS3-Pro EFI/DIY Auto Tune... 33 MSD Ignition......................... 28 Neal Chance Converters....29, 65 Nitrous Pro Flow.................... 97 Nitrous Supply.................37, 82 Parts Pro Perf Centers.......... 116 PBM Products........................ 12 Percy’s................................... 86 Performance Engineering..... 82 Performance Improvements.. 72 Perf. Plus Connection.......31, 92 Philadelphia Racing Products (PRP)...........................16, 100 Powermaster Performance.... 38 Precision Turbo...................... 76 ProCharger............................ 21 Proform Parts.................82, 102 Pro Systems Carburetors.23,105 PTC........................................ 59 Quick Fuel Technology........... 25 Quik-Latch Products.............. 83 Racecraft............................... 88 Racepak................................ 95 Racequip............................... 96 RAM Clutches........................ 40 Renegade Racing Fuels......... 52 Ross Racing Pistons............5, 30 RPM Events/Woodward PreParty................................. 63 RPM Magazine Subscribe!.114 RPM Pro Street Palooza......... 67 S&W Race Cars...................... 77 Scorpion Racing Prods............. 9 Shafiroff Racing Engines..33, 78 SMACKDOWN 3 Event............ 62 Steve Morris Racing Engines. 51 Strange Engineering............. 84 Summit Racing Equip.....12, 115 TCI Automotive...................... 13 Ti64..................................... 106 Tom’s Upholstery................... 59 Trick Flow.............................. 15 TRZ Motorsports.................... 39 Tuned By Shane T.................. 86 VP Racing Fuels..............42, 112 World Products................14, 35





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

Often Imitated, Never Duplicated—For 20 STRAIGHT YEARS RPM Magazine has been the ORIGINAL Voice Of Wild Street Machines and Extreme Drag Cars WORLDWIDE! Don’t Settle For Less! We DELIVER Insane Fast Cars and Bring You NO POLITICS... JUST ACTION! Your ONLY “Real Time” “Real World” Car Mag...PERIOD!


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

RIDES In Your Face.................................................................24 There’s nothing subtle about this wild third-gen Camaro with a legit pro mod pedigree

Keystone Blues................................................ 54 Todd Dziadosz/TD Speed photo

Andy Jensen’s gorgeous 1966 Chevy II will have competitors at the strip AND at the show singing the blues.

Voyager........................................................................ 46 This monster-cube reality TV Ford Probe is for the Birds

FLEXIN’.................................................................................. 8 This pro street B-Body is a triple threat: street/race/show


PROJECTS & TECH Shop Talk......................................................................38 The trade show Experience: Just what the doctor ordered

Special FX.................................................................. 44 A 1964 Mercury Comet that is a throwback to the short-lived but wildly creative days of Factory Experimental

Metal Head...................................................100 Some sheetmetal essentials for your next tinwork project

Brakes, Bags, & Bolts...................................104 We put the front suspension back together in our pro street Mustang


may 2019 | RPM Magazine


Mickey Thompson was unstoppable. He was the first American to 400+MPH at Bonneville & the manager of Lions Drag Strip. At heart, Mickey was a drag racer, now his DNA lives on in the innovative winning products we build today for drag racers like you. UNCOMPROMISED CONSTRUCTION / UNDISPUTED PERFORMANCE.

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019


Chassis Engineering’s Outlaw “TRIPLE” Adjustable Ladder Bars The ultimate ladder bar for heavy, high horsepower race cars. 360 degree housing brackets w/integrated shock mounts. Chromoly construction for strength and lightweight. Includes all rod ends, hardware and brackets.

3606 3606A

(800) 208-1755


Crafted in the U.S.A.


may 2019 | RPM Magazine

$499.95 (pr) 36” Outlaw Adj. Ladder Bar Weld-up Kit $474.95 pr

The chassis prof30esyesioarnas ls for over

Toll Free Ordering: 800-327-9402 Info & Tech: 561-863-2188


story by

Toby Brooks


hose of us with an unquenchable thirst for power know the struggle: you attack one problem on your car and another problem pops up. Bigger cam? Crappy brakes.

photos by

More horsepower? Fragged transmission. Better tires? Broken axles. It never ends. So was the case for Stewartstown, PA’s Jason Amspacher and his 1968 Dodge Coronet. Part of a Mopar

Matt Trombley clan by birth, (“… we are known as the ‘Mopar Family’ locally and even at regional events,” tells Amspacher). After spending decades helping with the Coronet you see here, Jason’s dad was bitten by the car

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019




may 2019 | RPM Magazine

NAH NAH NAH NAH...YOU’VE GOT THE LOOK Whether it is the attention-grabbing green metallic or the killer stance with big-n-little tire fitment, this triple-threat Mopar has the perfect pro street vibe. With nearly 500 cubes of nitrous-assisted Chrysler power, it has the muscle to back it up, too!


SHP LS NEXT PRO • Superior strength 220 BHN Cast Iron • Full skirt design for use with OE type oil pans and windage trays • Standard LS 9.240” deck height • Bore sizes from 4.000” up to 4.185” • Factory oil filter provision • Priority main oiling • 4-bolt Steel main caps with upgraded ARP main studs • 6-bolts per cylinder capability • 8 counterweight machining

bug so he and Jason’s mom purchased a ’48 Plymouth Coupe. When Jason’s oldest nephew (now 23) was a toddler, Amspacher’s mom would sit him in the driver’s seat when it was parked in the driveway and he now has a Dodge Dart of his own. A then-17-yearold Jason was in hot pursuit of a classic B-body in 1993 when he came upon a grainy black and white ad in an Auto Locator for a black Dodge about 2 ½ hours away. Amspacher managed to negotiate the $4,200 asking price down to $3,800

and his street/strip dreams were about to begin. Or so he thought. “About a year after bringing the car home, I went racing at Cecil County Dragway,” he recalled. The car limped to an anemic 15.50 in the quarter, spinning one tire on the stock motor, gears, tranny and tires. “15.50s was too slow for my taste, so I went home and changed the carburetor to a Holley 780. Two weeks later I went back to the track and went

14.70s,” he said. “My best friend since kindergarten, Frank Bailey, bought a 1969 Chevy Nova and we spent many late nights and weekends working on our race cars back then and it was always a friendly competition.” 14s were better, but still not spectacular. However, more alarming was the fact that the gooey Dodge unibody construction was clearly not going to handle the gobs of horsepower Amspacher had in mind.

PRO1 LS 12° 285cc CNC • LS7 compatible • RMR Cast Aluminum Alloy • High flowing 285cc CNC intake ports • 12° valve angle with 2.200” x 1.625” valve job • 66cc CNC combustion chambers • 6-bolt per cylinder Q U A L I T Y. S T R E N G T H . P E R F O R M A N C E . S I N C E 1 9 8 1 .

248.362.1188 | DARTHEADS.COM

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019



THAT BODY THO... The all-steel shell has been tricked out with stretched wheel openings in rear, a side-flip deck lid, and a steel fabricated cowl induction hood. Tucked fiberglass bumpers and tasteful splashes of chrome and polished trim add visual interest.

NO, THE OTHER ROAD RUNNER The wild asymmetrical paint job by Bob Meshey and Keith Decker has fooled more than one onlooker into believing it wasn’t the same car they had seen previously.

“When I would launch the car, she would twist so hard that the glove box door would drop open and the passenger side door would pop out to the safety latch. I realized I needed a stronger

chassis and a larger tire to handle the power I wanted to make,” he added. With that goal in mind, Amspacher decided on a double round tube back half chassis tied into the factory front clip

Let’s Build It Together. 1-800-230-3030 12

may 2019 | RPM Magazine

along with a 10-point cage. A narrowed 9-inch Ford housing was braced and stuffed with a Strange center section with 40-spline axles and 4.86 Strange gears before it was hung from a custom ladder

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www.rpmmag.com | may 2019



TIREHOOD OBESITY The big Sanders 15x16 wheels are shod with 33x22.5-16 Hoosier tires. A narrowed and braced Ford 9-inch rearend rides on Afco double-adjustable coilovers.

bar/track locator setup on Afco double adjustable shocks. Up front, custom tubular control arms, a custom rack and pinion, and a pair of single-adjustable Afcos handle the jostles. All that cutting and fabricating made

room for a pair of massive rear meats, and Jason chose the biggest he could find, manhandling a pair of ginormous 33x22.5-15 Hoosiers aboard an equally large-by-huge (15x16)-inch Sanders beadlocked rear hoops. The larger di-


ameter 17x4.5 fronts lend a contemporary feel to the ultra-cool tire and wheel combo. Making way for those gargantuan rear meats required a 6-inch stretch to the rear wheel openings. Other body mods include a pair of lightweight fiberglass


B ELT D R I V E SYST EM Patented High Torq Drive™ reinforced belt runs dry, spins with less friction than timing chains or gear drives and absorbs harmonics. Kit hardware is all Grade 8 Allen and Torx™ design. Cam timing is externally adjustable. 2 Piece Pulley is infinitely adjustable ±10°. Solid Pulley is adjustable ±8° in 2° increments. Crank Pulley is heat-treated steel and incorporates a High Torq Drive™ tooth configuration. Hard coated Billet Aluminum Upper Pulley features patented High Torq Drive™ tooth configuration. Teflon® coated vacuum cam and crank seals. Accessories available to run distributor drives, fuel pumps or oil pumps off front of cam. For product videos and information, visit us at Jesel.com or call us at 732-901-1800


may 2019 | RPM Magazine

SUSPENDED Up front, cleaned and painted tubular control arms work with Afco single-adjustable shocks. Brakes were pilfered from a friend’s project car. What are friends for, right?

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

Test Engine: 13.86:1 compression 572 c.i.d. with Trick Flow PowerPort® 365 cylinder heads (TFS-4141T804-C02), solid roller camshaft (285°/298° duration @ .050"; .900"/.828" lift; 114° lobe separation), 1.8/1.7 ratio shaft mount roller rocker arms, Trick Flow R-Series intake manifold (TFS-41400111), Holley Gen 3 Ultra Dominator 1,425 cfm carburetor, Trick Flow by Stainless Works headers (TFS-DBBC238250), Q16 racing fuel.

Your Recipe for Big Block Chevy Performance! New heads are just one component of the horsepower recipe. To make it complete, you’re going to need some more ingredients.

Trick Flow by Wiseco PowerPort® Forged Piston Sets These lightweight pistons are fully skirted and precision-machined from premium alloy to fit big block Chevy engines equipped with PowerPort 365 cylinder heads. Features include 3D profile dome milling, oversized valve reliefs, precision-fit wrist pins, and Spirolox retainers.

