MEN­TAL AS ANY­THING

WITH A 1000HP, 600-CUBE BE­HE­MOTH UP FRONT, THIS FULL-SIZE CHEVY IS GOOD FOR 9.8-SE­COND QUAR­TERS AT 140MPH

Street Machine - - Contents - STORY CRAIG PARKER PHO­TOS CHRIS THOROGOOD

A 1000hp, nine-se­cond heavy Chevy with 600 cubes of in­san­ity

AS I STARTED PULLING STUFF OFF, OTHER PARTS STARTED FALL­ING OFF. THE MORE PAINT I STRIPPED, THE MORE FILLER AND RUST I FOUND

IF 9.8-se­cond quar­ters nor­mally aspi­rated isn’t im­pres­sive enough from this hulk­ing 2020kg (4450lb) streeter, there’s a 250hp NOS hit on standby to amp things up to 11!

“This car has been in the fam­ily 40 years,” says owner Michael Ver­gis. “My un­cle bought it orig­i­nally, but after crash­ing it, he left it sit­ting in our yard for years.”

At the ripe age of 17, Michael de­cided he’d give the big ol’ Im­pala a new lease on life.

“I had no idea what I was get­ting into,” he says. “As I started pulling stuff off, other parts started fall­ing off. The more paint I stripped away, the more body filler and rust I found.”

Un­de­terred, he stuck at it. Con­se­quently, what started as a three-month, $10k build, turned into four years and a whole lot more moolah. That was 27 years ago, and the Im­pala has been on the road ever since. Mind you, it’s had a cou­ple of spray jobs, three gear­boxes, three diffs and four en­gines along the way.

“It went 350 small-block, 400 small-block, 540 big-block and now the 600-cu­ber,” says the power mad Vic­to­rian. “It’s a big car – it needs a lot of oomph!”

Michael blames Eu­gene from Flowcraft Race En­gines for the cur­rent donk.

“It was all his idea,” says Michael. “The 540 made around 800hp and ran [email protected], but I let Eu­gene talk me into go­ing even big­ger. He told me about this en­gine he had in mind and I said, ‘Let’s build it.’”

Eu­gene is a lit­tle se­cre­tive about the ex­act specs, how­ever, the main high­lights in­clude Dart Big M block, Brodix al­loy heads, Cal­lies crank, Cal­lies H-beam rods, 11.5:1 CP pis­tons, roller camshaft, Su­per Vic­tor in­take and an APD car­bu­ret­tor.

“APD cus­tom made the carb for this spe­cific en­gine,” ex­plains Michael. “Eu­gene sent them all specs and they made it to suit. I think it’s some­thing like 1150cfm.”

Al­though Eu­gene plays his cards close to his chest, when Tommy and Ali from Dyno House

pulled the string, the num­bers did all the talk­ing; 1000-plus hp (NA) along with bet­ter than 900lb-ft of earth-twist­ing torque!

“That’s all on straight BP Ul­ti­mate,” says Michael. “I haven’t given the ni­trous a run yet as I’m en­joy­ing just driv­ing it around too much. It’s a re­ally good thing.”

The big en­gine was only the start of things, as it now needed a big­ger trans and a big­ger diff. Matt from M.D.T Au­tos stepped up to the plate and screwed to­gether the trans-braked TH400 with re­v­erse-pat­tern shift. While John Lang put to­gether the Pro9 chrome-moly sheet-metal rear end.

Ge­off from Street Tech Fabri­ca­tions was called upon to look after a host of fab­ri­ca­tion – in­clud­ing the sus­pen­sion. The fac­tory fourlink rear has been beefed up with a chunky sway-bar, along with ad­justable lower arms (to move the diff back ’n’ forth) and ad­justable top arms to fine tune the pin­ion an­gle for wheels-up launches. Tubu­lar arms were also used up front and there’s dou­ble-ad­justable Vik­ing coil-overs on all four cor­ners.

Mickey Thomp­son ET Street Ra­dial Pros get it off the line. And to stop the fat, grippy rub­ber from slip­ping on the 15x10 satin Cen­ter Lines, Max Dumesny Motorsport con­verted them to bead­locks. Haul­ing all 2020kg back to a stop are disc brakes front and rear, as­sisted by twin, boot-mounted VH44 boost­ers.

Dump­ing 1000hp of spent gasses is no mean feat, but Mikes Pipes are all over it; their cus­tom head­ers sport huge pri­maries dump­ing into 4.5-inch col­lec­tors, which in turn flood into a full 3.5-inch sys­tem. And yes, the ex­haust note is even big­ger than the pipe specs.

In­side is very circa 1965 – es­pe­cially that gor­geous pearl grip steer­ing wheel. The rest is wall-to-wall Oxen White vinyl. Not so fac­to­ry­look­ing is the brace of Au­tome­ter gauges and full ’cage. Thanks to in­ter­lock­ing tube cou­plers, the whole ’cage pulls apart and can be re­moved from the car.

Patto at Seabrook Auto Electrics re­freshed

I HAVEN’T GIVEN THE NI­TROUS A RUN YET AS I’M EN­JOY­ING JUST DRIV­ING IT AROUND TOO MUCH. IT’S A RE­ALLY GOOD THING

all the wiring, which now in­cor­po­rates an MSD Power Grid, along with Alpine head unit and Ken­wood 6x9 speak­ers on the rear tray.

“I don’t re­ally lis­ten to the stereo,” says Michael, “I pre­fer to lis­ten to what’s go­ing on with the en­gine.”

The ’65 has been fin­ished and rac­ing for about 18 months in its cur­rent guise. Ini­tially the 600-cube mon­ster was topped with a Lexan scoop.

“When rac­ing, air pres­sure started break­ing them,” says Michael. “Just two days be­fore head­ing to Bal­larat for Street Kings, Ge­off (Street Tech) man­aged to fab­ri­cate one out of alu­minium – we even put hold-down ca­bles on it to stop it lift­ing.”

The stout 9.8 was run at Calder with no gig­gle gas. The big Im­pala then proved its con­sis­tency by com­ing run­ner-up (out of 40 cars) to Matt Brame’s eight-se­cond LH To­rana at the re­cent King of the Street eighth-mile event (SM, Dec ’18).

“I’d like run it down the quar­ter again,” says Michael. “It’s re­ally fast for what it is, and I know there’s a lot more in it. Plus, I love rac­ing it. Es­pe­cially when I line up next to some­thing like a To­rana – the Chev’s so big you can’t even see it!

“But at the mo­ment, be­ing such a good, re­li­able all-rounder, I’m more en­joy­ing the street driv­ing and the oc­ca­sional events at Bal­larat.”

Sounds just fine to us Michael – see you on the black­top!

I LOVE RAC­ING IT. ES­PE­CIALLY WHEN I LINE UP NEXT TO SOME­THING LIKE A TO­RANA – THE CHEV’S SO BIG YOU CAN’T EVEN SEE IT!

“Both my dad and un­cle had ’65 Chevs,” says Michael. “Be­fore I re­built this car, they both used it as a parts car. I’ve still got dad’s four-door; it’s sit­ting in the shed along­side a two-door coupe project”

De­spite the re­v­erse-cowl in­duc­tion hood, the vi­cious­look­ing al­loy scoop still pokes a long way out of the bon­net

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