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ADVERTISER INDEX Advertiser Name Page # Accufab Inc. 33 AJPE - Alan Johnson Perf. 21 ARC - Applied Racing Components 52 ATI Performance Products 34 Autoglym 65, 89 Bad Attitude Engines 40 Baer Brakes 50, 76 BES Racing Engines 14 Bill Mitchell Products 50 Blower Shop 5 Browell Bellhousing 74 BTE Racing 54 Calvert Racing Suspensions 53 C&C Motorsports 79 CN Blocks 30 Coan Engineering 84 Crower 32, 41 CVR Products 67 DART 23 Design Engineering 17 DIY Auto Tune - MegaSquirt EFI 30 Dynotech Engineering 8 Ed Quay Race Cars 51 Engine Research & Development ERD 71 Fast Eddie Racewear 67 F.A.S.T. - Fuel Air Spark Technology 37 FastMotorsports 9 FORD Racing 73 Frankenstein Racing Heads 12 Gold Living 69 G Force Racing Transmissions 78 GZ Motorsports 81 Harland Sharp 8 4

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Who’s In This Issue of Often Imitated, Never Duplicated-- RPM Mag IS The ORIGINAL Voice Of Extreme Drag Racing & Wild Street Machines 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!

November 2013

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

Howlin Hauler Owning a stout, street legal 1954 Chevrolet 3100 pick-up was Alan Williamson’s dream, and he only had about 3,500 miles of ocean standing in his way of making that dream become a reality.



One Pro Street twin turbo’d 2,000HP 1973 AMC Javelin. One 1970 supercharged 1,500HP Chevelle Super Sport. Both Are Street Legal... Both Are Race Ready... Choose Your Poison! Campaigning one car in the ultra-competitive world of fast street car events these days takes a serious commitment of both time and money. Trying to campaign two cars is pure insanity, but Bryant Goldstone has been darn successful at it, having won a number of big races over the years including the Drag Week Modified Power Adder Class in 2012 and Pinks All Out race in 2009. Plus, he gets to take either car out for a nice long drive whenever he wants!

46 Das Volkswagen ...well sort of Sure it’s a 1965 VW notchback, but a “tweaked” GM crate LS3 and sizeable turbocharger make this a bit less VW and bit more badass American horsepower!

28 Read COMPLeTe RPM MaGaZINe baCk Issues ONLINe FRee aT 6

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RPM Magazine, THE Voice Of Fast Cars WORLDWIDE

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Howlin Hauler Supercharged 8-Second Street/Strip ‘54 Chevy Pickup

Story By

George Pich

Photos By

Matt Woods


o car enthusiasts in the United Kingdom, the United States is well known as “the land of milk and honey”. First, because of the relatively low cost of building a hot rod, but even more so because of the availability of the donor cars and trucks themselves. What we sometimes take for granted, others can only dream of. Owning a stout, street legal 1954 Chevrolet 3100 pick-up truck was Alan Williamson’s dream, and he only had about


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3,500 miles of ocean standing in his way of making that dream become a reality. To most us, this might seem a monumental challenge, however, to our friends across the pond it is just part of loving fast cars. If we want a 50’s, 60’s or 70’s musclecar, all we have to do is surf the net for about a minute and we’ll come up with a variety of cars and places to get them within a short drive of home. Imagine searching in a strange land across an entire ocean for not just the car but most of

the parts to build it, and then you had to get it all to your backdoor, well that is just what Alan Williamson did… twice! “It all started back in 2000 when we imported a ‘54 Chevy pick-up for my wife June. I came across June’s ‘54 for sale in Louisiana in a guy’s garden. It was a non-runner with a seized straight 6. Once we got it back we did a quick Camaro front clip transplant, installed a small block Chevy and before long it was running and registered for the UK

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roads. By the time we got hers going, I knew I just had to get one for myself, only I took a little different approach with it,” explains Alan. “Both are street legal and June’s is more of a retro hot rod styling, but all along I had Pro Street in mind for mine.” “So back to the internet, and after several weeks of searching I found a Pro Street pickup in Oregon. After exchanging e-mails a price was agreed and in 2001 I took delivery of another ‘54 Chevy pickup. With the Pro Street look of my truck, and having an interest in drag racing years earlier, I gradually got more and more interested in racing again, but with the 283ci engine mine came with, my first run was a very disappointing 17-second quarter-mile.” Out came the 283 and in went a 350, then into the 14’s for Alan. That 350 got stroked to a 383 and after getting bored with that Alan upped the ante and went with a GM 502 big block. Eventually though, he would need more and would end up with the 540 big block in the truck now. Regarding his initial big block experience Alan says, “Unfortunately, I went through a stage of melting pistons and damaging heads etc. through some poor tuning advice and decisions. That all changed in 2009 though, when I was introduced to Marc Lamude, and I haven’t looked back since.” Yanking the wheels on the mammoth pickup is effortless and although it is enjoyed by fans, Alan would rather the energy be directed toward the finish line. Check out the clean fabrication work to cover the rear bed of the truck.

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Alan’s 54 is an eye catcher both on the street and the strip. There is a give and take in the build though. While using so many factory original parts, including, steel fenders, doors, much of the glass and the front grill, certainly kicks up the wow factor, it adds substantially to the truck’s weight. Future plans include fiberglass or carbon doors and fenders and switching out the rest of the glass to lexan. Alan promises you won’t be able to tell the difference!


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Forced induction by way of a ProCharger F3 131 trim centrifugal supercharger was Alan’s choice for the Dart block and Dart Pro 1 headed 548 inch pump gas mill. The engine was assembled by Marc Lamude of Marc Lamude Race Engines (Essex UK) and includes; Eagle crank, Manley rods, Diamond pistons with Trend pins, a Steve Morris spec camshaft, Precision 160lb injectors and a Dart intake topped by a 2000cfm throttle body, all of which is controlled by an MSD 7AL-3 iginition system and a FAST XFI electronic fuel injection system. Alan also uses an air/water cooler with 4� piping to cool the intake air charge.

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From top right: Inside the ‘54 is nothing short of amazing, again with a healthy mix of neat original items combined with all the race essentials, including what was the first 25.3 spec certified chassis in the UK with full double-rail construction (built by Chris Isaac’s Race Cars). The MSD 7AL-3 ignition system and FAST XFI 2.0 box are mounted to the passenger side firewall along with all fuses, relays and vehicle wiring. You can also see the 4” diameter boost pipes running through the interior. Door panels, handles and cranks are original as is the signal indicator box and lever. The screen shown is a PCS (Powertrain Controlled Solutions) touch screen dash data logger. Looking under the truck you see the quality of work and how the double rail runs under the safety cell, not through it.


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RPM Magazine, THE Voice Of Fast Cars WORLDWIDE

Not just Pro Street, but rather a dual-purpose street/strip truck was now on the planning table for Alan’s 54 as he wanted to go drag racing with the UK Street Eliminator group. Anyone familiar with these bad machines from the UK know that the vehicles have to be the real deal; they need to be legitimately street legal, able to cruise for extended periods on pump fuel, and to be competitive you’d better be breaking at least the 8second quarter-mile barrier, if not into the 7’s! A pretty tall order indeed, especially for a rather portly vehicle such as Alan’s Chevy pick-up. “I first entered the UK Street Eliminator (SE) series in 2009. Having followed the class for a couple of years, I decided to enter knowing that I wouldn’t be that competitive with a then high 10/11sec truck,” explains Alan. “But the chance of lining up against guys like Steve Splinter Nash, Steve Pateman, Ian Hook, Colin Lazenby etc. etc., was a chance I didn’t want to pass up.” “After the progress we had made with the engine in SE in 2009, I decided to approach Chris Isaacs of Chris Isaacs Race Cars to look at modifying the front suspension. I soon realized after a few discussions with Chris, and on the advice of Steve Nash, that the safer option would be a new chassis, one that was built with the Street Eliminator class in mind.” Chris Isaac’s Race Cars handled the chassis work and build of the former American hay hauler for Alan, and the result was a 4130 chrome moly frame to SFI 25.3 specifications. Which was actually the first 25.3 chassis in the UK with full double-rail construction. “Unusually, the doublerail center section runs underneath the SFI safety cell, not through the middle of it,” Alan added. “This is to accommodate the truck’s tall body style and the need to run a full 4" exhaust system tucked up inside the running boards.”

The bed of the truck houses a host of trick equipment including; the ice box at the right rear, the fuel cell in the center, then the Magnafuel 750 pump for racing. Next to that is the battery, and underneath the battery is an Aeromotive 1000 fuel pump used for street driving. In the center, between the alloy tubs, is the charge cooler rated at 2500hp. From there the 4" alloy boost pipes pass through the cab side by side between the aluminum seats (custom upholstered by Alan himself) up the fire wall and behind the dash exiting in to the engine bay.

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“Much attention has been paid to weight distribution given that with a pickup truck the motor and driver can’t move too far rearward. The wheelbase has been shortened 7" (to 110") by shortening the pickup bed 4" and moving it forward 3", profiling the leading edge of the pickup bed to follow the line of the cab. The fuel tank, battery, charge-cooler and ice tank are mounted as far back as possible, cantilevered behind the rear axle center-line. The radiator has also been relocated to the rear of the truck, and sits behind the rear axle, being fed cool air by an intake duct underneath the truck with an exhaust duct exiting through the tailgate. All of this improves both static weight distribution and dynamic weight transfer. We’re currently running around 50.5% front weight.” As you can see Alan has a soft spot for maintaining as much of the original truck as possible, and it is worth noting that this weight distribution feat was accomplished even while keeping the original full steel front fenders, original steel doors, grille and even windshield and door glass.

A closer look at the battery and fuel pump installation. Top right shows the slots in the tailgate to allow for the hot air from the radiator to escape as it (the radiator) is situated under the rear of the truck, behind the axle. Below, Alan (left) and crewman (also Alan’s son in law) Iain, work the night before the event to fit a toggle switch at the rear of the truck for data logger activation. As Alan puts it, “this is so Iain can activate the data after I have completed the burnout, as the driver (ME) goes brain dead and forgets to switch it on when the switch was in the cab”. Below, Alan proudly displays his supporters and series sponsor decals.

With all these original parts, and understand doors and fenders of this size are no lightweights, Alan has ran very deep into the 8-second zone in the quarter-mile, however, he is fully aware that future plans of going quicker and faster will have to include a diet of fiberglass doors and Lexan windows. Being a full tube chassis ride, the suspension has no resemblance whatsoever of anything from 1954. The front consists of Strange GT struts with chrome moly A-arms, heavy-duty 4-piston brakes, and Stiletto rack and pinion steering. Out back resides a 9"


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RPM Magazine, THE Voice Of Fast Cars WORLDWIDE

From top left: Not something you see every day at your local gas station! The Street Eliminator series demands, in order to qualify, that every driver stop for pump fuel during the mandatory cruise. And they actually have to pump a specified amount into the tank as Alan is shown doing here. After the fuel stop, Alan and Iain are all smiles as they head out to the open road. Lower right: Alan’s ‘54 is lined up at the track in the staging lanes beside Mark Todd’s deadly ‘65 GTO.