Track Max® Camshafts Give your big Chevy an even bigger power boost with a Track Max® camshaft. They are dyno-proven to produce significant power increases over the entire RPM range, not just a particular RPM.

R-Series Intake Manifold Optimized for PowerPort 365 heads on 500-plus c.i.d. engines, the R-Series rectangular port intake uses a high-rise single plane design with high-flowing extended runners and raised plenum floors to significantly increase power and torque in the 3,500-8,000 RPM range. There are also bosses for nitrous nozzles and extra material for custom port work.

TrickFlow.com • 1-330-630-1555 1905RPCT

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

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019


FLEXIN’ JASON AMSPACHER’S PRO STREET 1968 DODGE CORONET Chassis Type & Mods: Double round tube back half with 10-point cage, factory front frame rails, powder coated aluminum floor.

bumpers that have been slightly sectioned for a tighter tuck and sprayed body color, and a custom steel cowl induction bulge on a factory steel hood. Likewise, the factory rear deck lid was significantly reworked

with a side-flip hinge, custom latch, and full custom perimeter frame. The distinctive custom green House of Kolors Green is unique and clean and contrasts nicely with the Lamborghini Yellow that has been applied

to the cage, chassis, and suspension components. For a time, Amspacher campaigned the car with a race gas 12:1 roller mill that pushed the car deep into the 9s, but grew tired of the problems

Suspension & Brakes: FRONT: Tubular upper control arms, spindles, & Aerospace brakes “from a buddy’s ’69 Nova.” Custom lower control arms, rack & pinion steering, and Afco single-adjustable coilovers. REAR: Custom ladder bars, Afco double-adjustable coilovers. Body & Paint: All steel body (only fiberglass is front & back bumpers tucked tight to body). Custom steel cowl on steel hood. Gutted steel deck lid with tubular inner frame work, custom side-swinging hinges & latch. Wheel wells stretched 6 inches for big tire. Custom mix House of Kolor green paint on body with Lamborghini yellow on chassis and charcoal powder coat on floor. Engine: 498 ci Chrysler with World Products aluminum block and Indy Cylinder Head 440-1 CNC cylinder heads (2.25 intake/1.81 exhaust). Eagle 4.250 crankshaft with Eagle I-beam 7.1 connecting rods and Ross 9:1 compression coated pistons. Induction & Fuel Delivery: Indy-2 aluminum intake with 1050 Holley Dominator carb. Runs on pump gas. Power Adder: ZEX perimeter 4500 nitrous plate with NOS solenoids and a polished aluminum NOS cylinder. Electronics & Ignition: MSD Power Grid ignition with 2 AFR sensors. Edelbrock progressive nitrous controller. Transmission & Driveline: 727 automatic transmission; fully rollerized, reverse manual valve body with clean neutral. Precision Performance Products shifter. Gridder trans brake and CSR carbon trans shield. ATI 8-inch converter. Differential: Braced 9-inch Ford housing with Strange aluminum center section, Strange 40-spline axles, and 4.86 gears. Tires & Wheels: FRONT: 17x4.5 Weld Racing Alumastar 2.0 wheels with M&H Street tires. REAR: 15x16 Sanders beadlocked wheels with 33x22.5-15 Hoosier tires. Special Thanks: “Building this car myself over the years, I have formed lasting friendships with several people. In 1996, I meet Scot Frey at my local speed shop— American Speed Center in York, PA. Scot is never more than a phone call away and doesn’t hesitate to help work on the car and go to the track as my ‘crew.’ I also take the car to Kenny & Kathy Beaverson’s Burn Out parties. Kenny has been my tire guy for several years.” -Jason Amspacher


may 2019 | RPM Magazine

JUICE BEFORE BOOST For the sake of streetability, Amspacher switched from high compression on race gas to lower compression with pump gas and a simple single stage plate nitrous system...but plans for a ProCharger are already in motion.

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019


(and cost) associated with running high octane fuel on the street. As a compromise, he built a more streetable all aluminum 498 ci motor with 9:1 compression that would be pump gas friendly‌but with a simple plate nitrous system to keep on-track performance comparable to the previous engine. A World Products block was fit with an Eagle crank and rods along with coated Ross pistons. Indy 440-1 aluminum


CNC ported heads were selected for superior flow, as was the Indy-2 aluminum intake. A roller cam designed for boost was selected, and plans were originally to run a belt-driven F1 ProCharger. However, those plans were scrapped when Jason realized he’d have to cut the custom hood. Instead, he opted to go with a sideways-mounted Holley 1050 Dominator carb and a ZEX perimeter 4500 plate with NOS solenoids for

added grins at the push of a button. Ignition duties are handled by an MSD Power Grid system and spent gases exit via a pair of custom fabricated 2 1/8-inch into 4-inch stainless headers. Plans are already afoot to strap a crank-driven F3 ProCharger on next, and with the blower cam already in place, it should make for an easy upgrade. With all that power, a stout driveline is a must. Amspacher chose a Torqueflite

may 2019 | RPM Magazine

CLEAN CONFINES The interior of the car is just as nice as the rest, with dual racing buckets, a custom machined billet gauge insert, and a painted and detailed cage with matching main dash. The detail extends into the trunk, where the painted chassis holds a polished fuel cell.


www.rpmmag.com | may 2019


727 auto trans that was fully blueprinted with a reverse manual valve body and a clean neutral. A Precision Products shifter handles the gear changes, and the trans brake ensures punishing launches.


may 2019 | RPM Magazine

Inside, the Mopar is clean and sanitary, with a remarkable attention to detail typically reserved for show-only beauty queens. A pair of fiberglass racing buckets have been custom stitched and covered

in black synthetic leather with factory-style inserts, and beige 3-inch lap belts provide occupants with a secure ride. The cleanly fabricated and powder coated tinwork is easily viewed through


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FLEXIN’ the power Lexan windows, and a ball-milled billet insert in the cage-colormatched dash holds a pair of 5-inch AutoMeter gauges with another collection of smaller instrumentation flanking them toward the passenger side. Custom door panels with billet inserts and body color details complete the look. Start to

finish, the heavy lifting on the build took around five years to complete, and Jason says his primary motivator behind taking the project to the next level was “to stop twisting and to hook up on the street.” This wicked beast still flexes, but thankfully it isn’t the chassis. It’s raw Mopar muscle.

SOLID MUSCLE Thanks to the SFI-certed full tube chassis, this Dodge doesn’t flex the unibody like it used to...it just flexes 500 cubes of Chrysler power instead!

Chassis Engineering’s Four-Link Suspension and Subframe Kits

(Square & Round Tube Avilable) • Mandrel bent 2” X 3” frame rails, .083” or .120” • 1-3/4” x .134” round tube rails • 1-3/4” or 1-5/8” x .083” chromoly rails • Adjustable lower shock mounts • Strange Engineering aluminum coil overs with springs • Four-link of your choice • 4130 chromoly rod ends • Drive shaft loop • Bolt-on diagonal link • Upper shock cross member

NOTES: Rear end housing not included. Fabricated 9” and Dana housings available. Available welded or unwelded.

Starting from $1,484.95 Call for more details

The chassis prof30esyesioarnas ls for over 22

Toll Free Ordering: 800-327-9402 Info & Tech: 561-863-2188


may 2019 | RPM Magazine

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019



may 2019 | RPM Magazine

story by

Toby Brooks


ext time you find yourself out to your local big box store, take a hard look across the acres and expanse of parking lot. Aside from the requisite random RV out back and occasional idling tractor trailer, you’ll most likely overlook a sea of boring, ho-hum, forgettable commuter cars and SUVs. Four

photos by

Matt Trombley

doors…various shades of beige and neutral paint… and not much distinctive or memorable to differentiate one from the countless others nearby. It would seem for the overwhelming majority of StuffMart shoppers, just getting from point A to point B as inauspiciously as possible is a primary goal. Then there’s Jim Aldous. Now, we have no idea

what Aldous’ daily driver looks like. But if it’s anything like his wild, crazy, mean-n-nasty third-gen Camaro, then we’d guess that it stands out in a crowd. When others whisper, Jim likes to shout. The modern pro outlaw 315 ride began life back in the ’90s near the birth of the pro mod class as Wally Bell’s ride. You

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019


IN YOUR FACE might remember the era: unique non-aero-blobbed distinctive bodies, rear deck spoilers large enough to hold a queen-size pillow top mattress, and fun and diversity throughout the class. During that time, the car was treated to a full Jerry Bickel chromoly chassis with Lamb struts up front and a custom four-link and a narrowed and braced 9-inch out back. However, the car has steadily changed with the times over the years. Out with the old: gone are the then-cutting-edge “aero” scoop and massive spoiler. In with the new:


the tube skeleton has been updated (“stretched, chopped, and narrowed,” to be more specific) not to mention outfitted with more sensors and zippy high tech gadgets, gizmos, and doodads than the International Space Station. By Aldous’ count, the car is equipped with 40+ data gathering points, including shock travel sensors, shock velocity calculators, wheel speed sensors, and nameless other pieces that all stream into a data logger that is culled following each run for maximum performance on the next pass.

The Camaro features a wild multi-hued wrap that combines a blue base with real fire tear-away and a carbon fiber-look beneath it—a far cry from the all blue paintjob the car sported when it debuted nearly 30 years ago.




Beat the Heat Before It Beats You! What kind of problems are created by engine heat? When engines create power, they also create heat. Underhood components such as wiring, cables, lines and hoses are susceptible to the harmful and damaging effects of heat that can break down mechanisms prematurely. And it’s not just heat. Moisture, oil, dirt, road and track grime are other environmental factors that can cause damage.

any vehicle. This protection is a relatively inexpensive preventive measure compared to the parts and labor costs of replacement. It can be as simple as covering the hose or line with products specifically designed to protect them from the heat and other damage.

Why should I protect my under-hood components?

Protecting a vehicle’s electrical wiring, coolant hoses and other lines is vital to the overall performance and operation of

For more from Design Engineering, Inc., go to DesignEngineering.com/TechCorner


may 2019 | RPM Magazine

With so many different components doing different things, how do I know which sleeve to use?

DEI offers over a dozen affordable and highly effective cable, hose and line protection solutions. From insulating to reflecting damaging heat, there are several effective options that feature

Available at

flexibility, different temperature ratings and are light weight. Protection for spark plug wires to prevent burning and cracking Installation is easy with What kind of DEI products sleeving that simply wraps around wiring, would you recommend? secures with hook and loop closure or Choose from the popular selling DEI Heat slides over. Sheath™, the highly abrasion-resistant EXO™ How do they work? Series Sleeve with its stainless-steel outer Utilizing different types of braided glass covering, the new Vapor Block™ fuel line and basalt base material, the various styles sleeve or the extremely light-weight, racing of DEI sleeves/shrouds protect components application, Ultra 47™ Sheath. such as wiring, cables, hoses, fuel/oil/brake/ DEI has the correct wire, cable, hose and transmission lines-even speedometer cables. line solution to protect you from potential They work by reflecting heat away or insuunder-hood, heat-related problems later, lating from heat, in turn, protecting critical when you least expect them. components from thermal damage. Depending on your needs, some sleeves can protect up to 1800°F direct heat and 2500°F radiant. These coverings also protect from cold, moisture, oil, dirt, road and track grime.

