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Terms and Conditions: Rebate offers are valid only for qualifying machine purchases made during the promotion period, which begins on April 4, 2016, and ends on December 31, 2016. To qualify for the Machine-Only Purchase rebate amounts you must purchase a qualifying Miller machine and submit a valid rebate request. To qualify for the Machine with Additional Product Purchase rebate amounts you must purchase a qualifying machine plus the specified dollar amount in additional Hobart or Miller products and submit a valid rebate request. You must be at least 18 years of age and have reached the age of majority in your state of residence in order to participate. Rebate requests must be made by January 14, 2017. Alteration or attempted alteration of sales receipt is prohibited and constitutes fraud. Fraudulent submissions will not be honored. No duplicate requests or mechanical reproductions. Distributors, retailers and employees of Miller Electric are not eligible to participate. Miller Electric Mfg. Co., 1635 W. Spencer Street, Appleton, WI 54914, reserves the right to verify identification and sale. Promotion may not be used in conjunction with other offers. Rebate submission may not be assigned, transferred or sold. One rebate submission per invoice. Please allow six to eight weeks from the time the rebate is submitted for delivery of check. Unless expressly prohibited by law, payee authorizes reasonable dormancy fees deducted if check not cashed within 180 days. Offer valid in the 50 United States and DC. Offer not valid in Canada. Offer valid through participating Miller distributors only. Transactions made on the Miller Online Store do not qualify for the Build with Blue rebate. Void where prohibited, taxed or restricted by law. © 2016 Miller Electric Mfg. Co. Miller, the Miller logo, The Power of Blue, Blue Star, Dynasty, Millermatic, Spectrum, Syncrowave and Trailblazer are registered trademarks of Illinois Tool Works, Inc. Hobart is a registered trademark of Hobart Brothers, Inc.

Bench RACING  FROM THE EDITOR Car enthusiasts: Living their dreams


ne of my favorite things about working for Power & Performance News is the wide cross-section of folks I encounter. Take for example Brad Toles: a Master Chef AND a master of classic Mopar machinery. It was a pleasure to see a slice of his life on my recent two-day visit to Palm Springs, California. I can honestly say I have never seen more Mopar parts. . . and I’ve been at this for four decades. The Toles tour is well documented in the story found on page 100. After two days of hanging with Toles and talking about cars (watch for a YouTube video with Brad and me on the PPN Channel in September), it was clear he had passion for what he did. While I was not present to see his life as a Master Chef (July is out of season for events in red hot Palm Springs), I could tell that bouncing between cars and catering was jam packed with demanding customers and celebrity-packed events, all colored with realistic deadlines. I could tell he loved it. Throughout this issue, there are car owners, builders, and writers who love what they do. From the late model CTSV supercharged Cadillac and street/ race-ready ’65 Chevelle of Charlie Currie to the Boss 9-powered Ford Torino of John Jinnings, these cars are labors of love, each part selected and installed with the directive of achieving more pleasure when behind the wheel. Perhaps the high water mark for passionate car collecting was H.B. Halicki, Toby to his friends. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, just think of the original movie, Gone in 60 Seconds — and not the Nicolas Cage redo. Toby’s Gone in 60 Seconds was a B Movie car chase, crash, and bash funfest. If you haven’t seen it, well, you have a treat coming. Not comfortable to place second in any race, Halicki built the most awesome personal and private car collection I’ve ever seen. Covering approximately the same area as a football field (all indoors), his car and toy collection overwhelmed all those lucky enough to be invited, car enthusiast or not. Set in a junkyard of his creation in Gardena, California, (he built it for another low budget film, The Junkman) a ball joints-throw away from legendary Ascot Raceway, Toby’s collection has never been topped, in my estimation. We wish to thank author C. Van Tune for breaking into his personal photo archive to reveal this lost car collection. To show cool cars and interesting car people is at the core of this magazine. Stir in the added benefits of automotive instruction and information that can help you better enjoy your vehicle, or the vehicle you hope to build some day, and you have what this magazine is all about. Like Brad Toles, who started his career as a dishwasher, his dream was to achieve culinary success. But, his secondary target was to someday replace the ’68 Chevelle he could no longer afford due to the cost of school and work. It takes an undying desire to sacrifice where necessary to climb the rungs of success. Dreams can come true. 


Operations Director Shawn Brereton Group Publisher John Nichols Editorial Director Cam Benty Senior Tech Editor Jeff Smith Tech Editor

Richard Holdener

Contributors Greg Connoyer Joe Greeves Kyle Hyatt Steve Reyes Carl Zander

Brandon Flannery Dan Hodgdon James Maxwell C. Van Tune

Advertising/Subscriptions Ivan Korda Jonathan Ertz For advertising inquiries call 901.260.5910.

Copy Editor

Cindy Bullion


Hailey Douglas


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Power & Performance News is published biannually to promote hardcore automotive performance as well as recognize the parts and services from participating manufacturers. The magazine consists of dedicated information from partner companies with the mission of disseminating unfiltered editorial on companies, products and services directly to automotive enthusiasts. Editorial and advertisements for each issue originate from partner companies participating in the magazine. Power & Performance News is a hybrid of content that was originally published at as well as original content that was created for this biannual print magazine. Magazine distribution occurs through direct distribution from parent company Xceleration Media and partner companies. Power & Performance News is a property of Xceleration Media. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written consent from Xceleration Media. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.





Classic Creation’s purple GT500CR Mustang turns heads. To see more, see page 32.








3658 4 3099 8



VOL. 7, NO.





TECH 26 PAINTING – SIMPLIFIED Revolutionary spray gun will change how you paint

38 SMALL-BLOCK SHOOT OUT Two classic small blocks with very different personalities


Shopper’s guide to maximizing your nitrous system


Understanding vapor lock and its cures


Bellhousing alignment is key to swift shifts


How polyurethane bushings changed my life


Is this the wildest car collection ever?


GT500CR 900S – Shelby code for cool


This 2016 CTS-V Caddy deserves three Vs

56 PROFILE – ROSS SHELTON Crane Cams master of performance


Sedate ’65 Chevelle has inner beauty


Racer, writer, builder, automotive industry leader



Brad Toles’ amazing Mopar emporium


The answer to the question “What if?”


A perfect Riverside Gold 435-hp Corvette

Your oil can tell lots about engine condition 60+ hp from a simple FAST EFI install TCI’s EZ-TCU delivers perfect state of tune


COMP Cams “high-tech” classic muscle car cams


DIY guide to unleashing hidden horsepower

2  Power & Performance News / Vol. 6, No. 1



Carbon Fiber Hood  Ringbrothers.................................... 58 Muscle Car Fuel Tank   Aeromotive............................... 58 Performance Programmer Plus   JET Performance...... 58 EFI Wet Nitrous System  ZEX......................................... 59 Radiator Expansion Tank  Granatelli Motor Sports....... 60 200R4/700R4 Lock Up Kit  TCI Auto................................ 60 Voodoo Roller Rocker Arms  Lunati.............................. 60 Belt Drive for LS EFI  Jesel............................................. 61 LSR Cam Series  COMP Cams......................................... 62 HR Oils  Driven Racing Oil................................................. 62 Scratch & Scuff Remover  3M....................................... 62 Shelby GT350 Exhaust  Magnaflow............................... 63 Trip Navigation System  JBL.......................................... 63 LS Swap-in-a-Box  Trans Dapt....................................... 64 XR-i Points Conversion Kit  FAST.................................. 64 SlamAir Shocks  Air Lift Performance............................ 65

See more new products updated daily at

DEPARTMENTS 01 BENCH RACING Car enthusiasts living their dreams


Not all car cures require a high-tech solution

10 SPEED NEWS The latest and greatest

14 VIDEO REWIND Racing, products, and entertainment videos


Stay connected through social media


Power and performance sites, apps, and social media


Hunting for hidden treasures


End of an era – Vipers no more

Even more features, videos, & event coverage 3

Fast TALK  WITH JEFF SMITH Experiences with 17th century technology in the 21st century


y buddy Tim Moore and I were having lunch and talking cars, as always. The subject of stepping up into the 21st Century is a near-constant theme. It began over a discussion about the small-block Chevy that had recently been running very poorly in one of his many vehicles. It would surge and not accelerate, which at first pointed to a lack of fuel. After a thorough rehab of the fuel delivery system, including a new mechanical pump (which it needed anyway), new filters, and an investigation into the carburetor, the surge was still present. Next, he decided to look under the distributor cap of the HEI, something that hadn’t happened in some time. Tim quickly saw the problem: the mechanical advance mechanism was frozen solid and not creating any advance. Worse yet, he discovered the vacuum advance canister had also failed, leaving the engine with only the minimal initial advance. He quickly yanked the distributor and rehabilitated the mechanical advance system with lube and new springs, while also adding a new cap and rotor. He also replaced the vacuum advance canister, and now the engine runs like a champ. In fact, while we were talking about it, this 8.5:1 compression engine could probably use even more timing at light load cruise situation — approaching 50 degrees. I would be willing to bet the engine will not only run better, but also run cooler at the same time. We started talking about how this seems to be a common problem with HEIs, and I made the comment that here we were, well into the 21st Century, and “we’re still tinkering with a device that was probably used on the first steam engine.” After lunch, this motivated me to dig a little deeper into the basic design of a two-ball or three-ball governor. Wikipedia led me to James Watt’s installation of a two-ball governor used on his first steam engine in 1788. Reading a little deeper, there was a comment that James Watt didn’t claim to invent this basic governor because it had been used as a speed limiter on basic milling devices dating back into the late 1600s! So, here we are, messing around with older muscle cars that are still using a device perfected by James Watt that can trace its lineage back to the time of Louis XIV in France, roughly the same time early American settlers were gleefully participating in the Salem Witch trials. That is just flat astounding. My grandfather was an engineer with the Chicago Northwestern railroad from the 1930s through the ’50s, and he was one of those selected to transition from steam to diesel locomotives. We were having a talk about steam engines one day when I was just a kid, and he showed me how a basic three-ball governor works. That’s the first time I heard the term “balls out.” While most think this has more to do with a certain portion of the male anatomy — the truth is the term “balls out” merely refers to maximum speed on a two- or threeball governor-controlled steam engine. When the balls are 6  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

flat out, that’s as fast as the engine will run — unless you cheat the governor! While all this trivia is fun, it does little to drag us troglodyte (meaning hermit, or someone who lives in a cave) car guys out of the 1800s and into the 21st century. In a classic stream of consciousness, this pushed me to start thinking about a story I did a few years ago that garnered nearly zero attention. A company called EFI Technologies makes a 24x and 58x shutter wheel for a small- or big-block Chevy that, along with a billet front timing cover from my pals at TPIS, will now give you an LS computer crank signal. Add a 1996-2000 GM plastic crab cap distributor that uses a built-in cam sensor and we have the two important sensors necessary to convert a small- or bigblock Chevy to LS engine computer control. This allows us to not only use 21st Century sequential control over the fuel injection, but we can now use the factory GM coil packs and enjoy incredible timing accuracy with finite digital control over spark timing — impossible with that James Watt device sitting on top of your mechanical advance distributor. According to my friend, Jim Hall, at TPIS, they have tested this system on several small-blocks and seen an average torque gain of nearly 20 lb-ft. That’s the average! My feeling is this is due to the advantages of superb timing accuracy that is just not there with that whirling dervish distributor. That whole conversion isn’t really expensive and would rocket a ’50s era small-block right into the 21st Century. In the 1950s, prognosticators were telling us that by 2016, we’d all be driving flying cars and living on the moon. That hasn’t happened, but this LS conversion is affordable, easy, and begs to be done. Who’s with me? 

We can trace the origin of this simple mechanical advance mechanism all the way back to the 17th Century. Isn’t it time for hot rodders to move into the 21st Century with timing control?


e s t o R i n g


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Cookin with cars Chef Brad Toles has built an amazing collection of Mopars after only nine years of collecting. Sharp-eyed Chrysler fans will spot the Dodge Coronet and Dodge Charger in the background — yep, both are original hemi cars. Guarding the door to this garage is a rare 383c.i. Challenger convertible, while the ‘Cuda on the rotisserie awaits the next steps in its full restoration. 9



Déjà vu — 50 years later Ford GT wins Le Mans with 1-2-3 finishes In 1966, Ford GT40 won at Le Mans, delivering on the promise by Carroll Shelby to “kick old man Ferrari’s butt.” It was a huge win for Ford and set fire to the legacy of Ford performance that was to last generations, fanned again most recently by the re-release of the Ford GT (40) in 2005. Using Le Mans as a landscape to paint another great racing picture, the newest Ford GT debuted with a big win this past July. After a perfect 1-2 win at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, a three-team GT juggernaut headed to the biggest racing stage in the world, Le Mans in France, to attempt an historical repeat. Reliving the success of the past, Ford’s newest GTs, powered by a modified turbocharged 3.5L six-cylinder EcoBoost engine, finished 1-2-3 piloted by drivers Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller, and Sebastian Bourdais. It could not have been higher honors for the Chip Ganassi Racing Team and proved American ingenuity in a huge way. To wave the Ford flag back home, Ford executives staged a huge heroes celebration at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, two days after the big win. “It’s always a great day when you can bring a celebration like our Le Mans victory back to Ford employees and be able

to present this trophy to them,” said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. “This victory for was them. So many of our employees worked very hard to help us get ready to race at Le Mans, and we couldn’t have done it without them. And all of our employees, here and globally, have been behind us from the start in this effort, and we wanted to let them know how much their support meant to us.” With his 175th victory, Ganassi becomes the only owner in history to win the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, Rolex 24 at Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, and Le Mans 24 Hours. “The new Ford GT is a spectacular car, and we feel honored to be the ones to race it and

10  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

represent Ford,” Ganassi said. “In just two-anda-half years, this Ford Performance Chip Ganassi Racing program has won the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, among others. You

can probably call that the sports car triple crown — the three biggest sports car races in the world, and Ford and Chip Ganassi Racing have made an indelible mark on all of them. I couldn’t be more proud.”

Speed NEWS


Dodge Charger Pursuit debuts Just what we performance folks wanted to hear: the cops just upped their game. While a few of the 2016-7 Dodge Charger Pursuit vehicles will feature the 292-hp 3.6LPentastar V6, now self-respecting police departments will step up to the 370-hp V8 versions capable of 0-to-60 mph times in the six-second range. Top Speed: 140 mph! Ouch. Rear-wheel and all-wheel drive versions are available, both receiving 25mm larger diameter rotors, 4mm thicker for added cooling. Tires are P245/55R18 Goodyear Performance

tires on 18x7.5-inch steel wheels. That’s a significant improvement over the previous Dodge Pursuit offerings that debuted in 2013. Other upgrades include a new vehicle systems interface module in the instrument panel for easy equipment integration, police-duty front seats with unique bolstering to accommodate officers’ belt-mounted gear, and column-mounted shifter with Auto Stick to free up space for center-console mounted controls. The 12.1-inch touch screen not only controls vehicle operations, but also

connects to the police computer systems, reducing the need for that bulky laptop that usually dressed the interior. While the front push bar is unmistakable, the light bar, the easiest to spot feature (for you speeders – and isn’t that all of us?) is now significantly more narrow and sneaky, allegedly to help with the aerodynamics of the Charger. The new Charger means it’s a new day for cops everywhere. No longer is it a case of not being able to outrun a radio — you wont be able to lose that cop car either!

Anniversaries abound: Camaro turns 50 Few new cars have the following of Chevrolet’s Camaro, launched in Sept. 1966. To celebrate, Chevy is throwing not only a party at the Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit, but announcing the arrival of the 2017 Camaro and the 50th anniversary edition. In 1966, Camaro was Chevy’s answer to the Ford Mustang, offering sporty and solid performance with both small-block and big-block engine options. Rated at 375 hp in its highest form, it was an able competitor for the Ford. The newest Camaro can

certainly top that. The ZL1 Camaro is rated at 640 hp and packed with a host of driver-help electronics that make tire smoke optional — unless you are in the mood for tire smoke. Things have changed a lot in 50 years the launch of the new 2017 Camaro marking a huge milestone birthday of this true American icon. For 2017, the Anniversary Camaro delivers some impressive performance features, along with some vibrant graphic and styling cues that will make it a collector’s item for many.

Key points are the 20-inch wheels, body color front splitter, and Nightfall Gray Metallic 50th anniversary

stripe package. Oh, and they are all LT1 6.2L 455-hp V8s. What else would you expect! 11



Honoring the P-51 legacy and an American hero The Old Yeller Mustang was designed to pay homage to the legendary North American P-51D Mustang, which served as the official pace and safety plane at the Reno National Championship Air Races. The car also pays homage to Bob Hoover, who piloted Old Yeller for more than 20 years, making more than 1,000 airshow performances. Hoover is considered one of the greatest pilots of all time. This Old Yeller Mustang started as a 529-hp Shelby GT350 and was built up and customized into the most race-ready road legal Mustang yet, which has everyone really excited. “This year’s one-of-a-kind Ford Mustang honors two aviation greats, the iconic and historic P-51D Mustang fighter plane and highly decorated fighter pilot, test pilot, and airshow performer Bob Hoover, who is referred to by many as one of the

greatest pilots ever to have lived,” said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of the Ford board of directors. “The Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang, with

its nimbleness, speed, and aerodynamics, provided us with the perfect platform to create this tribute to the P-51D aircraft.”

Bidding farewell to Viper in a colorful way Dodge is celebrating the 25th and final year of Viper production with five exclusive limited-edition models, four of which are pictured here. (From left, the Viper Snakeskin Edition GTC, inspired by the original 2010 Snakeskin ACR; the Vooodoo II ACR, modeled after the original 2010 Viper VooDoo edition; the Viper GTS-R Commemo-

12  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

rative Edition ACR; and the Viper GTS-R Commemorative Edition ACR and 1:28 ACR black and red Edition.) Each model is designed to pay tribute to one of the most distinguishable and iconic Viper paint schemes of all time. One of the most notable configurations includes the white and blue com-

bination, denoting the 1998 Viper GTS-R GT2 Championship Edition. In addition, the Viper 1:28 ACR pays tribute to the current production car single lap record of 1:28.65, set by champion driver Randy Pobst at Laguna Seca Racway. A fifth Dodge Dealer Edition Viper ACR, not shown, is available through select Dodge dealers.

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Video Rewind is where we point out interesting videos found on the Internet. Whether they are historical, funny, dramatic, technical, or whatever. We like them, so we thought you might too.

To watch all the videos below, head to:


HOW NOT TO DRIFT? This is a public safety message. If you tear it up on the street with a high-horsepower car, you deserve the results that occur — such as what happened in this video. This video is a great example of high horsepower gone bad. If you can’t handle the power, leave the traction control button ON!

DIY INSTALL OF THE MONTH – JAVELIN HOOD SCOOPS So Kevin comes into his shop wanting hood scoops on his clean Javelin. What he gets is a whole bunch of abuse from Pete the shop owner — which becomes pretty funny in the end. I’d hate to be Kevin! Our apologies for the expletives and the spelling. . . No clue what it looks like when he finished. 14  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

Jay Leno knows a bunch about cars. This video is the smartest we’ve seen, comparing Shelby Hertz legacy cars: the classic ’66 GT350H and the 2016 Shelby GT350H. To add additional merit to the walk through, Mark Domer, Director of Vehicle Maintenance for Hertz Corporation, gives the details on the newest rent a car program.

UNLEASHED: CHALLENGER SRT HELLCAT EP. 1 Dodge, America’s mainstream performance brand, and SRT have launched a new tagline that captures the passion, attitude, and spirit of the entire brand. “Domestic. Not Domesticated.” This slogan will be integrated into all of Dodge and SRT brand communications across multiple platforms and consumer touch points, including television, print, digital, web, social, and experiential. Their first video, embedding the new slogan in our brains, starts with this heavily CGI created video. The mechanical Hellcat figure is sure to be a reoccurring graphic that all Mopar and Transformers fans will certainly appreciate.

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Digital GUIDE  WEBSITES / FORUMS / APPS Breathe free: Respiratory Guide In this issue, we spend a significant amount of time unveiling the new 3M Accuspray One spray guns. But, key to any automotive painting operation is protecting your lungs from the ill effects of not only the paint fumes, but other debris. It makes perfect sense that even when you are sanding on the paint, primer, or body filler, you are creating lots of stuff that’s being vacuumed up with every breath. This guide gives an overview of respiration equipment offered by 3M and what you can do to protect yourself from future health issues. In addition, they show what protection is warranted when drilling, sanding, welding, metal cutting, or simply stirring solvents. It’s great information to know. APP

Got vibration? Can’t figure out where that vibration is coming from? This app was designed at the Department of Automotive Technology Transmission Lab at Weber State University to do just that. The app determines major issues, such as tire and transmission vibrations, and more subtle issues, such as driveshaft vibration. For a more complete diagnosis, there is an optional data link module that plugs into the communication port, allowing the app to communicate with the vehicle. The app also includes a diagnostic tool to help cure whatever problems you discover. Compatible with ios and Android. Cost: $399.99

Power and Performance at your fingertips Power & Performance News has made it as easy as possible for you to receive the information you are looking for in the format you feel most comfortable with. Whether you get your information on a laptop, tablet, or your phone, we have several avenues for you to get info straight from the source. Our content is updated daily, so check often with Power & Performance News through any of the social media options on the right.

18  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

Heads Up Display for the masses Many of today’s modern cars come with a heads-up display, but for most of us, we are relegated to other devices for directional information. How about Heads Up Display for about $50? HUDWAY Glass takes your cell phone and turns it in to a heads up display. The system includes a fixture that fits on your dashboard and reflects the cell phone screen into the HUDWAY Glass screen. The App output shows your speed and directions to your destination in much the same way as your cell phone would — just without you having to look down at the phone. For any non-navigational, non-HUDequipped vehicle, it’s a cool way to get around.

Mic that? So, you are going to dive in and assemble your engine. Do you trust the engine builder got everything right when he machined your parts? You break out the micrometer to measure for yourself. Do you know how to read a micrometer? Has anyone ever taken the time to show you? Are you really sure? Take the guesswork out of your abilities with this simple and educational overview that includes an interactive test along the way. Don’t worry — none of your friends need to know . . .




