Mostly Stock

Drag Racer - - Over Center -

WHEN TOM JOHNSON OF NEW­PORT NEWS, VIR­GINIA, WAS RE­COV­ER­ING FROM A HEART AT­TACK, HE BE­GAN THINK­ING ABOUT FIND­ING A CLAS­SIC MUSCLE CAR THAT HE COULD RE­LAX AND HAVE FUN WITH. Nearly ev­ery­thing he found, how­ever, was go­ing to re­quire a lot more work than he was in con­di­tion to pro­vide. A trip to his lo­cal Chevro­let deal­er­ship helped curb that itch in the form of a 2011 Ca­maro SS.

A base 6.2L V-8 rated at 426 hp and 420 lb-ft off the show­room floor soothed him for a while, but the need for speed isn’t al­ways eas­ily sat­is­fied. Yet, tra­di­tional hot rod bolt-ons aren’t al­ways the right recipe for a mod­ern street car. Sen­sors through­out th­ese cars send in­for­ma­tion to an on-board ECU that’s built to keep things within a cer­tain par­a­digm. In the com­puter’s view, changes aren’t al­ways ap­pre­ci­ated.

Mod­ern hot-rodding tech­niques have rather quickly, and suc­cess­fully, evolved to in­ter­face time-proven strate­gies with mod­ern street-car tech­nol­ogy to pro­duce re­sults that can be spec­tac­u­lar. Tom put this fact to work for him as ev­i­denced by the per­for­mance of his Ca­maro at a Su­per Chevy event at Rock­ing­ham, North Carolina.

“At first I thought I would just do head­ers and ex­haust,” Tom said. “I went to the track to see what it would do. I got the bug pretty quickly and con­tin­ued to test at the track to see what re­sults I’d got­ten from each lit­tle change.”

As many track veterans know, lit­tle changes of­ten lead to big­ger ones, which is ex­actly what hap­pened with Tom and his car. He added a Whip­ple blower and

//What’s most im­pres­sive is that th­ese aren’t the fac­tory race-ready cars that have been tear­ing up Stock and Su­per Stock the past few years. In­stead, th­ese are 50-state emis­sions-le­gal road war­riors ca­pa­ble of putting on a good show at any lo­cal drag strip.

pul­ley that were then sup­planted by a Vortech V-7 YSI cen­trifu­gal su­per­charger. Tom also took the big plunge by yank­ing the en­gine and stroking it to a dis­place­ment of 416 ci. He added a blower cam, too. The en­gine mods have re­sulted in the ET dip­ping into the low nines at al­most 150 mph.

Of course, Detroit has kept a cor­po­rate eye on go­ings-on such as th­ese and re­sponded with even more daz­zling muscle cars. Chevro­let, for in­stance, has the 2017 Ca­maro now making 650-hp when or­dered in the ZL-1 trim, which can pro­duce an 11.4sec­ond ET at 127 mph right off the show­room floor. Not to be out­done, the Dodge Chal­lenger SRT Hell­cat sports 707-hp with a 6.2L Hemi, while Ford’s Shelby GT350 is in the game at 526 hp from a smaller 5.2L en­gine.

What’s most im­pres­sive is that th­ese aren’t the fac­tory rac­eready cars that have been tear­ing up Stock and Su­per Stock the past few years. In­stead, th­ese are 50-state emis­sions-le­gal road war­riors ca­pa­ble of putting on a good show at any lo­cal drag strip.

Now that wannabe rac­ers can put away their drool cups and have some se­ri­ous on-the-track fun with­out risk­ing daily trans­port on the street stress ther­apy might have taken a new form.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.