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019


LEVEL UP Back in the day, the Camaro sported an aero scoop that hid all engine components under glass and a monster rear wing. Today, that one-piece composite clip is pierced by an Enderle polished injector hat and the scaled-down pro stockstyle wing is more subtle.



may 2019 | RPM Magazine



Other upgrades in the suspension system ensure consistent hook on any given run. 4-way adjustable rear shocks have been custom tuned by Mark Menscer of Menscer Motorsports and Stacy Covey of Performance Welding. Covey also handled the updates to the custom 4-link and beefy wishbone locator. A quartet of lightweight Lamb disc brakes provide the stopping power.

But let’s be real—this isn’t a pro touring Camaro. It’s a pro outlaw. As such, slowing isn’t nearly as important as going. Powering the go is a Dart iron blockbased 4.60 bore space 632 ci built by Scotty’s Racing Engines. A Callies crank swings GRP aluminum rods and Diamond pistons, while a Scotty’s custom EFI nitrous camshaft spins thanks to a Jesel belt drive. Aluminum 14.5-degree Sonny’s/Frankenstein/Brodix heads (“All three names appear somewhere in the casting,” laughed Aldous)

were final flowed and worked by V&M Racing & Sonny’s after being outfit with massive Manley valves and smooth-operating Jesel roller shaft rockers. Atop the roomy big block is a cleanly fabricated aluminum intake crowned with a polished progressive linkage Hilborn Big-NUgly 5-inch butterfly injector hat. Atomizer injectors are driven by an EFI Technology R8 system with expansion module and a coil-on-plug ignition upgrade. Fender dump custom headers have been

Jeff Kline photos

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019


IN YOUR FACE equipped with an octet of wideband O2 sensors. A Weldon pump keeps the high test fuel adequately pressurized—no small feat on this thirsty rat. A single stage port nitrous system operates through a progressive controller and has been jetted for up to a jaw-dropping 125 hp—per cylinder. You

read that right. Components from Induction Solutions were employed in a custom setup. A single 15-pound cylinder is managed via an ARC bottle heater. Backing the powerplant is a Proformance lock-up TurboGlide transmission. A Pro Torque lock-up converter and M&M shifter have been select-

LIQUID COURAGE What could be better than a 632-cube BBC with all the goodies inside? How about a massive single-stage Induction Solutions port nitrous setup jetted to a jaw-dropping 125 horses per cylinder?! An EFI Technology progressive controller keeps it from obliterating the tires when the fun button gets pushed.


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may 2019 | RPM Magazine

JIM ALDOUS’ PRO OUTLAW 1992 CAMARO Chassis Type & Mods: Chromoly round tube chassis originally built by Jerry Bickel. Stretched, chopped, and narrowed. Originally owned and raced by Wally Bell in pro modified. Suspension & Brakes: FRONT: Lamb front struts with Lamb disc brakes. REAR: Custom 4-link with 4-way adjustable rear shocks. Lamb disc brakes. Suspension custom tuned by Mark Menscer of Menscer Motorsports and Stacy Covey of Performance Welding. Body & Paint: Body prep by Performance Welding. Wrap by Rage Wraps. Designed by Phillip Delaney and installed by Tatiana at Bold City Graphics. Optic Armor tinted Lexan windows by Performance Welding. Engine: Outlaw 632 ci by Scotty’s Racing Engines. Tuned by Scotty G. 4.600 bore space Dart iron block conventional BBC. Callies crank, GRP aluminum rods, and Diamond pistons. Jesel belt drive and Scotty’s custom nitrous EFI cam. 14.5-degree Sonny’s/Frankenstien/Brodix (“all three names in castings, LOL”) aluminum cylinder heads final flowed and worked by V&M Racing Cylinder Heads and Scotty’s Racing Engines. Jesel shaft rockers, Manley valves, Moroso two-piece oil pan. Induction & Fuel Delivery: Custom fabricated sheetmetal tunnel ram with Hilborn Enderle 5-inch Big Ugly injection setup with progressive linkage and throttle position sensor. Weldon fuel pump and Atomizer injectors. Power Adder: Single-stage custom Induction Solutions port nitrous kit spraying over 125 hp per cylinder. Single 15-pound Nitrous Outlet bottle. Progressive controller and fuel management by EFI Technology. Bottle pressure controlled by ARC. Electronics & Ignition: EFI Technology R8 with expansion module, coil-on-plug ignition, data logger and lab scope, nitrous progressor, and 8-sensor wideband O2 system. Over 40 onboard sensors record data that is studied every pass. Transmission & Driveline: Proformance lock-up Turbo-Glide with Pro Torque lock-up converter and M&M shifter.


TSV Technology

Differential: Braced 9-inch housing with Carmack Engineering billet 9.5inch third member. 4.30 final gear and 40-spline Mark Williams axles. QA1 Rick Kowalczykowski photos carbon fiber drive shaft.

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

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019


IN YOUR FACE ed to provide bulletproof, trouble-free operation. The previously mentioned 9-inch housing has also been upgraded and updated with a Carmack Engineering billet 9.5-inch third member and a 4.30 final gear. 40-spline Mark Williams axles put the power to the pavement and a lightweight QA1 carbon fiber shaft articulates trans to differential. Without a doubt, the big block is wild and loud. But it is tame in Tim Lewis photos comparison to the screaming

grab-your-attention all-over body wrap and graphics. Prep work was handled by Performance Welding before a Rage Wrap designed by Philip Delaney was expertly installed by Tatiana at Bold City Graphics. Carbon fiber-look/real flames/tribal pinstripes all converge to produce a stunning visual that appears to be simultaneously burning, ripping, and otherwise disintegrating at re-entry into the upper layers of the atmosphere. The look is further

Soft Line Kits Now Available!

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may 2019 | RPM Magazine

STRAP INTO A LEGEND The Bickel-built chassis has been extensively modified from its original configuration and now sports a 6.0 cert. The blue faux carbon fiber on the trans tunnel and other tinwork adds a splash of color, but otherwise the cockpit is all business.

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019



may 2019 | RPM Magazine


ROOM FOR MORE Although Aldous runs 315 radials out back, the old pro mod chassis was clearly built to accomodate bigger meats. The narrowed Ford rides on custom 4-way adjustable shocks. accentuated by smoked lightweight Lexan windows installed by Performance Welding. Rolling stock is also a stark contrast from the original big tire/Drag Star look the car debuted with way back in the ’90s. Up front, larger diameter 17x3.5-inch spindle-mount Holeshot Holestar wheels have been equipped with 26x4-17 Mickey Thompson

ET Front tires. Out back, a pair of 15x12 Holeshot Holestar double beadlocked 3-piece wheels have been mated with a pair of sticky 315/60-15 Mickey Thompson ET Street Radial Pro tires. The cabin of the Camaro features all the usual purpose-built race paraphernalia: funny car cage, single racing bucket, and custom tinwork com-

bined with lightweight carbon fiber panels where appropriate. A Racepak digital dash resides behind a Grant quick release wheel, while an onboard fire suppression system and safety restraints from Simpson ensure maximum protection. Owner of Precision Carpet Cleaning and Upholstery,

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019


IN YOUR FACE Aldous admits that in most circles, the Chevy is referred to as “SHAG NASTY”—a nod to his business interests of making dirty rugs look new again. Not only does the name sound cool, it is befitting a ride that has a storied drag racing past—first owned by a legend of mountain motor pro mod—that has been cleaned up, spruced up, and built up to be one flashy, fast, and fearsome competitor. Just don’t expect to see it in the parking lot at StuffMart.


may 2019 | RPM Magazine

WHEELIN’ Polished Holeshot Holestar wheels are shod with Mickey Thompson tires front and rear.

Nitrous Power Buy Factory Direct! Nitrous Supply, the company headed by Mike Thermos (founder of NOS) is a primary resource of components used by many popular brands. The company now offers compete nitrous oxide kits for racing and street applications.


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t of Am This complete ki es: ud cl in components lb. bottle (blue) 0 1 um in lief • Alum ve with safety re al v • Hi-Flo 660 ts • Bottle bracke s) . bottle (fits 10 and 15 lb eel line (14 ft.) st s es nl ai Get everything st d de • Brai you need to olenoids l s ue F plumb a manifo nd ts ke • Nitrous a as g ld yourself; ith w te la p us stainless steel l • Thin 5/8” nitro s (4) ines, ud st b no ar zzles, fittings, e • Longer c itches tc. er and arming sw el • Throttle trigg fu d an s ou itr r n fo gs in • Filter fitt 50, 200 Similar systems also available • Jets for 100, 1 ts for EFI applications at $379.95 and 250 HP sho

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The NS tech team includes Mike Thermos, the nitrous pioneer who founded NOS over 40 years ago and “Pro Mod Wad” Haman, who has been working with the world’s quickest nitrous racers for over 30 years. Nobody has more experience in nitrous than the NS team!

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019





story and photos by


et’s face it: you’re a car junkie. How do I know this? For starters, you didn’t pick up any old car magazine. You


picked up a copy of RPM. Second clue is the fact that you’re reading this very article. The good news is you’re not alone. The first step in recognizing you may have an addiction is actually admitting it. So to

may 2019 | RPM Magazine

all of my fellow gearheads and car junkies out there: “My name is JT, and I’m a gearhead-a-holic!” Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the variety of ways we “medicate” our

gearhead affliction. For me, my shop is my sanctuary and getting my weekly dose of quality shop time is crucial to my (and my family’s) well-being. I’ve written about this before, but shop time allows me

to clear my head from the day-to-day challenges we all face. Finding a solution to a problem excites me, as does simply maintaining and cleaning my car. This simple and safe addiction enables time to evaporate

1: Attending a trade show like PRI will most definitely put you into a state of information overload. My advice to help manage this condition is to plot out a very specific plan of attack before you begin each day.


2: Whatever your ride may be, by the end of PRI, you will have dreams of going faster. Just how fast depends upon your imagination. And your budget!