JUNKYARD Words / Photos C. Van Tune Additional images by H.B. Halicki Productions

H. B. “Toby” Halicki’s secret car collection was beyond amazing


“Toby” Halicki and the “Eleanor” Mustang in its record-setting 128-foot jump, from the original Gone in 60 Seconds.

hen Toby Halicki sent you an invitation, you didn’t turn it down. Not only was he the cult hero of the original Gone in 60 Seconds (as producer, director, writer, stunt man, and star), Halicki was a car collector beyond imagination. Behind the 12-foot-tall blank walls of his junkyard in the industrial city of Gardena, California, resided the most impressive, diverse, and flat-out huge collection of cars, models, and automotive memorabilia we’d ever seen. It’s been called the largest assemblage of collectible car items in the country, estimated at more than 100,000 items, back in the day. Factor in the separate areas filled with model train layouts, pre-World War II pedal cars, and other vintage toys, and there were more jaw-dropping sights at every turn. The total space dedicated to the collection was about the size of a football field, with secret rooms behind hidden panels that contained collectible guns, Lindbergh-era airplanes, and vintage motorcycles. To drive the point home, a wall in Halicki’s office flipped up like garage door, allowing him to park his commuter car (such as his favorite Rolls-Royce) next to his desk. It seems almost impossible to be the result of one man’s sole efforts, but Toby claimed to have personally selected and positioned each item in his sprawling collection. As an added dash of artistry, he displayed it all in buildings fashioned to look like an old west town. Some say Toby’s collection obsession was powered by a longing to create the happy childhood he never had. As one of 13 children in his blue-collar New York family, he had to grow up mostly on his own. He scavenged spare car parts from his father’s towing business and taught himself how to build his first cars at a young age. He moved to California at age 15 and eventually owned a towing business, which spawned a junkyard and led the creative Halicki to envision how to make the ultimate car movie — much of it shot without permits and with Halicki himself doing many of the stunts. You already know the story of Gone in 60 Seconds, so we don’t need to cover that here. Our story begins in the early 1980s, when PPN Editorial Director Cam Benty and I got to know Toby as he was putting together his second film, The Junkman. We worked at Popular Hot Rodding magazine at the time and were introduced to Toby by one of his stunt drivers (and movie-car builder), Eddie Paul. Halicki’s public persona was that of a hard-living renegade, mysterious and a bit dangerous. In reality, he certainly was a high-energy man who never wanted to waste a single minute of the day, but he was also a nice guy driven by an intense desire for all things automotive: movies, magazines, muscle cars, modifieds, race cars, and much more. If you loved automobiles, and could recite specs and trivia at his own amazing pace, then he was your friend. Real car guys were IN. Hollywood phonies were OUT. It took Toby all of about one-sixtieth of a second to size you up and invite you in, or simply tell you “There’s nothing to see here.” So, to get the chance to walk through the gates of the H. B. Halicki Mercantile Company & Junkyard and discover the secret sanctum of Toby Halicki is still one of the most memorable highlights of our magazine-writing careers. The fact he invited us back “anytime” led to regular visits, including attending an elaborate “Junkyard Party” celebrating the 10th anniversary of Halicki International Pictures in 1984. 21

How significant is Eleanor to the car movie genre? Just about any list of “favorite movie cars” will put this yellow ’73 Mustang at or near the top. Gone in 60 Seconds set the bar high for car movies that would follow. The bridge-jump scene in Smokey and the Bandit and the epic police chase in The Blues Brothers are just two examples.

Movie posters in various languages promoted the Gone in 60 Seconds release in numerous countries.

Not exactly high-tech, Eleanor’s interior was stripped down and fitted with a Halicki-built roll cage, harness, and handles on the floor to control the rear brakes. Note the use of chicken wire inside the passenger side door. A camera mount bracket was welded to the car’s floor behind the passenger seat.

We also were granted access to the collection to shoot an episode of PHR’s own TV show, Performance Plus. Our show’s host was famous racing announcer Steve Evans, the man who created the legendary radio commercial line: “Be there, Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!” Those were good times, with good people. But, all good things come to an end. In Toby Halicki’s case, it was sudden and without warning. On August 20, 1989, during the filming of a chase scene for his upcoming movie Gone in 60 Seconds 2, a steel cable attached to a 160-foot-tall water tower accidentally snapped, whipping itself around and shearing off a telephone pole that struck Halicki, killing him. He was 48. Following Halicki’s death, his widow, Denice Halicki, padlocked the collection until the estate’s legal issues could be resolved. In the years 22  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

Halicki created a diorama model of his infamous crash on LA’s Harbor Freeway, in which Eleanor accidentally careened into a power pole. He told us that the crash, filmed without permits, was so unplanned that even though he was injured, the first thing Halicki asked was “Did you get the shot?”

Covering more than a football field in size, Halicki’s collection was hidden away behind the walls of a western movie set, surrounded by his working junkyard. Secret doorways opened to allow select guests inside.

Toby’s office included a moveable wall to allow him to park his daily-driver Rolls Royce next to his desk.

The collection included a Batmobile reproduction, flocked with a “bat fuzz” exterior, as were the four authentic Barris-built cars for a period of time.

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With more than 100,000 items on display, it could take you several days to explore the collection. But, you had to be on Toby’s personal A-List to even get a brief glimpse. In addition to cars, Halicki collected model trains, airplanes, motorcycles, bicycles, vintage signs, license plates, and more.

Back when 25th Anniversary Corvette Pace Cars were supposed to be “worth a fortune someday,” and the California Highway Patrol was experimenting with Camaros, Toby Halicki had a selection of each.

to follow, most of the items were auctioned off or otherwise disposed of. As the story goes, all that’s left today are memories of one man’s amazing obsession with all things automotive. There will never be another Henry Blight “Toby” Halicki.

A prized part of my own (very small) collection of automobilia are the vintage car items Toby gave me just a few weeks before his death. He was selling some of his collection to help finance the film and let me have several 1920s–30s hubcaps and car emblems.

When Toby Halicki threw a party, he made sure it was memorable. This 1962 Pontiac Tempest, sawed in half lengthwise, made for a great bar. 24  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

Somewhere in my storage boxes crammed full of 1980s video tapes is the Performance Plus episode where we interviewed Toby and toured his collection. Anyone still have a VHS player so we can watch it? 


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3M’s new Accuspray One spray gun system reinvents how you will paint your car


Words / Photos Cam Benty


t’s a pretty normal procedure. You take out your primer gun, make sure it is clean and that the correct atomization nozzle orifice is in place. After mixing the right combination of primer and reducer, you strain the primer into the cup with a paper filter and reattach the gun system. The filter then goes in the trash when you are finished with the primer application, and you clean the gun liberally with solvent — as any workman would do to make sure his gun is in good working order for the next primer job. Next, you find your pigment gun and do the entire process again, using another filter to strain the paint. The pigment/color is applied, and the above process of cleaning the gun 26  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

with solvent to make ready for the next job is followed. The same process is followed for clear and sealer layers (sealer follows primer) — maybe not a full gun change, but at least a nozzle change to ensure the right spray pattern and atomization are achieved. For some, that’s four guns and at least four filters to strain the liquids to avoid nozzle-clogging dirt. That was then; this is now. The Accuspray One system allows you to use the same gun for all of these operations, from primer right down to clear coats. To change the atomizing head of the spray gun, you snap in a new atomizing nozzle. Each different nozzle, from 2.0mm (primer) through to 1.2mm (clear coat) requires nothing more than snapping out the atomizing

nozzle head, by depressing the two tabs on each side of the nozzle. Depress the new nozzle back on the face of the gun, and when the double click is heard, the new nozzle is ready to go.

Filtering in style One of the most wasteful parts of any painting operation is the amount of material lost in the filtering process. As noted, it takes four filters to paint one car — and possibly more if secondary operations are needed. The Accuspray One system changes all of that. “We incorporated the filtering system into the Accuspray One Cup top,” says Andy Boyd, marketing director for 3M’s Paint systems. “After mixing your material, pour the primer, paint, or clear into the PPS cup.

No section of a car is harder to paint than the roof. With 3M’s Accuspray One system, not only is the painting easier with a much lighter gun, the clean up, efficiency, and performance are all improved.

If you paint a lot of cars, the contents of this cabinet are probably very familiar. In most cases, painters have guns for each of the main painting duties: primer, sealer, color, and clear. That can get really costly when you look at the spray gun investment alone.

Integrated into the top of the cup is a filtering system that eliminates the paper filter step. PPS cup filters are available in a variety of micron filtering sizes, and the liners that insert into the cups include a graduated marking so you know how much material is being poured into the cup, to keep you informed of your mixtures. With the price of paint materials these days, that reduces a huge amount of waste.” “In addition, to clean the reusable gun nozzles, it takes only two ounces of solvent,” continues Boyd. “To clean out the nozzle, simply fill the inlet tube with solvent and pump the gun with the trigger to release the solvent through the nozzle and remove all of the internal paint. Be-

The 3M Accuspray system incorporates five different nozzles that allow you to quickly swap out the atomization nozzle, rather than having to change guns or needles. The gun is composite material, making it significantly lighter than standard aluminum spray guns.

cause of the nylon construction, paint does not stick, and the nozzle is completely clean. The Accuspray One also meets all VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) regulations and is a top feed system like all current guns, which reduces waste and allows for gravity feed of all paint materials.”

Painting benefits The Accuspray One kit uses a composite gun, replacing the standard aluminum gun systems that are common today. With a full paint cup installed and air line attached, the gun is considerably lighter than the standard gun assembly. That is a great thing when you are painting a complete car,

A closer look at the nozzle shows how simple these atomization nozzles are. They are released from the gun head by depressing the tabs on either side of the nozzle.

where fatigue can set in with a heavier gun system. In addition to the lighter weight, the Accuspray One gun can be sprayed 90 degrees to the surface of the panel. While that is nothing new for painting the side panels, when painting top surfaces, it is a big deal. 27

The easiest way to get started is with one of these all-in-one 3M kits that include four nozzles, the spray gun, a few PPS cups (the cups include the filter to skip the need for paper filter and come in various filter gradients), and the pressure gauge — all for around $200.

Mark Oja at Custom Rod Garage has the full setup from 3M, including lots of PPS cups with various filter sizes. Note the large cup dispensers on the wall in the background. He paints a lot!

A nozzle for every paint — it should be noted that 3M also offers four different types of PPS cups so you can mix up only the amount of material needed. This is an awesome gun for panel repairs where only a small amount of paint is to be used.

With most conventional systems, you cannot achieve 90 degrees on roof panels or hoods since the vent tube on the reservoir will drip paint onto the panel. With the Accuspray One system, the gun and cup are sealed, and there is no possibility of paint leakage. That is a huge benefit to painters looking to get even coverage on hard to reach top sections of the vehicle. The atomizing nozzle heads are generally good for eight to 10 uses. Replacement heads for the Accuspray One system cost under $20 each. That ensures you have a clean canvas and your gun is working in perfect order. With the price of paint jobs these days, that’s a very small price to pay for a 28  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

As an example of the PPS cup details, this particular cup holds 850ml./28 fl. oz. and has a 125-micron filter in the top.

virtually new spray gun every time you paint.

Painting Made Easy To test the 3M Accuspray One system, we had Mark Oja at Custom Rod Garage in Huntington Beach, California, paint an entire car with this system. The test vehicle was a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air with recently completed bodywork, and ready for primer. Of note is the fact the Accuspray gun spray pattern is about 85 percent the size of many guns commonly used for projects of this size. That meant we had to make more sweeps across the surface of the vehicle to get complete coverage. However, being able to hold

the gun at a true 90 degrees to the surface of the vehicle made up for the smaller fan coverage. Throw in that the Accuspray One gun is significantly lighter, yet meets the VOCF requirements for all 50 states, and you have a system that works very well. For the primer coats, we used the 1.8mm atomization nozzle followed by the 1.5mm nozzle for the sealer coat. As we were painting with PPG single stage urethane, legal in California, we used the 1.4mm atomization nozzle for a 50-50 mix of pigment and clear. That allowed us to apply two coats of color/clear, making the job not only easier but gave the final black coloration an even deeper look. If we

Prior to our arrival, Oja had already primered the subject ’57 Chevrolet. He used the Accuspray One system without issue. On to the color stage.

had applied a clear coat separately, the 1.2mm atomization nozzle would have been used. The results of the painting procedure were impressive, and we determined we saved about a pint of painting materials and easily a quart of solvent that would have been used for the cleaning procedure. In terms of cost and clean up, the benefits are big. In terms of reduced environmental impact, they are revolutionary.

One major advantage of the Accuspray One system is it allows you to spray at right angles to the panel — even on roof sections, hoods, and deck lids. With no vent hole to cause the drips that occur with standard guns, the spray is delivered more evenly.

The spray fan of the Accuspray One spray gun is slightly smaller than most production guns. That makes it really excellent for panel repairs or other non-automotive projects. But with an artisan such as Mark Oja at the controls, a perfect final product was never in question.

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One tip from the experts: Mark mixed the PPG black pigment with the clear rather than applying the color, letting it set up, and following it up with clear coats. In this way, he was able to imbed the clear layer deeper in the black paint for improved final appearance.

The One-Step Kit One of the top benefits of the Accuspray One System is that the complete system with four nozzles, composite gun, a starter set of 3M PPS cups, and even the air gauge to measure the amount of air entering the gun is included in a kit that costs $200. Not to sound like an infomercial, but that means you get four spray guns in one package — replacing individual spray guns that today can cost up to $800 each. Replacement nozzles and cups can be purchased separately from 3M, of course. Lest we forget, this new 3M spray paint system is not only great for painting vehicles, but works great for any place that needs painting, even interior and exterior home paint projects.  Sources: 3M Manufacturing Company, 3mcollision. com; Custom Rod Garage,

30  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

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Shelby’s are cool in their own right but with big horsepower under hood and the unique paint color, this GT500CR can’t hide!


hen it arrived on the scene back in 1967, the Shelby GT350/GT500s were the cars everyone lusted for. With great looks and amazing power, they set the pace for other car builders. Today, however, those stunning good looks are best when matched with modern engines and technology. Classic Recreations, located in 32  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

the small town of Yukon, Oklahoma, is a Shelby-authorized builder that spends its days handcrafting custom GT500CR and GT350CR Shelby Mustangs for customers all over the globe. The most recent pony car built by Classic Recreations is the elite model of the GT500CR — a striking purple GT500CR 900S Shelby with nearly 800 hp under its hood. This Mustang was

Words Kyle Hyatt Photos courtesy of Classic Recreations

custom built for a Sheikh in the Middle East who was seeking something posh, yet powerful, that stood apart from other sports cars on the road. This GT500CR 900S started life as many Classic Recreations cars do, as an original Mustang fastback, in this case a 1967 model. The uni-body was taken down to bare metal and reinforced where necessary, Shelby parts

were added on, and then the whole car was given a high-quality paint job with BASF Glasurit paint in a custom color called “Blurple.” This striking color is unlike anything seen on a classic Mustang and makes the brutish pony car appear elegant while hiding aggressive power under the hood. The body was treated to a completely new suspension. The stan-

dard Mustang front suspension was swapped for a system from Rod and Custom based on the double wishbone design and geometry from the Mustang II. The Rod and Custom setup also makes use of high-quality coilovers from QA1, giving the driver the best ride. The car also received upgraded rear suspension, a G-Link 4-bar setup

from Total Control with shocks from Varishock. This modernized set-up works together to provide a smooth ride for the driver. Now that the car was looking good and handling great, it was time to install the heart of the Shelby, the custom-built low compression 427 stroker engine. This behemoth features FAST XFI 33

injection and a sizable F1-R Procharger intercooled supercharger. This setup is good for approximately 900 hp to the crank or 770 hp to the rear wheels. All of that power is going to produce significant amounts of heat, and to help combat that, Classic Recreations installed a Be Cool custom radiator and SPAL dual fans. Fueling is handled by a VaporWorx twin pump, which draws from a custom fuel tank from Rick’s Tanks. Exhaust is expelled through a set of gorgeous long tube stainless steel headers by BBK and a custom MagnaFlow exhaust. A set of wheels and tires can really make or break the design of a car, so Classic Recreations shod this pony in a set of 18-inch Shelby 427 classic style wheels from American Racing. They’re sized at 18x8 with 225/40/18 BFG Rival tires in the front and 18x11 with 315/30/18 Rival tires in the rear. These wheels definitely set the right tone for the Mustang, giving it just the right aggressive stance without looking overly large or flashy, and the polished finish looks perfect with the Blurple paint. A car with some serious get-up-and-go needs heavy-duty stopping power, which is why Wilwood six-piston calipers were installed in the front and rear. The interior of the car features the typical high-level of fit and finish that Classic Recreations delivers on each project, which is far above and beyond what anyone would have seen from the factory on an original car. The Carroll Shelby signature seats are beautifully finished and as a custom touch, 34  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

The Blurple car in particular was a blast to do with its super powerful engine and unique paint color. It definitely turns a lot of heads.

CR sewed the owner’s family crest into the armrest. Carroll Shelby custom gauge units are only made available to Classic Recreations and have a speedometer up to 200 mph. Whether it is hot as the Sahara Desert or cold as the tundra, the interior cabin is kept comfortable with a modern Old Air Products air conditioning system. 35

“We have more experience building these cars than almost anyone, but every build is still a challenge when you have the kinds of exacting enthusiast customers that we do. They know exactly what they want and they expect perfection,” says Jason Engel, owner of Classic Recreations. “They help us stay on our game, and we’re so fortunate that we get to build these crazy

cars. The Blurple car in particular was a blast to do with its super powerful engine and unique paint color. It definitely turns a lot of heads.” At the end of the day, anyone with a little cash and a set of wrenches can build a Mustang. It takes someone with real vision, talent, skill, and passion to build a Mustang like the GT500CR. It’s not cheap with a starting

price of $219,000, but you get what you pay for, and in this case, what you pay for is style, substance, and performance. Once you wrap your hands around the woodgrain aluminum steering wheel, push the throttle, and watch the orange needle on the speedometer sweep towards the 200 mph mark, you’ll forget all about the price tag. 

We have more experience building these cars than almost anyone, but every build is still a challenge.

36  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

L79 327 vs L46 350

Was the hottest hydraulic-lifter small block ever made a 327 or 350?

Words Richard Holdener


hough small-block Chevy fans all share a common interest, that doesn’t mean they all agree on their favorite. Ask any group of Chevy fans about the best factory small block ever made and watch the feathers fly. Truth be told, Chevy offered a number of great mouse motors, the most powerful being the 370-hp LT1 350 and the 375-hp L84 (Fuelie) 327, also available as carbureted, 365-hp L76. While the solid-lifter small blocks ruled the roost in terms of rated power output, Chevy also offered a number of different small blocks equipped with hydraulic lifter cams. The two hottest hydraulic small blocks ever offered included the 350-hp L79 327 and the like-rated 38  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

L46 350. The simple fact Chevy offered two different (displacement) 350-hp small blocks means there were (and continue to be) lines drawn in the sand between the fans of each. The 327 guys cite the snappy rpm potential of the shorter stroke, while the 350 guys counter with the simple notion that bigger is always better (just ask the big block guys, right?). In reality, the best way to show what each small block had to offer was to build them and plop them on the dyno. We know the dyno never lies, but before getting to the results, a little background might be in order for those unfamiliar with muscle-car mouse motors. Both the L79 327 and

The L79 327 featured a short block that consisted of a 327 crank, 5.7-inch rods, and a set of 11.0:1 (domed) pistons from JE.

Our reproduction L79 hydraulic flat-tappet cam came from the COMP Cams catalog. The single-pattern, 350-hp 327 cam offered .447 lift, 221 degrees of duration, and 114-degree lsa. COMP also supplied the necessary hydraulic flat-tappet lifters.

The 350-hp 327 was configured with a set of big-valve, (2.02/1.60) fuelie heads from L&R Automotive. The 186 heads were set up with guide plates, screw-in studs, and a spring package from COMP Cams.

L46 350 were essentially hydraulic-lifter versions of their solid-lifter cousins. In the case of the smaller 327, the L79 was essentially a solid-lifter L76 (365-hp 327) with a cam swap. These two mouse motors shared the small-chamber, big-valve (fuelie) heads and aluminum high-rise intake. The 11.0:1 L79 also relied on a performance Holley four-barrel carb (both 585 and 600 cfm versions). The larger 350 L46 was not simply an L79 upgraded with increased displacement. In addition to the extra 13 cubic inches, the L46 featured revised cam timing (slightly increased lift and duration) and a completely different induction system. The high-rise, aluminum intake and

The L79 was originally equipped with either a 585- or 600-cfm Holley, but we utilized this 750-hp version on the dyno. 39

Because each engine was new prior to testing, the cam and lifters were treated to liberal coating of moly-based assembly lube, highzinc break-in lube, and extended pre oiling.

Both the 327 and 350 were run on the engine dyno with long-tube headers and a Meziere electric water pump. So equipped, the L79 produced 345 hp at 5,400 rpm and 381 lbs-ft of torque at 3,900 rpm.

The L46 got a steel crank and forged rods from Speedmaster, along with domed pistons. The domes on the L46 were slightly smaller than the L79 to produce an identical 11.0:1 compression.

The L46 cam (pt# 3896962) came directly from GM. The 350-hp 350 cam featured a .450/.460 lift split, 222 degrees of duration (intake and exhaust), and 114-degree lsa.

Speedmaster dampers were used on both the 327 and 350.

Nearly identical in flow to the 186 heads used on the 327, the 492 heads were equipped with factory stamped steel rockers, new springs, and jam nuts from COMP Cams.

40  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

585-cfm Holley carb were replaced by a cast-iron, low-rise (for Vette hood clearance) intake and Rochester Q-Jet carburetor. While high-performance small blocks usually received a Holley, the Q-Jet used on the L46 actually outflowed the Holley used on the L79 327. In order to test the pair of small blocks, we first had to build them. As you might imagine, building a numbers-matching L79 and (to a lesser extent) L46 would prove to be expensive, so we did the next best thing. We assembled test motors using all of the important components that would best represent the power potential of each. Starting with the 327, we assembled a short block using 11.0:1 pistons (with 7.5-cc domes), factory 5.7-inch rods, and cast (large-journal) 3.25inch stroke crank. Both the 327 and 350 were built using (early) 4-bolt blocks, each bored .030 over (required for clean up). The 350 also featured a cast crank (3.48-inch stroke), 5.70inch rods, and forged pistons featuring 2.5-inch domes. Both the 327 and 350 were combined with cylinder heads that featured 64cc combustion chambers. Each short block received Federal Mogul bearings, std-volume oil pumps, and hardened pump shafts from Speedmaster. After balancing (with Speedmaster dampers) by L&R Automotive, the short blocks were ready to receive their respective cylinder heads and induction systems. The L79 327 received a set of bigvalve, 186 iron (fuelie) heads, while the L46 featured 492 castings. Both sets of raw head castings were in excellent condition but were nonetheless treated to new stainless steel (2.02/1.60) valves from Speedmaster, along with 3-angle valve jobs. To ensure rpm potential, both sets were also given a set of COMP Cams valve springs that offered 130 pounds of seat pressure at 1.825 installed height. We took the liberty of measuring the chamber volume of each head casting, and they each checked in at 63cc. The flow rates of the two Fuelie heads were nearly identical, despite the difference in casting numbers. The heads were topped with the high-rise, Holley combo on the L79 (though we substituted a 750 hp for the hard-to-find 600 cfm) and the lowrise and Q-Jet on the L46. Both engines received MSD distributors and long-tube headers and were treated to

break-in cycles before running them in anger. Each was tuned by dialing in the air/fuel and timing values to maximize the power output. Neither engine was run with accessories; instead, we simply installed a Meziere electric water pump. First on the dyno was the L79 327. After the break-in and oil change, we spent some time playing with ignition timing and carb jetting. Once dialed in, the short-stroke, L79 muscle mouse produced peak numbers of 345 hp at

5,400 rpm and 381 lb-ft of torque at 3,900 rpm. The hot street motor offered impressive grunt, with torque production exceeding 375 lb-ft from 3,400 rpm to 4,400 rpm. Torque production exceeded 350 lb-ft from 3,000 rpm (possibly lower) to 5,100 rpm. Though peak power production occurred rather low at 5,400 rpm, power production dropped only slightly out to 6,000 rpm. Given the same treatment on the dyno, the 350-hp L46 350 produced 41

Due to hood clearance issues with the Corvette, the L46 was equipped with a low-profile, cast-iron intake manifold designed to accept a Rochester Quadrajet.

Though we usually associated Holley carbs on performance small blocks, the L46 came equipped with a Q-Jet. The Q-Jet was actually slightly larger than the Holley used on the L79, and ours came from the Q-Jet experts at Sean Murphy Inductions.

Run on the dyno with long-tube headers, MSD distributor, and fancy COMP valve covers, the L46 produced 351 hp at 5,500 rpm and 393 lbs-ft at 3,800 rpm. The larger 350 offered an additional 27 lb-ft of torque down low, but the two muscle mouse motors offered similar peak numbers.