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Ford heavy duty axle housing that is fully braced with an aluminum center section, spool and 35 spline shafts with 3.00:1 gear set. Chrome moly 1.25" 4-link bars, an anti-roll bar and A-frame track locator suspend the car with help from double adjustable rear coil-over shocks.

rest assured they have been well massaged to flow the numbers. A Dart intake is port matched to the heads and holds the 2,000-cfm throttle body. Precision 160lb fuel injectors feed this beast because a ProCharger F3 centrifugal supercharger helps make a thirsty big block, The engine, assembled by Marc Lamude (Marc Lamude Race even more thirsty! A Turbo400 transmission packed with a Neal Chance Engines of Essex UK), that puts the “haul” in what Alan affectionately torque converter back up the boosted 548. calls the Howlin Hauler is a 548 cubic inch big block Chevrolet deA host of all the trick electronics help the cause, including a FAST signed to pound out the power on pump gas. A Dart Big M studded XFI 2.0 fuel injection system with dash data logger, an MSD 7AL-3 block starts things off. An Eagle crankshaft spin Manley rods attached ignition box, HVC coil and crank trigger. The dash screen used is a PCS to special “Steve Morris” designed Diamond pistons. A “big” Steve Mor- (Powertrain Controlled Solutions) and is a touch screen dash data ris spec cam is installed that we figure sits somewhere around the logger. There is also an ARC 12-switch touch switch panel above the .725” lift area. DART Pro 1 345 aluminum heads sit atop the mill and driver position, and all 12 switches are utilized.

With an 8.52 at 158mph best quarter-mile elapsed time to date (on DOT street tires), Alan is shooting for the 7’s. Right: No, he’s not inciting road rage by tailgating the truck in front of him but rather Alan’s wife June is towing him back down the return road after a pass with her hot rod ‘54... how cool is that!

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Did we mention that Alan is a master upholsterer by trade? In the interior of the ‘54 you can see much of his handy work accompanied by a whole array of electronics, the 4” piping for the air/water cooler and the most amazing assortment of actual authentic original GM components. The seats are Kirky alloy with black leather padding which Alan made himself. He also covered the original dash panel. The two dash gauges are Auto Meter modern replacements for a ‘54 Chevy with one being the speedometer and the other a 4-in-1 oil, water, volts, and fuel level gauge. Behind the glove box reside all the connections and relays for the switch panel and the handle under the shifter is to manually control the Oil Accumulator, a safe guard system if the pressure suddenly drops. O top of the dash is the normal shift light and a second Pro-Light, again for oil pressure drop. With an 8.52-second best quarter-mile time to date and more than a few street miles logged, Alan isn’t done just yet. “I really do love racing and the people involved in the Street Eliminator group,” explains Alan. “I always try and beat my previous time at the track. My goal is to get the truck into the 7’s and do so while still being completely streetable. I don’t know why, but I just love to hear people say, ‘Jeeez that truck is fast’!”

Alan and Iain work to cover the bed of the truck in preparation for some action. Below, from left: The Howlin Hauler team of Alan Williamson, June Williamson and Iain Collins.

Alan’s dream truck was built to show, go and drive on the street, and that is exactly what he does whenever possible! Special Thanks go out to:June Williamson, Chris Isaac’s Race Cars, Marc Lamude Race Engines, Barry Wood (paint), Terry Dolphin Motorsports (tuning), John Atkinson (Wiring and coming up with the name Howlin Hauler), Andy Frost of Penn Auto (Trans & Converter), Steve Splinter Nash, Dave Sidaway and Matt Woods Photography.


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Larry Larson takes on The Shakedown in his 6-second street legal Nova

Shakedown At The Summit It Went Way Beyond A Valiant Effort

Story By Chuck Scott


hen you ask any heads up street car lover to name the 3 best drag racing events, you will hear “Shakedown” from a majority. Since 93 when Dave Hance held the very first Shakedown at Etown event, Shakedown has become a world famous race. This year Shakedown was reborn as Shakedown at the Summit with a brand new home, Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk Ohio. I can’t say enough about Summit Motorsports Park. It is easily one of the top 5 best drag strips in the world. From the world class facility and top of the line staff to the best track food in the country, Summit Motorsports Park is hitting on all eight cylinders. Yep you know RPM is going mention the food. I wouldn’t be surprised if folks living in Norwalk don’t go by the track just to eat. These guys sell a pound of ice cream for a dollar. That’s right 16 ounces of dairy goodness for one hundred pennies. We all know the winningest competitor in drag racing is Mother Nature and she dominated


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in every class at the Shakedown. Mother Nature may have won but not without a knock down drag out fight. The crew at Summit Motorsports Park made the strongest effort I think I have ever seen. Saturday was only scheduled to be 3rd and 4th rounds of qualifying. With the radar showing rain all day for Sunday the track decided to start racing after qualifying and ran all night to get eliminations done. It looked like it was going to be a marathon night under the lights until the rain returned and shut down the progress at 1:30 in the morning. RPM Magazine chats with Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park track manager Kurt Johnson about the most talked about unfinished race in years. RPM - Kurt, I am hoping you can spare a few minutes to share a few thoughts about this weekend’s Shakedown at the Summit.. Kurt Johnson - Chuck, first off thanks for coming out. I hope this is the first of many Summit Racing Equipment Shakedown at the

Photography By Pete Ores

Summit presented by Mickey Thompson Tires. Yes the weather was a battle. It wasn’t a cause here, it was a fight. At first it seemed like the weekend was going to be great. Wednesday we had some incredible runs in private testing. Proline tuned Jose Gonzalez’ “El General” to a 5.82 @ 267 and Hance ran the 10.5 Mustang out the back door to a 6.10. He lost his orientation on the track and pulled the chutes at 5.7 seconds. I believe that would have been a low 6 run if he would have stayed in it. We knew the track was in very good shape at that point. Thursday roles around and shortly after we start the open test... it rains... then we run a few cars... it rains. After running about 19 pair in 5 hours and a lousy forecast, we shut it down. Friday we came in to a wet track. We dried it early, started the session and we were clicking along really well. We had a couple oil downs that we cleaned up quickly and guess what... it rained! We dried it and it rained some more.

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Even though the event was called due to the weather, we thought we’d still share just a sample of the action that did happen so you’ll know what you’re in for next year! High Flyin’ wheels-up action... The Shakedown had it!

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RPM - Well obviously the rain stole the show this weekend but it looks like the biggest story of the event was the fight to the end by the staff at Summit Motorsports Park. Tell us a little about what you guys did to combat the unbeatable mother nature. Kurt Johnson - My crew is one of the best teams I’ve ever worked around. We have a system for drying and we stick to it. The first couple rains on Friday where pretty easy to clean up because we had temperature on our side. We planned on running until we finished second session but as we moved into the night the temperature fell and the dew point rose. It becomes very hard to dry even with

the jet when the air is saturated with moisture. The water just has nowhere to go. We had dried for about two hours Friday night and patches that had been bone dry after the jet were accumulating surface moisture from the low temp and high humidity. At that point we gave in. Safety of our drivers is the first concern. RPM - With you guys having to work on the track so much, how much traction compound was used over the weekend? Kurt Johnson - We used about 165 gallons of VP traction compound. I had 300 gallons on hand and would have used every drop if that would have been necessary.

RPM - One of the common criticisms of racetracks at an event such as this with so many car types is “what tire” the track will be prepped for. Even with all the rain breaking up the action, it looked like all types of cars were getting down the track without complaint. What is your strategy at an event with tires ranging from 275/60/15 radials to unlimited Pro Mod tires? Kurt Johnson - Jason from VP was on hand to assist me in track prep. We had a pretty good plan for running both the small tire and big tire combinations together. This can be pretty tricky, as the small tires love dead hook sticky and if you give that to the big cars, it knocks the

Exotic turbocharged combinations from Drag Radial to Pro Modified... The Shakedown had it! Right: Pit action... The Shakedown had lots of that too! Here, Dave Klaput of Proformance Transmissions works on Mike Murillo’s trans. Mike went on to get #1 qualifer and top speed in Heavy Street!


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Nitrous oxide & monster blowers... The Shakedown had it!

Dan Flanigan 680-inch nitrous Top Sportsman NOCO Camaro is gorgeous!

The Skinny Kid Race Cars signature Oldsmobile Outlaw Pro Mod piloted by Brian Robbins always brings back memories for fast doorslammer fans! Below: Clarkston, Michigan’s Jason Kalso in his blown Hemi 1970 Cuda Pro Mod.

Canadian Jeff Roth (near lane) takes on Bill Lutz in Pro Mod...blower vs turbo! Below: Puerto Rico’s Isaias Rojas in his nitrous 2006 Cobalt Pro Mod.

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drivers teeth out in tire shake. So we worked the run order out to start sticky and let the classes “dumb” the track down to a hard hooking track that allowed some wheel speed for the big tire cars. RPM - I don’t think I have ever seen such a valiant effort made to get in a sportsman drag race event. Why not just call the race when the forecast looked so grim? Kurt Johnson - We do not “just call” an event, it’s not in our blood. People spend a lot of money to come race our events and it’s not in anyone’s best interest to not give them everything we are capable of. This is part of the reason most of our races have great racer and spectator loyalty. The customer (both spectator and competition) know that we will do everything in our power to deliver a safe and fun racing experience. With that said, even if we get an event with rain, a majority won’t hesitate to come back next year because they know we will exhaust every resource before giving up. At one point on Saturday, Bill Bader Jr. put out a comment on the radio to the effect of “We will

In X275 Drag Radial Dean Marinis of Whitestone, NY nails a huge nitrous purge in the Racecraft sponsored 2000 Mustang. Right: All eyes were on Mark Well’s wicked twin turbo’d “BOSS 526” Mustang in Outlaw 10.5.

In Top Sportsman Wes Goddard’s (Guelph, On. Canada) Hell Billy 58 Nash Metropolitan, powered by a twin Precision turbocharged 509 Chevy, was a definite crowd, and staff, favorite.

Another Canadian who made the relatively short drive to Norwalk was Paul Bhawan with his Pro Import Splitfire Performance 79 Datsun with a turbo’d straight 6.

Full staging lanes, even with a very bad forecast leading into the event. That right there tells you about the reputation of this facility! And this (below) was what the crew at Summit Motorsports Park were up against, and they did not waver.