3: Rides like this wellknown pink Chevelle from the Street Outlaws/No Prep Kings fame are popular draws at major racing trade shows. It is awesome to get to see them in the flesh! and melt away any stress that is trying to cloud my spirits. Being a gearhead-aholic, I spend countless hours researching “go fast” parts that will help make my car lighter, more powerful, and ultimately faster. For me, RPM Magazine is an incredible source of knowledge and inspiration. The types of cars featured

in this magazine are the ones that excite me the most. It’s a simple formula for me: read about a car, discover a part or piece of technology on it that I’m interested in, go the manufacturer’s website, order a catalog, and study it cover to cover. Yes, I’m of the generation that still prefers a hard copy over an online catalog.

3 This cycle repeats itself monthly and satisfies my need for learning, all while teasing my eyes with beautiful cars. Then spring comes around, and I get my head out of the catalogs and into my engine bay. I thoroughly enjoy the intense amount of detail and work that goes into preparing my car for another

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019


SHOP TALK season of abuse. Fast forward through a fun and exhausting summer of racing, shows, car events, and of course quality shop time keeping Big Red running strong and looking good. Winter in the northeast means my car sits idle and teases me every day. I was stuck in this cycle and after decades of pushing through it, I finally found a way to take it to another level. One year I convinced a few friends of mine to go to Vegas and attend the SEMA Show. It looked like fun on TV and it was a bucket list item for me, so off to SEMA we went. I spent a full week there and was not able to see everything it offered. For me it was just too much. I wasn’t interested in 75% of the stuff they had on display. I’m interested in race cars, pro street cars, suspensions, engines, transmissions, data loggers, power adders, tools, and everything else that makes my car lighter and faster. That’s all folks. I really am a simple guy. One of my buddies told me I’d prefer the PRI show, as it caters to my very addiction. So the following year, I went to my first PRI show and had the absolute time of my life. First of all, part of my disenchantment with SEMA is the fact that it’s in Las Vegas. I’m not a gambler! Every available dollar I have is going into my car, not a slot machine!! There is also the distraction of wanting to see the Vegas sights while still trying to see the entire SEMA show. The PRI show is held in the famous race city of Indianap-


olis. While Indy may not be quite the vacation destination as Las Vegas, the PRI show is a worthy destination in and of itself. I chose to stay at a hotel that was connected to the convention center, so I was free to come and go as I needed. As soon as I entered the hotel, I recognized over a dozen professional racers and TV personalities. My PRI experience was already happening and I hadn’t even gotten my room key yet. It was an extremely cool experience getting into an elevator with a few different TV racers and a few owners of the “go fast” parts companies I’ve come to learn more about. I was in my hotel room just long enough to clean up, get dressed, and get my notebook out of the suitcase. I had an action-packed first day filled with interviews, meetings, and of course drooling over cars. As I walked through the skywalk that connected my hotel to the convention center, I had the same feeling I did when I was a kid getting off the monorail at Disney and entering the Magic Kingdom for the first time. It didn’t help that during my “skywalk experience” I recognized another dozen or more industry professionals all making their way to and from the show. We’ve already established that I’m no different than you with my gearhead addiction and can’t seem to get enough of it in one day. As soon as I left the skywalk and entered the show floor, I was bombarded with a display of amazing cars. Not just your ordinary show cars, mind you, but the

may 2019 | RPM Magazine



4: Besides admitting that I am a “gearhead-a-holic,” I am also a severe tool junkie. I love spending time at all of the tool vendors and checking out their latest products. 5: When I see a product up close and actually get to hold it in my hands, the gears in my head begin to spin and formulate how I can incorporate it into my program.



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6: PRI is full of industry professionals and 䄀嘀䄀䬀 䴀愀砀䐀甀琀礀 䘀氀攀砀 吀漀漀氀 䬀椀琀 TV celebrities. ∠ ㌀ⴀ椀渀ⴀ㨀 刀椀瘀攀琀Ⰰ 刀椀瘀攀琀 一甀琀 ⬀ 刀椀瘀攀琀 匀琀甀搀 Case in point: ∠ 䘀氀攀砀椀戀氀攀 栀愀渀搀氀攀猀 昀漀爀 攀愀猀礀 猀琀漀爀愀最攀    3-time NHRA   眀椀琀栀漀甀琀 氀漀漀猀椀渀最 愀渀礀 氀攀瘀攀爀愀最攀⸀  Pro Stock ∠ 唀渀椀焀甀攀 儀甀椀挀欀匀眀椀琀挀栀 昀攀愀琀甀爀攀 昀漀爀  Motorcycle   爀愀瀀椀搀 昀甀渀挀琀椀漀渀愀氀 挀栀愀渀最攀 Champion and ∠ 䠀攀愀瘀礀 搀甀琀礀 猀甀瀀瀀漀爀琀椀渀最 猀琀愀椀渀氀攀猀猀  the winningest   昀愀猀   昀愀猀琀攀渀攀爀猀 愀渀搀 猀琀爀甀挀琀甀爀愀氀 昀愀猀琀攀渀攀爀猀 female in all of motorsports Angelle Sampey. Here she is getting interviewed by 刀椀瘀攀琀 NHRA in one ㄀⼀㐀ᴠ ⠀㘀⸀㐀洀洀⤀ of the main 刀椀瘀攀琀 一甀琀 hallways of the show. ㄀⼀㈀ᴠ  ⼀ 䴀㄀㈀ 刀椀瘀攀琀 匀琀甀搀 㔀⼀㄀㘀ᴠ ⼀ 䴀㠀

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





刀䤀䐀䜀䔀䜀䄀吀䔀 吀伀伀䰀匀 ☀ 吀䔀䌀䠀

may 2019 | RPM Magazine


Rick Belden photo

very cars I’ve seen in the magazines and on TV. Technically, I had not really entered the actual PRI showroom yet—this was just the hallway that connected the rooms! I was in gearhead heaven but had to quickly get myself focused and prepared for the sponsor meetings I had set up and the one and only interview scheduled for that day. I put my business face on and tried my best to block out the peripheral scenery, but that was like covering your ears when you are next to a Top Fuel Funny Car doing its burnout. I somehow successfully managed to get through all of my appointments and began my assault on PRI one room at a time. Walking the PRI show with me has its ups and its downs. I’ve been blessed to make numerous friends in the industry

that are well known and seen on TV. Shaking hands and catching up is truly a highlight for me and a perk for whoever is with me. The down side is that I’m such a gearhead, I spend hours looking at fasteners, gaskets, switches, and other less desirable parts. Why you may ask? Because they are ALL HERE, and not in a catalog back

home. I also enjoy looking at crankshafts, connecting rods, pistons, intake manifolds, ring and pinion gears, axles, and brakes. My other friends simply want to see all of the power adder booths. So off to the land of fuel injection, nitrous controllers, turbochargers, and superchargers we go. Just when you think day one is over

and you’re going back to the hotel to grab some food, you notice entire race teams and TV celebrities sitting at the hotel bar enjoying time together. I recognized some old faces and joined in on the fun until they closed the doors on us. Back in my hotel room there was no time to sleep. I had to plan the next day’s meetings, interviews,

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019


SHOP TALK and drool time. The rest of my time at PRI was no different than my first day. I did my very best to see everything the show offered, but still fell short of that goal. My PRI experience far exceeded all of my expectations, and if my schedule permits, I will make it a yearly trip. For any of you who are thinking of starting a project, if you are qualify for PRI show credentials, I highly recommend going to this trade show with a detailed list of parts and questions that you have. Speaking with a customer service agent over the phone is one thing, but being face to face with a product specialist— and in some cases the actual designer—is priceless. Not only will you get your questions answered, but each manufacturer personally knows someone from another company that you had another question about. They will work together to solve your problem and get you the parts that you need. Physically seeing and holding the parts in question helps me tremendously. When

doing custom work, there are so many variables that come into play. When I hold a part in my hand, my brain begins to make sense of how I’ll make it work for my project. The show is held in early December which is a perfect time to revitalize you from a bad case of the winter blues. Not that it’s at all warm in Indy in December, but being in a famous race city surrounded by everything racing can almost make it feel like spring. If you’re planning on attending the PRI show in the future, be sure to find time to visit the RPM booth, pick up a copy of the latest issue, and meet the passion behind the magazine face-to-face. You never know who you’ll find hanging out there. It just might be me, or one of our other equally passionate writers and photographers who help showcase the cars that fuel your addiction. As far as finding someone who could help me with being a Gearhead-a-holic, I think attending the PRI show is just what the doctor ordered. Until next time – keep wrenching!

7 7 & 8: These are just a few of the high-horsepower beasts that are lurking around the show floor. I fell in love with this Firebird (7) and had to fight off drooling over every piece of hard work that went into building it.




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www.rpmmag.com | may 2019



he Cold War era was a mind-bendingly complicated time of political turmoil and stress for a world


that lived every day on the brink of nuclear destruction. From the height of the Age of the Superpowers in the 1960s through the 1970s, society

may 2019 | RPM Magazine

benefitted from the arms race and the space race as the USA and the USSR worked tirelessly to out-discover, out-build, and out-flex the other

story by

James Williams photos by

Kayla Wood

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019


ALL THE CUBES. ALL THE SPRAY. The little Ford sports 767 cubic inches of Buck Racing Engines power, complete with a 4-stage Induction Solutions nitrous system.


may 2019 | RPM Magazine

VOYAGER in a show of global superiority. In the States, NASA pursued space exploration by developing both manned and unmanned spacecraft. Of the latter, one of the most famous and successful was undoubtedly the Voyager 1 space probe, initially launched on September 5, 1977 to study the outer reaches of the Solar System. Voyager 1 is still operational, travelling at a speed of 55,900 feet per second (38,100+ mph) while transmitting data more than 13 billion miles to Earth, taking its place in trivia as the most distant manmade object to ever travel the galaxy and beyond. As impressive as those facts are, it is highly likely that most RPM readers are far

more familiar with a different Probe: the blue 1995 Ford of Jerry & Darryl Bird of reality TV street racing fame. While this tube chassis, bigtire brawler might not reach escape velocity to exit the atmosphere, the Bird Boys won’t be happy until it gets close! The Bird brothers are no strangers to running a Ford Probe, campaigning a first-gen body style for several years before recently upgrading to the swoopier second-gen 1995 shell for 2018. The chassis consists of a 25.1-certed chromoly single rail configuration that was recently upgraded by Wizard Race Cars. “The car was totaled in January 2018, so we had the entire front half repaired and updated,” Jerry

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019


VOYAGER said. At the same time, the crew at Wizard rebodied the updated chassis with the more modern shell. Suspension on the car has been designed and tuned by Chris Bell. Kinetic Engineering shocks work in conjunction with a custom 4-link. A narrowed fabricated Ford 9-inch was fit with a Mark Williams center section, MW 4.30 gears, and 40-spline axles. Tires and wheels consist of a matched set of Billet Specialties Comp-5s, with 15x3.5s shod with Mickey Thompson skinnies up front and 15x15-inch double beadlocked 3-piece hoops with huge MT skins out back. Power for the blue Blue Oval comes from a cavernous 767-cube Buck Racing engine that spins a forged crank with GRP aluminum rods and Gibtech pistons. A top-secret Bullet roller cam manages the valvetrain, and a pair of massive flowing ported aluminum heads direct the fresh air and spent fumes to and from the

UNBENT BARS The chassis was recently updated and repaired by the crew at Wizard Race Cars.