The results of this test are why we go to all the trouble of dyno testing in the first place. Judging solely by the peak numbers, there was little difference between the 351 hp and 393 lbs-ft of torque offered by the L46 350 and the 345 hp and 381 lbs-ft of torque offered by the smaller 327. The greatest difference between the two small-block, muscle motors occurred lower in the rev range, where the longer-stroke 350 offered an additional 27 lb-ft of torque. Given otherwise identical combinations, the 350 might be a tad quicker and offer improved drivability thanks to the extra torque that accompanies increased displacement. 42  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

peak numbers of 351 hp (at 5,500 rpm) and 393 lb-ft of torque (at 3,800 rpm). Looking at the peak numbers, we see the larger 350 offered just 6 hp and 12 lb-ft, but a review of the curves (see dyno graphs) show the real difference. Down at 3,000 rpm, the larger 350 offered an extra 27 lb-ft of torque. Such is the benefit of displacement, but regardless which of these amazing small blocks you happen to own, chances are you aren’t in any hurry to trade for the other, not matter what the difference is.  Sources: COMP Cams,; GMPP,; Holley/ Hooker,; JE Pistons,; L&R Automotive,; Speedmaster,; Sean Murphy Inductions,

Words / Photos Cam Benty

Taking a Cadillac CTS-V to the next level


ack in the ’60s, car buyers had to sacrifice comfort for power. In fact, if your car was equipped with things like air conditioning and/ or power steering, it called into question just how serious you were about going fast. General Motors knew that edict well, even removing things like radios, carpeting, and even defroster systems on their highest power “street cars.” It was purely a powerto-weight equation. In high contrast to those original passenger torture chambers of the past are the current run of luxurious road rockets. None are more luxurious — or as fast — as the 2016 Cadillac 44  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

CTS-V. The most powerful Cadillac in the 112-year history of the company, the supercharged 6.2L V8 engine is rated at 640 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque. Factory claims have the car hitting 60 mph from a standing start in 3.7 seconds, and topping out at 200 mph. So why mess with it? It’s an age-old American mindset that you can never have enough horsepower or torque, or go too fast. So, the folks at Granatelli Motor Sports set out to take a lot of the stuff they already knew about these powerful 6.2L engines from their work with the Corvette Z06 applications and twist the screws to see just how fast, fast could be.

This Caddy can rip! Initial testing of this modified 2016 Cadillac CTS-V delivered some neck-snapping power and speeds well over 150 mph. Just goes to show you — not all Cadillacs are low-speed cruisers.

The results were impressive. Our first experience with the modified Cadillac includes a run to more than

The engine compartment hides the power neatly. Under this cover is the 1725 cfm supercharger that in factory form adds 10 pounds of boost. The Granatelli version of this engine nets a full 12.7 pounds of boost. The oversized Granatelli crankshaft overdrives the factory supercharger by 12 percent and at the same time allows for the stock supercharger pulley to stay in place.

Firing the fuel is a key point to higher performance. The Granatelli Malevolant coil packs attach to his own brand of plug wires that net a total 10.9 more horsepower over the stock ignition parts in back-to-back testing, with an insane 35.8 lb-ft increase in torque.

150 mph in an area we won’t divulge. Few could have imagined back in the last muscle car age a factory-built car that would accelerate this hard, all the while surrounded by luxury and hightech features. In fact, while blasting down the road, we had the air conditioning on freeze to compensate for the 95-degree day, while the driver spoke nonchalantly, adjusted the radio, and talked about various photo locations… Our point, this car does it all.

One of the not so easy to spot upgrades underhood is the modification of the air intake. Granatelli modified the inlet and at the same time was able to use the factory inlet elbow with an increase of 18 percent better airflow. Granatelli simply modified the base of the stock air box to create a near OE look, yet made it flow as well as the inlet.

Tech tidbits With any supercharged engine, the easy way to make more power is to add boost. That was exactly the same thought that crossed the minds of Granatelli engineers, who created a crankshaft-mounted pulley that adds two more pounds of boost. That brought the total to 12.7 pounds and served as a loud wake up call for this already fast machine. To fire the fuel just that much

more efficiently, Granatelli Motor Sports added their own Malevolent 85kv Coil Packs at each cylinder, along with “0” ohm ignition wires (PN 28-1545HTRB). In a back-to-back dyno test, the coils and wires netted 10.9 hp and an unbelievable 35.8 lb-ft of torque. From Granatelli’s assessment, there was such an amazing improvement due to the fact that the factory coil is saturating at peak cylinder pressure. 45

Granatelli also opened up the air box, knowing that additional air is required if the full supercharger boost increase was to be realized. The factory air intake requires the airflow to make a hard 90-degree turn on its way to the engine. Granatelli modified the inlet and at the same time was able to use the factory inlet elbow for an 18 percent increase in airflow. J.R. Granatelli himself let us in on a

little secret: the stock intake tubing flows 1300 cfm with almost no restriction — the only drawback is the air box itself. Granatelli simply modified the base of the stock air box to create a near OE look, yet made it flow as well as the inlet. “It’s not always about eye candy and wow factor when you open the hood,” Granatelli says. “It’s about form, fit, and function.”

The remaining two notable changes, both of which can be found underhood, are the carbon fiber and red-trimmed engine cover and the bright polished (satin is also available), heavy duty export brace that ties the shock towers together. This brace makes a big difference in the stiffness of the chassis without being detrimental to the ride quality. In terms of power, the current configuration Cadillac is making 670 rwhp and 664 lb-ft of torque. For those with a score card, that’s somewhere north of 700 hp at the crank — a full 60-plus horsepower increase. If this Cadillac can run 200 mph in stock form, who knows where it is now?

Outside Additions

(Left) The Cadillac interior is chiefly stock, but what a stock interior it is. Packed with all kinds of high-tech devices, displays, and read outs, it’s more like a fighter aircraft than street-bound car. (Right) The factory got smart on this one, Cadillac worked with Recaro to design the very comfortable and highly supportive seats. 46  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

The most striking change for the Cadillac is the red-rimmed Granatelli KG Spider Martello wheels, Martello translating aptly enough from Italian as Hammer. They’re wrapped with Toyo Proxes Sport tires with raised white letters — shades of the old muscle cars of the past. The rear tires measure 305/25/ZR20 and surround 20x11-inch wheels. Up front, the tires are 275/20/ ZR20s with 20x10-inch wheels. Those 20 series aspect ratio tires look like rubber bands on those passive wheels, but with the Caddy’s magnetic ride con-


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trol, which has been left untouched, the ride is butter smooth. While the factory CTS-V package includes the low and effective front splitter that adds to the car’s clean aero, the Granatelli deck spoiler was wrapped with carbon fiber and provides an excellent body balance. While it would be easy to go crazy with the exterior treatments, the Cadillac features just the right amount of sexy body armor. The rear valance/license plate box, roof, and hood sections all receive carbon coverings. The most striking change to the front end is the unique grille work, a much more open grid section for enhanced airflow and a break from factory original. “I wanted to really see what was possible with the Cadillac since so many of the drivetrain components are shared by the Corvette,” notes Granatelli. “What turned out was an amazingly fast, highly luxurious car, far better results than I could have ever imagined with a really few number of changes. “While I could have swapped out the supercharger for a larger displacement unit, it really did not require such a wholesale change. This system is more than effective. This car actually has a cleaner top speed profile than the Corvette, due to the reduced spoiler down force.” Making the fastest Cadillac ever produced even faster? Now, that’s an American way of thinking.  Source: Granatelli Motor Sports, 48  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

Nothing makes more of a statement than the custom black-centered wheels with candy apple red rims. These 20-inch wheels look stunning against the white and carbon fiber exterior. Interestingly, the Magnetic Ride factory suspension looks great, and nothing was done to lower the car to aid in additional handling. Toyo Proxes T1 tires provide amazing grip.

Granatelli must have stock in the carbon fiber factory since so much of it covers the exterior of this Cadillac. The roof, navigational roof fin, rear deck spoiler, and several sections of the body all sport carbon fiber styling. The front grille was also replaced, a much better performance statement derived from the open style grille design.

(Right) Beautifully styled for the deck lid, Granatelli developed this rear spoiler that aids down force when cornering or at high speed. The under body rear valance was also treated to the carbon fiber motif.

Here Today. Here Tomorrow. Transmission companies come and go, and rarely manufacture their own parts. With almost 50 years under our belt we’re not going anywhere. We’ll be here tomorrow to stand behind our products and we’ll even refurbish transmissions and torque converters that we didn’t build. We manufacture most of our own components and staff our toll-free Trans Help™ line five days a week. Over the years TCI® has built and developed more high performance torque converters and transmissions than any local shop ever could. Each and every one goes through our legendary Triple Testing process and we continue to invest in technology to provide cutting-edge products that will last. Our success is not only based on dyno numbers, but repeated customer loyalty built through years of personal one-on-one contact. We think big, and act small.

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Words Jeff Smith and Greg Connoyer Photos Jeff Smith

Revealing secrets about digital nitrous controllers and how they work


t’s almost cliché that big horsepower numbers are incredibly easy to make these days. Big horsepower is not hard to make — or even all that expensive. The challenge becomes how to harness all that power in such a way that you are quicker than the next guy. Otherwise, horsepower is just bragging rights. Nitrous has been a popular power-adder for more than 30 years and is acknowledged as one of the easiest, quickest, and least expensive ways to make impressive horsepower. The tribal knowledge that’s been passed down by expert tuners now can make even serious 350- to 500-hp packages live over hundreds of runs. One of the best ways 50  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

to manage all this nitrous power is with a progressive digital nitrous controller. There are probably two dozen different progressive controllers on the market today — so many that we’re not going to even attempt to mention them all. Companies like Edelbrock, Dedenbear, Induction Solutions, NOS, Nitrous Express, Wilson, and several others have multiple offerings that range in price and complexity. Then there are aftermarket EFI systems like Holley’s Dominator or HP programs that also offer EFI control over nitrous. We will focus this story on a couple of different controllers in an attempt to cover the variations on the theme.

The Edelbrock nitrous controller in LaCrone’s Camaro is incredibly simple to operate and does not require a laptop to program a sophisticated multi-stage curve. LaCrone’s secret? “I make very small tuning changes and keep track of everything.”

This is Troy LaCrone’s street-driven ’68 Camaro. It runs a Chevrolet Performance 572c.i. Rat motor with an Induction Solutions single-stage nitrous system and an Edelbrock nitrous controller. The Camaro recently knocked down a killer 8.439 at 162.90 mph. Yikes!

But let’s start with some basics first. In its most simplistic form, a nitrous system hits the engine with the “all or nothing” approach. At the starting line, this is generally too much power. So the digital solution is to introduce a small percentage of the total power package. All nitrous controllers accomplish this by employing the simple principal of pulsing the nitrous and fuel solenoids. In the early days of nitrous systems, tuners achieved control by using multiple stages of nitrous to progressively adding more power. Now, with digital control, tuners can simplify the mechanical side of nitrous by using a single, high-output stage of nitrous and electronically pulse both the nitrous and fuel solenoids to control the amount of nitrous delivered to the engine. This control is achieved by a

combination of on/off time — exactly the same way electronic fuel injectors are managed. Engineers call this pulse width modulation (PWM) and express it as a percentage of “on” time from 0 to 100 percent. Using a progressive nitrous controller, the tuner has very finite control over pulsing the nitrous and fuel solenoids to a specific percentage. For example, with a big, single stage of nitrous, the tuner can use a progressive controller to pulse both the nitrous and fuel solenoids to operate at varying percentages. A simple example would be by initiating the system with a small percentage, like 20, and progressively increasing this to 100 percent over a given amount of time, such as 6 seconds. If this progressive control was displayed on a graph, which some controllers offer, the curve would be a sloping straight line, increasing the percentage of nitrous and fuel flow moving from left to right. Many of the more sophisticated controllers (and even some simpler ones like Edelbrock’s) allow the tuner to create non-linear curves with multiple steps or plateaus — often called dual ramp curves. It all comes down to what the car wants to get down the track as quickly as possible. Many of the more advanced controllers offer multiple options beyond simple time-based control. For example, a few offer vehicle speed-based control where the nitrous is tied to a threshold velocity like 30 mph, but this usually requires a digital vehicle speed sensor (VSS) input. Another option is throttle position-based control based off of input from a throttle position sensor (TPS). All of these can delay nitrous onset using time, speed, or throttle position inputs. For example, you could delay nitrous onset until the throttle is 100 percent open. Still another possibility, which includes the Lingenfelter system, offers the option of delaying onset of the nitrous solenoid, essentially giving the low pressure fuel solenoid a head start to avoid a potential slight lean condition in the manifold. This would also be a good point to define a crucial concept with digital progressive nitrous controllers. The “solenoid opening” rate is also often expressed as a hertz (Hz), which is the number of opening and closing cycles per 51

Among the latest entries into the nitrous controller market is this unit from Induction Solutions that includes a data logger function requiring a laptop to display the information. Note how each connector uses quick-disconnect Weather Pack connectors. A unique addition are the high current battery power inputs. This may be the only controller on the market that controls the power and ground side of the nitrous system.

Linear vs. Non-Linear


Nitrous percentage











Time in seconds




This is a simple graph to compare a straight line or linear progressive map (blue line) versus a non-linear input. Basic controllers can only produce linear graphs, while the more sophisticated systems will produce more complex progressive curves.

ond. So a 20 Hz rate would open and close the solenoid 20 times per second. In addition, increasing the hertz also increases the number of data points per second where you can change the solenoid’s rate. While tuning these systems is not difficult, Steve Johnson from Induction Solutions offered some intriguing information that might shed some light on what’s happening inside the intake manifold, to make the tuning a little easier. Many tuners naturally assume that a 50-percent pulse width command for a 300-hp nitrous system would represent a 150-hp increase in power. According to Johnson, a long time nitrous tuner, this is often not the case. There are multiple variables that come into play with regard to pulse-width commanded percentages, including solenoid flow rates, jet flow rates, system voltage, the Hz of solenoid opening, and perhaps a dozen other factors. Perhaps the best way to illustrate the complexity is with an example. Johnson passed along some numbers pulled from one of his customer’s data log. Induction Solutions has built its own custom nitrous flow bench where they can flow a functioning nitrous system and measure the flow rate of both the nitrous and the fuel. Then, using the nitrous flow rate, Johnson calculates a horsepower number that is associated with that combination of fuel and nitrous flow. The bench allows them to custom set the nitrous-to-fuel ratio to allow safe operation of the system. In this situation, the customer’s single stage kit flowed the equivalent of 485 hp at 100 percent duty cycle. We won’t 52  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

reproduce the entire curve, but instead use just three basic data points. The Percent Command column is the nitrous solenoid’s duty cycle. The Perceived HP column represents what you would expect the system to deliver based on the commanded percentage of the actual total horsepower the system produces. The Actual HP is the horsepower equivalent of nitrous flowed by the solenoid. The Percent of Total HP is the percentage of the 485 hp total to use as a comparison against the Percent Command. The final Accuracy column is the difference between the commanded percentage and the actual HP percentage. Percent Command 32% 34% 44%

Perceived HP 155 hp 165 hp 213 hp

Actual HP 88 hp 141 hp 301 hp

Percent of Total HP 18% 29% 62%

Accuracy -14% -5% +18%

There’s a wealth of information in these three data points. In the first line, notice that despite commanding 32 percent (155 hp), the actual power was barely 18 percent (88 hp) of full power. The second line increased the PWM command only 2 percent (to 34 percent), and yet the power almost doubled from 88 to 141 hp. This was the closest of the three tests with an error factor of only 5 percent. Line three commanded 44 percent, yet generated 62 percent of the total power. If you stand back and look at both the commanded and actual power curves, they both are linear. The actual power is wildly different from what you would think the PWM control would deliver. We subtracted the actual percentage of power from the commanded percentage to create that far right column called Accuracy. As you can see, the first command under-delivered by 14 percent, while the second was the closest with a mere 5 percent under-shoot. The third percentage over-delivered power by 18 percent. Johnson says the customer’s data logger reported that the car tended to haze the tires when 34 percent was commanded for only 0.20-second. Johnson said rather than reduce the percentage, they instead lengthened the 34 percent time to 0.06-second and solved the problem. Part of the issue of inaccuracy may be the steepness of the commanded ramp. But the more important point is that even with finite

This is a screen shot of the Induction Solutions software setup table. The vertical (X) scale is the pulse width percentage, while the horizontal (Y) scale is time in seconds. In this particular case, the system is set for 20 Hz, so there are 20 data points for each second. If more resolution is required, we could change to 30Hz. The solid line was the first version, while the dotted line is the revised map.

digital control, there are huge variables that affect accuracy. It’s important to also note the actual delivered horsepower really isn’t all that important compared to the commanded percentage number, as long as you understand that increasing the percentage will increase the power and vice versa. The important issue to understand is that the actual power numbers will likely not be linear. In complex issues like this, everyone tends to think in terms of linear steps, while Johnson’s testing reveals it’s entirely possible systems may not always deliver as expected. The best way to under-

Something often overlooked when discussing digital nitrous controllers is the relay. The more expensive controllers have built-in switching devices that are commonly limited to between 30 and 40 amps. LPE offers a Hella high-frequency electronic relay that is more expensive, but LPE reports this relay has a 3.8 millisecond (0.0038-sec.) quicker response time than a normal mechanical relay.



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This is an example of a dual-ramp nitrous control from the simple-to-operate Edelbrock controller. The Edelbrock does not use a laptop to create this curve. It can essentially create a dual ramp curve (Ramp 1 and Ramp 2) that controls a high-flow, single-stage nitrous system to give the tuner tighter control.

The LPE NCC-002 controller is one of the more sophisticated units with tons of features. It can be completely manipulated without a laptop, but has laptop software that allows the tuner to view the all-important data logging. With this sophistication comes complexity — the instruction manual is 170 pages long.

The Induction Solutions controller offers data logging capability. This is a representative trace. The solid white vertical line is used to pull up data from any specific data position. At this point in the run, engine speed is 5,207 rpm with the nitrous flow percentage at 67.2, fuel percentage slightly lower at 66.4 percent, and solenoid voltage at 15.8 volts, which means this kit is being used on a 16-volt system.

This is Troy’s engine compartment with just a 572c.i. big-block Chevy and a single-stage plate system from Induction Solutions. The secret to this car’s performance is the progressive nitrous controller and careful tuning made in small steps.

stand how your system responds would be to have Induction Solutions flow test your system with the controller, in order to really understand what’s happening. Crucial to understanding how your system will perform on the track would be accurate data recovered from each run, so you can use that information to make intelligent decisions for changing track conditions. This is where a dedicated data logging feature is incredibly useful. For example, both the Induction Solutions and Lingenfelter controllers offer an internal data logger that captures basic information that can be used to evaluate the run. Information that can be logged includes engine rpm, nitrous on/off, vehicle or driveshaft speed, air-fuel ratio, battery voltage, nitrous system pressure, fuel pressure, and more depending upon the system. Of course, if you already have a data logger program, then a controller with data logging capability isn’t all that important. We’ve barely scratched the surface of how nitrous controllers work, how they operate, and the limitations of the 54  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

Johnson suggests paying attention to solenoid amperage draw is a good idea. Because the Induction Solutions controller actually manages the power side of the solenoid, it can also monitor solenoid voltage. A high-current draw solenoid will drastically reduce the voltage — especially if there is excessive resistance in the circuit. Some large nitrous solenoids can draw up to 30 amps. With a two-stage system with these solenoids and 5-amp fuel solenoids, that’s a total of 70 amps. Induction Solutions largest nitrous “Trashcan” solenoid only pulls 17-18 amps.

system. But, even with their foibles, nitrous controllers are an outstanding way to manage a thumpin’ nitrous system that can help you lay down a killer pass.  Sources: Daytona Sensors,; Edelbrock,; Holley Performance Products (NOS),; Induction Solutions,; Lingenfelter Performance Engineering,; Nitrous Express,; Nitrous Pro-Flow,



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Crane Cams’ Ross Shelton has made a living in the performance world for nearly four decades


hanks to his rural East Tennessee upbringing, Ross Shelton jokes he is a “true hillbilly.” However, the director of sales at Daytona Beach-based Crane Cams has had a career that has taken him to points far and wide from his humble upbringing in the Volunteer State’s small southern town of Rockwood. “I’ve been lucky enough to meet a lot of great people, historical people that you read about in magazines and that set records,” Ross says. Ross may be selling himself short. He has been an important part of the performance landscape for close to 40 years. In his current role, he jokes that he is part firefighter, part accounting expert, part logistics expert, and part shipping expert. He particularly enjoys working with wholesale distributors (WDs), especially the smaller ones who sometimes struggle, but more often thrive in an industry increasingly reliant on the internet and large warehouses. Ross comes by his relationship with smaller WDs honestly enough. He began his career out of high school at the parts counter at a shop in his hometown. 56  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

Words Dan Hodgdon

“I’m old enough that when I first started on the counter, man, we used 3x4 cards to keep inventory. There were no computers then,” he remembers. “I’m 58 years old, so I’m not that old, or at least I don’t feel that old, but I’ve went through everything. When I was growing up, I basically relied on the traditional hot rod magazines.” Much of Ross’s family was made up of civil engineers and architects, so his introduction to the performance world was not handed down in the traditional sense. But, his uncle had some old Oldsmobiles, and his grandfather had some Chevrolets. “I started taking things apart to see how they worked,” he says. After graduating from high school in 1978, Ross began his career in the automotive industry by working at the aforementioned local parts store for three years. Then, in 1981, he and his high school sweetheart, Brigitte (a fellow gearhead who owned a ’69 Camaro Z/28 when they got married), moved to Houston after Ross got a job at Texas Performance. He had some friends in the area, and saw

Shelton’s 1976 Mustang King Cobra

I’m old enough that when I first started on the counter, man, we used 3x4 cards to keep inventory. There were no computers then. there was more opportunity in the performance world in the major Texas city than in East Tennessee. Ross began his tenure in the warehouse and within just a couple of weeks, was the warehouse manager. A back injury in 1987 forced him into a sales role, and he has now been in a selling position for nearly 28 years, moving to Florida to work with Crane in 1997. While having never raced competitively, Ross has been involved in a wide variety of motorsports and other performance endeavors through the years. He has long been heavily vested in motorcycles and currently serves with the Daytona Beach Chamber of Commerce, as the chairman of the Daytona Bike Week task force. He has been on the force for 18 years and served as the chairman for the past five. He also was crew chief on a Super Comp team in the late 1980s, owned a 1976 Mustang King Cobra, served on the board of directors at Crane Cams, and has been involved in off-roading and rock crawling. He also participated in a lot of lowered truck builds in the early ’90s. “The last one was an ‘82 short wheelbase; at the time, you couldn’t find a lowering kit, so you had to cut the coils off and kind of guess and hope that you’d done the right

thing,” Ross remembers about his truck-building days. “I got quite good at that, so that’s why I ended up helping a lot of friends do their projects, too.” Ross continually returns to the theme of people, mentioning he’s been privileged to meet industry icons like Vic Edelbrock and Mickey Thompson, Top Fuel legends Joe Amato and Eddie Hill, and witnessed racers breaking the 300 mph barrier. Through his work with Bike Week, he also met one of America’s greatest showmen and biggest personalities. “I got to meet Evel Knievel; that may not sound great to a lot of people, but Evel Knievel was my hero growing up,” he says. “I was really impressed with [him] because he was a cool guy.” Yet it’s not the automotive celebrities Shelton enjoys working with most; instead it’s the down-to-earth folks in the performance industry who are looking to make their cars faster or to make a living selling parts. “What I see out there is a lot of good people willing to help everyone, and that’s what I want to do also,” he says. “I want to help people. It seems like the guy that’s struggling, that can’t figure it out, those are the guys you want to help.”  Source: Crane Cams; 57



In the hood Ringbrothers, First Gen Mustang Carbon Fiber Hood Ford fans were so excited about the hood on their famous Ringbrothers’ SPLITR Ford Mustang that the boys from Wisconsin had to release the cool carbon fiber engine cover for sale. Experts in the creation of carbon fiber parts, the Ringbrothers team used their amazing custom builder skills to offer a perfect fit, vacuum-bagged, and autoclaved component. Further adding to the strength of the hood is the Nomex honeycomb core and aluminum hard points that allow the builder to drill and tap the hood for hinges and latch mechanisms. The hood is finished with an in-mold catalyzed primer that makes final finishing much easier. 608.588.7399

Take tuning control

Tanks a lot Aeromotive, Classic Muscle Car Fuel Tanks Aeromotive’s new classic Stealth tanks bring the fuel system technology you find in today’s cars to your classic GM or Chrysler muscle car. By placing the fuel pump inside the tank, hot fuel handling issues, such as vapor-lock and cavitation, are eliminated. With the Stealth fuel tanks from Aeromotive, you now have an in-tank fuel pump that is properly vented and submerged in fuel at all times due to the innovative baffling system. Tanks feature fuel-sending units (and in some cases filler necks) that match the OEM specs. Regardless of whether your classic is carbureted, EFI, or a transplant, a Stealth Fuel Tank is the perfect upgrade. 913.647.7300

JET Performance, Performance Programmer Plus The JET Performance Programmer Plus lets you program your own vehicle computer to match your driving style. JET’s exclusive Tri-Power tuning allows you to program for performance using regular octane, mid-grade, or premium fuels. Each tuning mode is designed to operate the engine at peak efficiency to improve horsepower and mileage. You can also modify air and fuel ratios, ignition timing, shift points, shift firmness, speed limiter, and rev limiter settings, as well as correct your speedometer and turn off the ABS system trouble light if you change tire size or gear ratios. A built-in scan tool reads and clear diagnostic trouble codes. The programmer plugs into the vehicle’s diagnostic port under the dash, and easy-to-use installation software features simple yes or no questions. Take the next step in performance tuning with the JET Performance Programmer! 800.535.1161

For even more new products, head to 58  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3


Universal spray ZEX, Race EFI Universal Wet Nitrous System Serious racers will rejoice with this wet nitrous system from ZEX. It features Fuel Shear Technology, meaning enrichment fuel is injected directly into the center of the nitrous plume, yielding total and even fuel atomization. Tunable from 100-250 hp, the race kit features other important ZEX designs such as Active Fuel Control to adjust

fuel enrichment with fluctuations in bottle pressure, as well as the patented ZEX electronic TPS switch for nitrous activation at wide open throttle. 888.817.1008

The aggressive Bootlegger cams are designed for hot rodders who play by thier own rules. Building on technology from the popular VooDoo® Series, Bootlegger Camshafts are the most powerful street cams ever produced. With a tight 108º Lobe Separation Angle (LSA) there's more torque for taking off, especially when paired with a 104º intake centerline. This potent combination starts opening the valves earlier to greatly improve low-speed torque and midrange power, creating a “useable range” for those who actually drive hard. HYDRAULIC ROLLER & FLAT TAPPET CONFIGURATIONS LS, SMALL & BIG BLOCK CHEVYS

Sure, there are plenty of cams that make big power at the very top of the tachometer, but blasting off the line, downshifting, and on-and-off driving along twisty roads requires power down low. After all, everyone knows you can’t catch the Bootlegger.





