Drag Racer - - Front Page - Text and Pho­tos by Rod Short

ASK ANY MUS­CLE CAR EN­THU­SI­AST WHAT THEIR FA­VORITE PONY CAR IS AND THEY'LL PRO­CLAIM MUS­TANG, CA­MARO OR MAYBE EVEN 'CUDA. Rarely there'll be a shout-out for an Amer­i­can Mo­tors prod­uct. In­di­ana na­tive Bryant Gold­stone has been chang­ing that nar­ra­tive with this le­git street-driven 210-plus-mph AMC Javelin.

At just 19, Gold­stone bought this car in 1986. It was com­pletely stock and in great shape, with a 304 small-block and an au­to­matic with about 60k miles on it. It was nice for what it was, but not quite enough. Ac­tu­ally, he wasn’t look­ing for an AMC at the time, but it was the best he could find.

Known in some cir­cles as the “for­got­ten mus­cle car,” Amer­i­can Mo­tors in­tro­duced the Javelin as a 1968 model and built two gen­er­a­tions be­tween 1968-70 and again in 1971-74. Longer and roomier than its Big Three coun­ter­parts, the Javelin had, ar­guably, the best styling of any of them, though it still did not achieve main­stream pop­u­lar­ity.

“About a year later, my buddy, Kevin Davis, talked me into drop­ping a 327 Chevy in it with a turbo 350,” he said.

“For the next 10 years, it was street driven and a 10-11-sec­ond bracket racer with dif­fer­ent small-block com­bi­na­tions. Then I met Norm Beer-horst at Ul­tra Tech Race En­gines in Mishawaka, In­di­ana. We put in a 556-cid Chevy with ni­trous and went rac­ing in NMCA, NSCA and Su­per Chevy. We won the last three events in the old Amer­i­can Mus­cle­car Se­ries back in 1998.”

Gold­stone stepped up in com­pe­ti­tion with a Monte Carlo kit from Jerry Bickel, which rel­e­gated the Javelin to jack stands. Four years later, it was time for a change, so the Javelin was dusted off and fit­ted with a 638-cid ni­trous com­bi­na­tion. These were the days when the Fastest Street Car com­pe­ti­tion was all the rage, and Gold­stone was in the mix both onand-off the track with a 7.48 ET at 188 mph to his credit. A high wa­ter mark came later in

2009 when he won a Pinks All Out event at Martin, Michi­gan.

The Javelin was once again shelved when Gold­stone con­structed a 1970 Chev­elle with an F-3 Pro-Charger. Built to com­pete in Hot Rod’s an­nual Drag Week, he found spend­ing time be­hind the wheel of a street-driven, seven-sec­ond car brought him the most joy.

That’s when he re­turned his at­ten­tion to his trusty Javelin. With the help of friend Bob Son­neborn, the all-steel body and stock glass were re­moved and tucked away while a new Bob Son­neborn cus­tom chas­sis and cage were fab­ri­cated and a new twin turbo en­gine combo was built.

Ul­tra Tech as­sem­bled a 572-cid en­gine com­bi­na­tion with a Sonny Bryant bil­let crank, Di­a­mond 9:1 pis­tons and MGP alu­minum con­nect­ing rods. Race Flow De­vel­op­ment in Vir­ginia Beach, Vir­ginia, pro­vided the Edel­brock cylin­der heads that con­tain a Crane roller cam with T&D rock­ers, Crower lifters, Man­ley valves and Trend 7/16-inch pushrods. Pro­filer pro­vided its Sniper in­take man­i­fold with a Wil­son 105mm throt­tle body with Bil­let At­om­izer 235 lb-hr in­jec­tors. It’s backed by dual Fuel Lab elec­tric pumps and a Big Stuff three-speed den­sity ECU. Pre­ci­sion Turbo in He­bron, In­di­ana, pro­vided the twin 88mm tur­bocharg­ers which dis­pense a healthy 35 pounds of boost in con­junc­tion with a Chis­eled Per­for­mance liq­uid-to-air in­ter­cooler. Sup­port­ing the en­gine com­bi­na­tion is a Rossler Pro Mod trans­mis­sion with a Pro Torque 5,500 rpm stall con­verter.

“We had a big learn­ing curve with the tur­bos the first year,” Gold­stone said. “How­ever, with Brian Rob­bins of Rob­bins Race­craft in St. Joseph, Michi­gan, Brent Baker from Baker Pro­to­type in Elkhardt, In­di­ana, and Joe McNa­mara, we got it to­gether.”

That might be a bit of an un­der­state­ment. Gold­stone won the Ul­ti­mate Iron class, fin­ish­ing sec­ond over­all dur­ing the pres­ti­gious Hot Rod Drag Week in both 2015 and 2016. In 2017, he made the fi­nal round in two of the three Lane Au­to­mo­tive No Prep events at Martin, and won Pro Street at Shake­down at The Sum­mit in Nor­walk. Weigh­ing in at 3,300 pounds with 34.5x15 Hoosiers on the rear, Gold­stone ran a best of 6.73/214 mph last year with a best 1/8-mile pass of 4.30/179 mph. Not bad for a street car.

Run­ning num­bers like this while still sur­viv­ing 1,000mile en­durance runs is a pretty se­ri­ous tes­ta­ment to the build qual­ity and tune-up of this vin­tage Amer­i­can. Whether it’s on the track or on a street cruise that’s mak­ing Amer­ica (n Mo­tors) great again!

The twin turbo'd alu­minum 572-incher fea­tures all pre­mium com­po­nents. See the story for de­tails.

Gold­stone is safely tucked in the Son­neborn-built Funny Car-style roll cage. The Jav's in­te­rior is a bit roomier than its Big Three pony car brethren. The shifter is con­nected to a Rossler trans fea­tur­ing a Pro Torque con­verter.

With the snoot re­moved, more of Son­neborn's race-car­build­ing skills are vis­i­ble.

The Jav fea­tures two fuel tanks, 6 gal­lons for race fuel and 13 for “street” gas. To com­pete at Drag Week, you've got to drive your racer to and from the track.

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