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may 2019 | RPM Magazine

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JERRY & DARRYL BIRD’S 1995 FORD PROBE Chassis Type & Mods: 25.1 chromoly round tube chassis updated by Wizard Race Cars. Suspension: Chris Bell with Kinetic Engineering shocks. Body & Paint: Original steel roof & quarters with Hairy Glass composite front end and doors. Prep and paint by MadChad Motorsports’ Chad Noel. Engine: 767 ci engine built by Buck Racing Engines. GRP connecting rods with Gibtech pistons. Bullet custom-grind roller cam. CNC-ported and flowed aluminum cylinder heads and Moroso dry sump oiling system. Induction & Fuel Delivery: Fabricated aluminum tunnel ram with Davinci split Dominator carburetors. Power Adder: Induction Solutions 4-stage nitrous system. Electronics & Ignition: MSD Power Grid system and Racepak 300VS data logger. Transmission & Converter: Hughes Performance Powerglide 2-speed automatic transmission with Neal Chance converter. Differential: Fabricated Ford 9-inch housing with Mark Williams center section, 4.30 gears, and 40-spline axles. Tires & Wheels: FRONT: 15 x 3 1/2 Billet Specialties black anodized Comp 5 wheels with 25x4.5-15 Mickey Thompson ET Front tires. REAR: 15 x 15 double beadlocked Billet Specialties Comp 5 three-piece wheels with Mickey Thompson slicks. Special Thanks: Flotek Heads, Hughes Performance, Induction Solutions, Wizard Race Cars, and MadChad Motorsports.

Matt Trombley photos

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019


VOYAGER cylinders, respectively. Induction for the massive mill remains shrouded in secrecy beneath the pro stock scoop. A fabricated aluminum tunnel ram topped with split Davinci Dominator carbs adequately distributes the high octane fuel, while an impressive 4-stage Induction Solutions nitrous setup adds 4-digit power at the push of a button. Ignition chores are entrusted to an MSD Power Grid, and data logging is tasked to a Racepak VS300 system. Backing the big engine is a Hughes 2-speed Powerglide with a Neal Chance converter. The ’95 shell


consists of steel quarters and roof with Hairy Glass composite doors and one-piece front clip. The Bimini Blue Metallic hue was sprayed and prepped by Chad Noel at MadChad Motorsports. The car’s cockpit is all business, where a single carbon fiber bucket is surrounded by a funny car-style cage. Several interior tin pieces have been hydrodipped with a carbon fiber print, and a fabricated panel houses a quintet of Autometer analog instrumentation. A quick release Grant steering wheel and billet Precision Products shifter round out the accessories. The little blue

may 2019 | RPM Magazine

BIRD BOYS Ford is internet famous, as the Bird brothers have appeared on Street Outlaws, No Prep Kings, and Street Outlaws: New Orleans not to mention being regulars in the NMCA and the Dirty South No Prep events over the years. The Probe has clocked a best pass of 4.08 seconds at 177 MPH and the Georgia-based pair is hungry for more. And unlike Voyager 1 that is expected to lose power and enter radio silence sometime in 2025, the Birds expect they’ll still be gaining power and going faster than ever. Just not 38,100 miles per hour fast.

Jerry & Darryl Bird.

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7 1 4 - 8 9 8 - 9 7 6 3 • i n f o @ j e p i s t o n s . c o m • w wwww.rpmmag.com w. j e p i s t o n s . |c may o m 2019 53

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may 2019 | RPM Magazine

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019




n architecture, a keystone is a wedgeshaped piece at the crown of an arch that locks other pieces in place. Likewise, in geography (and history), the centrally located state of Pennsylvania played an important role in holding America’s 13 original colonies together, eventually leading to its nickname as “The Keystone State.”


While the state is known for many American institutions—the birthplace of the Constitution, The Liberty Bell, and Philly cheesesteaks, for instance—it isn’t known for blues music. That would be the deep south and such icons as Memphis’ Beale Street. So what on earth does Pennsylvania have to do with the blues, you might ask?

may 2019 | RPM Magazine

Simple. Andy Jensen. The Nescopeck, Pennsylvania resident is legendary for his racing exploits that include a stable of clean, fast, and well-built rides, including race-only, street-only, and street strip creations—not to mention a steady ping-ponging back and forth in search of the perfect combo of on-track dominance and


A quick glance is more than enough to know that Andy Jensen’s pro street-styled ’66 Nova is a well-executed build. However, closer inspection reveals bullhorn exhaust, a carbon fiber wing, a single turbo inlet in the grille, and a Lenco shifter...all telling you that this big-tire’d creation is even more beast than beauty!

Todd Dziadosz/TD Speed photo

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019


on-street reliability and practicality. And they’ve almost all been painted his signature Lemans Blue color. “I had a pretty cool ’67 Vette street car that I eventually ended up running with the Northeast Pro Mod guys and even won a race,” he said. Always the competitor,

though, the car originally built primarily for street duty couldn’t keep up for long, so Jensen built a turbocharged true pro mod to go racing with. “Pro mod was challenging and fun but not being able to compete in the local street car scene wore thin, so I built a ’41 Willys street car that was fast


enough to compete with the local guys and I won a handful of races with that,” he said. Soon, like always, the fields got faster and the Willys could no longer keep up. “I knew I needed to build something faster. The clutch guy on my pro mod crew had a ’66 Nova

shell with a title, so my next project was on,” he said. As such, the 2-year project began with the goal of building a beautiful, clean, competitive, and fast street car that would keep up for years to come. The Nova shell was

delivered to Kocher Chassis and Restoration for a full 4130 chromoly tube chassis and for the body & paint work. Meanwhile, Andy—who owns and operates Jensen’s Engine Technologies—got busy building the engine and drivetrain.





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The Nova is just the latest in a long stream of Lemans blue rides in Andy’s stable, starting back with a ’67 Vette and continuing on to the little Chevy II today. Case in point: the Lemans blue El Camino above is another of his current rides, sports a 550 hp BBC, and can roast the rear tires on a whim. Fit and finish are superb and the attention to detail on the Nova is absolutely incredible. The lone graphics on either side of the cowl induction hood are just right.

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019



may 2019 | RPM Magazine



The Nova rocks a fortified S&W Race Cars fabricated rear housing with Strange 40-spline axles and a billet center section. Shocks are double-adjustable Strange units, and the big buns are 33x15 Mickey Thompson ET Drags. “I knew it had to be fast and tough, so even though I’m known for my small block pro mod, I went with a big block for economics,” he said. The plan was to build a 500+ cubic inch all-aluminum rat motor with as much boost as it could handle. Jensen is a turbo guy, so naturally he opted for a BIG turbo. Making matters a

bit more complicated, the car needed to be practical on the street, so pump gas was a must. On the other hand, it’s next to impossible to make the kind of power necessary to be competitive using lower octane fuel, so alcohol is necessary. But instead of settling for “or,” Jensen got creative and decided on “and.” “I decided that I would design a dual

fuel system so that the engine would run on pump gas for cruising and alcohol at the track,” Jensen said. Starting with a Brodix aluminum block, Jensen fitted it with all the best hardware, including a Callies crank, MGP rods, and custom JE pistons. A “top secret” grind COMP roller cam was spec’d out and is spun by a Jesel drive.

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019




may 2019 | RPM Magazine

Crower Enduramax roller lifters work in concert with Manley pushrods to send valvetrain signals upstream to Jesel shaft-mount rockers. Brodix aluminum heads have been equipped with Manley valves, springs and retainers, and the castings are sealed using a double o-ring setup and Clark gaskets to protect against the gobs of boost headed their way. Induction consists of a highly modified Brodix intake with a set of 120-pound Holley units for gas and flow-matched 500-pound Precision Billet Atomizers for the alcohol. A FAST XFI 2.0 ECU commands either set depending on need and is switched via a single toggle on a handcrafted aluminum sub



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HOW MANY INCHES? You don’t need to be a math whiz to know that this 118 mm Precision Turbo unit is ginormous.

dash. An Aeromotive tank/pump combo in the trunk supplies the pump gas for cruising and a trick custom-built drive using a repurposed GM HEI shaft and plugged into the factory distributor opening spins the mechanical pump for alcohol. A massive 118 mm Precision turbo pushes nearly 40 psi of boost into the big Chevy through an AccuFab billet throttle body and a custom-fabricated aluminum elbow. Ignition duties are handled by an MSD Power Grid, HVC-II coil, and -8 box. Other goodies include an ATI damper, custom





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The Nova runs pump gas on the street with an Aeromotive intank pump and 120lb. Holley injectors. For strip duty, a trick Waterman mechanical pump is driven from the factory distributor location and 500-lb. injectors empty the 4-gallon alky cell hidden in the passenger fender pretty quickly.

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019


ANDY JENSEN’S 1966 CHEVY NOVA Chassis Type & Mods: Kocher Chassis 4130 chromoly round tube chassis. SFI 25.1 certified. Suspension & Brakes: FRONT: Strange single-adjustable struts with Hypercoil springs. Strange disc brakes. REAR: S&W Racecars Pro Series rear 4-link kit with wishbone. Strange disc brakes. Body & Paint: All steel body with exception of Harwood fiberglass cowl induction hood. Factory trim and bumpers. Carbon fiber fabricated rear wing. Prepped and painted “Jensen Blue” (1968 Lemans Blue) by Kocher Chassis & Restoration. Lexan front windshield. Engine: Jensen Engine Technologies 500+ ci BBC. Brodix aluminum block with Callies crank, MGP connecting rods, and JE pistons. PPPC tool steel wrist pins and Total Seal M2 rings. Top secret grind COMP roller cam with Jesel belt drive. Crower Enduramax roller lifters with Manley chromoly pushrods. Double o-ringed Brodix aluminum heads with Manley valves and hardware. Induction & Fuel Delivery: Pump gas and alcohol fuel systems. Brodix aluminum intake with 120-pound Holley injectors for pump gas and 500-pound Precision Billet Atomizer injectors for alcohol. Aeromotive electric in-tank pump for street use and Waterman mechanical pump (mounted in stock distributor location) for alky. Custom fabricated aluminum elbow with Accufab billet throttle body. Power Adder: 118 mm (insert jaw-drop emoji here) Precision Turbo Electronics & Ignition: FAST XFI 2.0 ECU. MSD Power Grid and -8 box with crank trigger. Intentionally omitted data logger “to force myself to keep it simple.” Transmission & Driveline: 10-inch PTC converter mated to a Brunodrive with trans brake and CS-2 Lenco.P ST 3-inch 4130 driveshaft. Differential: S&W Racecars chromoly fabricated 9-inch housing with Tom’s Diffs billet center section and 10-inch gears. 40-spline Strange axles. Tires & Wheels: FRONT: 15 x 3 1/2 Weld Racing Alumastar wheels with Moroso drag tires. REAR: 15 x 15 Weld Racing Alumastar 3-piece wheels with 33x15 Mickey Thompson tires. Performance: 4.44 @ 165. Put more than 2,000 hp to the rear wheels on alcohol (pegged dyno!) and 1,000 on pump gas.