Tank up! Granatelli Motor Sports, 2015 Ford Mustang Radiator Expansion Tank Granatelli Motor Sports S550 Mustang Coolant Surge Tanks for all 2015 2.3-liter EcoBoost, 3.7-liter V6, Mustang GT and Shelby GT350 eliminate the unsightly bubble tank delivered from the factory, while continuing the tapered design of the factory engine cover. The Granatelli hand-built 6061-T6 reservoir is a simple remove-and-replace installation tank using all factory hardware — and you won’t even lose a drop of original coolant. All factory hose connections, as well as the radiator cap, are a direct crossover, making installation no more than 10 minutes. The Granatelli tank’s unique design mimics the same taper and angle of the OE engine cover, giving it a true stylized look while increasing capacity. 805.486.6644

Get locked up TCI, 200R4/700R4 Lock-Up Kit This easy-to-install lock-up wiring kit for 700R4 and 2004R transmissions from TCI allows hands-free, automatic activation of the torque converter clutch in fourth gear under stable engine operation, and disengages the clutch when accelerating or downshifting. A kit like this is needed when installing a GM 700R4 or 2004R transmission in a non-computer controlled application, such as a street rod or muscle car, or when removing the factory computer in pre-1993 applications that utilize one of these transmissions. The fully adjustable vacuum switch automatically locks and unlocks the torque converter with engine vacuum and can be configured for various vacuum levels. While this vacuum operation makes the lock-up fully automatic, there is also a manual override option that allows complete control over lock-up if wanted or needed. The kit requires everything need for installation. 888.776.9824

60  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

Black magic Lunati, Voodoo Aluminum Roller Rocker Arms Extensive and painstaking testing led to these CAD-designed and FEA-optimized rockers engineered specifically for high-performance street engines. They are constructed from extruded aircraft-quality aluminum and CNC-machined to precise tolerances, while the superfinished surface increases durability and sheds oil. The rockers are lightweight, yet strong enough to handle aggressive spring pressures and higher lift cams. They also feature an optimized balance of strength and reduced moment of inertia. A clipped trunnion is secured to ensure positive side-to-side location, and precision sorted needle bearings allow the rocker to withstand higher valve spring pressure. Voodoo rocker arms are also clearanced for higher lift springs and camshafts. 662.892.1500


Belt one on Jesel, Belt Drive for LS EFI Engines The Jesel Belt Drive systems are well known in racing circles for easy adjustment and solid camshaft timing retention regardless of the rpm demands. Upgrading your EFI-equipped LS engine to the Jesel Belt Drive can be a challenge for the computer operations of the engine. Lucky for you, ATI Performance Products has stepped in to provide solutions that are as well engineered as the rest of the ATI component lineup. ATI cured the issue with a bracket assembly that creates compatibility to the Gen IV OEM cam sensor, closing the loop on computer connectivity. You can now install a Jesel belt drive and retain the OEM computer system. Also, as an alternative, you can get a cam sync reference for your sequential firing operations on any aftermarket EFI system. Finally, this bracket system makes the Jesel Belt Drive compatible with both standard and raised cam applications. 877.298.5039



Powerful (LS) stuff COMP Cams, LSR Cam Series These cams take advantage of today’s newer and better flowing cylinder heads. They feature higher exhaust duration and overall lift to provide the broadest powerband and most top-end power of any COMP Cams GM LS camshaft. Unique grinds are available for both cathedral and rectangle-port heads. 26926-16 valve springs are required. 800.999.0853

Scratch & shine 3M, Scratch & Scuff Remover

Use protection Driven Racing Oil, HR Oils These 10W-30, 10W-40, and 15W-50 formulas are race-proven and will ensure your hot rod, classic, or muscle car engine has all the crucial anti-wear protection it needs. Even when your vehicle is in storage, the U.S. military-spec rust and corrosion inhibitors will make sure it stays damage-free until it’s time to bring it back on the street or track. 866.611.1820

There’s nothing worse than a nice paint job that’s marred with light scratches from normal wear. 3M’s Scratch and Scuff Remover is an excellent fine-finishing product for removing multiple coarse-to-fine scratches, car wash scratches, blemishes, scuffs, heavy oxidation, light stains, tree/shrub streaks and surface contaminants from your vehicles clear coat. Best of all, it will not damage the paint or clear coat yet restores the brilliance and clear finish of the painted surface quickly and easily. The easiest way to assess which type of damaged area you have is to run your hand across the surface. If the damaged area is below the painted/clear coated surface, then 3M Scratch & Scuff Remover is the product for you. 888.364.3577

For even more new products, head to 62  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3


Let it flow MagnaFlow, 2016 Shelby GT350 Cat-back Exhaust Ford’s 2016 Shelby Mustang GT350 is one of the most unique modern muscle cars on the road, thanks to its flat-plane crank design that sits inside of a very special 5.2 liter V8. MagnaFlow’s Cat-back stainless steel bolt-on kit (PN#19283) has been engineered for maximum performance with dyno proven results, making up to 15 extra horsepower for the factory system. MagnaFlow systems reduce backpressure while maintaining a rich, powerful performance tone. MagnaFlow has been able to free up more power by enlarging the stainless steel tubing to 3 inches, exiting out of 4-inch polished or all-new carbon fiber tips, leaving the factory dual mode system in place. 800.990.0905

Never lost again JBL, Trip With the average age of a car in the US sitting somewhere around 11 years, chances are good your vehicle doesn’t have navigation or phone connectivity. Fear no more, the same folks that build cool audio systems, JBL/ Harman, now have a simple system that delivers new car technology. The JBL Trip system features HARMAN’s exclusive VoiceLogic Cancellation technology that allows for crystal clear phone calls. Using Navigation and ADAS apps, like iONRoad, you can wirelessly receive safety and direction prompts through the Bluetooth system. Best of all, it quickly attaches to the visor of different cars or can be taken into the hotel room, kitchen, or office to continue working. 800.336.4525 63



Swap in a box Trans Dapt, LS Swap-in-a-Box kit for 1967-81 GM F-Bodies Made specifically for the 1967-69 Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird, as well as the 1970-81 Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird/Trans-Am, Trans Dapt’s Swap In a Box kit delivers everything an enthusiast needs to bolt a modern LS engine into a classic F-Body. The kit includes a set of Hedman’s Pro-Touring, Mid-Length design LS-Swap headers with 1 3/4-inch primaries and a 3-inch ball/socket

style collector. In addition to the headers, each kit includes motor mounts, transmission cross member, oil pan gaskets, special oil pan pickup, fastener kit, and header exhaust adapters to easily hook up your headers to the vehicle’s exhaust system. 562.921.0404

Points of emphasis FAST, XR-i Points Conversion Kit This kit lets you do away with setting points — hitting that one at higher rpm where points seem to float. Now you can pull out those ancient contacts, which may cost you power and performance, and benefit from modern-day, digital technology. The XR-i is a compact module that bolts directly in place of the breaker point assembly. It simply triggers from the factory cam lobe and has only two wires to connect. The microcontroller of the module manages the signal and dwell time in the coil to produce a much higher output spark that will improve the performance and drivability of your classic. The kit also features a built-in rev limiter to protect your engine in the event of a driveline failure or missed shift. It is available for classic Fords and GMs, with more applications coming soon. 877.334.8355

For even more new products, head to 64  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3


Highs and lows Air Lift Performance, SlamAir Shocks Designed to be a “value-priced” alternative to coil over suspension systems, the Air Lift Performance SlamAir Shocks system delivers a highly adjustable ride and the greatest flexibility in stance, according to Air Lift. Each SlamAir kit is built for the application and can include either double-bellows or a sleeve-style air spring to support the weight of the vehicle. SlamAir kits can feature up to nine levels of damping adjustability and 2-plus degrees of camber adjustment.

Road hazards are not an issue, as the 3H height & pressure control system allows you to raise the vehicle quickly for speed bumps or other obstacles. Adjustment of vehicle height is controlled with a full-color controller and the free mobile app on your Apple or Android cell phone. 800.248.0892

For over 47 years, JET Performance Products has been the leading manufacturer of aftermarket performance parts. All of our products are designed to give you better gas mileage, more horsepower and an overall better driving experience. From plug-n-play applications to completely rebuilt carburetors, JET has you covered. With over 75,000 applications we’re guaranteed to have something for your car or truck.


Tech   TALK


Truth about

Words / Photos Jeff Smith

You don’t have to resort to ancient rituals or hokey religions to enjoy a properly functioning fuel delivery system. Instead, a little rock-solid science knowledge will help you make the right decisions.


o how was the tour this year?” “Oh, you mean the Vapor Lock Nationals?” That was the comment from a survivor of 2016’s jaunt across the south, during which hundreds of hot rods braved blazing heat and high humidity in search of some summer fun. A jaded observer might think vapor lock should have disappeared from our 21st Century electronic fuel-injected engine lexicon. But clearly, at least some of the world still faces challenges when it comes to moving fuel from the tank to the engine. Let’s investigate the phenomenon of vapor lock and how to avoid a stall on your next summertime adventure. We spoke with Aeromotive’s Steve Matusek, who hit us with a quote all hot rodders should stencil on their foreheads. “The most important point in any fuel delivery system is the inlet to the pump,” Steve says. What does the pump’s inlet have to do with vapor lock? In a word — everything. All pumps do a great job of creating pressure and moving fuel from the tank to the engine. But to do that, they rely on unrestricted inlet access to fuel. Let’s take a few moments to learn about how pumps operate. First, pumps don’t “suck.” They instead create low pressure on the inlet side and rely on atmospheric pressure to push the fuel toward the area of the low pressure. For a well-designed fuel delivery system, all you have to do is study a typical OE system. All new cars locate the fuel pump very near the lowest part of the tank so the pump is submerged in fuel and cooled inside and out. But, an equally important reason the pump is located inside the fuel tank is to use the weight of the standing height of fuel to help push gasoline into the pump inlet. If the pump inlet is poorly positioned above the level of the fuel in the tank, however, this makes the pump work much harder, radically reducing efficiency. Let’s design a bad system to see why vapor lock occurs. Say we have just built a killer Pro Touring car with an 800-hp engine. The fuel delivery system is often near the bottom of the construction list, so in our haste, we bolted an external pump to the kick-up area above the rear axle and plumbed a -8 line from the pickup tube in the tank to the pump — creating a vertical climb of 12 inches.

The fuel pump now has to work extremely hard. It must create significant low pressure on the inlet side in order to barely move fuel up this massive vertical rise. Compounding the problem, when fuel is subjected to low pressure, it will begin to change from a liquid to a gas — also known as boiling. This occurs because there is less pressure pushing on the fuel molecules to hold them together. There’s a great video at (search “The truth about vapor lock”) that shows how water in a sealed glass container boils at room temperature when subjected to extreme low pressure. Fuel reacts in exactly the same fashion. If gasoline under low pressure is not good, let’s add to the fuel’s woes with triple-digit air temperature. Gasoline is a blend of multiple hydrocarbon chains. Some components are called aromatics, which are the high

ends of the fuel designed to boil at relatively low temperatures. This blend of hydrocarbons changes depending upon the season. For summertime operation, the fuel is blended to offer multiple boiling points, with a small portion designed to boil at “low” temperatures of 70 degrees, while the more stable ends will boil at a much higher temperature, perhaps 150 to 175 degrees. The higher temperature is what the fuel could easily experience sitting in a fuel rail on an EFI engine. The extreme low ends will vaporize at extremely high temperatures, which we won’t worry about here. It’s not unusual to see fuel temps of 120 to 130 degrees (and higher) when stuck in traffic on a 100-degree summer day. All of these fuel boiling temperatures are based on standard pressure. But, with a less efficient inlet system on our Pro Touring system, the fuel will vaporize much

Heat can still be a problem for carbureted engines, especially if the engine sits for roughly 10 to 15 minutes with no airflow past the engine. Heat deflectors, like this aluminum plate or plastic insulator spacers, can help by preventing or deflecting heat away from the float bowls. 67

more quickly in the inlet hose running up to the pump because the fuel is operating at a much lower pressure. The combination of low pressure and high temperature creates a perfect storm of boiling fuel that quickly causes the pump to cavitate. That’s when the pump quits working because it cannot pump a vapor. Vapor in the pump reduces cooling, causing the pump to overheat, which closes up the clearances and makes the pump lock up. Enthusiasts universally blame the pump in these situations, when the reality is usually the fault of the fuel delivery system design. In the case of a mechanical fuel pump, high temperatures and a long delivery line from the tank to the pump under low pressure creates a perfect situation to cause vapor lock. This is especially true if the inlet side is restricted with a kinked line, restrictive in-tank filter, or even a poorly vented tank. Any of these will cause fuel delivery problems. There is much more to this story than we can detail here, but these are the major concerns that must be addressed. Now that you know the major causes of vapor lock and that they generally occur on the non-pressure side, you can affect solutions to make the problems disappear. It’s that simple. So forget that voodoo doll and think instead about ways of making it easier for your fuel pump to do its job. 

A common problem with ’60s and early ‘70s GM cars is this plastic screen used on the fuel pickup and sending unit. After 50 years of immersion in gasoline, that pretty white plastic becomes soft and will collapse and restrict the inlet, causing a problem often blamed on vapor lock.

An outstanding way to convert to a more efficient high pressure fuel system is to use Aeromotive’s Phantom conversion. It places the pump inlet near the bottom of the fuel tank, surrounding the inlet with a fuel reservoir contained by a large standing column of foam that maintains fuel around the pump inlet at all times.

Sources: Aeromotive,; Holley Performance Products,

Holley has created an interesting product called the HydraMat that can pull fuel from anywhere on the mat’s surface where it is in contact with fuel. The closed cell construction creates a path for fuel to travel through the mat to the inlet of the pump. Holley now offers in-tank electric pumps to work in conjunction with the HydraMat. 68  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

A tall fuel tank located in the trunk of a street rod would absolutely demand the pump be located inside the tank in the bottom to work properly. If the car builder intended to use a mechanical fuel pump, the tank outlet would be best located at the very bottom of the tank. The worst location would be to place the pump at the top of the tank.




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ALL customs, classics, hot rods and muscle cars are welcome to participate each and every month!

Tech   TALK

SHIFTY SECRETS Words / Photos Jeff Smith

How to blueprint your bellhousing


t’s a warm summer night where sound can carry for miles. Off in the distance, you hear the strains of a performance engine quickly rowing through the gears. The 1-2 and 2-3 shifts are crisp and well-executed, and in your mind’s eye, you see the driver pulling back on the shift handle into fourth gear, anticipating another quick gear change. Instead, you hear the unloaded engine scream as the gears fail to mesh. Whiffed it! It’s the classic missed shift. If you are a manual transmission fan, you’ve heard it and probably experienced it. Most enthusiasts of the art will quickly attribute the failure to driver error — a lack of hand-foot coordination. But, there might be another explanation. It could be the bellhousing is not doing its intended job. Let’s look at how this works. Besides giving the transmission a solid location and perhaps providing protection from an exploded clutch, the bellhousing has only one important job. That’s to make sure the transmission input shaft is perfectly aligned with the centerline of the crankshaft. But, production tolerances being what they are, this doesn’t always happen. If the input shaft is sufficiently misaligned, it makes it much more difficult for the transmission to shift gears cleanly at higher engine speeds. The most obvious example is the scenario we offered in the beginning of this story. In a four-speed manual trans, fourth gear (or any transmission with a 1:1 ratio) is achieved by connecting the input and output shafts together. Completing this gear change should be — and usually is — a simple process when all the variables are within spec. But, place the input shaft at a slight offset to the crankshaft at 7,000 rpm and the result will be a missed shift every time, because the conflicting angles will not allow the slider to make that connection. The spec for this centerline is very precise — that large input shaft hole in the bellhousing must be within 0.006inch of centerline. This is known as total indicated runout (TIR). There’s also a second spec, squareness, that is often overlooked, but just as important. This is where we check to

We performed our test on a small-block Chevy sitting on a perch to allow easy access. Mount the magnetic base and dial indicator on the crank/flywheel and position the plunger for the dial indicator as perpendicular as possible to the inside flange of the input shaft opening.

We like to start at the 12 o’clock position with the indicator at zero. Mark this as “0” on the bellhousing and then slowly rotate the crank, watching which way the indicator moves. A tip that will expedite the measuring process is to mark the dial indicator face with a grease pencil “+” (outboard) and “-” (inboard) to keep track of which way the centerline moves. 71

Make your measurements at the 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock positions, and mark each on the bellhousing face with a Sharpie. Be sure to mark the direction of offset, as well as the amount. After completing the measurements, we can see the bellhousing is vertically offset by 0.025-inch and slightly to the right. We tried a 0.014-inch offset dowel with the offset straight down. After rechecking, we ended up with a little over 0.007 TIR, which we think will be okay for a normal street car.

We prefer to use the McRobb Performance offset dowel pins, as they offer the best ease of adjustment and can easily be locked in place just by tightening the center locking Allen screw that expands the dowel into the block hole. Also noted are machined notches for an open end 9/16inch wrench. This allows you to make slight adjustments to the dowel.

We also checked the bellhousing mounting flange surface for parallelism — this housing came in with a measurement of 0.005-inch, within spec. If the housing is out of spec (we’ve seen this a couple of times), this is more difficult to compensate, as it would require setting the bellhousing up on a mill to correct.

make sure the face where the transmission bolts to the bellhousing is perpendicular to the engine — or at least again within 0.006-inch. In our experience, most engines and OE bellhousings are usually within spec; although the combination we tested was 0.025-inch out. Some older steel scattershields we’ve tested had a tendency to be off center by almost 0.020-inch. If after testing the housing exceeds the limit, there is an easy way to dial it back into spec. The easiest way is to use offset dowel pins sold by Lakewood, Moroso, and a small company called McRobb Performance. The pins come in three offsets — 0.007, 0.014, and 0.021-inch. The least offset at 0.007inch can effectively dial a wayward bellhousing that is as much as 0.020-inch out of spec. By doubling the 0.007-inch offset, this moves the bellhousing as much as 0.014-inch in one direction, which would bring a 0.020-inch offset back within the 0.006-inch limit. Any of the offset bushings can accomplish this task, but ergonomics also play a part. The Moroso dowel pins are intentionally designed to fit loose in the block. This makes turning them in the block easier, but requires drilling a small lateral hole in the block to drill and tap for a small locking set screw that is supplied with the bushings. That’s okay if the engine is on the shop floor, but near impossible in the 72  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

We also checked this new Quarter Master steel small-block bellhousing on a different engine using factory dowel pins. The needle barely moved for the concentricity test at 0.003-inch. Parallelism was even closer at 0.002-inch. It doesn’t get much better than this.

car. McRobb Performance offers an intelligent alternative where the offset dowel slides into place, making it easy to adjust, and then is tightened into place with an internal expanding set screw. These offset pins are not that expensive and make this job much easier. When installing the offset dowels, be careful to install the offsets so they are oriented in the same direction. Otherwise, it will be difficult or impossible to slide the bellhousing over the dowel pins, since they will be offset in relation to each other. It’s easy to do and can make this job frustrating until you figure it out. You will need a dial indicator and a magnetic base to perform this test, and you’ll find it takes longer to set everything up than to do the actual test. But, the effort is well worth it. Dial in that bellhousing, and those high rpm shifts will go smooth as 7,000 rpm silk.  Sources: Holley Performance Products (Lakewood),; McRobb Performance Products,; Moroso Performance Products,; Quarter Master,; QuickTime,



Tech   TALK

Installing Energy Suspension body and engine mounts in a Chevelle / El Camino Words / Photos Jeff Smith


t started as a plan to mount a set of big rear tires. But after careful measurement, we realized the body wasn’t square on the chassis. That led to a plan to loosen all the body mounts and carefully shift the body slightly to the left, since it was tight to the outside on the driver side. But, that plan quickly morphed to adding new body mounts because with loose body bolts, we were already there. Plan A quickly evolved into Plan C, but the result would not only be a body square on the chassis, but new body mounts that would accurately locate the body on the chassis as the A-body gods and GM intended. We ordered a body mount set from Energy Suspension and decided to add a set of engine and trans mounts with the same order, since we were already going to be under the 74  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

car. With a couple of days before the order arrived, this gave us time to attempt to hit as many of the body mounts as possible with spray rust release, like PB Blaster or WD-40. But, we hit only a couple of the cage nuts because on Chevelles and El Caminos, nearly all are hidden inside body reinforcements. The biggest issue with swapping body mounts is getting the bolts out. The 7/16-inch nuts that retain the body bolts are designed to float inside a cage so the body can be adjusted over the chassis. But after 50 years, the bolts rust and too much torque can either break the bolt or the cage, allowing the bolt and nut assembly to spin. If this happens, the only recourse is to cut the sheet metal cover — such as trunk floor — to allow access to the cage nut assembly. Then the rusted/broken cage assembly must also be cut out and

This shot includes both the Energy Suspension body mount kit and an engine/trans mount kit for our ’66 Chevelle. There are two different engine mounts available for the small-block Chevy, so make sure you get the correct versions for your application. The backing plates for both the engine and trans mounts are not spacers. They establish a solid backing plate for the internal interlock that prevents excessive movement of the mount.