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not fail! We will not allow Mother Nature to kick our ass! Order another 1000 gal of gas for the Jet”. We just stayed motivated and trudged on! We got it dry at that point and got some really good racing in on Saturday night. I think many racers had personal best runs! I believe that mother nature showed her last hand about 2AM... at that point we knew that the air was saturated and it would be unsafe to try and dry and resume racing. Sunday started off grim as it had rained pretty hard all night and was raining when I got to the track in the early morning. Even worse, the forecast showed 100% chance of rain for a majority of the day and radar backed the forecast up. We decided at that point that it was truly time to end this event. RPM - Even with the terrible forecast, racer turnout was great. What’s your outlook for the future of this event? Kurt Johnson - I hung around guest services during pay-out to thank the racers for coming. I didn’t hear one negative comment, only “we will be back next year”. We were a little light on cars from what I expected but I was satisfied due to the horrible forecast for the weekend. The energy and buzz was incredible during the race. It was unlike any event I have felt for quite a while. As far as attendance, its deceiving because our stands are so big. It takes 30,000 people to make this place look even remotely full and 50,000 is very manageable here. Under the circumstances the attendance was decent. Shoot, we ran out of event shirts and we were running out of food by 10:30 Saturday night! We had an early AM Sunday run planned to restock the kitchen!! That’s a good problem to have. Overall I think this is an event that will grow and grow. I had many people with companies that handed me cards and said “we want in for next year”. Many of the sponsors have already re-upped for next year. Bill and I are going over a recap in the morning to decide what will make the most sense for this event next year. I see a bright future for the Shakedown in the future!

Jose Gonzalez’ El General Racing 481X twin turbo’d 1969 Camaro Pro Mod went a 5.82 at a whopping 267mph! Below: Old school is very cool! In Heavy Street Jim Kilpatrick in the legendary Kilpatrick & Stegall Bad Judgement Racing ’63 Polara put on a great show.

Michael Biehle’s incredible twin turbo 2012 Boss Mustang is breathtaking. You have to see this car in person to believe it.

Qualifying was complete and even some eliminations had been run, but there was no chance that the weather was going to break anytime over the next 24 hours. In all classes but Pro Import (which actually finished), from the point it rained the track ran the race on paper and divided the remaining purse between the cars left. More than fair for all, and a positive end to a challenging weekend. Let the 2013 Shakedown At The Summit serve as the call out to racers and fans for 2014... you ain’t seen nothin yet!


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RPM Magazine, THE Voice Of Fast Cars WORLDWIDE

Das Volkswagen?

Story & Photos By Tim Lewis

…well, sort of.


ow many people first learned to drive in an old VW Bug? Myself, I remember coming home from school to hop in a ‘69 Bug that sat at my grandfather’s shop. I must have put 100 miles on that thing and taught myself how to drive a stick in it. It almost broke my heart to see that little car go, that is until it was replaced by a 69 Camaro, so then it was Auf Wiedersehen Bug! Many enthusiasts still play around with the old VW’s though, and whether it’s a SoCal style slammed beach cruiser or an all out 8-second race car, for whatever reason, the VW has become one of the most recognizable styles of all time. They have a cult-type following and have really become a culture of their own, being as much of an expression of the owner as they are a mode of transportation. Volkswagen enthusiast Troy Mason


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People really seem to take notice of the little VW when its sitting in the pits. After all, its not everyday you see a VW notchback, especially one with a turbo small block Chevy in it!

had his own vision of a custom VW, and it is definitely one that reflects his style and how he grew up around fast cars. Mason, an ex Maryland Police Officer, hails from Germantown, yes “Germantown” Maryland and spends his free time these days coaching his two sons’ baseball teams, that is when he is not at the drag strip behind the wheel of his wild VW. Troy, like most of us, got his love of fast cars from his father. Troy explains, “I grew up hearing stories about how my father was a loose nut behind the wheel of his 64 Fairlane.” Troy’s father raced on the streets in Maryland, and like father like son, Troy was hooked on fast cars. Troy is the only son out of five that followed along in dad’s foot steps as far as drag racing goes. “I have lots of bench racing stories with my father about the good old days of drag racing with local DC area drag racing hero and legend Malcom Durham,” continued Troy. “It wasn’t common to see African American drag racers such as Durham in the spotlight back then, but the ‘DC Lip’ was one of the best of all time.” Troy got started in the street racing scene while driving his friends 1987 Grand National at the impressionable age of 16. “That little 6-banger was a beast on the street and when the 5.0 Mustang came out they were the cars to beat. For myself though, I wanted something really different, and I set out to build myself a badass VW, one that would smoke most any Mustang on the street!”

The skull with the VW logo laser cut into it is a cool touch for the turbo inlet.

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Starting out with a 1962 Beetle built by Jimmy Sartwell, a well known builder of fast VW’s. “My little 12 second street machine prowled the streets on Friday nights looking for victims. After a few close calls though, I got serious and vowed to never race on the streets again. Now I only race on sanctioned tracks and have a blast making my own memories for my kids. Just like my dad did, only dad never had a car this fast!” jokes Troy. Years later the 1965 VW notchback you see here came along. Built by Jeff Mullins, the car first came out with VW power and raced and won events at Nopi in 2000 and the Import Shootouts at 75/80 Dragway in 1998/99. After a while, the need for more was in Troy’s mind and he knew things would have to get pretty serious to get what he wanted out the car. Jeff Mullins once again got the call, and let’s just say some intense cutting and welding was in order. Starting with a Mullins Fabrication 25.1 chassis, the steel roof was kept along with a fiberglass front end, doors and quarters. Strange front struts with a Pinto style rack were set in place up front with an S&W 4 link, a Strange 9-inch with 3.89 Pro series


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The interior matches the rest of the car, clean and very well detailed, and we love the hammered silver paint finish on the chassis tubes and metal work. Troy needs only his shift light and digital dash to tell him what he needs to know when he needs to know it. The B&M Pro Bandit ratchet shifter is raised and angled for ease of use and shifts a Trans Specialties 2-speed Glide with Coan billet converter.

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gear and 35 spline axles out back. An S&W anti roll bar, Strange aluminum shocks and Strange brakes finish up the back of the car. With the foundation in place, John Buttrey was chosen to complete the body and paint. Dodge Viper silver was used for the base color. When it came time to spray on the true fire flames “Pinstripe Chris” Dunlop was the man for the job, using a mix of House of Kolor electric blue along with black and white highlights. Weld Aluma Stars wrapped in 10.5W Mickey Thompson rubber ride out back. Now the fun part. This time around a stock GM LS3 was acquired. A Comp Cams camshaft was picked from their line up and file-fit Total Seal rings and ARP head bolts and studs were also installed. The heads are

It is unbelievable the amount of power you can make with a crate motor these days! The rotating assembly and cylinder heads on this GM LS3 are bone stock. A fuel system, Comp cam and a T74 turbocharger have been added, and it’s off to the races, literally! The factory intake has been upgraded and a Computech Data Maxx data logging system, Innovative Boost controller and Electromotive XDI-2 ignition system are used. This combination works very well with the lightweight car (2,300lbs). The quality of work and detail here are topshelf and at 13-15lbs of boost, horsepower is around 850-900, and at 20lbs 1,000HP!


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100% stock. A Ron’s injection Flying Toilet injection system is used along with Ron’s nozzles, hoses and jets, all customized by Mullins. Mullins built the headers and mounted the T74 Turbonetics ball bearing turbo. The electronics come from a Computech Maxx data logging system along with Innovative boost controller and Electromotive XDI-2 ignition system. Getting the power from the 376-cube Chevy small block to the rear is a Trans Specialties Powerglide and Coan billet con-


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verter. Troy says, “this is a one of a kind build. I look around at the track and I don’t see another car like this. And going from a rear engine VW racer to a front mounted turbo small block is also a bit different”. What attracts the most attention is the car itself… I mean come on, it’s a VW! When the car drives through the lanes it sounds like any late model street Camaro with a cam, but when you look up and see what’s coming, it definitely screams “dare to be different”, as it is anything but status quo.

After all the hard work this little VW has been a best of 5.07 @ 137mph in the eighthmile, and that’s with just a handful of full passes on the car since completion. These numbers will change very soon once there are more runs on the new set up. Now it’s just a matter of tuning the new chassis to deal with the big power, and remember, the wheelbase on these things is just a bit on the short side. “5.00 Index” is also a class that Troy wants to try and run in, and if things keep going for the better then there

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Photos, left: The chassis works well with the 10.5W tires biting hard for traction. The biggest challenge with the short wheelbase VW is taming it down and seems that Troy and his team have that well in hand. The new airbrush work on the sides and hood really set off the look of the car. When it was first out the car was solid silver but with the latest updates came the new paint. Above: The Mullins Fabrications chromoly chassis is SFI 25.1 NHRA certified for running 6.0-7.49 quarter-mile elapsed times. Out back is an S&W Race Cars four-link suspension with double adjustable aluminum shocks, a narrowed Strange rear end with 35 spline Moser axles, and an S&W anti-roll bar is also installed. Up front are double adjustable struts and a Pinto style rack and pinion steering system. Right: Builder/driver Jeff Mullins goes over the tires just one last time before Troy makes another low 5 second eighth-mile pass.

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We caught up with Troy and Jeff during a track rental as they were working the new power slowly out of the VW. Here, with Jeff behind the wheel, a nice burnout readies the unique notchback for another pass. Below, Troy waits in line for a test pass at MIR during the Legends nostalgia race.

will be a 4-second time slip very soon and he can more easily tune to run to the 5.00 elapsed time. Troy is quick to say he couldn’t have built this car if it was not for such good friends like Jeff Mullins, Chuck Christman, Brian Butts, Chris Clem, Danny Sokolawski and most of all his family. And of course, thanks to his father Nathaniel “PootyCat” Mason who inspired Troy to get involved in fast cars and drag racing to begin with. So did Ferdinand Porsche ever have it in his mind that one day a turbocharged small block Chevrolet would make its way into a VW? You never know… after all, he dared to be different in creating the car in the first place, and we all know how that worked out!


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PART VII Gathering Information & Staying Safe

Story & Photos By Brian Hansen Additional photos by Manufacturers

Installing More Guages, Belts, Chute & Engine Diaper


nformation, the amount we gather and how we go about gathering it is essential to keeping any high performance car, let alone a street/strip car, running smooth and reliable for years to come. With our Green Machine Chevy we’re focused on reliablilty both on the street and on the strip, so we want to try to get as much info on what’s going on under the hood to the driver as quickly and effi-


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ciently as possible. Plus, we want to make sure that if something does go wrong, we’re prepared and equipped to handle it. Since our last installment of Project Green Machine here in RPM we’ve been busy getting the gauges to monitor the 489 Big Block Brawler wired up, installing the DJ safety cam-lock harnesses and Lower Engine Containment Device or “Diaper”… just in case.

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Above: Having the correct Nitrous bottle pressure is critical to ensuring that your Nitrous system is properly tuned. To easily keep track of the bottle pressure we’re using one of Induction Solutions jumbo 4” liquid filled gauges. These gauges read from 0-1500 PSI. We have our targeted bottle pressure marked at right around 900 PSI. AEM Wideband Failsafe Gauge. Back in the June update on the Green Machine we showed you AEM’s AQ-1 data logger installed. Now that the Stainless Works headers are on the car we’ve installed a bung in the 4” collector for the AEM Wideband Failsafe Gauge. This device provides the ability to accurately tune AFR (Air-Fuel-Ratio), while actively protecting the engine by constantly monitoring AFR curves and activating a userdefined failsafe strategy if it runs lean. With almost all of our gauges and warning lights in place, you can see that the interior of GREEN MACHINE is looking like a pretty cool street/strip ride. We still have some wires to run and few loose ends to tie up in here but it is coming along nicely. Our AEM Failsafe Gauge will be mounted to the right side of the steering column.

