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Drag Racer - - Contents -

THROUGH­OUT 2017 WE HAD THE OP­POR­TU­NITY TO SEE MANY RACE CARS RANG­ING FROM SLOW TO FAST AND PLAIN TO BEAUTIFUL. None, how­ever, made quite the im­pres­sion that Richie Cramp­ton’s low eight-sec­ond ’57 Chevy 210 wagon did.

“This was one of the first things I ran across on Craigslist,” Cramp­ton said when asked why this TriFive caught his eye. “I didn’t want to spend time paint­ing or wrap­ping it, and it just seemed cool as it was, so we de­cided to fo­cus more on func­tion over form when we took the car apart. In the end, it’s re­ally ap­pealed to a lot of peo­ple.”

The goal was to build a seven-sec­ond street car, so there was no need to save much. The car was stripped of nearly ev­ery­thing and the pieces were dis­carded ex­cept for the body, glass, in­te­rior and trim. With help from Rod Cen­torbi and Jon­nie Lind­berg, a new SFI 25.3B tube-frame chas­sis was fab­ri­cated and equipped with a Strange 9-inch rear with a 4-link rear sus­pen­sion.

A 6.0L LS en­gine was ex­tracted from a Chevy Sil­ver­ado pickup and stroked to 402 ci with a Cal­lies crank. Man­ley rods and pis­tons bathed in Lu­cas oil beef up the short-block. The fac­to­rycast heads were mod­i­fied to ac­cept Man­ley valves/ springs. A COMP Cams off-the-shelf hy­draulic roller cam or­ches­trates the valve train ac­tion. Twin PTE tur­bocharg­ers send boost to the Hol­ley 105mm throt­tle body, while Aero­mo­tive in­tank pumps shoot E85 fuel to the 160-lb-hr in­jec­tors. A Hol­ley Dom­i­na­tor ECU co­or­di­nates all of the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween the two. Be­hind the en­gine rest a BTE Turbo 400 and con­verter.

With the body re­united to the chas­sis, ca­sual ob­servers would be hard pressed to know what this wagon is re­ally ca­pa­ble of. The first day of the 2017 Hot Rod Drag Week erased all doubts, as it ran a best of 8.27 sec­onds at 165-plus mph, de­spite weigh­ing in at 200 pounds more than the class weight min­i­mum.

“Aside from a big­ger en­gine, there’s not a lot planned for the car.” Cramp­ton said about his plans for 2018. “I won’t be able to com­plete Drag Week in 2018 be­cause of my com­mit­ment to drive one of Con­nie Kalitta’s Top Fuel­ers, but it’s go­ing to be a huge year for us, and I feel for­tu­nate to get the call to drive again.”

While Cramp­ton might be push­ing 330 mph at 24 NHRA na­tional events in 2018 for Team Kalitta, you can bet he’ll still be smil­ing while cruis­ing when­ever pos­si­ble in this clas­sic wagon.

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