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and a Moroso custom fabricated oil pan. Backing the 2,000+ hp mill (on alcohol, it pegged a chassis dyno!) is a Bruno/Lenco trans

with a PTC 10-inch converter. “I had a Bruno and 4-speed Lenco left from a failed experiment on the pro mod, so that’s what I used in the Nova,” Jensen said. A custom-built trans

brake release allows the Nova to slide into the beams smoothly while building boost before a pass—unlike most other automatics “that look like they’re having a seizure when staging,”



On alcohol, the 500+ ci Jensen Engine Technologies BBC pegged the chassis dyno at over 2,000 hp to the rear wheels. It’ll do 1,000+ on pump.

continued on page 76

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The understructure of the steel decklid has been punched with hundreds of holes for a cool look and reduced weight. The trunk is cleanly detailed, too.

Jensen chuckled. The CS-2 Lenco trans has endless possibilities for ratio choices and can be run as a 2, 3, or 4 speed. Not only that, “It’s a blast to drive and it looks cool as hell,” he added. A PST 3-inch chromoly driveshaft sends the power aft. With the powertrain well in hand, progress on the

chassis and body progressed at Kocher Chassis and Restoration. The 25.1 SFI certed chassis sports Strange struts and disc brakes with Hypercoil springs up front, while a fabricated S&W housing suspended on an S&W 4-link with Strange double-adjustable coilovers rides out back. A Tom’s Diffs billet

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019




may 2019 | RPM Magazine

center section with 10-inch gears and 40-spline Strange axles and brakes provide bulletproof reliability. Tires and wheels consist of skinny 15 x 3 1/2 Alumastar wheels with Moroso drag tires up front and 15 x 15 Alumastar 3-piece wheels with 33x15 Mickey Thompson tires out back. Jensen handled all wiring on the car, making sure


While it might not be a Cadillac, it isn’t a pro mod either. The clean and well-finished interior boasts factory door panels and dash along with fabbed tinwork, a Lenco, and a funny car cage. Gas to alky is a simple flip of a switch on the little subdash.

all the lights and horn function for street use (even the dash indicators work in the stock speedo!). He also handled all plumbing chores with XRP HS-79 lightweight hose and crimp fittings. After a few test passes to settle things in with the he car went back to Kocher’s for the sleek blue paint that many around the local tracks have taken to call “Jensen Blue.” “It’s actually ’68 Lemans blue, which was the factory color of my first hot rod,” Jensen remarked. The clean Nova


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KEYSTONE BLUES shell is all steel with the exception of a Harwood cowl hood. All bumpers and trim are all real steel and gorgeous chrome and the only body mods of note are a subtle circular opening in the factory aluminum grille and a cleanly-fabricated carbon fiber rear wing. Factory emblems and wheel trim has been retained for a distinctive muscle car look. Lightweight Lexan side glass runs in factory tracks and still actuate with factory cranks. The windshield started out as factory glass but after some excessive tire shake knocked it out of the seal, a Lexan unit was installed via 50+ handmade billet aluminum clamps


taking care to maintain the factory trim as much as possible. The interior maintains the stock dash, headliner, door panels, and steering column with minimal gauges. The custom sub dash on the column holds old-school toggle switches which were a necessity, as mounting on the stock dash would position them out of reach while strapped in for a pass. No data acquisition was installed— on purpose. “I wanted to keep this build simple compared to my pro mod, and wasn’t interested in looking at mountains of data all the time. It was supposed to be more fun,” Jensen said. “However, now

may 2019 | RPM Magazine

Todd Dziadosz/TD Speed photo

that I don’t have it, I find myself grilling my crew and friends after every pass—like ‘what did you see it doing?’” he laughed. Now completed, the car can be seen at local cruise nights and race tracks in Pennsyl-

vania. During the 2018 season, the car was raced at seven events, winning four while running a best eighth-mile time of 4.44 @ 165 mph. “The pro mod consumes most of my time so this car suffers…it definitely

has the potential to go a ton faster,” he concluded. And that fact alone ought to be enough to give the competition reason to sing the blues. The Jensen Keystone Blues.

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019


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may 2019 | RPM Magazine

story by

Toby Brooks


ometimes we speed freaks can forget: compared to other forms of entertainment and competition, drag racing is really still in its infancy. From the earliest days of organized efforts to get racing off

of public roadways in the 1950s until today, it has certainly changed dramatically. But it is still fundamentally about one thing: getting from start to finish faster than the car next to you. Purists will tell you that the 1000-foot near-spec

car racing of the modern fuel classes competed by entrants differentiated only by the logos on the side of their carbon fiber blobbular bodies or the shape of the headlight stickers on the nose is a galaxy removed from the true innovative roots of the

photos by

earliest iterations of the sport. And while modern technology and improvements in things like traction control, electronic fuel injection, and highly sophisticated suspension tuning capability has certainly made alternatives to pro

Jerry Garrison categories like small tire, N/T, and grudge racing fun and exciting, there is still something to the notion that modern racers tend to be a bit more “inside the box” than our try-anything-to-go-faster forefathers and foremothers.

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That unmistakable nose-high A/FX look is thanks to a 48-inch SPeedway straight axle on Ford Econoline leaf springs. Out back, the Ford 9-inch has been slid forward 6 1/2 inches and supported via springs from a Chrysler Hemi.

Case in point: factory experimental; or “FX” for short. In 1962, the NHRA opted to create a class for Big Three-backed racers that would provide a testing and proving grounds for new ideas or tweaks to old ones. In actuality, “FX” was a grouping of three classes based on cubic-inch to weight ratios: C/FX for 13.00 and higher, B/ FX for 9.0012.99, and the king of the heap: A/FX for 8.99 and lower. With involvement of such legendary names as Dyno Don Nicholson, Mickey Thompson, Ronnie Sox, Dick Landy, and Grumpy Bill Jenkins in the cockpits and very little restriction as to what was legal and what was not (pretty much any alteration that was pre-authorized and approved by NHRA except for superchargers was allowed), the class became an

instant sensation. Coupled with the fact that innovations were coming in the form of engine and induction combos, chassis and suspension modifications to improve weight distribution, and special lightweight treatments to body parts, it seemed that no two manufacturers were pursuing maximum performance in the same way, lending a “wild west” “anything goes” feel that is, in retrospect, a nearly pre-historic version of what we see today in N/T and grudge racing circles. In a world where winning on Sunday meant selling on Monday, it was fast. And it was fun. As brilliantly as the class flared into being in 1962, it had sputtered out and died by 1967. Petty disputes between the manufacturers (factory-supported entrants were sometimes explicitly prohibited from racing other company’s products, even in eliminations),

www.rpmmag.com | may2019


political pressures (GM pulled out of all racing sponsorships and support in 1963 due to governmental constraints), and eventual migration to the natural progression of the class (funny car) all contributed to /FX’s position as a short-lived but fascinating piece of trivia in the history of the drags. As fleeting as that history may be, its mere existence led to the creation of a number of wildly styled and powered rides. And while a few vintage pieces still exist, the class still lives on due to the efforts of folks like Dale Snoke, whose incredible 1964 Mercury Comet is as picture-perfect of a

period-correct /FX build as you will ever see. “I purchased the car about 11 years ago here in Southern California from a minister in the area around Yucaipa,” Snoke recalled. The car had been donated to the church, used for a number of years, then parked out back in favor of a newer donation. It had a decent paint job and was an original V-8 car. “It was perfect for what I was about to do: cut it up,” Snoke said with a grin. An electrician and welder by trade, Snoke admits that he has always enjoyed life


The steel body features altered wheel openings and a Crites fiberglass hood with functional ram air. The Wimbeldon White paint was sprayed by Quality Customs while Tom Clark did all the lettering and logos by hand.


may 2019 | RPM Magazine


www.rpmmag.com | may2019



No tucking anything on this drag throwback! The tires and wheels are on full display and consist of Weld Draglites (15 x 31/2s up front and 15 x 10s out back) with Mickey Thompson tires (26 x 4-15 ET Fronts and 29.5 x 10.5-15 drag radials in rear).


may 2019 | RPM Magazine

SPECIAL/FX from what he refers to as “the perimeter of motorsports.” “It started as early as when my single mom used to take my brother and me to watch the stock car races at the 605 Speedway, and when our dad, on spending weekends with him, would take us to the drag races at Irwindale,” he recalled. But watching motorsports is a far cry from having the skills and abilities to build a car. For that, Snoke credits a chance encounter with well-known author and Barrett-Jackson Television host Steve Magnante. “Steve was the first person who recognized that I could think outside the box with welding and fabricating. He

let me hone my skills on a few builds of his and I even provided technical support on a how-to book he wrote,” Snoke recalled. “It all changed my life, and I’ve been working on fabricating cars ever since,” he added. With the car inhand and the skills to make his dreams of recreating drag race history come to life, Snoke dug in. The first task was to modify the chassis for the sweet spot 45/55 weight distribution that was a trademark in the altered class. For that, the rear axle was slid forward in the chassis by 6.5 inches, while a sky-high Speedway 48inch straight axle was moved up 4.5. Vintage Ford Econoline van leafs were employed up front, while Chrysler Hemi leafs

www.rpmmag.com | may2019


SPECIAL/FX were used out back. Traction bars were crafted from repurposed components scavenged from a Cold War-era USAF F-105 Starfighter missile loader. Seriously. How cool is that? “It’s a car built in the vibe of the era: use what you have, and if you don’t have it, make it,” Snoke said. “Today’s cars are almost entirely built with offthe-shelf parts for the most part. But mine is such a mismatch of different manufacturer’s parts. Chrysler springs, Ford springs, GM steering box, and all kinds of other stuff,” he added. It isn’t all

vintage “stuff,” though. Power is supplied via a Holley EFIequipped Ford Windsor 351 that has been bored and stroked to 425 ci. Ben Alameda Racing used a vintage iron block with a forged crank, H-beam rods, and stout 11.3:1 compression pistons on the bottom end, while AFR aluminum heads were mated with an Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake and Holley Stealth Terminator EFI system up top. Backing the reliable yet powerful motor is a beefed up C-4 three speed automatic transmission with a Continental converter.