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GREEN MACHINE Just in case… we installed a lower engine containment device, or “diaper” as it is often referred to, on the Green Machine. It really is a vital safety item when you are making big horsepower regardless of your vehicle performance, and it’s been proven time and time again that even a solid 13-second car can get into just as much trouble when the engine lets go as an 8-second car. Uncontained oil can easily cause a fire or get on the tires causing a spinout. It is mandatory to run an engine diaper in NHRA if the vehicle is capable of 9.90 or quicker quarter-mile times, but a lot of damaged equipment can be avoided if all racers run one. Blowing up an engine is bad enough. Destroying a car and potentially injuring yourself when it can be prevented is simply not prudent. The construction of DJ Safety’s SFI 7.2 approved diaper is very different than non-SFI approved units. While the non-SFI diaper is indeed designed to contain oil, it is not subject to the litany of tests that an SFI approved lower engine containment unit is. The SFI Foundation tests for absorption, overall and ballistic strength (The diaper must resist a shot from a bullet). These factors ensure that when a catastrophic engine failure occurs, the diaper will maintain its integrity. The duration on the SFI 7.2 specification is five years before it must be re-certified. The diaper that we installed on the Green Machine has two layers of ballistic nylon covered by heavy duty nylon with oil absorbent foam inside to assure oil retention during engine failure. Most lower engine containment devices are held in place with quick release straps attached to the header bolts (like we did), however some racers will opt for frame mounted straps if they’re running a tube chassis. Due to heat and weight considerations, Kevlar internal and aluminized fiberglass outer material is also a popular option… and looks awesome to boot!


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Interior: Getting in and out of the Green Machine is not nearly as daunting of a task as we had thought it would be even though it has a NHRA 25.5 Certified roll cage. With its 119” wheelbase, and carnivorous interior, the Bel Air actually makes a great platform for a street & strip car. DJ Safety cam-lock harnesses for both driver and passenger look as good they perform. A Hurst Pistol Grip Quarter Stick shifter, B&M Line Lock, Stewart Warner 5” tach, AEM Wideband Failsafe gauge and a few Autometer gauges (Water temp, Voltage, Oil pressure) round out the goodies in the interior. Check out this view of big ole Green... Oh yeah, now that’s what I’m talkin’ about, street/strip! We installed the DJ Safety single chute a few months back at Nickey Chicago. The specific chute was chosen using the weight of the car and not only does it look wild, it’s functional, and most of all lets people know we mean business! Mix that in with the big wide body of this Bowtie, the roll cage visible through the rear window, and for the ultra-in-the-know-crowd, the Nickey emblem, and I don’t think we’ll get bothered much. At least not by any wanna be racers tooling around on a Friday night. But we’ll keep our racing to the track.


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When our 1966 Bel Air “Green Machine” was at Clocks Off Race Cars getting the Stainless Works 2 ½” primary headers built, Ron Wesley put the B-Body on the Intercomp SW787 wireless scales to see how much of the weight is on the front end, and also just how much the full-figured Chevy weighed. We were all surprised that with a full tank of gas, and two 15# Nitrous Supply bottles on board, it had 52% of the weight on the front and was 3,380 lbs race ready. Not bad for a full-size family car! We’ve now removed the hood and sent it in to have the Unlimited Products cowl hood scoop installed and the total package repainted. With the low stance of our ‘66 Bel Air combined with the sleek look of a Chevy cowl hood, the total package should look killer when we bolt it back into place.

What’s Next? We first introduced the “Green Machine” build back in the April Issue of RPM and things have really come along nicely with the project. Over the next month we’ll be installing an Unlimited Products fiberglass cowl induction hood scoop and we’ll be repainting the entire hood green. We’ll also be throwing a set of Mickey Thompson Drag Radials on the car so that we can get a few miles under our belt to see how it behaves on the street. Stay tuned because the fun is just beginning!

SOURCES: DJ Safety 2623 N. San Fernando Rd Los Angeles, CA 90065 Phone: (323) 221-0000 Induction Solutions 16121 Flight Path Dr Brooksville, FL 34604 Phone: (352) 593-5900

Clocks Off Race Cars 1321 Racine Street Racine, WI 53403 Phone (877) 247-7223 AEM Electronics 2205 W 126th Street Unit A Hawthorne, CA 90250 Phone: 310-484-2322

Stainless Works 9899 E Washington Street Chagrin Falls OH 44023 Phone (800) 878-3635


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If one ultra-fast street machine is good, then two just has to be better

Story By

Brian Hansen

Additional Photos Courtesy

Photography By

Evan Ray

Pete Ores

One Pro Street twin turbo’d 2,000HP 1973 AMC Javelin. One 1970 supercharged 1,500HP Chevelle Super Sport. Both Are Street Legal... Both Are Race Ready... Choose Your Pois on

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ampaigning a car in one of the many ultra-competitive fast street car events these days takes a serious commitment of both time and money. Trying to campaign two cars is pure insanity but Bryant Goldstone has been darn successful at it, having won a number of big races over the years including the Drag Week Modified Power Adder Class in 2012 and Pinks All Out race in 2009. There is no doubt that Bryant is a dyed-in-the-wool car guy…. always has been always will be. We’re going to introduce you to the two hot rods that he currently has in his stable; a 1973 AMC Javelin, and 1970 Chevelle Super Sport. Each has taken a completely different path with regards to style of build, but both are drop dead gorgeous, completely street legal and wicked fast!


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If one ultra-fast street machine is good, then two just has to be better 1970 Chevelle SS The Chevelle was bought 7 years ago as a “roller” off for the sum of $8,500. Since it was pretty solid to start with Bryant and his buddy Joe McNamare did a frame off restoration to bring it back to better than new condition. Knowing that the plan was to put a 1,000+ horsepower big block between the frame rails a ladder-bar style suspension was installed by Sonneborn Race Fabrication to harness the power that was forthcoming. During the 3-year build Larsen Race Cars also helped out and installed a 25.5 NHRA certified roll cage that is good to 7.50 at 3600 pounds. Engine/Drivetrain With a goal of getting the Chevelle into the low eights/high-sevens, Bryant worked with his father-in-law Norm Beerhorst (who owns Ultra Tech Racing Engines in Mishawaka, Indiana) to come up with a winning combination that ended up being a 581 cubic inch big block Chevy. Starting with an aluminum Dart block, Norm filled it with a Callies 4340 crankshaft, Oliver connecting rods, Diamond 9.0-1 forged pistons, Speed Pro Hellfire rings and a Crane .650 lift 266/276 duration solid-lifter camshaft. Edelbrock 24 degree cylinder heads with 2.350 (intake) and 1.880 (exhaust) valves were sent over to the guys

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Campaigning one car is a challenge for most racers but Bryant Goldstone has two badass street machines that he races at events all over the country. The 1970 Chevelle fit right in with the crowd of heavy hitters at Gus’s Drive-In during the 2013 RPM Extreme Event cruise night. The 1970 Chevelle is iconic and when combined with the optional LS6 454 engine option it was king of the street back in ‘70. Ultra Tech Racing Engines’ Norm Beerhorst built the 581 ci big block Chevy that belted out 1450 horsepower (at the rear wheels)! In the torque department it was no slouch either producing 1180 ft lbs at the rear tires. Check out the crazy plumbing! Sonneborn Race Fabrication built the custom tubing to the intercooler and the supercharger. Wiring and other plumbing was all done by Jim Murphy.

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Fuel delivery failure is not an option so Bryant relies on Weldon fuel pumps and a Weldon 14000 Controller. The Controller allows the fuel pump rpm to be turned down during street use and then instantly adjusted to full rpm at the race track with the flip of a toggle switch.


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RPM Quick Tech Sheet

1970 Chevelle SS Street/Strip

Owner/Driver: Bryant Goldston e Engine: Dart aluminum block, Calli es 4340 crankshaft, Oliver Billet Rod s, Diamond 9.0-1 flat top Forged pisto ns, Crane solid-roller camshaft Induction: Profiler 206-10RP intak e manifold with a 106mm throttle body Engine Management: Big Stuf f 3 Cylinder heads: Edelbrock /RFD 24 degree Power Adder: ProCharger F3-1 39 Ignition: MSD 8+ with Grid Syst em Transmission: Rossler 400 with Coan 5600 stall 10“ converter Suspension/Chassis: QA1 Glob al West, AFCO Ladder Fuel System: Weldon 2345-A fuel pumps (one for street and one for the drag strip), Weldon fuel filter s and a Weldon 14000 Controlle r Tires: Mickey Thompson 315 Drag Radials Car Builder: Sonneborn Race Fabr ication/Larson Race Cars (roll cage ) Weight: 4,025 pounds with drive r Exhaust: Lemons 2.5” primary tube header 4” collector, 4 muff lers Horsepower: 1450 hp at the rear wheels @ 6900 rpm Torque: 1180 ft lbs at the rear wheels @ 6500 rpm Performance: 7.94 @ 178mph through the exhaust (1.30 60’ time )

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A ladder-bar suspension and pair of AFCO’s best double adjustable shocks help plant the Mickey Thompson Drag Radials on the 1,500HP 4,000lb monster. Not that Bryant’s Chevelle is quiet by any stretch of the imagination but with four mufflers, and tail pipes that extend past the rear bumper, it is toned down enough to be driven 1,200 miles on Drag Week last year. The electric fan is for the Derale trans coolers that’s mounted under the trunk floor... pretty slick! Inside, a brigade of gauges keep track of the engine vitals. Check out those factory bucket seats! The stock dash, headliner and even back seat were retained even though they added a bunch of weigh to the car. As Bryant put it, “... we didn’t want to gut the interior and having a back seat was paramount since my wife and daughter like to cruise the town in the Chevelle.”

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at Race Flow Development for a full port job. Flow numbers after porting were 440 on the intake and 315 on the exhaust. Firepower comes from an MSD 8+ with MSD Power Grid. Helping the monster breath is a Wilson 106mm throttle body, Profiler 206-10RP intake manifold and Procharger F3-139 centrifugal supercharger. Lemons 2.5” headers help extract the exhaust gases through a 4” inch four-muffler exhaust system. With friend Mike Roy doing the tuning on the chassis dyno, the blown big block belted out 1450hp at 6900 rpm and 1180 ft pounds of torque at 6500 rpm… unreal! To transfer the power to the ground a Rossler TH400 with the “second gear leaver” option is used. As Bryant commented, “at most tracks we launch the car in second gear that is a 1.57 gear ratio. On the street, first gear is used for everyday driving. The converter is a 10” Coan 5600 rpm that I’ve had for quite a while and it seems to work pretty well. On the Drag Radials the car usually can cover the 60’ in 1.30 seconds… not bad for a 4,000 pound street car.” Launch! The Mickey Thompson 315 Drag Radials have produced a best 60’ time of 1.30 seconds… not bad for a 4,000 pound car! Father-in-law (and engine builder) Norm Beerhorst lines up Bryant during the 2013 RPM Extreme event held at Great Lakes Dragaway in July of this year.