Changing body bushings and engine mounts isn’t difficult. The biggest hurdle is removing the body bolts. We got lucky with our Chevelle. If you’re working on a Midwest or East Coast car with lots of rust, you can expect to have to cut into nearly all of the sheet metal to remove the broken cage nuts. Yes, there’s a jack stand under the car —safety first.

a new assembly welded in place. You can find the cage nut assemblies at Unfortunately, this is the price for working on 50-year-old cars. We decided to use a battery-powered impact to initially shock these bolts, just to loosen them, followed by a ratchet to gently remove the bolts. Our effort turned out to be relatively easy as our Chevelle was an original West Coast car with minimal rust. It appeared these body mounts had been replaced before, although the bolts appeared factory. We are also going to do this same project on our ’64 El Camino. It will be more of a struggle because of a horribly rusted cage nut assembly in the “smuggler’s cove” on the passenger side, underneath the bolt-in bed panel. We’ll save that effort for a later sheet metal reconstruction story. We did learn a useful tip from our body guy, if you have

Pulling the original body mounts from a 50-year-old Chevelle can be a challenge. There isn’t access to spray rust release, like PB Blaster or WD-40, although if you are willing and careful, you can drill a small hole through the floor and use a plastic tube spray director to hit the cage nut. That might help. Here is a crusty example of a completely wasted cage nut assembly. This one is located in the “smuggler’s cove” in the bed of our ’64 El Camino under the bed access panel. This one will have to be cut out and the entire reinforcement panel replaced.

Our buddy Tim Moore suggested hitting each bolt with an impact gun to knock the rust loose. Then we used a regular 1/2-inch ratchet and/ or breaker bar so we could get a feel for the thread condition. Work the bolt back and forth to prevent it from locking up and breaking the cage nut assembly. We managed to remove all our bolts without breaking anything. We know we’re West Coast lucky — don’t hate us. 75

The ’64 El Caminos and Chevelles did not use a bushing under the radiator core support, but for the remaining A-bodies, this front bushing is a different size and is called out in the instructions. Note the larger metal sleeve and smaller step (left) for the lower bushing. The Energy kit supplies the large washers but no new bolts. On our ’66 Chevelle, all the bolts were 7/16-inch x 2 1/2 inches.

With all the body bolts loosened, we carefully removed the passenger side bolts. Then we placed a length of 2x4 under the pinch weld and used our floor jack to raise the body just enough to remove the old bushings. Our Chevelle has an eight-point roll bar assembly welded to the frame, but we were still able to raise the body without binding.

With the bushings and bolts in place and the body square, we then tightened all the bolts down to a comfortable torque. We used a thread lube just to help reduce corrosion.

Place a washer on top of the larger bushing with the locating step and slide these pieces between the frame and the body. The metal sleeve slips between the upper and lower bushings, centering them, and positions the whole assembly in the frame. Start the bolts, but do not tighten them just yet.

to cut into the Chevelle trunk floor to access a broken or rusted cage nut. To create an access hole, cut the floor only on three sides of the access rectangle and then bend the sheet metal up out of the way. This way, when you have finished, you can bend the metal plate back down and weld the other three sides. With all the body bolts loose, the smart move is to remove all the bolts from one side of the car and then carefully raise the body with a floor jack and a length of 2x4 wood on the rocker panel. Jack the body up just enough to slide the new bushings between the body and the frame. We had to use a long pry bar on several bushings to raise the body even more to clear the old bushings. Be aware of items like brake lines, the steering column, a 76  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

The Energy engine mounts were considerably easier to swap in because the engine was out of the car. We’re using an LS engine in the Chevelle with Holley’s adapters bolted to the block. The plates are designed to work with stock-style motor mounts, and the Energy mounts bolt right in place. Be sure to use the steel backing plates, as they ensure the mount’s internal interlock works properly.

We took the time to use Tremec’s Driveline App to measure our driveshaft operating angle and discovered we needed to raise the rear of the trans. This photo shows a series of shims we used to come up with a better trans angle. This is a temporary fix since we think the stock crossmember may have sagged. It is probably time for a new custom crossmember, which will eliminate the shims.

fan shroud, and other items that may be bent or distorted when raising the body. After replacing all the mounts and with the bolts in place, this is a great time to carefully measure the relationship of the rear tires to the frame and square it up if necessary. We now have a Chevelle that is much more securely fastened to the body. Our Chevelle has a 6-point roll bar, and we’d gotten used to its creaking and scratching between the cover panels and the roll bar. But with the new mounts, that sound has disappeared, so we know the body is more secure. So, the results are certainly worth the effort — especially on a Chevelle that’s a half-century old!  Sources: Energy Suspension,; Ground Up SS396,

Tech   TALK

Get the

s t c a f Words Cindy Bullion

Used oil analysis provides a critical look at your engine’s true condition


nowledge is power.” The phrase first used in the late 1500s has grown to widespread use today, the reason being that it’s true. Having facts allows you to make wise decisions. When it comes to protecting your performance engine, a used oil analysis gives you those facts necessary to select the right oil and establish a proper maintenance schedule. “Everybody has opinions about motor oils, but you can make decisions based on facts instead of speculation and opinion,” says Lake Speed Jr., Certified Lubrication Specialist for Driven Racing Oil. Speed says a used oil analysis will help you navigate the challenges of your application, be it a diesel truck, street rod, naturally aspirated drag car, boat, or motorcycle. Each one comes with different oil requirements, and demands. We asked Speed to explain the basics behind interpreting a used oil analysis report, which includes information such as viscosity and the concentration of dirt, wear metals, and water present in the oil. But, we first must tackle sample-taking and getting the oil to the lab. “Doing a used oil analysis may sound complicated, but it’s ridicu78  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

lously easy and not very expensive,” says Speed. You can typically find a used oil analysis kit for less than $30 at a heavy equipment dealership, like John Deere or Caterpillar. Once in hand, you use the kit’s sample cup to collect three ounces of oil directly from the engine within a few minutes of turning it off. Performing the collection when the engine is still warm ensures the oil has been well circulated and the sample will be

details are valuable when troubleshooting, however. “While correctly interpreting oil analysis results is critical for making good decisions about preventive maintenance,” says Speed, “it is a skill that is easily learned with a little bit of experience and some training.” He offers the following tips to help you with deeper interpretation and determining what, if any, changes are necessary. Every report should be checked to

Everybody has opinions about motor oils, but you can make decisions based on facts instead of speculation and opinion – Lake Speed Jr. representative. The next step is filling out the enclosed form and mailing the sample to the lab. Feel free to go the regular mail route, as the small amount of oil is not considered hazardous. According to Speed, you should have results back from the lab within a few days. He adds that while the lab report will provide a general interpretation — no Ph.D needed — there may not always be a specific problem pinpointed. The provided

make sure it includes your provided information, such as sample date, mileage on the oil, type of oil, and engine type. Next, look for the lab’s explanation of its rating system; most will have ranges for normal, marginal, and critical levels. The report will rate the oil and engine in multiple test areas, and may also include analyst comments you can use to gauge the severity of problems and determine a course of action.

Viscosity Viscosity is an oil’s most important property and, thus, the first item to review on a used oil analysis report. In the lab, an analyst tests the oil’s resistance to flow at a specific temperature, since if the oil cannot get where it is needed in the engine, fast enough, it cannot protect components. An incorrect viscosity also means the oil cannot establish the necessary protective film nor carry away heat and contamination at the appropriate rate, even if it does timely flow through the engine. Speed says the effects of incorrect viscosity could include overheating, accelerated wear, and eventual engine failure. So, identifying a viscosity issue through used oil analysis could save a lot of headache — and money — down the road. On your used oil analysis report, a 20 percent or greater change in viscosity from the new oil to sample represents a critical viscosity issue that needs immediate attention. A marginal change would be greater than 10 percent, and still warrants a change.

Doing a used oil analysis may sound complicated, but it’s ridiculously easy and not very expensive Wear materials With any oil, there is a certain amount of elements, like zinc and phosphorous, you should expect to see show up on a used oil analysis report. That’s why Speed recommends having a new oil sample analyzed as well, to determine a baseline reference. You can then deduct those amounts from the used oil analysis report to see what else your oil picked up. Contaminants can make their way into oil as it circulates through the engine, during engine repairs, or from poor filters or breathers. Regardless, they can lead to damage in the engine that shows up in your oil as wear metals, such as iron or aluminum. The elemental section of your used oil analysis report will show the concentration of wear metals, contami-

nant metals, and additive metals. A change greater than 100 ppm is cause for alarm, with greater than 50 ppm change begging caution. Any change less than 20 ppm is usually nothing to worry about. Speed notes elemental analysis cannot measure metal particles larger than 10 microns, but if particles that large are in your oil, there are likely plenty of smaller ones the analysis will detect. When reviewing wear metal concentration in your oil, Speed says it’s important to take into account engine history and look for trends. The best way to gauge if something in the engine is truly amiss is to review previous used oil analysis reports — get these every 6 months to a year for a road car and after a few runs for a race car. If your most recent report is greatly different from the last, consider whether operating conditions have changed, the engine has been running longer or under more load, etc. Even the smallest dust, sand, and rubber particles can affect oil performance and damage your oil system, much less an engine, as earlier noted. A used oil analysis will tell you what



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contaminants are present so you can start looking for their point of entry and close it. Contaminants are usually reflected on a used oil analysis report as silicon, boron, potassium, or sodium. Water may also show up on a report, though its effects on oil and your engine greatly differ. Where particle contaminants directly cause wear on engine surfaces, water promotes rust and corrosion and hampers the oil’s protective ability. It reduces the oil’s load-carrying ability and depletes additives, creating higher operating temperatures and increased friction that leads to accelerated wear. Unchecked, water can cause premature engine failure. Speed says the Karl Fischer water test is the most common used for analyzing water in oil, with a result of more than 500 ppm being abnormal. Lower levels of water are typically due to condensation, rather than external contamination or internal leaks, both which should be identified and corrected. In the end, knowing what’s in your oil or how it has changed through use will give you the power to keep, or get, your engine operating at best. Even if it shows you need a different oil or to make system adjustments or corrections, that occasional $30 for a used oil analysis will have been well spent. Wouldn’t you rather change something small than replace a whole engine?  Source: Driven Racing Oil, 80  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

A used oil analysis kit can typically be found at a heavy equipment dealership and includes a sample container — fill it with 3 ounces of oil — collection form, and return envelope, all which can be sent to the lab by regular mail. Name: Address: Phone:

John Smith 123 Racing Road Raceway, America (555) 555-5555

Sample Date: Sample Label #:

12-Jul-16 1234

Processing Lab #: 56789

Compartment: Engine Type: Year Manufacturer: Model: Fluid Type: Fluid Brand: Grade: Miles in use:

Engine V8 1993 Chevrolet Suburban Conventional Oil Unidentified SAE 40 1,000

LAB REPORT WEAR METALS (ppm) Iron (Fe) 171 * Chromium (Cr) 24 * Lead (Pb) 51 * Copper (Cu) 567 * Tin (Sn) 18 Aluminum (Al) 16 Nickel (Ni) 1 Silver (Ag) <1 Titanium (Ti) <1 Vanadium (V) <1 CONTAMINANTS (ppm) Silicon (Si) 83 ^ Sodium (Na) 17 Potassium (K) 16 ADDITIVES (ppm) Magnesium (Mg) 35 Calcium (Ca) 3739 Barium (Ba) 1 Phosphorous (P) 1477 Zinc (Zn) 1642 Molybdenum( Mo) 113 Boron (B) <1



Oxidation Nitration Sulfation Water Antifreeze Viscosity


0 15 12 23 Present * Not Present 9.1 @ 100C

DIAGNOSIS ACTION REQUIRED: 1) Positive result for water in sample. Check system for possible sources of water entry. 2) Iron, Copper, Chrome, Lead and Tin appear high. Possible piston ring/liner or beari ng 3) Silicon (dirt) is elevated. Check for possible sources of dirt entry. 4) After inspection, resample at half normal service interval to monitor.

LEGEND * = Critical ^ = Marginal

This sample used oil analysis report is representative of what you may receive back from the lab. Look for line items that are marked as being at marginal and critical levels, as well as any analyst comments. This data can be useful in determining whether to select a different oil, change your maintenance schedule, or if you have an internal engine problem that needs addressed.

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UNTOUCHABLE While this Chevelle looks plenty subtle, it packs a 770-hp punch! Words / Photos James Maxwell


harlie Currie still remembers when, as an 8-year-old, it was his job to tear down and completely disassemble junkyard differentials. His dad, the late Frank Currie, started Currie Enterprises in the late 1950s. Frank was originally in the material handling industrial cart business. So, like his four brothers, Charlie learned early how to work on cars. During that time, he worked specifically with Ford 9-inch differentials to make extra money at his father’s business. It was there that he discovered the strength of these legendary components. But, instead of building these parts for racecars, Charlie was building rear ends for the cart business. While Charlie was growing up around high-performance cars and off-road Jeeps, one thing was consistent: he always liked Chevelles. Through the years, he’s owned several of them from different years (convertibles, hardtops, small and big blocks, and in both stock and modified conditions), and today, this car fanatic has never tired of nice, clean, and fast Chevelles. A few years back, the opportunity arose to purchase a super clean 1965 Super Sport from a friend; it was 100-percent stock and in good overall shape. He jumped at the chance 82  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

and soon started to convert it from a pristine stocker to the heavily modified version seen on these pages. When the Chevelle debuted in 1964, it was considered a “senior compact” sized car in the Chevrolet lineup, larger than the Corvair compact, but smaller than the full-sized Impala line. It rode on a 115-inch wheelbase, built on the “A” body platform. Chevelles shared the same basic substructure with the Buick Skylark, Oldsmobile Cutlass, and Pontiac Tempest. In addition, there was a “Malibu” option and a “Malibu Super Sport” upgrade, the latter of which mandated bucket seats, floor console, gauges for the water temperature, ammeter, and oil pressure, plus trim changes and “SS” wheel covers.     First-year Chevelles could be had with both 6-cylinder engines and small-block 283c.i. V8s, with the RPO L77 (Regular Production Option) 283c.i. four-barrel version being the top engine, rated at 220 hp. The following year, the larger 327c.i. small blocks were available for Chevelle buyers, and the highest-output 327c.i. mill was the very potent 350-hp L79, which came with 11.0:1 compression ratio, larger port heads with 2.02-inch intake and 1.60-inch exhaust valves,

Engine building credit goes to Ed Taylor at Ventura Motorsports. To test its mettle, it was run on the Ken Duttweiler dynamometer and netted 770 ponies! Besides the impressive horsepower, another beauty of this power plant was the monster torque it produces: 743 lb-ft at 4100 rpm.  

and an aluminum intake manifold, all topped off with a 585cfm Holley four-barrel carburetor. That 350-hp version could also be ordered with a fully synchronized 4-speed manual gearbox, Posi-traction rear gears with 3.31:1 ratio, sintered-metallic brakes, and a beefier front and rear suspension package. As equipped, that was a true “muscle car” by anyone’s standards. Additionally, there were 201 375-hp “Z-16” 396c.i. big-block Chevelles made during the 1965 model year. Conversely, the 1965 Chevelle Super Sport Charlie Currie started with for this project wasn’t a factory muscle machine fortified with a high-performance power plant, but rather a tame 283c.i. two-barrel mated to a Powerglide 2-speed automatic transmission. The original engine, transmission, or rear end did not fit any of Charlie’s intended plans (taking the car on the Hot Rod cross-country Power Tour), but he did want to keep the car a “Chevelle” as much as possible. That meant he was to retain the original chassis, as well as the original sheet metal shape and even the factory firewall. The engine chosen to propel this ’65 Super Sport Chevelle was a 6.2L L92 V8 “LS Series” GM crate engine, sold for truck applications over the counter at GM and speed shops. It was a sturdy 403-hp power plant that featured all the

The Magnuson Model MP2300 is a state-of-the-art supercharger and was designed to be a compact unit for increased power with original equipment quietness and reliability. This version (6th generation) has the new four-lobe, high helix rotor design.

A four-row alloy radiator, custom built to the car, uses twin electric fans to draw air through it. This work was done my Mattson’s Radiator in Orange Country (Stanton), California, and Charlie had the complete car brought to their shop during the build to ensure every aspect of the cooling system would be as high capacity as possible.

With the addition of airbag suspension, the overall ride height can be adjusted to extreme low position when parked at a car show or raised when at the drive-in getting a burger.

Rather than using an aftermarket steering wheel, the decision was made to run a factory unit that was optional (three-spoke stainless steel) on 1970 Chevelles. One dashboard clean-up touch was the removal of the stock padding, which required filling of the holes and additional metal work to provide a smooth and flowing top. Digital gauges replaced the originals, and the body color plastic parts were replated in plastic chrome.

The kit included all the necessary components — rear-driven supercharger, cast aluminum intake manifold, liquid-to-air intercooler core, heat exchanger, coolant circulation pump, high-capacity fuel injectors, fuel rails, and mounting hardware — to complete the installation. The intercooler (AKA heat exchanger) added complexity to the system, however the trade-off is well worth it, as overall supercharger efficiency was improved with the lowered temperature of the intake charge. The supercharger is fed using a 90mm throttle body (CNC-machined) from UMI Racing and Aeromotive tank-mounted electric fuel pump. Custom exhaust headers with 2-inch primaries were welded up for the application and then Jet Hot coated for heat containment and durability. A set of Moroso Blue Max sleeved ignition wires provides spark energy to the plugs. Power from this LS engine (770 hp at 5,800-rpm with 743 lb-ft of torque at 4,100 rpm) is put to the tarmac via a 4L65E GM 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive that was further beefed up with selected internals from TCI. Chevrolet 12-bolt rear ends are normally a good choice for high-performance Chevelle applications like this one. However in this case, when the time came to select a rear differential for the car, there was only one way to go: a Currie 9-inch! Currie Enterprises actually does work with Chevy 12-bolts and the larger Dana 60 assemblies at their shop, but Charlie has a soft spot for the 9-inch, and used one of their tough F9 fabricated housings on the car. 

The crew at Westminster Auto Upholstery created black leather seating with red threading. They also installed the new carpet and door panels to give the interior a simple, yet appealing appearance.

good stuff, including aluminum block (deep skirted) and heads, six-bolt mains, variable valve timing, needle bearing rocker arms, beehive valve springs, coil-on-plug ignition, and high-flow heads with 2.16-inch intake and 1.59-inch exhaust valves. It was a great starting point for Charlie’s high-horsepower intentions! A visit to Kenny Duttweiler and Ed Taylor of Ventura Motorsports got the ball rolling on the soon-to-be revised GM crate engine. That directive was to tear the assembly apart and replace the standard crankshaft with a forged “stroker” model from Scat Enterprises. To that, he added new connecting rods, which upped engine displacement from 376c.i. to 414c.i. Next came the replacement of the L92 heads with Dart Pro 1 LS-1 units, aftermarket pieces with CNC-blended combustion chambers, 68cc, for improved airflow and flame propagation. The decision was made to keep the stock L92 camshaft, however, enhanced with COMP Cam roller rockers. As it turned out, the L92 camshaft (0.500-inch lift, 198-degree intake, 209-degree exhaust duration) was ideal for the intended use of a supercharger, which was a MP2300 model sourced from Magnuson. When the supercharger system was installed for this application, an intercooler was added under the intake manifold in the valley between the cylinder heads, for extra usable power. 84  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

The tubular StrongArms replacement lower control arms were built by Ridetech to eliminate ball joint binding (during extreme suspension movement) plus create extra caster potential in the available adjustments.

Inside the Currie 9-inch housing is 35-spline Platinum Trac limited slip differential, equipped with 3.25:1 ring and pinion. Combined with the overdrive fourth gear of the transmission, final drive ratio computes to 2.27:1.

All credit for the clean lines of the car has to go to the men in charge in Chevrolet’s styling department when the ’65 Chevelle was on the drawing board. These are clean-looking cars, and Charlie felt it was best to not perform any major surgery.

With the running gear fully sorted, the focus shifted to the body and frame. Long-time and highly respected hot rod builder Bob Bauder was the man responsible for the overall build, and the first thing he did was box the frame for extra strength to handle all the new power that Charlie had come up with BFGoodrich G-Force T/A tires were chosen and for the old Chevelle. Air suspension was up front sized at 245/40 ZR18. The Foose wheels are called Nitrous II and provide an aggressive, incorporated into the front and rear sus- yet classic look for this mid-’60s Chevelle. pension systems, ShockWave air-shocks on the front, along with the rear bags, all from Ridetech. Up front, replacement upper control arms from Savitske and new tubular lower control arms (by Ridetech specifically for use with the ShockWave units) were added, along with ATS Aluminum A/FX spindles. The rear end was augmented with a set of Currectrac upper and lower control arms, large-diameter sway bar, and a Panhard bar that looks like something seen on a NASCAR racecar. Massive Baer brakes (13-inch diameter with 6-piston calipers) were added on all four corners. Cool 18-inch diameter Foose Nitrous II wheels were used front and rear, with an 8-inch width front and 9-inchers out back. Each wheel was wrapped with G-Force rubber from BFG. The goal was to get the rolling stock as large as possible without having to modify the stock wheel openings. With some careful planning, it was accomplished — they don’t rub!   Westminster Auto Upholstery stitched up the renewed interior, and audio sounds come from a dash-mounted Custom Auto Sounds head unit with 10-disc CD changer included in the system. The silver paint was shot by Bob Bauder and Lil’ Louie from San Bernardino, California, (AKA the Inland Empire) who handled the side stripe graphics, adding some color to the slabs of silver hue.  In the end, the Chevelle was finished and had the bugs sorted out before Charlie took it on the Hot Rod Power Tour. It performed flawlessly on tour to the delight of all parties involved. This car is filled with a wide variety of upgrades, and tons of power comes from the well-sorted LS engine, however it’s still very streetable and can be driven “normal” with ease. In fact, with the efficiency of the supercharged engine and the incorporation of the overdrive transmission, Charlie could even get some great fuel mileage if he kept his foot out of it. Has he ever gone out and done that? Nope, this high-horsepower machine provides way too much fun to baby it! 

Words Cam Benty Photos Lee Kelley and Steve Reyes

Lee Kelley’s 40+ years of car building, racing and content creation helped shape the automotive enthusiast landscape forever


t’s strange the things that motivate people to find their individual career paths. For Lee Kelley, his love of cars played a huge part in his selection of employment. As a firstyear college student, it was the passion to purchase a ’62 409c.i./409-hp Chevy that took him from the class86  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

room to full-time work for Standard Oil. But, it was an ad in Drag News weekly newspaper for a writer/photographer that was to change his life forever. Kelley spent most of his car building days in Taft, California, having moved west after his early upbring-

ing in the town of Granbury, Texas, 30 miles outside of Ft. Worth. In the early to mid-1960s, racing in California was never hotter, with racetracks blanketing the southern California landscape. An avid car enthusiast and racer at the age of 25, Kelley constantly scrutinized his 409 Chevy

A classic driveway scene, Lee Kelley, left, with long time friend Lenny Emanuelson, who was to follow Lee as editor of Hot Rod in 1981. This ’32 Ford truck was well known to hot rodders back in the day.