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may 2019 | RPM Magazine

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www.rpmmag.com | may2019



DALE SNOKE’S 1964 MERCURY COMET /FX TRIBUTE Chassis Type & Mods: Altered wheelbase (rear axle moved forward 6 ½ inches, front moved 4 ½ inches forward). Suspension & Brakes: FRONT: 48-inch Speedway straight axle with vintage Ford Econoline leaf springs. Borgeson GM-style 525 manual steering box. REAR: Ford 9-inch housing with 4.11 gears supported by Chrysler Hemi leaf springs. Homemade traction bars were sourced off a scrapped US Airforce F-105 Starfighter missile loader. Body & Paint: Stock steel body with opened/moved front and rear wheel openings to accommodate wheelbase alterations. Fiberglass Crites hood. Wimbledon White basecoat/clearcoat paint by Quality Customs in Pomona, California. Hand lettered by Tom Clark. Engine: 1971 Ford Windsor 351 bored and stroked to 425 ci by Ben Alameda Racing. Forged crank, H-beam rods, and forged 11.3:1 compression pistons. AFR Renegade Series cylinder heads. Induction & Fuel Delivery: Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake manifold with Holley Stealth Terminator electronic fuel injection system. Electronics & Ignition: Holley HP Series ECU. Transmission & Driveline: Ford C4 3-speed automatic transmission built by Nick Magana. Continental stall converter. Differential & Driveline: Ford 9-inch with Strange aluminum center section, Richmond 4.11 gears, and Currie Enterprises axles. Tires & Wheels: FRONT: 15 x 3 1/2 Weld Racing Draglite wheels with 26x4-15 Mickey Thompson ET Front tires. REAR: 15 x 10 Weld Racing Draglite wheels with 29.5x10.5-15 Mickey Thompson drag radial tires. Other Important Info: “Built to race, but equally at home on the street, the car is a rolling history lesson of early FX style cars from the short lived AFX wars of the mid ’60s. Correct style lettering and the use of many refurbished period-correct parts help lend some authenticity to the car.” Special Thanks: Steve Magnante, Nick Magana, Bryant Fargo, Vincent Mayeda, Derale Performance, Rocket Racing Wheels, and Mooneyes.


may 2019 | RPM Magazine

The mostly steel body (the fiberglass Crites hood being the only exception) was treated to massaged wheel openings to accommo-

date the altered wheelbase before Quality Customs applied a coat of period-perfect Wimbeldon White paint. Also era-appropriate are the clean hand-lettered graphics applied by Tom Clark.

www.rpmmag.com | may2019



548 cubic inch big-block ario, California dyno tested a Vrbancic Brothers Racing in Ont ched with an Edelbrock or 24° CNC cylinder heads mat Chevy with Edelbrock/Musi Vict r 1,550 horsepower ove in . This combination resulted Super Victor II intake manifold and 1,100 ft-lbs. of torque! Manley dual-spring valve ds feature an extra thick deck, Edelbrock/Musi Victor 24° hea ilable bare or complete. ava are y The for up to .880” lift. springs and titanium retainers 270 tor intake manifold #29 The Edelbrock Super Vic e larg tch ma to ts por the features a 3/4”radius in oval port cylinder heads. CNC’d for a variety of custom This manifold is suitable er, ow sep hor for modern high cylinder heads required HP. + 950 g s makin large displacment engine FOLLOW US ON:




may 2019 | RPM Magazine




Gold anodized Moroso valve covers lend a retro feel, while the Holley EFI system makes for trouble-free operation...meaning this pic of Dale “working” under the hood is fake news.

Inside, the car sports a clean owner-fabbed cage complete with swing-out door bars, a pair of black wrapped buckets, and Autometer instrumentation. A Hurst Quarter Stick shifter is flanked by a

long chrome actuating lever that operates a mechanical staging brake. “I’d say the one part that people always ask about is the staging brake mounted next to the shifter. I love explaining its operation,

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The Comet’s cockpit features a pair of factory-style buckets, some clean cagework with swing-out sidebars, and an assortment of additional gauges. The long lever attached to the Hurst shifter is for the mechanical staging brake.

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frozen units that essentially lock up the front wheels,” Snoke said. Although he handled the bulk of the project himself, the friendly So Cal native is quick to

credit his friends and sponsors on the build. “I’m especially thankful to Steve Magnante for his wealth of knowledge of this era of drag racing and to Nick

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www.rpmmag.com | may2019



Dale Snoke and his 1964 Comet.

Magana and Bryan Fargo for their input on the build-up and continued support as we continue to tweak and tune,” Snoke said. “Vincent Mayeda at Mayeda Motorsports updates and helps maintain all the safety equipment on the car, and Derale Perfor-


mance, Rocket Racing Wheels, and Mooneyes are great sponsors. I love being able to promote their brands,” he concluded. “The Rocket” has been on promotional tours to Japan and England, and thanks to the Holley EFI it is docile and well-man-

may 2019 | RPM Magazine

nered on the street but can still blast off a 10-second pass on the strip. Armed with such a cool history of its own and representing such a unique period in the progression of modern drag racing, it is safe to say that this FX is truly special!

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019



1: This aviation punch set (left) and sheetmetal rivet dimpling tool (right) can really speed your next sheetmetal project along and improve your end results at the same time.


>> Some sheetmetal essentials for your next tinwork project


ometimes when you are working on a project, you get a strange feeling that there has to be a more efficient way of doing things. Take, for instance, doing sheetmetal work.

Sure, you could pull out a tape measure or even a caliper if you are super precise, mark your spots, and drill ’til your heart’s content. And maybe you want to use a pop rivet, too, but there’s no way to get a flush, clean look? Or


maybe you’d just like to be able to cut some light gauge material quickly and easily? Well, friends, we are happy to tell you that this month’s Cool Tools features a boatload of handy gizmos that will not only speed your

sheetmetal fabrication project, but improve your end results, too. The first such gadget is the 1-ton aviation hand punch. We picked one up off of Amazon for $26 (https://amzn. to/2FZI3hm) and it has been a great addition.


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may 2019 | RPM Magazine

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2 2: Throat depth is easily adjusted with the slotted and marked stopper. Seven sizes of dies and pins are included.


3 3: The punched hole in 20-gauge sheet steel is clean and reproducible. For lighter gauge material, this thing can’t be beat— especially for less than $30!

4 4: Once your hole is punched, you can quickly and easily create a consistent countersink using the aircraft dimpling pliers shown here.


5: In a matter of seconds and with a simple squeeze of the Vise Grip-style tool, your hole is perfectly dimpled for a countersunk fastener.

6 6: Here we used a countersunk pop rivet, but countersunk machine screws can be used, too. The end result is clean and the flush fastener lends a sleek, finished appearance.

Dream Job www.rpmmag.com | may 2019


RPM COOL TOOLS With seven punch die sizes included in a sturdy blow-molded case, it will get the job done for a variety of tasks. With the adjustable throat depth, you can put the holes you’re punching at a precise, consistent distance from the panel’s edge and you don’t have to worry about drill bit walk. Next up, once those holes are punched, the Aviation Hand Dimpling Pliers are also available on Amazon for around $35 (https:// amzn.to/2Iakbcl). As easy to use as a pair of Vice Grips, you just thread the pin of the tool through the hole you just made, give it a squeeze, and you have a perfectly dimpled hole appropriate for either a countersunk river or screw. Although the hand dimpling pliers come in several


different sizes, you’ll have to purchase all of them separately if you plan on using different size fasteners. Next, while the punch’s adjustable throat depth will ensure your holes are spaced consistently from the panel edge, you’d still have to measure and mark— and maybe even do some math—to be sure that they are spaced evenly. Until now. The ingenious Rivet Fan Spacer (https://amzn. to/2HYuhOk) is an accordion-style tool that can adjust to fit whatever layout you have in mind. While we were initially a little afraid of the $39 price tag for what looked like a metal hand fan, we find ourselves reaching for the rivet fan spacer frequently, making it well worth the price.

may 2019 | RPM Magazine


7: This weird looking little tool has become one of the most frequently used items in our toolbox when it comes time for securing the tin. The adjustable fan design extends 17 3/4 inches and a larger version is available that extends up to 27 inches. At just under $40, it is an incredible time saver that we decided was worth the price after just one use.

Last but not least, cutting smaller pieces of thin material is commonly a challenge because it can bee too hard to hold things steady when using power shears and hand shears can be hard on the ol’ grippers if you have to do a bunch of cutting. In these cases, the Eastwood Throatless Shear can be an excellent alternative. Ideally, the throatless shear should be secured to a workbench or other stable surface. We mounted ours to our box and pan brake stand and it gets used all the time. The durable, heavy-duty construction is rated to hold up to 14 gauge steel and 18 gauge stainless. At $199, it is the most expensive tool in this month’s issue, but it is likely also the one you’ll use the most. The cast iron construction can easily be bolted down, and the

replaceable blades can also be adjusted to ensure clean, burr-free cuts. The 17-inch handle helps prevent fatigue by maximizing leverage. If you have a sheetmetal project coming up and are willing to invest a little to improve efficiency and probably boost the overall look of your work, any or all of the tools we reviewed this month could make a great addition. For less than $350, you could be cutting, punching, dimpling, and spacing better than ever!

SOURCES Eastwood www.eastwood.com 800.343.9353

Amazon www.amazon.com

www.rpmmag.com | may 2019



1: Believe it or not, we have had these killer Baer Brakes for nearly five years awaiting the moment when we could finally bolt them on. Geeze, they look good...and way better than gathering dust on the shelf!

BRAKES, BAGS, & PART 49 >> We put the front suspension back together in our pro street Mustang


ime sure can get away from you when you are working on a project car beset by delays, re-dos, and other assorted detours on the path to completion. Unlike “reality” television, most real builds take time, trial, and error. Our pro street Mustang project car is no different, and

BOLTS story by

although we have had most of the parts and pieces (or so we thought) for nearly five years, it just hadn’t been time to put the front suspension together. Until now. The plan was simple: get the S&W Race Cars tubular control arms powder coated, replace all the crusty black oxide bolts with shiny new

ones, polish up the Baer brake kit that had been on the shelf, bolt in the RideTech Shockwaves, then add some trick Performance Engineering anodized billet washers and cool other hardware and call it done. And finally get the car off the jack stands and rolling again. Sounds simple enough, right?