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1973 AMC Javelin “I’ve had the Javelin for 26 years and have had a ball with it racing in events all over the country”, Bryant continued. “Truth be told when I flew out to Tucson Arizona back in 1987 on a one-way ticket my goal was to find a rust free Chevy II or Chevelle and drive it back home. When I couldn’t find what I wanted, my search expanded and I saw this Javelin advertised in the local newspaper. It was really solid and I needed something to get me home, so I offered her $1,450. She signed off on the title and I was on my way back to Indiana with my AMC.

The stance of Bryant’s 1973 Javelin make it look bad to the bone from any angle. Overlooked by many racers, the AMC’s produced in the late 60’s/early 70’s make good platforms for street/strip machines. Little did the Engineers at American Motors know back in 1973 that one of their Javelin’s would one day be running in the 7’s & 6’s in the quarter-mile... in street trim! Below, the parachute mount is a trailer hitch… seriously! When Bryant takes his Javelin on Drag Week next year it will be hauling a trailer filled with parts and supplies needed to make the 1200 mile trek.

Over the years Bryant has had a number of small block and big block Chevy’s in the Javelin. Prior to twin Precision 88mm Pro Mod turbochargers being installed, the 572 BBC was raced with a single stage fogger nitrous system. Even at a hefty 3500 pounds the Javelin ran 7.52 @ 186mph through the exhaust. With the additional power from the twin-turbochargers though, Bryant is shooting to get down into the high 6’s in the quarter-mile, and that is in street trim!

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RPM Quick Tech Sheet

1973 AMC Javelin - Street/Strip

Engine /Drivetrain

Owner/Driver: Bryant Goldston e Engine Short Block: Dart iron block with Callies 4340 forged crankshaft, Oliver Billet connectin g rods, Diamond 9.0-1 flat top pistons, Crane 280/282 lift .750 solid roller camshaft Induction: Profiler 206-10RP intak e manifold with 106 throttle body and Moran Atomizer injec tors Cylinder heads: Edelbrock / RFD 24 degree Power Adder: Precision Turbo 88mm ProMod Turbochargers (two of them) Ignition: MSD 8+ with AMS 1000 Boost Controller Transmission: Rossler Pro-Mod TH400/Pro Torque converter Chassis: 4-link by Sonneborn Fabrication Tires: Mickey Thompson 33x18.50 ET Street Weight: 3,500 pounds with drive r Exh aus t: Cus tom 2.25 ” prim ary tube hea ders by Bob Sonneborn with Borla XR1 muff lers Performance: 7.52 @ 186mph with previous nitrous combination. Not tested yet with new turbo set-up

Just like in the 1970 Chevelle, Norm Beerhorst chose a Dart Aluminum block for the 572 big block Chevy for the Javelin. The similarities didn’t stop there as nearly every other component in this engine is the same as in the Chevelle’s engine. A Callies 4340 crankshaft, Oliver rods, 9.0-1 Diamond forged pistons, Speed Pro Hellfire rings, Crane roller camshaft, Edelbrock 24 degree heads (ported by Sig Biezais) and a ProFiler 206-10 RP intake manifold make up the long-block assembly. Hey, if something works, you may as well stick with it. The power adder of choice consists of two Precision Turbo 88mm Pro Mod turbochargers. To manage the boost an AMS 1000 Boost Controller was employed and

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Top Sportsman / Top Dragster FEATURES: New BTE Magnum SFI Approved Case, Ringless Vasco Turbo Spline Input Shaft, Mega Racing Band, Two Ring Servo, Performance Servo Spring, Coated Deep Aluminum Pan, BTE Straight Cut Gear set (Available in 1.80, 1.98, and 1.69 ratios), Roller Tail housing/Rear Cover, New BTE High Volume Pump, Roller Governor Support, 10 clutch drum, BTE Top Sportsman High Pressure Transbrake Valve body, Dyno-tested.

$359599 Bracket Powerglide FEATURES: 1.76 Gear set with 4340 forged output shaft and housing, Steel Clutch Hub w/ 5 clutch pack, Rebuilt Pump, Two ring servo, BTE Bracket Transbrake Valve body, Kevlar lined Band, Dyno-tested.

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Engine (left): Twin Precision Turbo 88mm Pro Mod turbochargers are neatly tucked away on each side of the 572 Chevy built by Bryant’s fatherin-law Norm Beerhorst at Ultra Tech Engines. Custom 2.25” stainless steel headers were built by Sonneborn Race Fabrications. A very clean interior has zero resemblance of factory original and mixes just enough “street machine” with all-out-race. How would you like to go for a 1200 mile cruise sitting on those seats? My guess is that there would be a lot of you out there thinking Hell Yeah! There isn’t much room in the trunk of a Javelin as it is, but once a pair of wheel tubs, fuel cell, Chiseled Performance intercooler, Optima battery and Fuel Lab fuel system are jammed in there, things really get tight. A bullet proof rear diff and state of the art 4-link suspension plant the jumbo Mickey Thompson ET 33x18.50-15 DOT tires. Continued page 64

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Chassis Body Suspension Fabrication, Parts , Service



Engines & Cylinder Heads Parts, Service, Machine Work


SB-FORD Call Call for for details details

661-257-8124 PAGE 57



Fuel & Intake Carburetion Fuel Injection Intake Manifolds

The first to perfect the one-piece pushrod

Manufacturer & innovator of high quality competition valve train components 800.326.8368

Exhaust ALL



Racing Carburetors and Fuel Systems



Media, Marketing & Advertising Services PAGE 59

Performance & Race Parts ALL

10 10 lbs lbs lighter lighter runs runs 30째 30째 cooler cooler

Titan-TXR Titan-TXR





Race Orgs, Tracks & Events



Power Adders Incl. Nitrous Oxide, Blowers/Superchargers, Turbochargers, Systems/Parts/Service



Safety Apparel & Communication Transmission Converter, Clutch & Driveline Tires & Wheels


Tuning & Electronics

Incl. Ignition, Control Systems, Parts, Service PAGE 63

MISC. Including INSURANCE Tools, Tents, Vinyl Graphics

DOUBLE TROUBLE Continued from page 55

spark comes from an MSD 8+ ignition system. Moran 235-pound Atomizer Injectors are fed VP C16 Racing fuel thanks to a complete Weldon fuel system. Bob Sonneborn built the 2.25” stainless headers that route the exhaust gases back to the turbochargers. To transfer the power from the turbocharged monster back to the jumbo 33X18.50 Mickey Thompson ET Street’s a Rossler Pro Mod TH 400 with a Pro Torque converter was chosen. Sonneborn built the trick 4-link suspension and powder coated the entire assembly to keep it looking good, even after thousands of miles on the street & strip.

Special Thanks Campaigning two cars takes a team of talented people so Bryant wanted to make sure that thanks go out to those who have helped him over the years including; engine builder/ Crew-Chief (and Father-In-Law) Norm Beerhorst, Mike Roy-Tuner, Bob SonnebornFabrication/Chassis, Jim Murphy-Wiring, Joe McNamere- Painter, Evan Ray-Photographer. Special thanks go out to Bryant’s wife Bethany and daughter Cassidy for supporting his love for racing through thick and thin.

There’s nothing like taking your 2,000 horsepower street machine for a cruise on Saturday night! Although American Motors has been out of business since the brand name disappeared in the late 80’s, many hardcore enthusiasts like Bryant Goldstone dare to be different and build their cars to keep the AMC legacy alive. Bryant just finished getting the twin turbo combination together last summer and has begun making some shakedown passes. Once they unleash ALL of the new found horsepower the Javelin should be capable of running high 6-second quarter-miles. Bryant, his wife Bethany and daughter Cassidy stand proudly next to their two hot rods. Since her father built engines, Bethany grew up around racing and it was actually during a race that Bryant met his future wife (Norm’s daughter). He is a lucky man indeed to have a wife who appreciates cars and a father-in-law who builds racing engines!


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Story & Photos by Mark at Additional Photos: Tim Lewis & Tara Bowkers of Black Rock Photography

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Inaugural International Pro Mod Challenge Canadians take home Championship in what was being dubbed by many as the Pro Mod Olympics! In drag racing, Pro Mods are the biggest and baddest of all the doorslammer racecars, many of them with 2,500 to over 3,000 horsepower. And on September 20th, 2013 it finally happened, Pro Mods from two countries met to crown one champion. It took a few years for it to come together, but it did, an International Pro Modified Challenge between the champions of Canada’s PMRA (Pro Modified Racing Association) and the outlaws of the NEOPMA (Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Association). The idea of this inaugural event was to bring together racers from across our borders and compete on a team level, and no place would be better than the pavement of the renowned Maryland International Raceway (MIR), known for its impeccable track prep and sizeable crowds. Photos: One of the most popular cars in the area, though not the fastest, is Paul Atkins steel bodied Mustang. This car is a real back-half down to the chrome window trim and sports a Boss 526 FORD Hemi. This car is a BRUTE with his best of the year 6.82 @ 209mph. Jeff Swain out of Severna MD runs this wild 57 Chevy with supercharged 580ci. It’s not a class killer Pro Mod but it sure does get attention when it shows up. Jeff had some trouble putting up his usual numbers and wound up in the Quick 16 pack.

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Inaugural International Pro Mod Challenge The aspirations to have this show played out started through a collaboration of some key personnel, mainly Gerry Capano, Steve Drummond and NEOPMA President John Mazzorana, whose ideas prompted a connection be made to the PMRA and Bruce Mehlenbacher. And from there it began to come together. With thirty-five Pro Mods entering, stipulations were made to create two races in one, the main show with our Canadian friends and a “Quick 16”. To be included into the main show you had to have run at least two races with the NEOPMA or PMRA group prior to this event. Two full ladders were in place for a stellar weekend, which also fell on the 28th Annual Superchargers Showdown at MIR. Team Canada was well represented with PMRA champions from many years. They sent down their heavy hitters whom you met in the “Pre Event 411” article in September 2013 issue of RPM. With both organizations finalizing their seasons, and this race being a ten or more hour drive for most PMRA contenders, while a full field of Canadians was hopeful, it would not be the case. As early as The Team Green Camaro fires through the burnout box on its way to a 5.99 @ 243 which led Team Canada in qualifying. With a first round loss the weekend didn’t go as planned, but always the sportsman Eric took care of fans signing autographs and chatting during the course of the event. If ever a team could come together it’s Tim O’Hare’s, laying down the quickest qualifying pass of 5.90 @ 244mph for the weekend only to red-light his way out of a chance to run for the title in the first round.


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Inaugural International Pro Mod Challenge

The “Boyz From NY”, AKA Vinny Budano, qualified well with a strong 6.06 @ 235. Coming off a win at Super Chevy just a month prior, they badly wanted to repeat the victory in the 855ci Shafiroff powered “Bad Apples Racing” nitrous Camaro. Jeff Miller (Jeff Miller Performance/SM Race Cars) in his 57 Chevy overcame tremendous hurdles over the course of the weekend to make a fine showing in eliminations and qualifying. The team headed into eliminations with a solid best of 6.095 @ 232mph.