Lee Kelley hung with the right crowd, if you were into cars back in the early 1960s. This photo, from the National Rod Run in Benton Harbor, Michigan, includes several Argus Publishing staff members including Ed Obrien, Jay Amestoy, Kelley, and Tom Madigan.

to improve its performance — often enlisting ideas he read about in the enthusiast magazines. As mentioned, it was an ad in a March 1967 issue of Drag News, one of the biggest drag racing publications at the time, that an undisclosed publication was looking for a writer and photographer. Kelley, figuring he had the writing part down and could learn how to take photos, sent his resumè in for the job. It turned out to be a position with Argus Publishers and Popular Hot Rodding magazine (PHR). Within a couple of days of sending his letter, he was in the Los Angeles office of magazine editor Jack Scagnetti interviewing for the job — all the while figuring his chances of getting the job were plenty slim. As would be the case, he did not get the job, that position falling to another well known writer of the era, Forrest Bond. But evidently, Kelley made an impact on Scagnetti, for it was not more than a month later he got the call to come on staff at PHR. In the mid-1960s, the cars were never cooler and the racing never hotter. Moving from rural Taft to Los Angeles would seem to have been a major step, but surrounded by the cream of the automotive elite, the transfer for Kelley was not an issue. It was not long after Kelley’s landing at PHR that Jack Scagnetti left the

company, Kelley working directly with George Elliott, who had taken over the editorship of the magazine. Elliott was extremely pleased to have the help, and Kelley would soon learn this was an 80-100 hour a week job between writing, shooting photographs, and visiting racetracks and shops to find content for the magazine. For a real car guy like Kelley, it was literally more of a “kid in a candy store” type of problem — which was no problem at all. “I would spend 20 to 30 hours a month over at Ak Miller’s Shop in Pico Rivera developing tech stories about engines he had under way and cool cars that were owned by the customers that came to Miller’s,” Kelley says. “I would do as many stories as I possibly could to fill the magazine since it was really just George and myself building both PHR and other specialty magazines. In a month’s time, I’m certain that we each produced a full magazine’s worth of articles [60 pages of content].” Just when he thought this was the coolest job ever, Kelley was introduced to yet another source of car entertainment — the automotive manufacturer “Long Lead” presentations. Due to the length of time between when the magazine was produced, printed, and ac-

Lee and his brother Jeff won a lot of races back in the 1960s with this ’33 Ford that ran both B/Gas in IHRA competition and B/Modified Production at NHRA tracks. 87

tually delivered to the readership, the new car manufacturers would show automotive journalists the new cars and trucks, three months prior to the launch to the public. In addition to receiving a trip to Detroit to see the new cars and talk with the engineers that produced the cars, it meant a chance to drive the vehicles flat out on the private manufacturer test tracks. For Kelley, his first assignment was the Long Lead introduction of the 1968 Buick Grand Sports. “It was more than I could have hoped for,” Kelley says. “They had all the hottest Buicks at the time, and they even had a driving competition that I remember well.” It’s where Kelley first met Ray Brock, then publisher of Hot Rod magazine. That chance meeting with Brock developed into a lasting friendship. In August 1967, Kelley covered Bonneville for the first time and spent some “salt time” with Brock. When they parted at Bonneville, Brock punctuated their visit with the comment, “if you ever want to work for a real magazine, you should think about Hot Rod.” The result of those encounters would be a job offer only nine months into Kelley’s employment at PHR. Less than a year into his journalistic career, he was on staff at Hot Rod magazine.

“When I went to Hot Rod, it was very different from PHR,” says Kelley. “At PHR we had to crank out lots of content. I really enjoyed that frankly. Elliott and I were always at the drag strip testing products and going to shops.” “When I went to Hot Rod, all that changed. Instead of having the opportunity to really do any story I felt had merit, at Hot Rod I had to fight to get my one or two stories into an issue,” Kelley continues. “They had a staff of six or seven writers, and they all had their areas of expertise. After about six months, I decided that PHR was a better fit for me and went back to working with Elliott.”

Project X and life at Argus Publishing

Starting in 1968 and continuing for the next nine years, Kelley built a reputation for PHR and himself as an alternative for Hot Rod and the Petersen Publishing magazines. Elliott introduced Project X in 1966, the ’57 Chevy that still lives on today as an iconic vehicle. At the same time, Kelley had a really cool, five-window ’32 Ford with a Pontiac Ram Air IV engine that he’d race and test. In addition, he began building a ’33 Ford pickup, since in order to do a lot of the product testing for articles, you needed plenty of raw material.

Prior to becoming a writer for car magazines, Kelley and his brother used this rig to trailer to local southern California racetracks near his home in Taft, California.

It was Project X that really kicked things up in a big way, the ragged ’57 taking on Elliott’s vision for a highly popular platform that served to show the performance improvements possible with available parts. His personal dedication to working and racing the car on the weekend and writing about it back at the office with Kelley was a regular cycle. Every issue of PHR had multiple pages dedicated to Project X’s latest racing and street performance alterations. The car became a celebrity among automotive enthusiasts. “We swapped out and tested engines, transmission, rear ends, and suspension parts and wrote about the results of these changes in every

Kelley enjoyed Bonneville, racing there several times. Bill Hielscher was generous enough to let Kelley drive a variety of his cars over the years, including a 1968 and second Gen Camaro.

Oldsmobile was active in racing back in the late 1960s, and Kelley was more than happy to drive their products at a diversity of unusual locations. In 1968, he drove this Cutlass into the record books at Bonneville and not long after, took a lightly modified Cutlass to Baja 1000 — with slightly less than record-setting results. 88  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

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Kelley was on staff when the famous Project X ’57 Chevy was in its infancy at Popular Hot Rodding. More often than not, “X” would square off against Kelley’s own ’32 Ford 5-window, which was also the subject of numerous magazine articles.

issue,” says Kelley. “We even tested gasser-style fuel injection, intake manifolds, headers, and all kinds of new hot rod parts. If it was new, it went on Project X.” Project X got quicker and quicker. Starting with mid-15-second time slips when stock, things improved and readers took note. Racing at legendary southern California tracks like Lions, San Fernando, Irwindale, and Orange County, the story of “X” reads like a history of racing. At the same time, Elliott’s driving skills were tested, and he shone brightly. After some significant tuning, Kelley remembers Project X running mid-11 seconds in the quarter, very impressive for the era. Initially, Project X was painted a salmon color, and since most of the PHR content was black and white, it was not much of an issue, remembers Kelley. The more racing they did, the more audience it commanded and eventually a cover placement. It was Elliott’s idea to paint it a more cover-worthy color, and bright yellow was selected. It is a paint scheme that lives on today.

Long Lead Tales If the Buick new product reveal in 1968 was a big deal, the muscle car hit parade was to crescendo from there. It was early in his Detroit trips that Kel-

ley met Jim Wangers, the man credited with the creation of the first Pontiac GTO back in 1964. It was on one of the long lead events that Wangers took Kelley out to Woodward Ave., America’s “Nirvana” for street racing fans. Wangers, in the late 1960’s, worked with legendary performance dealership Royal Bobcat Pontiac, which had become the base for many factory lightweight Pontiac race cars. Wanger would host Kelley on many late night street racing evenings, usually ending up on or near Woodward Ave. In addition, he would show Kelley many rare and never released Pontiac parts. The rare Ram Air IV Pontiac engine that Kelley ran in his ’32 Ford – an unusual pairing for certain - came from PHR’s Pontiac GTO Judge project car that was initiated by the Wangers’ connection. When the car was returned to GM, Pontiac “gifted” the engine to the magazine. With new car introductions for the major U.S. manufacturers occurring most often in June or July, Kelley often spent a fair number of summer days in the Motor City. From 1968-1971, muscle cars were hot sellers and manufacturers played a regular game of canyou-top-this, upping the horsepower output of their performance automotive machinery. This resulted in one of the best times in Kelley’s journalistic

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Kelley had a number of cool cars during his career, including this lightly flared ’67 Corvette (top) that sported a 454c.i. engine. While at Hot Rod, he often drove this nicely detailed ’32 Ford Hi-Boy (bottom).

Back in the day, Kelley was at the center of racing and worked with all the legends, including Mickey Thompson and Don “The Snake” Prudhomme.

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career; he was able to test the hottest muscle cars, including hemi-cars from Chrysler, Boss Mustangs, and big- and small-block Corvettes. Some of the cars he tested at the time became amazingly rare and ridiculously expensive by today’s standards. None were rarer than the 1969 ZL1 Corvettes and Camaros — only 69 Camaros and two Corvettes were ever produced. Today, an original ’69 ZL1 Corvette is worth well over a million dollars. As a result of Trans Am racing successes achieved by the Penske/Donohue 1968-69 Camaros, the race-ready “street” Z/28 Camaros were particularly of interest to journalists. Kelley remembers beating the hell out of the

rare crossram and four-wheel disc brake-equipped (only 206 production were equipped with this brake option) ’69 Z/28’s on hand — these pilot cars were probably crushed after the event, as is often the case with pre-production cars. Today, an original one of these machines could easily be worth half a million dollars. “I can remember one of the best long leads was one of the last,” Kelley recalls. “For the 1971 model year, Chevrolet pulled out all the stops with some of the fastest cars ever. To increase the performance, many of the cars came with slicks and engines that were never offered in the production cars. As an added surprise, on these

The Kelley Brothers were highly competitive in SoCal in drag competition.

‘special’ vehicles, they did not allow us to open the hoods, but we spotted a set of 180-degree headers on one car and other non-production performance improvements on others.” The 1971 model year was to conclude the muscle car era; emissions and unleaded fuels drew the curtain on this performance. Regardless, the long leads continued to be a source of entertainment and a chance to drive cars on racetrack — as part of his job. Not a terrible thing to do for a living!

Making a mark on magazine history

In addition, Kelley became the fix it guy for the president of Petersen Publishing, Fred Waingrow, offering advice and helping on other projects as needed. In 1978, John Dianna left the editorship at Hot Rod and Dick Day, Hot Rod’s group publisher, came to Kelley to take over the title. For the next four years, Kelley guided Hot Rod to its best selling issues ever, according to former Hot Rod Editor Lenny Emanuelson. With 700,000 subscribers and 400,000 newsstand sales, Hot Rod was never bigger. In 1981, Kelley brought Emanuelson over from PHR and moved into a group publisher position for Petersen’s Specialty Titles — and as an advisor to Emanuelson. The Specialty group continued to flourish with more and more titles printing over 100 magazines each calendar year. More changes arrived in 1988. A change in Hot Rod’s sister publication, Motor Trend, resulted in Kelley’s final magazine position. Moving away from specialty titles (many of them had become full fledged monthly titles by this time), Kelley took over Motor Trend while also overseeing SPORT Magazine until a publisher could be hired. Kelley clearly knew something about magazines because he was to run Motor Trend for the next 11 years. In that time, it became the first Petersen title to bill over $1 million in a single month. In addition, while Hot Rod had been the flagship title and most profitable magazine for the company since its launch in 1948. With Kelley at the helm, Motor Trend took that role as a changing market made the new car title more and more successful. 

After nine years at PHR, Kelley left Argus Publishing for Petersen Publishing and created the Specialty Pub division, where he began a series of magazines that fed automotive niche markets. One of his first was 4Wheel & Off-Road for the truck enthusiast. Starting as an annual, as advertising dollars and sales increased, the Kelley left college and headed into the work solely to afford this ’62 409 Impala. magazine increased in frequency to bi-annual, quarterly, bi-monthly, and then monthly. Today, 4Wheel & Off-Road owes its existence to Kelley’s specialty publications “test.” Other specialty publications that came from the mind of Kelley included Chevy High Performance, Camaro, Circle Track, Mustang, Truck Trend, and other titles that continue to be produced today.

Free Horsepower! Words / Photos Brandon Flannery


We found more than 60 hp and 23 lb-ft of torque just by switching to FAST EFI

e all need a little more useable power, don’t we? Well, with a little help from FAST, we found more lurking inside this small block. Years were spent transforming Shawn Brereton’s ’55 Chevy into the childhood dream car we all doodled with big wheels, dark paint, and a big honkin’ supercharger poking through the hood. As we all know, when building a dream car like this, it’s easy to get carried away making the biggest, baddest engine you can, and supercharging brings on its own set of complications. Bearing that in mind, this engine was built to drive. With a sensible parts selection, it has reliably powered this car since 1992 and is still going strong. Lest you think this has 92  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

been a fairgrounds queen, it racked up well over 6,000 miles last year alone on road trips and local driving. To get a baseline, the engine is a 355 with 72cc Dart heads. Compression was set at 9:1 with a set of TRW pistons, and the cam was ground on a 110 lobe separation with a .550/.575 lift. The BDS supercharger was topped with two 650 cfm Holley carbs, and it was backed with an American Powertrain T-56 and a set of 3.73 gears. While the car was sound, Shawn is a “normal guy.” This means he’s not an engine builder or obsessive tuner, nor a racer worried about wringing every last ounce out of the car. While some may argue the carb system could have been

Project car features This article kicks off a series of Xceleration Project Car features. Shawn Brereton’s 1955 Chevy, known as 1PDQ55, is currently one of two vehicles being highlighted by the Xceleration Media staff for article features and progress updates on the PPN website. The other is Elizabeth Puckett’s 1998 Formula called Project Vendetta. Keep an eye out for both vehicles in the future.

Our baseline dyno pull netted 450.4 hp @ 6,400 rpm and 432.9 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 in fourth gear. Not bad for a street-driven small block!

With the battery disconnected, we removed the fuel pump from the frame rail.

fiddled with to be improved, changing jets in hotel parking lots isn’t his idea of fun. It was taken to an acceptable level and driven. Though it worked, it left a lot on the table. The tune left the fuel mixture rich at idle and lean at high RPM. The timing was “safe” for wide-open throttle, but didn’t finesse itself at part throttle. Our best baseline testing with the carbs produced 450.4 hp at 6,400 rpm and 432.9 lb-ft of torque at 4,600. Respectable, no doubt. However, the Air Fuel Ratio swung from 15.2:1 at 2,700 rpm to a fairly low 10.4:1 at 6,800, with the timing only reaching 28 degrees of advance.

One of the last original parts left under the car was the fuel tank. It was removed. 93

Hoses were made after careful measuring and cutting. A trip to Godman High Performance ended with Shawn trading a pile of cash for these shiny trinkets.

The fuel filter and pump relay were mounted on the rear crossmember in front of the tank. The fuel pressure regulator was mounted on the frame rails. This will keep the entire system pressurized during all operating conditions. In the absence of a mechanical fuel pressure gauge, we simply adjusted it to 43 lbs using the readout on the handheld.

We opened our box from Rick’s Tanks and were impressed with the contents. These are custom stainless steel units that fit in the factory locations, with a recessed area in the top for the pump and gauge sender. A Pressure Sensor was mounted along the fuel path on the frame rail. These are CNC machined from aluminum and use an OEM GM sensor to electronically measure 0-100 psi. They can also be used with other fluids.

A close up of the recessed bulkhead in the top. The Aeromotive pump is a Phantom in-tank unit with provisions for fuel outlet, fuel return, and a vent line. Two wire electrical hookups are clearly marked. 94  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

With a new XFI Sportsman system from FAST, specifically developed for Roots-style supercharger systems with dual quads, the idea of having modern EFI was now a reality. We were curious how much more power could be found without changing any of the mechanicals. Could we break the magical 500-hp barrier with more precise tuning? The answer was yes. Yes, it was free horsepower, no, it wasn’t FREE. We did have to convert to EFI, but no other modifications were made to the engine itself. It simply maximized the potential of the moving parts. In the end, our best dyno pull broke the 500-horse barrier at 516.0 hp at 6,200 rpm and 476.8 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 - 4,900. What’s more, the XFI log showed an even 12.5:1 Air Fuel ratio and 32 degrees of timing advance through the pull. Same components, more efficiently harnessed equaled more power. In addition to bigger dyno numbers, driveability and throttle response improved significantly. The crisp acceleration off the line and during gear changes were a pleasant

With everything plumbed up, the tank was ready for install. Note the durable wire terminal covers.

Though the old Holley carb setup had dutifully served the car well for many years, they did run a little rich at idle and lean out at high RPM. They worked, but there was definitely room for improvement.

While the old distributor might have worked with a phaseable rotor, the decision was made to update to a FAST unit. The previous unit was locked at 28 degrees with a 6-degree starting retard from the ignition box. This was a “safe” setting for wide-open throttle, but less than perfect for part throttle. In addition to working directly with the EFI, the FAST distributor pulls off the MAP and supports a precisely tailored timing that’s set with the laptop.

With padded strips on top and the new stainless retainer straps in place, the tank was mounted and plumbed into the fuel system. The vent tube was eventually run up towards the filler neck.

Up and out!

The old-style cap and wires would not work with the new FAST distributor cap, as it has male terminals.

Bruce Horkey

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Shawn’s take: Behind the wheel I’ve owned 1PDQ55 for 29 years now and installed this engine in 1992. It has never given me any trouble that wasn’t caused by me (i.e. timing set wrong, didn’t set the valve lash correctly, etc.). Only there were a few things I wanted to improve about the car, and EFI seems to have been the magic bullet for them all. Mind you, they weren’t big problems to me (I’ve been dealing with them since ’92), but more like annoyances — one of those “if I ever get the money” kind of things. In the hot, humid Memphis months, the water temperature would start to creep upwards if I got caught in traffic, to the point I would eventually have to pull over. Since the evolution of ethanol, no matter what gaskets I used or how tight I turned the thumbscrews, the carbs would weep fuel just enough to be annoying but not dangerous. Lastly, I didn’t feel I was getting the gas mileage I should be getting with a 6-speed and 3.73 gears. I thought I had the carbs dialed in pretty well. Yeah, it smelled a little rich at idle, and the plugs were pretty dark, but the car ran strong, and it never gave me problems starting or running. Once I made the switch to EFI, I can’t believe the difference. First off, I didn’t know the water temp problem would be fixed by EFI, so that was a happy surprise. I rode around Du Quoin fairgrounds for an hour in the summer heat and it never went above 195! The fuel weeping is obviously not an issue with no float bowls. The biggest change however, is in the drivability of the car. The throttle response is so quick and crisp that it makes it feel like a completely different car, which leads me to the only problem I have found. I can’t give a good accurate mpg average yet because I have had my foot in it at every light. I can say this, however, despite stomping on the gas pedal every chance I get, I have improved so far about 2-3 mpg in the first two tanks. I think there may be another 2-3 in it if I quit acting like a teenager again, but I’m not sure when that will be. I will provide updates on how things progress on the PPN website, on my project car page. To date, I think this change to EFI, which I was very reluctant to do, turned out to be the best update I have done on the car — and there have been a lot of updates in 29 years! surprise. It’s one of those things where you don’t know what you’re missing until you get something better. This fun car became a really fun car. The actual conversion process wasn’t very hard. It can be done with common hand tools in a few days, save for adding an oxygen sensor into the header. We did replace the fuel tank with the preferred in-tank pump setup, and ran new fuel lines. The throttle blades on the EFI throttle bodies sit a little higher than those in a carb, so the linkage needed to be tweaked slightly, and we did replace the old distributor with one from FAST. The previous one would have worked with a phaseable rotor and some love, but the FAST unit is plug and play. Follow along in the assembly photos, and give FAST a call if you want to get their XFI Sportsman Roots Blower Dual Quad EFI System — and find more horsepower in YOUR supercharged engine.  Source: FAST,; Powermaster Performance,; Rick’s Tanks,; Godman Performance, 96  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

We removed the 90-degree ends and installed the newer-style tips and boots.

Since the throttle body shafts sit a little higher than the carbs, we had to compensate for the height difference in the throttle linkage adjustment. These throttle bodies run external 2 BAR MAP sensors and 87 lb./hr. injectors. The system supports up to 15 psi of boost and 1,000 hp at the crank. This particular setup hit over 11 pounds of boost at the top of the tachometer.

The wiring kit is clearly labeled and contained everything we needed for a clean installation.

A special panel was fabricated to mount the FAST XFI ECU and hold a much-needed 12-volt accessory power socket.

The panel was mounted behind the center glove box door for easy access.

An nice optional accessory to have for the EFI system is this hand-held touch screen. It provides a visual display of all sensor readings and is helpful in diagnosing problems. Error codes and a blinking light will occur if there is a problem in the system or a malfunction. It can also be used to restart the Adaptive Learning mode and serve as a data logger.

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Auto trans tuning tips with TCI’s EZ-TCU

Words Dan Hodgdon


n today’s world, electronics play an important and useful role in nearly every aspect of the performance industry. Your hot rod or muscle car’s drivetrain is no exception. An electronic transmission control unit (TCU) allows for complete control over shift points, shift firmness, and shift speed when using a computer-controlled transmission. TCUs provide improved fuel economy, shift quality, and exponentially improved performance over the hydraulic-controlled transmissions of the old days. But let's face it, for many car guys, computers — and all those complicated wires — can be incredibly intimidating. Luckily, Ashland, Mississippi's TCI Automotive produces its own easy-to-install unit, aptly named the EZTCU. It is fully configured and ready to run out of the box. We connected with TCI’s Will Vance to provide us with some insider info on how the system works, and how it’s actually much easier to set up than it might seem. 98  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

The kit includes the main ECU, a hand-held, the communication cable for the hand-held (or COM cable), a cigarette lighter plug-in that serves as the hand-held’s power cord, the main harness assembly, and the rpm module. “There is a lot of harness, and a lot of times, that’s intimidating to a lot of guys who are unfamiliar with electronics,” Vance says. “But here’s the great thing; that’s the whole point of the EZ-TCU. We give you a lot of options.” The following are a few of the most important elements when setting up the EZ-TCU.

Voltage Vance is adamant voltage is key when dealing with a TCU, explaining you must have a good, strong battery producing 12 volts or better. The TCU comes with three wires: red, black, and pink. The red wire connects directly to the battery, while the black wire will connect directly to the bat-

tery ground. Meanwhile, the pink wire must go to a keyed hot wire, meaning anything that produces 12 volts or better when the key is in the run position.

TPS Signal “A throttle position sensor signal is critical to the proper function of the TCU,” Vance says, noting it’s also important to utilize a 0-5 volt reference wire on any existing TPS. “If you’re dealing with a fuel-injected motor, we give you a single wire so you don’t need the whole Weather Pack connector,” Vance adds. “All you need to do is splice into your 0-5 volt reference wire.” If you don’t have an existing TPS, TCI offers a remote, plug-and-play TPS as well. Vance says whether you are using an existing or remote TPS, he has found the TCI system likes to see at least half a volt at the idle position with the key on. You can determine this by probing your wire with a volt meter. “If your system breathes below [half a volt], we need to adjust your TPS preload to where the system will see half a volt or better,” Vance says.

Tach Signal The EZ-TCU tach signal has two yellow wires. The reason for this has to do with the included rpm module. You’ll need this if you are running a GM HEI-style ignition (factory or aftermarket). “If it is a coil-and-cap design like an HEI, you must use the rpm module,” Vance warns. “It’s very critical.” Wiring the rpm module is actually quite simple. Two wires pre-terminated to a ring will go to a good, solid ground. The white wire will be to the tach side of your distributor, and a yellow wire (male or female) simply plugs into whichever plug you have. However, if you are dealing with any other ignition besides the GM HEI coil and cap design, the rpm module is not needed. “Either wire will supply what we need,” Vance says. “We simply need you to take one of these wires and tie it in to your existing tach lead signal. The reason we need this is because the TCU provides all base shift points on throttle position vs rpm vs speed.”

Output Shaft Speed Sensor and Case Connector The wire labeled as “output shaft speed sensor” plugs directly into an existing GM speed sensor. TCI does not share this signal so it must be a sole plug-in. Finally, you’ll plug in the case connector and be ready to go. According to Vance, “There’s always a question, ‘how do I know I’m plugged in right on the case connector?’ If you’ll notice, on your transmission, and on the harness itself, you have a keyway. This is designed to line you up so you ensure that you’re plugged in properly on any transmission you have with a TCU.”