Toby Brooks

Wrong. The first hurdle we hit was at the powder coater. We have used the same local powder coater for the past four years and up until now things have always gone great. We took the control arms in along with the rear 4-link bars and wishbone and requested a textured/matte black finish.

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may2019 | RPM Magazine

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2 2: After getting the S&W Race Cars Mustang II tubular control arms back from Coating Specialists, we were ready to begin installation. The first step was to make sure we had all the parts and hardware we needed. We didn’t. 3: We ordered these polished chrome bolts from Low Brow Customs and billet cup washers from Performance Engineering. Unfortunately the anodized hardware didn’t arrive in time for this month’s feature.

3 We had some trouble now gloss metallic deciding on a color gray. Like bike flakes to contrast with the on a bass boat metallic Stealth Charcoal gray. Ugh. chassis. Our guy Knowing that that texted back a picture particular color wasn’t of a color he had in going to look good at stock that looked like all with the charcoal the color and finish finish on the chassis, we were after. Two we asked if they could weeks later we went be re-coated the propJE_BBC_RPM_2015_Layout 8/11/15 2:29 PM Page 1 er color. Sure, so long to pick up our1 parts...

as we paid more than the amount we paid to have them done the first time. After trying to reason for some time, it was clear we were getting nowhere, so we took our business elsewhere...but lesson learned: never agree to a color via text.

Coating Specialists, a relatively new shop in town, agreed to strip all the pieces down and coat them a standard black for $150, so we dropped off the parts and kept on working. While waiting for the parts to return, we went through all the

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4: Using a rubber mallet, we gently knocked the Delrin bushings and center tubes into the S&W Race Cars lower control arms. The mounts are slightly different lengths front and back, so be careful to drive in the proper tube the first time. Don’t ask us how we learned that.

existing hardware and ordered replacement polished chrome Allen bolts from Low Brow Customs. Low Brow is a Harley and chopper parts distributor, but they stock a full line of Colony Machine chrome bolts and hardware. All told, we dropped another $350 on bolts,

nuts, and washers. It was more than we had budgeted by far, but replacing the crusty black oxide hardware was a must. To add even more visual interest, we ordered up an assortment of anodized aluminum cup washers from Performance Engineering (PE). The machined aluminum

parts were in stock, but the brite dip pink anodized pieces were still at the anodizer at press time. We will get those pieces installed in time for next month’s feature, but in the meantime, the raw aluminum looks pretty good as it is. Once the control arms were done, we picked them up

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may2019 | RPM Magazine

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6 7

5 & 6: To protect the tubes of the lower control arms, we cut carbon fiber tube protectors from Wildside Composites. The material is easily cut with a cut-off wheel, then shaped with a flap wheel grinder and finally the edges are finish sanded with 300-grit sandpaper to remove the stray carbon strands. The pieces were then stuck in place using 3M doublesided adhesive and pop riveted on each end using an 1/8-inch pop rivet. The ball joint thread was coated with a thin layer of anti-seize compound, clamped in the bench vice, and tightened until snug.

7 & 8: A chrome ball joint cover adds a nice finishing touch along with a Performance Engineering fastener. This bolt can be removed and a grease zerk can be installed to grease the ball joint.


9: The finished lower control arm is then bolted to the chassis using 1/2-20 chrome Allen bolts, PE billet washers, and 1/2�-20 chrome lock nuts. A black polyurethane ball joint boot is dropped into place and we are ready to install the upper control arm.

9 www.rpmmag.com | may2019


RPM PROJECT CAR and started reassembly. The first step was to press the Delrin bushings and center sleeves back into the lower arm mounts. All four S&W control arms use the same Chrysler screw-in ball joints, so we applied a little anti-seize, clamped each in the bench vice, and cranked them in place. To finish it off, we added chrome ball joint covers with a PE bolt. To protect the lower arms from scratches and road rash, we cut some small pieces of carbon fiber tube protectors and

attached them with double-sided tape and 1/8-inch rivets. After searching for the ball joint boots for days, we gave up and ordered new polyurethane units from eBay. The finished control arms look great and should hold up to the abuses of driving and dragging. The upper control arms assemble even easier, with the same ball joint installing the same way and a pair of spherical rod ends threading into the swaged and threaded ends. We looked for another hour trying to find the jam nuts


10: The spindle (shown backwards here) was placed on next and secured with chrome castle nuts. Chrome bolts and billet PE washers were used to bolt on the steering arm and the black powder coated brake caliper bracket.

11 11: The billet aluminum hub was prepped next. Unfortunately, the lost parts gremlin got us again. We were missing the rear seal, inner washer, and inner nut retainer so we couldn’t install the hubs (although we did manage to find all four wheel bearings) . These parts were ordered with the hubs and spindles some time ago, but somewhere in the car’s sordid history they got misplaced or pitched. On a long-term, major project like this, being organized is an absolute MUST. Not only will it save you the cash of having to buy the same parts multiple times, it will spare you the lost time, aggravation, and frustration of digging through boxes and muttering obscenities under your breath. In this pic, the new chrome wheel studs are loosely threaded into place with billet cup washers, and the polished rod ends (conspicuously missing their jam nuts) are readied for the driver’s side upper control arm.

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may2019 | RPM Magazine


12: The Mustang will enjoy a cool adjustable ride height thanks to a full RideTech ShockWave setup. The front bags seen here include a single-adjustable shoke with a Firestone bellows-style air bag for simple two-bolt installation. The eyelet bushings were a little bit too thick to fit in the fabricated double-shear upper and lower mounting points, se we chucked them in our Klutch mini-lathe and turned them down about 1/8-inch each. Then they fit perfectly!


and cone washers to no avail. Exhausted and disgusted, we ordered new of each, certain the ones we know we already have will turn up as soon as the new ones arrive. Of note, cone washers are important when bolting on spherical rod ends. The tapered design allows the ball in the center to articulate freely without binding. We managed to scrape up a handful of crusty old hardware and used it for the time being until the shiny new stuff arrives. With both control arms in place, it was now time to put the drop spindle on. This was a simple task, and once both ball joint boots were positioned properly, the spindle was placed over both ball joint studs and a chrome castle nut was loosely threaded on each. These will be torqued and cotter keyed once we button everything up next month, but for now they were left loose. The brackets for the steering arm and the brake caliper mount were installed next using 7/16�-20 chrome bolts and PE

www.rpmmag.com | may2019



cup washers. It was finally starting to come together! The next problem that we needed to tackle was the poorly designed fabricated tie rod ends. The parts on the car had been modified by cutting the tie rods that came on the rack and welding a threaded sleeve on the end. A RH threaded rod end was then screwed in place. It looked okay, but adjusting toe-in was a real pain. We bought a new pair of tie rod ends, cut them to approximate length, and chucked them in the lathe. We managed to find some billet adjusters that have a RH thread on one end and a LH thread on the other, so we threaded the cut end

13: Now this one was a real head scratcher. The tie rod ends that were fabbed previously (right) had a welded-on sleeve and a RH threaded rod end, meaning that if you wanted to adjust toe-in, you had to remove the tie rod end from the spindle, adjust the rod end by threading or unthreading it, and reattach it. In other words, it was a pain. We opted to rebuild it using a billet toe adjuster. A factory Mustang II tie rod (middle) was cut to approximate length with a cut-off wheel, then turned to the appropriate diameter in the Klutch lathe and RH threaded to size. The billet adjuster was then installed and a LH threaded rod end was screwed in. Now all you have to do with the finished piece (left) is loosen the jam nuts, crank it out where you want it, and tighten them back down. And it looks trick, too!


may2019 | RPM Magazine

14: The hubs still need rear seals, notch washers, and castle nut retainers and the wheel bearings need packed, but we opted to go ahead and mock up the brakes anyhow We almost forgot how great the transparent raspberry powder coat looks on the CNC machined calipers!

15: The RideTech ShockWaves went on next using 1/2”-20 bolts and PE cup washers. RideTech says that the units can be installed either way with no compromise in performance, so we chose to put them in “bags up” to help with clearance around the spindle. The Wildside carbon tube protectors look pretty cool, too.

14 of the tie rod end and installed the adjuster. We then threaded the LH threaded rod end in place along with a couple of jam nuts and we

had a cool looking and much better functioning pair of adjustable tie rods. Next up, we popped the RideTech Shockwaves in place

and secured them using a pair of 1/2”-20 chrome bolts. The cool thing about this setup is that it could be converted to static coil overs if we


www.rpmmag.com | may2019



16 & 17: With all the parts and pieces snugged into place, the finished assembly turned out great. A couple of items still need addressed, though. First, the stack of gold iridited bump steer spacers has got to go. We will most likely create some one-piece replacements out of billet stock using the lathe. We also need to ceramic coat the raw steel tie rod ends and install the rack boots. Then it is just a matter of plumbing the brake and air lines and the front corners will be done! wanted to by removing four bolts, pulling the bags, and bolting in the static shocks. It doesn’t get much easier! We were now ready to pack the wheel bearings and mount the hubs, rotors, and calipers—until we couldn’t find some parts again. The rear seals, castle



may2019 | RPM Magazine

nut retainers, and notch washers were all playing hide-andseek—and winning. Undeterred, we hopped on the internet and ordered replacement pieces, then loosely hand-tightened the hubs in place. Rotors were installed next and snugged in place tem-

porarily using a couple of lug nuts. Calipers were then bolted place last. Although we will have to pull it partially apart again in order to perform final assembly once our parts and pieces arrive, it was exciting to see some finished pieces go on. A few tasks remain

www.rpmmag.com | may2019



18: Billet aluminum, a pop of powder coat color, trick fasteners, and carbon fiber... what’s not to love? Our goal since day one has been to combine form and function into a killer street car. It took a while, but anything worth doing is worth doing right!

undone before we can button the front end up for good, but as soon as we get some more parts, it should go back together fairly quickly. With the car on the ground and rolling again, we hope to get

it loaded up and delivered to Mark Peck who will tackle the exhaust system again so that it can be completed before going to paint. Stay tuned as we work to usher in the second coming of pro street!

Subscribe to the channel at www.pegarage. com to keep up to date!


Coming up: Next month we’ll turn our attention to rebuilding the zoomie headers and mufflered exhaust.


may2019 | RPM Magazine

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www.rpmmag.com | may2019


PN 1634

Coyote Swap

Long Tube Header Kit Help give your 2011+ 5.0L Coyote powered ’79-’04 Mustang a throaty exhaust note. Constructed from mandrel bent 1-3/4" tubing with 3" collectors, they're perfect for both naturally aspirated and supercharged builds.

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Ask For More Details

PN 398

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