Above: The first rule of the International Pro Mod Challenge is to “smile” in the lower room at MIR. Left to right is: John Mazorrana (NEOPMA), Dave Ross (PMRA), Vern Christy (PMRA), Bruce Mehlenbacher (PMRA) and Track Owner Royce Miller. Early in the morning Jon Salemi (Resolution Racing Services), Paolo D’Alimonte and Eric Latino (Team Green) talk over the broad range of supercharging tune up tips and what’s next for the day’s events.

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Dave Hance’s white knuckle driving skills led him deep into the rounds. The well known promoter of the Shakedown At E-Town finally was able to connect his front half and back half times to set the MIR record for a Pro Mod with a 5.88 @ 251mph in the cool New York Motorsports 57 Chevy. Canadian Jim Bell’s awesome new turbocharged late model Mustang was instantly a crowd favorite. His long burnouts and sub six-second passes earned him a spot well into the rounds. Precision Turbo was also there helping Jim with the tune up.

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Wednesday however, teams were already in the pits preparing for this event, testing and tuning until the call was made for first round of qualifying Friday night, to be followed with two more on Saturday morning. Both these organizations run the full quartermile, which is one of the main draws of the NEOPMA series, and adding our Northern friends would only make it better. Some early trash talk went on with Canada having a distinct advantage, their cars dipping into the 5.80’s on numerous occasions while the USA side hadn’t seen those numbers since the first season opener at this track, but that was about to change. Many of the racers participating have already been featured in RPM Magazine so you will be familiar with some of the names and their rides. Let’s get it on!! Warm weather early in the Friday test session was an indicator that record numbers might not happen, however, as the call to the lanes was made for the 8pm qualifier the temperature was starting cool. Tim O’Hare, who earlier in the day found his motor smoking heavily when first started, wrenched all day, tearing it down to nothing and rebuilding it in the pits with his incredible team. Tim set the tone of this race with a right-offthe-trailer 5.90 @ 244mph, pedaling through the top end, and did so with the harvest moon blazing orange overhead. Saturday morning skies were clear and brilliant in the early hours. The track was prepared heavily for the show to begin, but not without a threat of rain for later in the day. Lanes were filled for the second qualifier with everyone ready for a hit at first call, some donning American flags, and others sporting the Canadian flag with pride. As second round got underway Tim O’Hare still held the number one spot, but Dave Hance in the NY Motorsports twin turbo 57 Chevy would belt out a record setting 249mph charge which fell just shy of the ET record for this track. The

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Inaugural International Pro Mod Challenge Canadian side of the teams were sensational, finally getting their grasp on this track with everyone in the first 8 of this class below six seconds flat. Eric Latino and Jim Bell both ran identical ET’s at 5.997. Those numbers, combined with Rocky Di Lecce’s 6.01 and Bruce Boland’s 6.09, help push this to the quickest and fastest sixteen car ladder this year! You could bet that eliminations would be tight! As the cars came to the lanes for first round of eliminations, track fanfare was going on with a launching of the national anthems, first “O Canada” followed by “The Star-Spangled Banner”. The warning of rain became a reality though with a shower beginning before the anthems could finish. The shower turned into a massive downpour and racing was stopped until Sunday morning. You really have to appreciate track owner Royce Miller’s calls when rain is coming, you can almost set your watch to his predictions. Waking to clearing, cloudless skies for Sunday morning was a good thing. Now it was time to define a champion! Tim O’Hare would red-light his chance away moving Jack Grainy’s 6.85 @ 209 into the next round. Team USA standout Fredy Scriba struggled all weekend only to find the Corvette unable to start, giving Gerry Capano (6.29 @ 234) the single pass. Canada’s Bruce Boland put a light (.023) and ET (6.07 @ 235) on Tommy Gray to oust him in his new “Undertaker” Corvette. Dwayne Wolfe (August 2013 RPM Magazine cover) ran a 6.08 @ 233mph but didn’t have the supercharged steam to keep up with the From top: Veteran drag racer and multi time PMRA champion Bruce Boland of Hamilton, Ontario raced fellow Canadian Rocky DiLecce in the finals. This flamed beauty held off some of USA’s toughest competitors while knocking down five second ET’s on the way. Fredy Scriba with a 5.98 @ 237 turns it on under the lights during qualifying also netting him the 5th spot in the ladder though his weekend would come to an end in eliminations when the big motor failed to start. Scriba was definitely one of Team USA’s nitrous hopefuls. Angela Ray lines up her ’67 Shelby against Steve Assnemacher’s Juice Junky Ford Probe. Unfortunately both were knocked out in round 1, Ray by McCurdy and Assnemacher by Hance’s record run.


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Gerry Capano in the Split Racing Corvette is one of the minds behind this Inaugural event. Gerry is one of the most respected and engaged racers of the USA’s NEOPMA series. He never misses a race and is quite involved with each and every racer, and his Corvette is nothing short of stunning! Chip King slows down from a screaming 5.98 @ 245 with his Strutmasters twin turbo Hemi Daytona. King stands strong in NHRA points sitting in ninth place as of this writing. Above: During some off-time in the Team Green’s pits, Pete Brower, Drag Racing Market Manager for JRI Shocks (Mooresville, NC), let us in on their line of custom racing shocks. The facility is one of the most complete for R&D focusing on developing shocks that work on both the front and back half of the track.


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Inaugural International Pro Mod Challenge twin turbo 481X inside Jim Bell’s Mustang locking it in at a 6.00 @ 237mph. Rocky DiLecce gets his first round win and his first five second pass with a 5.99 @ 245, eliminating the stunning nitrous Camaro with X275 hitman Dean Marinis behind the wheel. Kevin McCurdy in Team Hard Racing’s supercharged Camaro wowed the fans with punishing 600ft burnouts all weekend and his 6.25 @ 209 would put (RPM Magazine

July 2013 cover) Angela Ray’s ’67 Shelby on the trailer. Earlier in the weekend Jeff Miller’s team were welding on the ‘57 Chevy when an errant spark was delivered through the chassis, exploding the oil tank. This almost ended their weekend but repairs were made in time for them to come back and take out Canada’s Eric Latino who was a hopeful of getting to the finals. Dave Hance’s first round run would instantly hit the internet when he

scorched the track setting both ET and MPH records (5.887 and 251.58 respectively) against Steve Assnemacher’s “Juice Junky” Ford Probe. Round two would begin the pairing of USA vs. Canada with each opponent to face an international competitor, cool isn’t it? Bruce Boland would get an easy pass as Gerry Capano couldn’t make the call, Canada 1. Jack Grainy would suffer a loss

Jim Barker (left) smokes the hides during the night qualifer. Later in the event the car was taken out on the top end in a high speed crash with the Mustang of John Hines (right). Both cars powered through the top end and as Hines grenaded his motor the Mustang swerved into Barkers beautiful Camaro causing massive damage to both cars. Barker later would say that parts are coming and he’ll be back soon. Both drivers were OK.

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Inaugural International Pro Mod Challenge as he shuts off early and Jeff Miller fires off a much better 6.10 @ 232mph, USA 1. Rocky DiLecce had to face Kevin McCurdy who made this an incredibly close race, fender to fender with DiLecce getting the win with 5.98 @ 245 to McCurdy’s stout 6.05 @ 240mph, Canada 2. Dave Hance would find another twin turbo entry in the opposite lane with Jim Bell ready to spin them to oblivion for this round. Hance would take the win in one of the closest turbo pairings of the year as he went a 5.92 @ 249mph to Bell’s 5.97 @ 236, USA 2. You couldn’t have asked for a more exciting set of 1/4 finals! Things couldn’t have shaped themselves better if scripted for the big

screen… two teams, both vying for the final round in this USA vs. Canada semi-final. Both teams determined to bring a car into the finals. It did come down to the quickest and fastest though, with Jeff Miller’s 6.04 @ 235 not able to keep up with Bruce Boland’s sleek Firebird’s 5.97 @ 238mph, thus ending Miller’s chance to represent USA. Rocky DiLecce continued his streak of five second passes into this round with 5.92 @ 246 as Hance, around 330ft, puts his 57 Chevy into a power wheelie. Canada now has the finals all to themselves. For both these racers it was what they came to do, someone was going home the champion though, and now we all knew it

would be a Canadian. Both teams were pitted together and are now pitted against each other in the final. As anyone would wish, it was a wheel-to-wheel final drag race with the new Champion, Rocky DiLecce, taking the title with a .053 starting light and a 5.946 @ 245mph run to Bruce Boland’s very close .024 light, 6.005 @ 238 run. The margin of victory (MOV) for this final was an incredible .03 seconds between the most powerful doorslammers in North America! What a way to end an exciting inaugural event and mark the start of preparations, and the smack talk, for 2014.

Your International Pro Mod Challenge Champion (flying the Canadian Maple Leaf through the burnout in our lead photo), Rocky DiLecce in the Metro Infrastructure Inc. Camaro. Rocky, a former Outlaw 10.5 Champion in two countries during the same year, was without a doubt the most consistent racer of the weekend with a string of sensational 5.97’s to 5.98’s… he made it look easy! Here, MIR facilty owner Royce Miller presents the goods in the Winners Circle. Rocky (far lane), took on fellow Canadian and multi-time PMRA Champion Bruce Boland in the final. Nobody would have ever guessed that it would be two Canadians in the final, let alone two blown cars given the number of capable nitrous and turbocharged entries. But as they say... that’s racing.


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The Second Coming Story & Photos By Toby Brooks

RPM Project aPocalypSe: Part I Pro Street Revolution You might not have realized it just yet, but there’s a revolution brewing. The staccato pops of freshly struck acetylene torches in shops from coast to coast are growing ever more frequent. Tirehood obesity, nearly eradicated by a decade of dub wheels, 40-series tires, and an endless maze of strategically placed traffic cones is thankfully—mercifully— magnificently—again on the rise.

than having them handed down on high by some magazine editor at a keyboard in California has led many, including me (who is ironically sitting at a keyboard at the moment) to believe that the king’s return is near.

Grab your shortened axles and punch them with clenched fist defiantly into the sky, soldiers. Pro Street is cool again.

What the Heck is Pro Street?

Not that it ever wasn’t, mind you. That’s probably just what you were led to believe. The styling trend that dominated the decade of the 80’s and persisted well into the 90’s never really went away—it just got nudged out in print. It remained popular, particularly in the Midwest, but that fact may come as a surprise to most. A quick thumbing through most car magazines printed over the past decade reveals that pro touring, resto-modding, and (gasp!) rat rodding have grabbed the lion’s share of feature coverage. However, the predictable ebb and flow of styling trends, reinforced by an ever-growing crowd of street machiners who would rather define or defy trends themselves rather


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Pro Street 2.0. Pro Street Returns. Pro Street Reloaded. Call it what you will, but you read it here first. It’s back.