Testing The EZ-TCU hand-held provides a diagnostic screen to look at and make sure everything is connected and functioning properly. To communicate, simply take the gray COM cable that comes in the kit and plug it into the hand-held’s Weather Pack connector. “These plug directly together; listen for the click to know you’re plugged in exactly right,” Vance says. The other end plugs directly into the hand-held, and it’s always a good idea to run the screws down and anchor it so it doesn’t pull against the board. To supply power, you’ll use your cigarette lighter. “Once we plug in our power cord we’re able to go to a live data screen where we’ll be able to retrieve information about the tach signal, the TPS signal, and a speedometer signal,” Vance says. “Those are your three key elements the TCU must see so that it operates properly in your application.” Vance says he fields a lot of questions from street rodders who are confused and intimidated by computers and wires, but he is able to simply walk them, and all other builders and enthusiasts, through the process. “As long as you can supply certain signals, this unit will function your transmission and allow you to adjust shifts, shifts, shift timing, shift aggression, lockup control, everything you want to control about it,” he says. That makes the EZ-TCU a perfect tool for enthusiasts who like to tinker and be in control, but who also like to do things the easy way.  Source: TCI Auto, 99

Chef Brad Toles’ appetizing array of automotive entrees Words / Photos Cam Benty

Dressed in his kitchen attire, a very proud Chef Brad Toles poses in front of his favorite vehicles, plain and fancy ’71 Hemi ’Cudas, along with other legendary Mopar missiles.


ecessity is the mother of invention . . . or so the timeworn adage goes. But, for Brad Toles, it could never be more apt. It started with a tired ’68 Chevelle that was incapable of making the trek from Palmdale, California, to Toles’ senior high classes 50 miles away in Canyon Country. But, his neighbor had an idea of “merging” the Chevelle with a 396c.i.-powered Chevy wagon and coming up with a running vehicle. It was the recipe that set the table for many future automotive endeavors. While Toles’ love of cars was on simmer, it was his career in cooking that was at full boil. Starting as a dishwasher, he quickly knew he wanted to become a chef. Living through the “Hell’s Kitchen” lifestyle of master chefs who taught him the ropes in an abusive but clearly educational manner. Today Chef Toles owns Savourys Catering, a successful food service company that holds the exclusive food and beverage contract for the Palm Springs Convention Center. While he trained under Master Chefs and became the Executive Chef at many hotels, as well as the Queen Mary, Spruce Goose, and Hollywood Park Race Track, he entered and won many culinary competitions, landing a place on Team USA West for the International Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt, Germany. Chef Toles participated in the Culinary Olympics in 1992, 1996, and 2000, winning gold medals for nearly every entry. In addition to hundreds of conventions every year, Savourys also caters

So, how many car guys can do this? Toles’ culinary creativity has brought him great acclaim as the award-winning chef for his company, Savourys. Creating and executing these kinds of elaborate dining experiences are all part of his busy lifestyle.

Toles has an amazing collection of “raw material” from his group of cars yet to go under the knife. 101

Just part of Toles’ fine collection, this pair of ’71 ’Cudas is beautifully detailed and two very different takes on ’Cuda creation. Most of Toles’ cars are state-of-the-art restorations.

many of the prestigious charitable fundraisers and black tie galas in Palm Springs, including the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Desert AIDS Project Steve Chase Awards gala, and annual galas for the Palm Springs Art Museum and the Palm Springs Air Museum. Daily routines can include designing unique food presentations for a cozy group of 2,500 hungry guests. That’s a long way from Chevelle engine swaps. But, while Chef Toles’ career was becoming legendary in food circles, his interest in cars and car building needed to be fed. After years of research, he found a suitable ’68 Chevelle. That purchase led to the addition of a ’68 Corvette, one of his favorite cars of all time. It was to light the fire for more collector cars.

Mopar madness While the cars and parts displayed here may give the appearance of being a lifelong passion, it was the discovery

of Mopar products that redirected his automotive focus. “While I was certainly around when these cars were new, I never remembered them much,” Toles notes. “It wasn’t until the early 2000s that I looked at Chargers, Challengers, and ’Cudas, having spent most of my time with Chevrolets. Mopars were not even on my radar. The Mopars West business started in 2007.” Clearly they are today. Toles has made Mopars his target brand of choice. Formerly called West Coast Mopars, today his new operation is called All-American Classic Car Restoration (AACCR), which is managed on a daily basis by Tom Hicks, allowing Toles to work not only on Chrysler products but also other brands. Case in point was the day we visited; a ’74 Jensen convertible was close to completion, the 440c.i. Mopar V8 freshly reworked and only the Lucas Electrical system left to be refreshed (although that could be a life’s work, as some will attest.).

This ’68 Charger is just out of the paint shop, an operation handled at AACCR. Each body is rotisserie finished, including total body/chassis restoration and section painting the interior to provide total coverage inside and out. 102  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

When not working with Toles in the kitchen, Chef Manual Lucero spends the off-season (June through September) working for Toles in the AACCR shop in Palm Springs. It is a most unusual work force, to be certain.

Along with the AACCR operation where his staff work to revitalize vehicles back to their original configuration, Toles’ personal collection of perfect and not-so-perfect cars are tucked away 15 minutes up the road in his desert hide away. Checked out to pass the strict entry regulations, Toles was more than happy to show us around.

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure

“When I got into this, I had no idea it would grow to be so big,” Toles says. “But it has become my passion. I find it to be great fun to take road trips to go and buy Mopar parts. If I find someone who has cars or parts for sale, I will fly out to the location, or if close enough, take the trailer to get the vehicle. If it’s a lot of parts, I will rent a Penske truck and load up one or more of them to get the parts back here. It’s a treasure hunt for me, and I never know exactly what I will find.” With Toles, it is clear he knows what he is looking at, some of the most mangled sheet metal in his yard is a source of near giddiness for the famous chef. In his quest for original sheet metal, he can see the jewelry in a twisted Charger back section or the front end of a classic Challenger. While he can, and does, buy new sheet metal when needed, he can often find original sheet metal at his own shop.


Cooling If there is one thing that jumps out from the hidden collection, it is the amazing organization to which the parts and cars have been categorized. From the finish barn, which houses a pair of ’71 Hemi ’Cudas, a very creative “AAR” Roadrunner project, Charger Daytona, Plymouth Superbird, and other noteworthy machinery to the “trim room,” where individual stainless steel trim pieces are lovingly tagged and stored, Toles has great method to his madness. “I utilize the same organizational techniques found in cooking for my car collecting and parts organization,” Toles says. “In cooking, it is called ‘mise en place’ which exactly defined

means ‘everything in its place’ and refers to the state of having everything laid out in one place ready to go, rather than having to run back and forth from one place to another to keep the assembly line rolling. “It makes great sense when cooking,” continues Toles. “If you start cooking and have several things on the stove and you have to run around looking for other ingredients, your creation is going to burn. You have to plan ahead or it will be a complete disaster. That is the mindset I have when building cars.

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To determine the condition of all parts, Toles and his crew strip all parts to the bare metal, to uncover any issues that need repair or show the part to be unworthy of one of these high-caliber AACCR restorations.

What is unmistakable about the entire operation is the orderly way in which parts are stored and tagged. It makes it a heck of a lot easier when you have a full understanding of just what you have and where to find it.

Just a sample of the rare parts Toles has collected and cataloged. Some of these parts are extremely rare today. Toles “sweats the small stuff” as well as the big. From the smallest clip to hold a vinyl top in place to larger components such as axles, power steering pumps, and exhaust manifolds, Toles has collected them and knows where to go when he needs a date-coded part.

Burning the late night oil at the hidden warehouse is not uncommon. Note the inner doors are painted Toles’ favorite colors: Hemi Orange and Sublime Yellow — that didn’t happen by accident. 104  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

During the off-season, it’s not uncommon for Toles to be found working side by side with his team helping to crank out customer cars. No doubt car building makes for a nice break from the intense pressure of the catering business.

Toles interest the most, it would be the 426c.i. Hemi. A tour around a hidden warehouse reveals more than 10 hemi engines, complete carbs-to-pan engines prepared by famous racing engine builder Jim Shewbert, each awaiting their next underhood home. While Toles may have plenty of big and small block-powered Mopar vehicles, it is the “Elephant Motor” that draws the greatest adoration. For those who only know of the current run of “hemi” engines, Chrysler developed the original hemi engine back in the 1950s. It started life as a 331c.i. power plant, the name bestowed on the engine due to its nearly perfect hemispherical combustion chambers, which allowed for better fuel burn efficiency and made excellent power. Through the years, it became the goto engine for drag racing vehicles. In

the early ’60s, it was the 392c.i. engine that was all the rage, but the Chrysler hemi power plant took over the world with the 426c.i. displacement that was introduced in 1965, powering production cars from 1966-71. The Top Fuel and Funny Car racing engines of today are predominantly redesigns of the original 426c.i. Chrysler hemi engine. “Chrysler lost money on every one of the 426c.i. hemi cars they produced at that time,” Toles says. “But, they kept on building them. When you look at Superbirds and Daytonas, these cars were made purely for racing and were never profitable. In fact, they did not sell very well, and many of the Superbirds where actually turned back into Roadrunners so they could get them off of the dealership lots. These cars are highly valued today since you could actually take one of these Superbirds-turned-Roadrunners and turn it back into a Superbird. It’s just a matter of finding one of these cars that has the right letter code in the VIN number.”

Vision for the future With a lifestyle that includes a food creation operation that can require riding hard on as many as 300 people for an event, creating new and innovative dishes for a demanding and high profile clientele, and keeping his car restoration business rolling cranking out perfect Mopar (and other) restorations, Toles is a busy man. “My wife, Lynne, reminded me today that I’m not at my regular pace in the off-season at the convention center [the hot weather months in Palm Springs from September to May],” Toles says. “There would be no way I could spend the time to show Power & Performance News around the operation. I just have too much stuff going on. I run from one fire drill to the next. If I’m not in the kitchen, running the staff, planning out the meal, designing the layout of the tables and room, I’m over at the restoration shop helping to make a business decision or work on a car. It’s just that busy.” But, clearly Toles is good to his employees, keeping several of his top chefs employed even during the slow season. While on the tour, we met three of his top chefs — at the restoration shop — working on the final prep for several cars. Chefs who can work on cars — who knew?  Source: All-American Classic Car Restoration,

For even more on this story, search “Chez Mopar” at More stuff in the works, this 383c.i. Challenger and the ’Cuda in the background are incredibility exciting E-Body machines. Mopar heaven!

Classic CAMS 2.0

The King Kong of the Muscle Car era was the LS6-powered Chevelle SS, rated at 450 hp for 1970 and 425 hp for 1971. With only a one-inch spacer and a set of headers, a bone-stock survivor car made a lofty 512 hp at the 6,500 redline.

Words Brandon Flannery

Have your iconic lumpy cam lope and brake vacuum too


he horsepower wars of the 1960s and ’70s were an exciting time. As American life grew increasingly mobile, people’s car-centric love affair with speed blasted off like the space program. Technology of the mechanical age was buzzing towards its zenith, and unbridled exploration was hip. In auto racing, faster cars that won on Sunday meant sales on Monday; automakers responded with enthusiasm. Under the hood, compression ratios escalated and carburetors multiplied as manufacturers offered cars at their top tiers that were barely 106  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

streetable. Thinly-disguised racers that required special warning stickers and careful valve adjustments were effortlessly sold to the power-hungry public. At the heart of these legendary, sometimes mythical, engines was a camshaft designed to wring out every last ounce of power. These cams quickly became the hot ticket for guys building potent street cars across the land, and some remain popular several decades later. With time comes refinement and technological progress. Today’s highest peak will eventually become a stepping stone for tomorrow, and en-

gine power is not immune. Solid lifter valve trains gave way to hydraulic systems that were quieter and maintenance-free. Flat tappet cam followers gave way to rollers that allowed tighter incline changes, which then changed the shape of the cam lobes. Spring technology and an understanding of harmonics alleviated massive spring pressures and increased rpm limits. Today’s computer-designed cam profiles can be asymmetrical and even multiple patterned. They make more power, more vacuum, and idle better while increasing off-throttle or low-end response.

Great strides have been made in refining horsepower, but for some, a little essence was lost in the transition. Most importantly, the iconic sound. No self-respecting gearhead overlooks the distinctive lope of a classic high performance engine. The clackety song of mechanical lifters hitting valve stems, the choppy idle, and the hands-on ceremony of adjusting the valves were part of what made these engines great. To have a really authentic restoration or a period-correct build, these elements need to be in place. For the guys who care about mechanical authenticity, COMP Cams developed their Factory Muscle line. They whittle new cam cores to old specs using modern grinding and surface finishing techniques. Other than an NOS part, these are as close to original as you can get for the superstar cams of the ’60s and early ’70s. They may be even a little better with today’s surface finishing. But what about those who would like to have their cake and eat it too? Say, a lope and vacuum? The engineers at COMP asked that very question and answered it with their Nostalgia Plus series. It provides all the things you love about the originals without the things you hated. Vacuum and drivability were greatly improved while staying very close to the original specs. Keep the choppy idle, mechanical solid lifters, and high rpm and gain a little vacuum, power, and torque, yet to even the keenest of ears, it sounds the same. “Our Nostalgia Plus series is our modern interpretation of these designs,” says Dean Harvey of COMP. “With these, we looked to the original designs and gave them the ‘tweaks’ that made our High Energy, Magnum, and Extreme Energy designs popular. Just like anything, modern technology has opened up new thoughts with the design of camshaft lobes. And of course, COMP engineers, never ones to stand still, pushed the envelope on these designs and came up with profiles that made more torque and horsepower over their factory-designed cousins. I think it is a fitting tribute to the early cam designers; they laid the path for the current crop of cam designers and have allowed them to make great designs of the period even better today.” Their lineup of Nostalgia Plus camshafts cover all the greats, from Ford

In blue is the profile of a GM L79 hydraulic flat tappet cam. (GM#3863151 - COMP# 12-106-3). In red is the Nostalgia Plus L79 (N+L79H cam, COMP# 12671-4). Since low lift valve events determine most of the engine’s character, COMP matched that and added as much area high as they could without moving the lift out of the range of a readily available spring and standard valvetrain configuration. The lope and sound will be almost identical at idle and low RPM, but it should make 15-25 hp more depending on cylinder head flow. Better heads will actually like the Nostalgia Plus version more.

By far, the camshaft that kicked off the frenzy was the famed Duntov 30/30, named for its designer, Zora Duntov, and .030 “hot lash” setting. It featured 0.480-inch lift with 300 degrees of duration. The long gentle ramps allowed high revs without valve float, even with a stock 85-pound spring on the seat.

and Chevy to Chrysler. They include versions of the Duntov 30/30, the 300hp L-79, and the LS6 from Chevrolet, most of the “Purple” camshafts from Direct Connection/Mopar Performance, and Ford’s famed 271 cam. If you know what these are, then you are finished reading. If the above list of letters and numbers has your mind scrolling through the memory files

and you’d like some reminder help, please read on. Let’s start with Chevy. At the green flag of the horsepower race was the OHV V8 from GM. In 1955, the “shot heard ‘round the world” was the new V8 in the Chevrolet. No other engine family would go so far, or achieve so much. As their popularity grew, so did their horsepower ratings. 107

1968 was the last year of the L-79 327 for the Corvette. This legendary engine had a robust powerband and streetable idle. The L-79 grind was the most common aftermarket grind for small blocks from 1965 to 1980.

Duntov 30/30 Starting from the beginning, the Duntov 30/30 is one of the most famous cams ever. It’s name is derived from its designer, Zora Argus Duntov, and the recommended “hot lash” setting for the valves. With very long clearance ramps, setting them at TDC was finicky. Savvy racers have since learned that with a little care, 90-degrees ATDC for the intake and 90-degrees BTDC for the exhaust puts the lifters well on the base circle for a more accurate setting. However, the popular Duntov 30/30 was used in the 365-hp L-76 version of the Corvette’s 327 in 1964-65, the 375-hp L-84 327 in Fuel Injected Corvettes, and again in the DZ302 Camaro Z/28s in 1967-69.

L-79 The notorious L-79 versions of the 327-powered Corvettes of 1965-68 made 300 hp with 11:1 compression, forged pistons, and an aluminum intake with a Holley carb. They also featured the first high performance hydraulic camshaft ever offered. With a 2,400 to 5,800 rpm powerband, they ran 15-second quarter mile times right off the showroom floor. These cams had great throttle response with a great power curve and made decent vacuum with a nice lumpy 800 rpm idle all the kids went crazy for. In fact, from 1965 to 1980, there 108  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

were more owner-installed L-79 camshafts in ‘57-’74 Chevy small blocks than any other grind.

jumped up to 512 at the 6,500 redline. The factory manifolds were found to be fairly restrictive.

LS6 The race for power resulted in a lift on big engines in mid-size cars, and Chevy’s answer culminated in the LS6 454c.i. big block in 1970 and ’71, factory rated at 450 and 425 hp, respectively. Showroom Stock Automatic class cars were hot at the drag strips, and the LS6equipped cars did very well. The 11.25:1 compression ratios breathed through a solid mechanical lifter valvetrain with a .316/.301 and .520 lift cam. Rumors of the factory “lowering” the factory horsepower ratings (or even outright lying) were put to the test with the “Benchmark LS6,” a 19,000-mile survivor. With the engine out for detailing, the rumors were finally put to the test on a dyno in stock trim. Tests resulted in an honest 452 hp at the flywheel. However, with a simple one-inch carb spacer and a set of headers, power

Mopar cornered the lion’s share of the aftermarket sales with their factory-authorized Direct Connection special parts company. Their “Purple Cams” were a huge hit and came in varying degrees of power levels.

Mopar Purple Cams Chrysler’s impact on drag racing is legendary. The “after hours” activities of their engineers took “factory development” to the next level and changed the face of the sport. Chrysler’s Marine and Industrial Engine Division also made racing engines and in 1962 released a small mail-order catalog called “Chrysler Maximum Performance Packages.” In 1964, many of the engineers who were active in racing on Detroit’s famed Woodward Ave were also staffing Chrysler’s Special Parts Service, allowing customers to purchase their latest innovations. In the early 1970s, those engineers established the Direct Connection Brand that offered factory-developed and factory-approved performance gear and customization products for Mopars. This eventually morphed into Mopar Performance Parts. Direct Connection was very active in racing in the 1970s, and their camshafts came with a purple coating between the lobes, thus earning their name. They offered several levels of performance for both big and small blocks.

The high-winding 289 made 271 hp with the help of a slow-ramp cam with a low lift and a lot of duration. It was introduced in the Fairlane and then the Comet before landing under the hood of Mustangs and Shelby AC Cobras. They also powered Shelby’s GT350 Mustangs to victory in road racing.

Ford 271 When Ford introduced the Mustang in the middle of 1964, high-winding small blocks were king. Though the majority of the Mustangs came with inline sixes, some were treated to a V8. The 289 lent itself well to the platform, and quickly found success on and off the track. A special “HiPo” version that made 271 hp at 6,000 rpm was first offered in 1963. It was introduced in the Fairlane, then the Comet, and finished its run in the Mustang in 1968. It also powered the first Shelby AC cobras and the Shelby GT350 Mustangs through 1967. The HiPo 289 was given the letter K, and is known as a “K-code” engine. They feature stronger connecting rods, a high nodularity cast iron crankshaft, different harmonic balancer, screw-in rocker studs, a 600cfm Autolite carb, dual-point mechanical advance distributor, and a solid lifter cam with a slow ramp, low lift, and a lot of duration that allowed a higher rpm peak. Ford only offered a four month warranty on the High Performance engine, versus the two-year warranty on all other cars. Obviously, they knew they were going to be heavily raced.  Source: COMP Cams, 109

Feature: 70 Torino

Instead of the Mustang, what if Ford put a Boss Nine in a Torino instead? Words / Photos Joe Greeves


utomotive addictions generally begin at a very early age. John Jinnings from Churubusco, Indiana, smiles when he thinks back to earlier times and his personal passion that began at age 4. Today, he knows a lot about building things — he’s owner of a heavy equipment business that builds bridges and big buildings. His Torino is his latest construction site. A dedicated Ford guy for the last 30 years, John has owned more than 130 cars and put himself through college by buying, fixing, and reselling cars to pay for tuition. With each build, the vehicle quality got a little better. This 1970 Ford Torino GT Fastback is his 20th custom car build in the last 20 years. 110  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

“The ante gets higher each time, and we try to up it a little bit with every new vehicle,” John says. “For me, attention to detail is the biggest thing. Some of the stuff that’s available today versus what we had to work with 10 years ago, it’s just amazing. I would spend weeks trying to find a series of pulleys that would line up to allow us to run air, power steering, power brakes, and alternator on the front of the motor. Now with companies like Billet Specialties, it’s just a phone call away. While some things may have gotten easier, a build of this quality still takes considerable time.” The impetus for the build began when Jon Kaase Racing Engines Inc. released their Boss Nine replica “Shotgun” en-

Looking like a factory install, this 572c.i. John Kaase Boss Nine engine is capable of 850 hp. In street trim, it twists out 700 lb-ft of torque that starts at 3,500 rpm and follows through to the 6,300 rpm redline.

Chassis tuning Knowing the horsepower potential of Kaase engines, John’s first step was to establish a strong foundation for the car, and that began with the team from Martz Chassis in Bedford, Pennsylvania. Jerry Martz, who had recently released a coil over four-link suspension for Fairlanes and Comets, jumped at the opportunity to prototype one for the Torino. The entire process took about nine months, but John received the first one. The Martz chassis uses a QA1 coil over front-end suspension system featuring a control arm on the bottom with a tubular A-arm on top, fully adjustable for castor and camber. This suspension configuration opened up the engine bay for the huge engine to sit between the fender wells. Subframe connectors tie the front end to a rear four-link/coil over suspension tamed by a large Panhard bar. “I can put a jack under any corner and lift three wheels off the ground, the chassis is that stiff,” John says. “Wilwood brakes were added to all four corners, and the steering is a stock Ford rack and pinion.”

Boss Nine beginnings

gine. That power plant fit perfectly into John’s plan, a vision he had been mulling over for some time. Back in 1969, Ford tucked that big engine in the Mustang. So the question in John’s mind: “What if they put it in the Torino?” Determined to find out, he turned to the Internet and began the search for a suitable project car. It was not long before he found this 1970 Ford Torino GT Fastback in Saginaw, Michigan. The Torino had been a race and show car for 17 years, but had languished in a warehouse for many years. Amazingly, when John got the car home, it turned out to be virtually rust free. Next, he contacted Kaase, and the project began.

The John Kaase Boss Nine 460c.i. engine was increased in displacement to 572c.i. and features 9.8:1 compression and a mild cam. At its core is an A460 Ford Motorsports block, Diamond pistons, Oliver rods, Sonny Bryant crank, and custom COMP Cams hydraulic roller cam. A Pro Systems Single Venturi, SV1 carburetor flowing 1400 cfm feeds Kaase heads and intake. John smiles when he says, “[The carb] is almost the size of a toilet bowl. When you open it up, you can stick your fist in it! Pre-programmed from the factory, it ran a 14:1 air/fuel ratio right out of the box.” When it was tested on Kasse’s dyno using race headers and C116 fuel, the motor-produced 850 hp at the 6,300 rpm redline. When John received the engine, he bolted up a set of 2.25-inch FPA exhaust headers flowing into a 3-inch dump that holds the electric cutouts. The 2.5-inch exhaust system is equipped with dual Flowmaster 50-Series mufflers that barely contain the roar of the big V8. In its current street-savvy tune, the engine produces 700 hp on pump gas with 700 lb-ft of torque. The torque comes in at 3,500 rpm and holds that threshold all the way to the 6,300 rpm redline. Ken Felice and the experts at Felice Racing Engines in Ionia, Michigan, handled the assembly of all components. 111

Those re-upholstered Mach I seats never looked so good. John had the seats covered in black and antique Mahogany coloration.

Dakota Digital is responsible for the cool digital and analog gauge dashboard that emits the red glow read out.

