DRO 2003 Magazine Projects
by Jeff Burk
are a tradition in racing magazines. Sometimes
the projects are successful for the manufacturers,
racers and readers. The engine, car or components
and verbiage concerning a project all work as
envisioned. The parts are delivered on time,
the project is finished on schedule, the magazine
gets a story and everyone is happy.
Many times, though, projects turn out to be an editor's nightmare with
nothing working as advertised or planned and everyone ends up P.O.'d
at the editor and the magazine. But projects seem to something that
readers, racers and manufacturers all like so editors including yours
truly keep doing them.
DRO's second attempt at a magazine project (the first was the editor's '6 7
El Camino Nitrouso, but we aren't talking about
that today) was our Super Comp dragster which
we called "Project Four-Link." DRO's bracket
racing editor and racer, Jok Nicholson, started
the project in November 2001. We had a dragster
built from scratch and a motor assembled and
Jok took the car to the track for testing by
the middle of February 2002. Jok eventually
drove the dragster to an IHRA national event
win and an NHRA points meet win during the 2002
season. His season-long series of tech articles
about the dragster was one of DRO's most popular
features. The manufacturers, Nicholson, and,
most importantly, the readers thoroughly approved
of Project Four-Link.
So over the winter, the staff got together
one cold and dreary winter day and, flushed
with the success of "Project Four-Link," decided
we'd do some more projects. For some insane
reason that no one can now remember we decided
to take on not just one project but we'd try
two or three more.
We reasoned that one of the reasons that maybe drag racing isn't
getting as many new, young racers involved is the cost of building a
competitive .90 class car. So we decided to put together a 10.90 car
for less that $15,000 real money. We'd keep track of every dime spent
and see if it could be done.
Nicholson borrowed the money to buy a Vega bracket car and yours
truly dragged out the 350 c.i. four-bolt block and balanced rotating
assembly that has been sitting in the garage and we are going from
there. The basic idea is to build an entry level 10.90 car using as few
electronic devices as possible and a budget small block Chevy engine.
Since we will run both NHRA and IHRA with the car we're going use
nitrous which is legal in IHRA 10.90 competition. For more information
about this project see Jok's first installment of "Back-2-Basics" in this
special tech section.
We're also going to do our first real engine
project. Scott Walker of ASW racing engines
in Gainesville, FL is an old friend of ours
and one of two Canadians that contribute to
Drag Racing Online Magazine. Before Scott opened
his own engine shop in Florida he had a shop
in Canada, worked in Jim Oddy's Elma, NY engine
shop, was the shop foreman at Oddy Perfection
Race Engines in Florida, and worked for the
Frank Hawley Drag Racing School.
Our project engine is going to be a pump gas
burning, supercharged rat motor that we want
to run in Top Sportsman and Quick Eight competition.
We're aiming to make around 1600 hp. Scott built
a blown big block with carburetion at Oddy Perfection
that made 944 on pump gas, so itís do-able.
The object here is to build the baddest blown
pump gas engine ever.
We've already got commitments from Darren Mayer
at Kobelco for a trick supercharger, Pro Top
Line for cylinder heads, and Crane for the valve
train. The engine will go into Port Charlotte,
FL racer Tommy D'Aprile's '63 'Vette Top Sportsman/Quick
Eight when it is finished. So, this project
has a good chance of being completed and track
tested by the middle of the year. We're looking
for a mid six-second, gasoline burner.