Pro Street can trace its roots to the drag strips of the Midwest. Influenced heavily by the look of Pro Stock cars driven by the likes of Bob Glidden, Warren Johnson, and others in the late 70’s, the idea was to build a dual purpose street/strip machine that could go fast in the quarter and look good doing it. The term, originally appearing in Popular Hot Rodding in 1978, was coined to pay homage to the Pro Stock roots of the trend. Depending upon the application, many builds were heavy “pro” and light “street.” Typical styling cues included fat tires in back tucked up under the body on a narrowed rearend, a lowslung stance, varying amounts of drag raceinspired protective equipment, and a potent powerplant. Pro Street cars lurched their way around (and oftentimes overheated at) fair-

ground cruise routes across the nation at all the hottest summer shows and most every drag strip imaginable. At the apex of the trend in the late 80’s, names like Scott Sullivan, Matt & Debbie Hay, Rick Dobbertin, Rich Gebhardt, Rocky Robertson, Mark Grimes, Troy Trepanier, and a host of others had elevated the game to nearly unbelievable heights. Cars with wild paint, exotic multi-stage forced induction systems, and the requisite foot-or-more wide steamroller rear tires filled the pages of magazines month in and month out. It is simply human nature to try to one up the other guy. This spirit of one-upmanship led to the creation of fairgrounds full of incredibly artistic, and sometimes impractical expressions of automotive excess. By the mid to late 90’s, car builders had grown tired of the impracticality of tubbed cars at the time. Low-slung chassis scraped and dragged everywhere. Exotic induction systems often made for hard starting, poor idling, and generally poor street manners. Predictably, the move toward milder cars that were easier to drive and maintain and possessed modern amenities like electronic fuel injection, air conditioning, and power accessories

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began slowly but accelerated in time. In 1990, roughly 60% of all cars featured in mainstream custom car magazines were Pro Street. By 2000, not a single tubbed car was featured. By most accounts, Pro Street was dead.

der: Detroit has cranked out a number of very cool cars since the trend seemed to take its last breath in the late 90’s. How cool would it be to build a modern interpretation of the iconic Pro Street style? The hunt was on for a suitable start.

However, on closer inspection, Pro Street never really died so much as morphed and evolved in new directions. On the “street” side, enthusiasts more interested in good looking cars that were more docile and practical naturally headed to the Pro Touring camp. Those more interested in the “pro” side and going fast gravitated towards the Street Car Drag Racing movement, which most would agree started officially in 1992 in Memphis. It was mostly Pro Streeters that came out and banged off the then quick ETs and started the massive revolution of Street Car Drag Racing. It was only after this that “small tire” drag racing gained momentum and was the next wave. The 10.5” tire crowd expertly applied new engine technology to put massive amounts of horsepower, unthinkable in all but all-out racing applications just a decade before, and their radial tire successors have followed in their footsteps. But for the big tire, raked stance fans classes such as Nostalgia Pro Street were born and continue today.

I won’t name names, but it was a conversation a little over a year ago with the managing editor of a mainstream Pro-Touring heavy magazine that struck the match that lit the Pro Street fire in my mind. Prior to the conversation, my thought was that it would be really cool if someone would build a modern Pro Streeter. After the conversation, I walked away certain that somehow, some way, that someone would be me. “The world will end before we feature a Pro Street car again,” he said incredulously. Seriously? A magazine whose pages were FILLED with Pro Streeters just a decade prior was now convinced it would take an apocalypse to make the trend worthy of feature coverage in their sacred pages again? Very well. We would bring them the apocalypse. Scratch that. We’d bring them the aPocalypSe—the “P” and the “S” insolently standing tall to declare my citizenship in the Pro Street Nation.

In the process, the true dual purpose car that could win shows at the fairgrounds or go rounds at the dragstrip equally well became all the more hard to come by. The scarcity of obvious exceptions to the rule like Corvette King Rod Saboury and his laundry list of hard running Bowties, Larry Larson and his steel-bodied Nova, and Tom Bailey in his incredible “Sick Seconds” Camaro highlight just how difficult it can be to build a true street/strip car that excels at both. For most, attempts to build a car that can be driven on the street and perform well on the strip most often results in a car poorly suited for either task.

Signs of the aPocalypSe The idea to build a late model bodied car with all the classic Pro Street styling cues was birthed during the writing of my newest book, Sensory Overload: Cool Builders, Hot Cars, and Wild Times at the Street Machine Nationals. Talking about the style and reminiscing about the past with the legendary builders who defined it for over a decade made me nix the nostalgic look and begin to silently won-

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Our donor ‘06 Mustang arrived via flatbed for the paltry sum of $65. The aftermarket hood and passenger side fender had both been replaced after a minor collision, but the previous owner threw in the lightly damaged factory pieces at no extra charge. These may be used for future body mods or welding practice.

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The Second Coming The next few weeks were filled with periodic Craigslist hunts. Our search for a suitable start began in my mind, thinking the perfect target would be a late model car with a clean title and some sort of driveline problem. That would ensure the cost of the car would be reasonable and the savings could be applied to the considerable cost it would take to finish a no-holds-barred high power Pro Stock/ Pro Mod styled crusier. Personally, I was hoping to find a fifth-gen Camaro. I’ve always been a Chevy guy and I am a big fan of the look of the new cars in NHRA Pro Stock competition. I was nearly born into this world in the passenger seat of a 1970 Boss 302 though. My dad had been a Ford guy and although I often liked a number of Ford offerings, for one reason or another I always found myself buying GM. Given the fact the late-model Mustang body had been around longer than the Camaro, I thought my chances of finding a solid start for the newest RPM project would be better. Photos, from top: We’ll give you the standard Magazine walk-around before we get to ripping and tearing. The car is the perfect mark for a killer Pro Street build because it is relatively straight and clean, however, the grenaded engine makes it hard to sell. Throw in a desperate seller in the midst of a move and the purchase price goes down even more. The previous owner’s now ex-wife had lightly touched a pole in a parking lot on the passenger side corner. The owner had already replaced the injured sheet metal with a new re-pop fender and a duraflex GT 500 hood. No matter, as a stretched VFN nose and flat hood is planned for the build. A number of the factory pieces will be stripped and sold for parts. Our hopes are to recoup most if not all of the initial $3,200 purchase price by selling off the tires and wheels, various body and interior pieces, what’s salvageable off the engine, brakes, transmission, and rearend. The GT Premium leather interior smelled of smoke and had more than a few stains. It will soon be gutted and anything worth having will be sold.


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I was right. The ad read “2006 Mustang GT Premium. 77,000 mile one owner. Not running. $5000 OBO must sell.” I contacted the owner and found that the car had ejected a rod after someone failed to properly reinstall the drain plug after an oil change. It had been lightly hit on the passenger corner but the title was clean and clear. He was moving in a month and not only had no way to transport it but also nowhere to store it at his new apartment. I waited until the day before he had to move when I knew desperation would be high if the car was still available. For the don’tarrest-me, but-I-pretty-much-stole-it agreed upon price of $3200, we had our start.

Best Laid Plans With the car towed back to the base, after two solid days, we had it stripped and ready to deliver to Rich Gebhardt for chassis fabrication. We commissioned legendary hot rod artist Steve Stanford to put our ideas on paper. The car would feature a full 4130 chrome moly Gebhardt-built tube chassis with a 7” stretch. A top-of-the-line Ride Although modern power plants with turbo setups often provide gobs of power from beneath factory hoods, we are opting to use the forever-cool calliope stack arrangement on a Kaase Boss9 injection system. The stacks coupled with a set of one-off baffled zoomies will provide the look of a 60’s Funny Car while retaining some decent street manners. An NOS port nitrous setup will also provide at least a 200-250 shot. The mile-deep magenta pearl topcoat will be accented with traditional Shelby stripes with a twist: subtle matte silver QR codes embedded in the graphics in a digital fade on the hood and rear deck. Web links to manufacturer sites and other cool ’net destinations will actually be painted on the car. A modern style extended single wheelie bar, Pro Stock style wing, and a drag chute or two will compliment the steamroller Mickey Thompsons in back. The trick four-corner Ride Tech suspension with on-board compressor, rear Shockwaves and front air struts will allow us to slam it at the show, and drive it on the street. Even better, the air suspension pieces are direct bolt in replacements for traditional coilovers on the rear four link and front struts should we decide to swap to a static setup for racing. We plan to run dual carbon fiber tanks between the tubs, one nitrous and one for the air ride. A full Gebhardt chrome moly tube chassis and tons of custom touches will eventually occupy the interior. Plans call for carbon fiber tubs, custom racing buckets, five point harnesses, a Vintage Air system, power windows, locks, and mirrors, an audio/video system, and some ultra-smooth Larry Snead Interiors stitched leather accents. A sprinkling of one-off J&B Microfinish billet pieces will finish things off.

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The Second Coming Tech suspension all the way around would provide the classic slammed stance while parked with the benefit of an adjustable and practical cruising ride height. A VFN fiberglass front clip would conceal a wild 900 horsepower Kaase Boss9 engine with calliope stack injection and a 250hp+ direct port shot of nitrous via none other than NOS. The biggest (aft) and smallest (fore) Mickey Thompson Sportsmans, mounted to oneoff Budnik wheels would put the power to the pavement. Lots of new-tech touches like carbon fiber wheel tubs, oneoff J&B Microfinish billet pieces, and ceramic coated Metal crafters zoomie headers with custom street-friendly baffles would prove it

isn’t just an antiquated piece of history. A plush “street rod nice” Larry Snead interior would fit the build theme well, too. However, a wild Ilove-the-80’s magenta pearl paint job with a modern twist; fresh QR code infused digital Shelby stripes would be expertly applied by Pro Street legend Scott Sullivan as a purposeful nod to tradition. By the time the whole project is complete, our hope is that the aPocalypSe Horse will lead the charge into a brave new future where fat-tired cars proudly roam fairgrounds, streets, and strips again. The best part is you’ll get to read and see the whole thing right here in the pages of RPM as we turn the vision into reality. Welcome to the new age. Embrace the aPocalypSe.

Legendary artist and renderer extraordinaire Steve Stanford took our ideas of combining old school drag racing and Pro Street influences and modern pro mod/pro stock touches on our 2006 Mustang body and ran with them. The end result was exactly what we were hoping for.


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Cruise Down Memory Lane New book celebrates the legendary Street Machine Nationals and the cars and builders that made it the greatest show on Earth By Toby Brooks

How’d I Get Here Again? To this day, I have no idea how I ended up here.

NATIONALS” in which he lamented the loss of a once sacred rite of gearhead passage.

What most likely started out as a typical, random, just-killin’-some-time-surfing-the-web google-fest on a slow weekday night three and a half years ago wound up being a life changing, career-altering moment in time.

Initially launched in Indianapolis in 1977 as the brainchild of Car Craft Magazine’s Harry Hibler, the Street Machine Nationals were originally intended to be a cost-effective means of generating tons of feature content for the publication while also providing young enthusiasts with a venue to show their rides, swap ideas, and generally have a good time.