Just try and find a New Old Stock dual headlight grille for your Torino. This original look works well with the cool custom.

Taking it to the Streets

Transferring the power rearward is a Lentech AOD 4-speed trans rated at 1,500 hp and 1,000 lb-ft of torque. It has a 2,800 rpm stall converter, making it quite pleasant on the street. The 9-inch Ford Eaton TruTrac rear is fitted with 3.50:1 gears and Moser axles. The Torino rolls on Budnik Spark wheels, 18x9.5 with 4.75-inch back spacing at all four corners, wrapped in Nitto 555 Extreme tires.

Cosmetic Treatments The paint and bodywork was accomplished at Evers Collision Works in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. During their full rotisserie restoration, the bottom of the car was painted NASCAR gray, while the frame, suspension parts, and rear housing were either painted or powder coated black for contrast. Body mods to the vintage Fastback began with a thorough dechroming, the stainless steel trim around the windows and the drip rail moldings were powder-coated Ford Tuxedo Black to slightly contrast the body color. The front and rear bumpers are fiberglass from Auto Krafters and were massaged to fit tightly to the body. A NOS Cobra grille, complete with quad headlights and single chrome bar, replaces the original. Terry Delong created the tall Boss 429-style hood scoop, generating an aggressive look, as well as providing a functional blast of ram air. BASF Gloss Black followed by multiple coats of clear cover the entire car, with satin black inserts on the hood and rear panel, again providing some contrast. The only graphic on the car is the airbrushed skull wearing a cowboy hat 112  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

Hidden at the forward edge of the trunk are the twin batteries and other key electronics. When the cover door is slid in place, it makes for a very clean appearance.

and holding a full house, illustrated by Gary Morgan. It was John’s wife, Linda, who named the car “All In” finding the skull T-shirt graphic while visiting Las Vegas. That graphic established a uniform theme for the Torino.

Comfort features Keeping passengers comfortable inside was the task of Shawn Krist from Krist Kustoms in Fort Wayne. John had worked with Shawn nearly a dozen times through the years, so assigning him this duty was a natural, telling Krist, “Make it look stock but make it look cool.” Krist chose bucket seats from a 1969 Mach I and retained the factory rear seat, covering both in a combination of black and antique Mahogany leather. A highlight of the in-

Surrounding the “All In” graphic on the rear end is a compliment of black chrome pieces and twin exhaust tubes. Flowmaster 50 series mufflers make it sound right. John Jinnings’ Big Bad Black Torino strikes a sinister pose rolling down the street. Note the “All In” graphic on the rear panel that sets the theme for the all-black Torino.

PRICES BEGIN AT ONLY To see more pics and specs, search “All in” at


• Centrifugal superchargers designed for stock or mildly modified engines, most popular applications • Beautifully crafted all-billet construction with integral oiling system • Excels with an extended boost range from 1,800 to 6,500 rpm Owner John Jinnings is very proud of his latest construction project — going ”All In” for this amazing Torino.

terior is the new Dakota Digital VHX Series gauge package that includes both analog and digital monitoring of vital engine functions. Originally designed for a 1963 Chevy pickup truck, the gauge package was adapted with a piece of laser cut stainless steel to fit the Torino dash. Krist found a convenient spot for the MSD module in the glove box. Mike Ball created the fiberglass center console that holds the switches for the overdrive transmission, cutouts, and B&M shifter. To keep the mechanicals hidden, the space between the back seat and the fold-down panel in the trunk became the perfect spot for the car’s electronics. This compartment holds the dual batteries, stereo components, and master kill switch. Krist also upholstered the trunk, creating the drop-down panels and a false floor compartment for storage. Now that it’s complete, John looks back and realizes the fun is in the building process.  He usually keeps his cars a few years and moves onto something new, but he smiles when he says, “This one might stay a while.” 

• Average 40% over base power increases at 6psi, flows sufficient air to support 700+HP • Complete kits supplied with robust 3/4in thick billet mounting brackets for less deflection • Limited Lifetime Warranty–Made in USA

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Not for sale in California. Not for use with a motor vehicle pollution control device or system.




To see more pics and information, search “Making fast faster” at


orvette’s Z06 has signified top of the food chain performance ever since it debuted in 1963 as a member of the C2 Generation of Corvettes. The full-race option designed by Corvette originator Zora Arkus Duntov, it cast the die for the high performance street editions that were to follow — the C5, C6, and now, C7 Corvettes. The product development team at Estero Bay Chevrolet, a southwest Florida dealership specializing in Corvettes, wanted to investigate the possibility of being able to recommend to its C7 customers a group of bolt-on upgrade products that would enhance the performance and handling of these already potent Corvettes. These product upgrades had to be effective, offer significant improvements, not involve engine internals or software, and be able to be installed by the customer with little outside assistance…unless requested by the customer. To begin the project, Pat Denson, managing partner of Estero Bay, contacted Man Machine Interface, Inc. (MMI) to determine their interest level in a project involving identifying, acquiring, and installing a group of bolt-on performance and handling upgrades that fit the above parameters.

Increasing air flow in

Bolt-on upgrades boost C7 Z06’s performance and handling Words / Photos Carl Zander

Photo courtesy Corvette Museum

The stock air induction system for the Z06 consists of a trapezoidal-type filter and a plastic-based induction tube that leads to the throttle body. The filter material is paper, which is pleated and has 166 square inches of filter area. The induction tube has a semi-smooth interior and multiple vertical and horizontal bends that require the incoming air to travel through a 180-degree path from the filter to the throttle body. The tube is joined to the filter housing by a ribbed bellows-type rubber coupling. These features slow and disrupt the air flow into the throttle body. The stock system is rated at 242cfm. To improve the Z06’s air induction system, Advanced Flow Engineering’s (AFE) Momentum high flow air intake system was selected for use. The AFE Momentum system consists of a high flow conical filter and a roto-molded, cross-linked polyethylene induction tube. The filter element is five layers of oiled, fine mesh cotton gauze formed in a pleated pattern and held together by a rigid, fine screen, steel frame. The filter area is 197 square inches. 115

This Cryogenic tank was used to cycle the rotors from 70 degrees down to -315 and back to 70, to strengthen the molecular integrity of the metal for increased durability. The rotors were then coated with zinc to make them rust and corrosion resistant for improved performance (coated rotor on right).

The AFE air intake is an easy bolt-in system that improves the air flow by 25 percent over the factory intake. The attached bar chart from AFE shows the air flow improvement.

The induction tube is a one-piece, semi-venturi shaped, straight horizontal tube with a mirror-like polished interior and a wide single 90-degree bend at the throttle body. The AFE system has a flow rate

of 303 cfm, 25 percent greater than the stock system, and provides high velocity, undisturbed air flow to the throttle body, which produces a significant increase in both horsepower and torque. An additional benefit of

the AFE system is that its straight horizontal induction tube frees up space behind the radiator, which improves engine cooling. The AFE system installs without any cutting or drilling and requires no special tools.

Air-fuel combustion The stock Z06 7mm diameter spark plug wires were swapped out for Magnecorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s KV85 competition, 8.5mm diameter spark plug wires (part number 85311). The stock wires have a carbon-impregnated, fiberglass strand core conductor and a relatively thin insulating outer jacket. Magnecor wires are constructed of a high-capacity metallic inductance EMI-suppressed conductor made up of stainless steel wire wound over a ferromagnetic core. The outer jacket is high-strength, aerospace-grade silicone rubber that resists 600-degree heat on a consistent basis. The Magnecor wires assure the most intense, high-voltage ignition spark current to the spark plugs throughout the entire engine rpm range and under high heat conditions, thus improving air-fuel mixture combustion. 116â&#x20AC;&#x192; Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

Increasing exhaust gas flow out While many Corvette enthusiasts would contend the stock Z06 performance exhaust system is perfect right from the factory, a detailed analysis reveals the weak link in the system is the “X” pipe. The stock “X” pipe has a single “X” joint and is constructed of multiple 2.75-inch diameter components, all welded together. The component pipes and junction pieces are not mandrel bent and are not of a full uniform diameter throughout. The exhaust gases are partially disrupted and restricted as they pass through the stock “X” pipe, creating backpressure. To resolve this problem, the stock “X” pipe was replaced with a Corsa Performance “X” pipe (part number 14761). The Corsa “X” pipe is a double “X” joint pipe constructed of 3-inch diameter T-304 stainless steel. Two fully mandrel bent pipes are welded together in two locations, forming a double “X” connection. The two component pipes are of uniform diameter throughout. The result is much less disruption and restriction of exhaust gases as they pass through the pipe, thus improving the elimination of exhaust gases, reducing back pressure, and increasing horsepower and torque. While the installation of the Corsa “X” pipe can be accomplished using jack stands, the use of a lift is highly recommended. No drilling or cutting is necessary, and no special tools are required.

Magnecor spark plug wires are a full 1.5mm thicker than the factory 7mm parts for better spark control. They are an easy swap, netting measurable performance improvement.

After installing the Corsa exhaust, the structural plate that covers the exhaust and driveline is replaced.

Cooling it down

running at the track. As mentioned in the preceding, the AFE air induction system with its straight induction tube helps increase cooling. To further improve cooling, two

Z06s, especially those with the 8-speed automatic transmission, run on the hot side in city driving, when outside temperatures are high, and also when

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The Corsa exhaust (right) is significantly different from the factory unit for a number of reasons, most notably the double X-crossing of the tubing. SpeedLingerie-P&PNewsAd.indd 1

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These Seat Armour seat towels are a unique way to protect the seats and provide a cool seat surface. The Speed Lingerie front bra provides dramatically improved protection from stone chips and other road debris.

12-ounce bottles of Red Line Oil’s Water Wetter were added to the radiator. Based on the readout of the dash temperature gauge, this reduced the Z06’s normal operating temperature from approximately 210 to 195 degrees.

Handling and control Increased performance is useless un-

less it can be effectively controlled. The next area of the project centered on improving the Z06’s handling and control. The stock brake rotors were removed and cryogenically treated. This process cycles the rotors from 70 to -315 degrees and then back to 70 degrees during a 24-hour period of time. The cryogenic treatment improves

the metallurgical characteristics of the metal, which increases brake performance efficiency, durability, and strength; reduces warpage; and eliminates cracking at the machined slots of the rotor. The rotors were also zinc dichromate plated to prevent rust, which negatively effects rotor cooling. To help improve handling, especially under track conditions, nitrogen was used, instead of compressed air, as the tire fill. Nitrogen is a dry gas with molecules larger than oxygen, so it helps prevent tire deterioration and is about three times less likely to escape from the tire. Nitrogen also maintains proper tire pressure because it does not expand like oxygen when tires get hot under track and drag racing conditions.

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118  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

Since the Z06 will be driven to various shows and track events throughout the country, body protection in the way of a nose mask and a full-body cover were considered necessities. There was no doubt the Z06 would see stints above the century mark, so it was a requirement that the nose mask not only offer excellent protection, especially from road debris, but also be very secure and stable at high speeds. Speed Lingerie’s mask is made of a heavy vinyl offering optimum debris protection, and is super secured using Quickly tracks and stainless steel snaps. The workmanship is outstanding, and the fit is perfect. Best of all, because of SpeedLingerie’s color matching — which includes racing

By the numbers: What’s it worth The following is a breakdown of the retail cost of the bolt-on performance upgrades: AFE Momentum air induction system $627; Magnecor KV85 spark plug wires $157; and Corsa Performance double “X” pipe $599 — for a total of $1,383. The results of the bolt-on performance upgrades were very impressive. Dyno testing the stock Z06 revealed a baseline maximum of 558 rwhp and a maximum of 584 lb-ft of torque. The AFE air induction system produced a maximum of 601 rwhp and a maximum of 604 lb-ft of torque, for a net increase of 43 rwhp and 20 lb-ft of torque. Placing the emphasis on horsepower, AFE’s 43 rwhp gain is approximately equivalent to 48 (43 plus 12 percent) rated horsepower at the crank. Magnecor’s spark plug wires and Corsa’s double “X” pipe add approximately 4- and 10- rated horsepower respectively. That puts the total rated horsepower gain for the upgrades at 62 hp and the overall rated horsepower for the Z06’s LT4 engine at an awesome 712 hp. At the total retail cost of $1,383, that yields an incredible $22.30 per rated horsepower increase. SPECIAL THANKS: Needless to say, the impressive results achieved with the project Z06 are amazing. The author would like to extend a special thank you to Paul Hardley of Advanced Flow Engineering and Brent Noward of Corsa Performance for their invaluable input to this article. stripes if the Z06 is so equipped — when the mask is installed, it is practically invisible. For full-body protection overnight or for extended periods. Cover craft Industries’ Weather Shield HP custom-fit car cover was the obvious selection. The cover provides indoor and outdoor protection with exceptional water resistance.

Interior Two high-use/high-wear areas of the Z06 interior, the seats and the driver’s and passenger’s floors, require heavy-duty protection. Seat Armour’s Corvette Seat Towels were used to protect the seats from abrasive wear, stains, spills, and perspiration — and keep the seats cool under high temperature

The Corvette Z06 is the most advanced Chevrolet of all time and sports state-of-the-art performance components make it one of the fastest cars available. That said, our changes made it faster and easier to handle at a rate of $22 per added horsepower.

conditions. These seat towels are particularly effective if the Z06 has a light color interior such as Kalahari, Gray, or Adrenaline Red, as in our project Z06. As any Corvette owner knows, it is a frustrating and constant battle to keep the driver and passenger floor areas clean and pristine. To resolve this problem, WeatherTech, the industry leader in floor liner design and manufacturing, was enlisted. WeatherTech’s Digitalfit floor liner set, in black, was installed. These floor liners are very strong and

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durable and are easily installed and removed for cleaning. The fit is outstanding. When installed, they blend in with the interior beautifully.  Sources: Advanced Flow Engineering, Inc., afepower. com; Corsa Performance,; Covercraft Industries, Inc.,; Estero Bay Chevrolet, Inc.,; Magnecor, Inc.,; Man Machine Interface, Inc.,; Red Line Synthetic Oil Corporation,; Seat Armour, Insync Business Solutions, Inc.,; SpeedLingerie.Com, Inc.,; WeatherTech, Macneil Automotive Products Limited,

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GOLDEN ERA A Riverside Gold 435-hp Corvette Words / Photos James Maxwell


he dawn of the 1969 model marked the second year of the all-new third Generation “Mako Shark II” styling for the Corvette. It was to mark the best year ever for sales of America’s sports car, as a record 38,762 units rolled off the assembly line to represent a 35-percent increase over the previous model year. This was an impressive showing to eclipse the previous model year, which was the debut of the all-new Corvette body shape. In 1968, Chevrolet was to discover numerous problems of 120  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

shoddy workmanship — uncovered by both the media and actual Corvette owners — that hurt sales. While the new “Coke bottle” shape of the car looked fresh and modern, there were some serious “teething” problems in terms of quality control. The ’69 cars incorporated a few subtle changes from the ’68 (the door opening mechanism no longer required depressing a button to open the door — huge!), however quality control for ’69 improved significantly. Other upgrades between the ’68

and ’69 model years included new black-painted grille bars that replaced chrome from the year prior, and the back-up lights were now incorporated into the taillight design. For trivia buffs, ’69 also included the return of the name “Stingray,” now spelled as one word, on the Corvette. The 1969 Corvette was the first of the new breed of locking steering column cars. Across the board, GM changed ignition key location on their passenger cars that year to the steering column (rather than the dashboard).

A 427c.i./435-hp big-block Corvette engine — as it originally looked. The engine bay of this Corvette is packed tightly and includes the power-assisted steering system and even the factory smog pump.

through the addition of bracing within the chassis, specifically new diagonal supports located in an area behind the rear of the seats. To improve handling, the wheels on 1969 Corvettes were now one inch wider, mandating a change in tire width to the F70 – 15 rubber, dressed with either whitewall or red stripe trim. Under the hood, a new 350c.i. small block replaced the long-in-the-tooth 327 as the standard Corvette engine. Big block lovers had a field day in ’69 as there were no less than five different versions of the 427c.i. “Mark IV” en-

This was a major change designed with a locking steering mechanism to reduce theft. To add a little room for ingress and egress of the driver, the diameter of the steering wheel was reduced by an inch. Finally, to provide a bit more interior room, new door panels were shaved off 1/2 inch per side, in an effort to make the interior feel a little less cramped. Complaints of too much “cowl shake” (referring to the section at the base of the windshield) on the ’68 cars was addressed in the 1969 Corvette

gine available. The bread-and-butter big block was the 390-hp L36 version, which featured 10.25:1 compression ratio, a single four-barrel Quadrajet carburetor, and hydraulic lifters. Next on the performance ladder was the L68, which was rated at 400 hp

The 6-barrel induction had a total airflow capacity of 950 cfm and fed off the center carburetor under normal driving. When the throttle was depressed, the front and rear carbs kicked in. 121

The pictured head rests were a $17.95 option on the 1969 Corvette package. The interior was all business, as signaled by the four-speed shifter handle jutting out from the center console.

and came with the same overall equipment as the base version, but had three Holley two-barrel carbs mounted on top. This was the highest engine option you could select with optional air conditioning and, amazingly, could also be ordered with a 2-speed Powerglide transmission. The L71 427c.i. engine was a more serious performer in a couple different ways, mainly because of higher compression (11:1) and a hotter camshaft (0.520 lift as opposed to 0.461 lift on the L36 and L68) that was mechanical in design. Like the other lower-performance versions, the L71 was rated at 435 hp and featured cast iron cylinder heads. A rare order selected by a few savvy customers was a special version of the L71 that came with aluminum cylinder heads and was coded RPO (Regular Production Option) L89. This engine featured the same internals and fuel intake as the L71, but had much lighter aluminum heads. Not that there was anything wrong with the L88 427c.i. 430-hp engine, but Chevy deflected customers away from this engine option. The L88 came with 12:1 pistons, a 0.539-inch lift more radical camshaft (mechanical), and a massive 850-cfm Holley four-barrel carburetor, but could not be had with optional air conditioning. In fact, no radio was offered to eliminate the need for the ignition shielding box on the engine. You see, this was a racecar and was required to be listed as an orderable option by Chevrolet 122  Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

New for 1969 was a slightly smaller (15-inch diameter) steering wheel.

to meet FIA requirements. In the end, only 116 souls checked the “L88” box in 1969 for use in their Corvette. As experts at the time believed, the iron head engines were to be the highest horsepower rated production engines — and they were. To deter folks from buying the full race L88, they posted a much-lower-than-peak-rpm horsepower figure, rating it 5 hp less than the L71 that achieved 435 hp at 6,300rpm. The L88 listed at 430 hp at only 5,200 rpm, when in reality, the true peak horsepower of the L88 was closer to 560 hp. If someone liked the L71 engine but wanted the aluminum heads of the L88, they could purchase the L89 engine that delivered the aluminum heads on the lower compression L71 engine. At the Chevrolet introduction in 1969, the media was able to drive all of the engine packages offered by the factory , except for the ZL-1 Corvette only on display. Powered by an

An AM/FM stereo pushbutton radio was a factory option on the car, adding $172.75 to the selling price.

all-aluminum 427c.i. engine, there were only two specially built ZL-1 Corvettes sold — ever. The all-aluminum engine meant the front end of the car shed about 100 pounds in total weight. By today’s standard, the cost

of the rare option, $4,100, was certainly worth it. It was essentially an L88, but with an aluminum block. The ZL-1 was never intended for the street, and because of that, a heater and defroster system were not offered.

To see even more, search “Golden Era” at

Golden metallic The pictured Riverside Gold Metallic-hued roadster belongs to Lance Mortensen of Scottsdale, Arizona. It is a factory original L71 version fitted with the M-21 close ratio 4-speed gearbox and 4.11 Posi-traction rear gears. Originally, this car came out of the Buffalo, New York, Chevrolet Zone Office as a “Zone Courtesy Car,” which meant it was special ordered by the sales zone office as a vehicle to be driven by factory executives, perhaps even to be loaned to notable celebrities. This car, as equipped with the 435-hp tri-power engine, drag-strip rear gears, and manual transmission, would have been a real handful to drive for anyone who was not familiar with high-performance automobiles! Today, the car is considered a highly desirable C3 Corvette. Since new, it has received a new paint job and some detailing, however it is not a totally restored car. In stark contrast to most 47-year-old cars, this roadster has survived the years as a “numbers-matching” original car. In fact, Mortensen had the car inspected by a well-known expert, Ward Gappa of Arizona, and in his finding, Gappa verified it was the “real deal” and not a forgery, as so many 427c.i. 435-hp Corvettes have come to be. How fast would this big-block Corvette be on a drag strip today? For comparison’s sake, back in 1969 Car Life magazine tested a very similar car (L71 with 4-speed and 4.11 gears), but in coupe form, and blasted down the 1320 feet of Orange County International Raceway in East Irvine, California, to a run of 13.94 seconds at 105.63 miles per hour. With times like that, it is clear the tires struggled for grip on the race track surface — as did all street-tired cars of the time. In reality, with a mph figure like that, wearing slicks, this car could manage 12-second time slips. The car is driven often in and around the Phoenix metro area. Combined with the throaty sound of the exhaust fed by the solid-lifter 427 engine and high lift camshaft, this ‘Vette, as the advertising brochures of the time proclaimed, “Was the Best ‘Vette, Yet!” 

The overall lines of the third-generation Corvette are striking in appearance and were originally based on a 1965 show car that toured the country as a “test” to gauge public opinion of a futuristic Corvette design. 123

Carolina Barn Finds 129 Shady Grove Church Road Staley, North Carolina Phone: 336.392.4055

Words / Photos Joe Greeves

Every enthusiast has seen stories where some lucky automotive archaeologist has discovered the ultimate ride, covered with dust and cobwebs, hidden away in some remote location. Unfortunately, the opportunities to locate those once-in-a-lifetime finds are becoming considerably rarer every day. Fortunately however, there are places like Carolina Barn Finds, a licensed North Carolina dealership that buys and sells antique (1970 and older) cars and trucks. Located in Staley, North Carolina,

on NC-64 between Asheboro and Raleigh, their impressive collection of vintage vehicles is easily seen from the highway and creates a clear temptation to anyone interested in a project vehicle. When we were there, we rolled in through the gate to the right of the main entrance to get a closer view, with permission from the owner. The yard features lots of raw material, with a combination of a few running and driving vehicles along with others suitable for spare parts. For more information on this roadside treasure trove, call 336-392-4055.

The view from the highway is sure to attract anyone in the market for a project vehicle.

Previously modified somewhere along the way with a late-model V-8, this vintage Ford still might have a few usable parts. 124â&#x20AC;&#x192; Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3

A quick coat of paint and this Chevy Stepside could be ready to roll.

The name Riviera, Latin for coastline, first entered the Buick lineup in 1949 and was designed to evoke the affluence of the French Riviera. This 1964 two-door hardtop runs and drives.

The Premiere was Lincolnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s luxury car back in 1957. This two-door hardtop could be the basics for a stunning restoration.

Not all the vehicles were vintage, like this fairly late model Camaro we found hiding in the weeds.

Lincoln manufactured the Lincoln Continental MK III from 1969 through 1971. This four-door hardtop has those distinctive suicide rear doors.

Although the original L6 motor no longer runs, this 1949 Studebaker Commander Starlight Coupe has lots of potential.


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End of an era Few cars delivered the power rush of the Dodge Viper. Dodgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ultimate sports car started as a concept car in 1989 and went into production in 1991. Sadly, Viper will cease production in 2017. This photo from 2013 shows the end of the production line at the Connor Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan. At that time, the factory employed only 150 workers and produced 12 cars per day.

126â&#x20AC;&#x192; Power & Performance News / Vol. 7, No. 3




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You don't want to miss the huge Fall issue of the fastest growing performance automotive magazine in the world - Power & Performance News. T...

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