I happened upon a now epic thread on President of the Illinois Street Racers’ Association Joe Carter, a.k.a “SuperProJoe,” wrote a quick post entitled “I miss the good ‘ole STREET MACHINE

By the time I attended my first “Nats” in 1986 at the tender age of 11, the event had flourished from 1,300+ participants and 10,000 spectators in 1977 to a record 5,000 cars and 113,000 spectators by 1984. The show had become THE place for major trendsetting cars to be revealed. Wild creations like Scott Sullivan’s iconic 1967 Chevy II, Rick Dobbertin’s twin turbocharged and rootsblown 1964 Chevy II and Matt and Debbie Hay’s wicked 1984 Olds Ciera had all made their initial splashes at earlier installments of the Nationals. 1986 would be no different. The only thing wilder than the cars at the Nats was the notorious Mardi Gras-like party that seemed to follow wherever it managed to call home. After being kicked out of Indianapolis after a five year stint and Springfield, Illinois after three, the show spent one regrettable year in East St. Louis before finally ending up in tiny Du Quoin, Illinois for its tenth installment. The Nats continued to grow and change over time but eventually its hard-partying ways wore thin with the locals there, too. City fathers in Du Quoin disagreed with event Bret Voelkel’s air ride equipped 1970 Mustang debuted in 1996 as the Street Machine Nationals seemed to be drawing to a close. The car helped Voelkel launch Air Ride Technologies (later Ride Tech) and was one of the first street machines to sport a four-corner air bag suspension. Bret Voelkel photo provided.


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promoter Bruce Hubley over who should pay the added expense associated with disposing of the enormous amounts of trash the rowdy crowd had generated following the 1998 iteration of the event. Both sides refused to budge and the event once dubbed “Woodstock on Wheels” and “The Greatest Show on Earth” was homeless again, a pathetic version of her previous splendor. So why would a guy like Carter and the hundreds of other posters who would eventually contribute to the thread choose to randomly post on an internet message board about how badly they all missed some car show that hadn’t been held in over a decade? (Incidentally, now nearly 3,700 posts strong and almost four years old, the thread is one of the most popular ever in the history of the site). Quite simply, the Nationals weren’t some car show. They were the car show.

Book It As I paged through the hundreds and eventually thousands of posts recalling the incredible street machines, the unforgettable times hanging with friends, the hours of

The Nationals featured all manner of eye candy for many a young street machiner back in the day. Sights like this convertible full of bikini-clad coeds were common. Butch Pate photo.

Left: Perhaps no Pro Streeter in history is more divisive than Rick Dobbertin’s neverequalled Pontiac J-2000. The car featured a full polished stainless steel tube chassis, an all aluminum small block Chevy with two turbochargers, two superchargers, and a 20-port nitrous system. Many credit or blame Dobbertin’s over the top effort with initiating the move back to more streetable Pro Street efforts. Ceasar Maragni photo.

Matt and Debbie Hay’s 1984 Oldsmobile Ciera featured an alcohol-burning Chevy mill, a Matt-built Alston tube chassis, and Deb-bent aluminum work. The car was later purchased by audio company Orion for use in their marketing efforts, but it debuted in East Saint Louis at the 1985 Nationals. Ceasar Maragni photo.

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Cruise Down Memory Lane impromptu midnight hotel burnout contests, and all manner of other activities ranging from slightly weird to outright criminal in nature, I was overcome with emotion. Countless pictures of the event and the times took me back to some of the sweetest childhood memories I could recall. If YellowBullet were my time traveling Delorean, then SuperProJoe and all those many posters were my Doc Browns, posting photos and telling stories to make the whole thing go. My dad—a lifelong gearhead himself—had purchased tickets to that first event in ’86. I honestly can’t tell you what my juvenile mind expected prior to the event, but what I saw once we arrived blew me away and changed me forever. There was candy paint, polished superchargers, and fat rear tires as far as the eye could see. There were beautiful young ladies in various

Scott Sullivan’s 1967 Nova stole the show at the Street Machine Nationals in 1979 and defined pro street for the next three decades. A testament to Sullivan’s timeless style, all of his builds seem to be just as cool and relevant now as when they were debuted 20 or 30 years ago. Scott Sullivan photo provided Now well-known builder Troy Trepanier’s Pro Box Impala was one of the first-ever pro streeters to feature tons of street rod influences like sculpted interior panels, billet pieces under the hood and throughout the chassis, and a memorable pastel color choice. It was one of the stars of the 1991 edition of the Nats. Marc Telder photo. Pro Street Legend Mark Grimes debuted his heavy breathing Chevy Eurosport at the Nats in 1989. The car featured a Dobbertin-influenced three supercharger system on a big block Chevy. Toby Brooks photo.


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states of undress and sobriety everywhere. The sweet aroma of freshly spent race fuel and burnt rubber and the unmistakable sounds of open headers, lopey cams, and whining blowers hung thick in the air. It was an unrelenting and overwhelming assault on all your faculties on a scale of unimaginable proportions. It was sensory overload. What that single internet thread had done is unlock a floodgate in my mind. Childhood memories of countless hours reading car magazines, building model cars, strolling the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds with my dad, and eventually building street machines and sport trucks of my own, all came rushing out. Although I have always been a sports fan, in many ways, the builders who created the cars I had cut from the pages of all my favorite magazines and taped to my bedroom walls as a kid were my mythical childhood idols. I decided that someone needed to write a book to chronicle and celebrate this peculiar little corner of American sociology. And that someone would be me. Over the span of the next 36 months, I became obsessed with researching, understanding, and recording everything I could about the show and the people who had made it so spectacular.

Cover artwork for Sensory Overload: Cool Builders, Hot Cars, and Wild Times at the Street Machine Nationals

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By project’s end, I had located, purchased, read, and catalogued each and every issue of Hot Rod, Car Craft, and Popular Hot Rodding from January 1977 until December 2000—a total of 828 magazines and 99,360 pages of print. I had conducted and transcribed over 50 hours of telephone interviews with 42 individuals. I built two websites and maintained three Facebook pages. I wrote 16 chapters and close to 300 pages.

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Cruise Down Memory Lane Many folks are surprised to discover that Pro Street legend Rod Saboury’s first feature car was not a classic Corvette but a ’69 Camaro Rod rehabilitated from super stock duty and debuted as a street legal car at the ’84 Nats in Springfield, Illinois. Rod debuted this ’57 Vette at the 1991 show. The plate says it all: “INTHE8S.” Saboury ran the car at the first-ever Fastest Street Car Challenge in 1992. Toby Brooks photo.

Legendary builder Rocky Robertson was decades ahead with his groundbreaking electronic fuel injection equipped Pro Street Buick Somerset and his wildest creation ever, this full stainless steel tube chassis Buick LeSabre. Robertson still owns the car, prominently displayed in his custom auto shop in Albers, Illinois. Ceasar Maragni photo.


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Many known names in the street machine scene can trace their hot rodding heritage to the Street Machine Nationals. Tim Strange, former host of Spike TV’s “Search and Restore” debuted this wild DeSoto at the 1998 Nats. It was one of his first full scale builds and helped him launch his shop, Strange Motion Customs. Butch Pate photo.

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Sensory Overload: Cool Builders, Hot Cars, and Wild Times at the Street Machine Nationals was finally complete. However, it was quite literally just the beginning.

Better Than Ever In my estimation, even more important than finishing the book, I had incessantly hounded both Du Quoin fairground officials and Hubley’s Family Events Promotion Company to bring the Nats back for 2013. I wasn’t alone in the effort and both groups eventually agreed. The first copies of the book were cracked open just three days before the event—a mad dash race to the wire to ensure they would be ready for the re-launch of the event they were so gladly celebrating. Matthew Louck of Family Events had graciously allowed me the opportunity to pull together an event within the event too, honoring the Legends of Pro Street who shaped and changed street machining trends for the better part of two decades. A special area was reserved for the cars of yesterday like Rocky Robertson’s Buick LeSabre, Mark Grimes’ Malibu, Scott Sullivan’s Cheez Whiz ’55 Chevy, Bret Voelkel’s ’70 Mustang, and Gary Buckles’ ’70 Camaro. Rod Saboury even rolled out an immaculate new build just in time for the event, a tubbed LS-7 powered ’63 Corvette. The 2013 reunion show featured over 2,700 cars and lots of familiar faces. Left to right: Rick Dobbertin, Scott Sullivan, and Tim Strange swap stories while Toby Brooks signs copies of his new book. Christopher Kays photo. Pro Street heroes Matt & Debbie Hay were on hand to sign autographs and participate in the Legends of Pro Street ceremony. The weekend served to stoke the Pro Street flames for the Phoenix-based couple. They have managed to track down their pink 1988 Thunderbird and are in the process of a total restoration of the car.

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Cruise Down Memory Lane Familiar names like Rick Dobbertin, Matt & Debbie Hay, and Rich Gebhardt all made the trip, too. Although none brought cars, all were welcomed and honored. Throw in former Car Craft and Hot Rod editor Jeff Smith, 2,700+ participants (nearly triple the expected turnout) and over 20,000 spectators and it was like a class reunion at Street Machine High. What started as a welcome and nostalgic flood of fantastic childhood memories sparked some three years prior had budded and blossomed into an incredible and unforgettable weekend— and a book I’m more proud of than anything I have written in my 16-year career. It also spawned the idea to build a no-holds-barred pro streeter—RPM’s new Project aPocalypSe Horse that you can read about in this issue—for a future Nats reveal, too. Sensory Overload is meant to be a supercharged and nitrousassisted trip down memory lane for anyone who braved the fairgrounds and witnessed the event firsthand back in the day. With more than 150 photos (including 36 full-color pages) and 268 pages of crazy stories, funny tales, and surprising facts and figures, it is also an eye-popping, jaw-dropping account of those wild times and fast cars for both those who attended and those who didn’t. Toby Brooks is an assistant professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, a contributor to RPM MAGAZINE, a graphic designer and a freelance author. His book: Sensory Overload: Hot Cars and Wild Times at the Du Quoin Street Machine Nationals was released in June 2013, just in time for the rebirth of the show. You should buy a copy of it. Seriously, you should. Go to

Scott Sullivan’s Cheez Whiz 1955 Chevy was on hand in 2013, looking just as good as the day he rolled into the fairgrounds in 1988. Sullivan never trailered his cars, driving from Dayton, Ohio annually. Together with then-Hot Rod editor Jeff Smith, Sullivan drove the car across country in 1988 while Smith chronicled the whole trip for the pages of the magazine. The trip would later serve as impetus for the Hot Rod Power Tour. Christopher Kays photo.

By Saturday, the “Legends of Pro Street” corral was the place to be. In addition to iconic builds on display, the visionaries who built them were honored with commemorative awards. Chris Kays photo.

RPM Magazine November Issue 2013  

HOWLIN HAULER – Owning a stout, street legal 1954 Chevrolet 3100 pick-up was Alan Williamson’s dream, and he only had about 3,500 miles of o...

RPM Magazine November Issue 2013  

HOWLIN HAULER – Owning a stout, street legal 1954 Chevrolet 3100 pick-up was Alan Williamson’s dream, and he only had about 3,500 miles of o...