Who: John "Baron" Gentry
What: '84 Oldsmobile Cutlass
Where: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Why: Remember the Street Outlaws article in our Jan. '14 issue. Guess what? These guys aren't just mugging for the TV cameras. Here's Baron's Cutlass reaching for the stars at Thunder Valley. A big-block plus a big shot of nitrous makes this look easy.
New Subscriber/New Car
Who: Christopher Lickteig
What: '79 Chevrolet Camaro
Where: Milford, Connecticut
Why: We admit it, Christopher buttered us up by saying he's a new subscriber and really digging the magazine. He attached a few pictures of his Camaro, also a recent purchase. It's powered by a 383 small-block backed by a TH400 transmission and 5.12 gears out back. He admits it's not much fun on the highway but will address that with new gears within the next couple of months. They use it for cruising around town, and Chris says his kids love it.
A Machinist's Gremlin
Who: Douglas Puterbaugh
What: '72 AMC Gremlin
Where: Warsaw, Indiana
Why: From his description, it sounds like Douglas had to do a lot of work to get his Gremlin road worthy. He rewired, repainted, and reupholstered it. He also built the engine, a 0.060-over Chevy 350 with a Crane cam, a Holley intake, and pistons from Summit Racing. Aft of that is a TH350 trans and a 9-inch rear with 4.11 gears. He's a retired CNC machinist, so all of this was probably a walk in the park for him. "I've always had some project I'm working on."
Who: Adam Byrnes
What: '01 Ford Crown Victoria
Where: Homosassa, Florida
Why: We love Ford's Panther Platform here at CC, but we're also the first to admit they aren't very fast. There are plenty of options to remedy that situation, and Adam chose the engine swap as his fix. He replaced his stock 4.6L with a stout, supercharged 5.4L engine from a Lightning pickup. Yeah, the engine doesn't fit under the hood, but who cares when the car is now a total burnout machine?
Who: Lewis Tommaso
What: '66 AMC Marlin
Where: Cookeville, Tennessee
Why: Reading his email, it's obvious to us AMCs are near and dear to Lewis. He described his first high-school car, an American coupe with an I-6 and three-on-the-tree transmission. His stable also includes a Pacer he purchased 14 years ago. In 2009, he bought this Marlin because he'd always been intrigued by the "3+3 fastback" design. Balboa Aqua and Black are the colors, and power comes from an AMC 327 V8, Flash-O-Matic transmission and a Twin Grip differential in the rearend.
Who: Daniel Benoit
What: '76 Chrysler Cordoba
Where: Rawdon, Quebec
Why: Daniel was pleased to show us his recently purchased Cordoba. He's the second owner, and the car only has 78,000 miles on it. He plans to lower it a little and put on a set of rally wheels, then dive into the engine for some more power. with a bigger camshaft. "I wasn't looking for one, but the deal was too good to pass on," he says.
Who: Mike Thompson
What: '77 Buick Le Sabre
Why: Simple, it runs high 11s on the motor and 9.90s on nitrous. What a sleeper! It also has a full interior, all-steel body, 4,200 curb weight, black-wall radials, and stock wheel covers. Mike says the engine is a built 385ci LT1 with a nitrous plate. "It hurts a lot of feelings at the track," he says.
Since we first posed the question four months ago, asking whether readers would like to see V8 swaps in rear-drive imports, letters have been pouring in, and the response has almost universally positive. Here are a couple of interesting builds:
Dan Masters wants to see V8s in imports, especially in British sports cars, sending us photos of his 302-powered MGB GT. We don't have space to run all the pictures he sent, but the workmanship is impressive. He pointed us to the website www.BritishV8.org for more swaps similar to his.
Not Faster Than This Volvo
Robert Seliger of Winchester, Massachusetts, sent us pictures of his small-block Ford-powered Volvo 740, after reading a comment we wrote in the article "Friends" (Dec. '13), saying that Mike Artman's Pontiac Catalina wagon was quicker and faster than any Volvo. "I beg to differ," he says, adding he's already run 12s at 125 mph at the track, with a lot of tuning left to do. He purchased this car new in 1990 and has been doing the drivetrain conversion for more than 10 years. The block is from Dart, and it's leaned on by a Procharger F1C. The remaining parts were replaced with a T-56 and a Ford 8.8-inch rear axle. Other cool upgrades include a five-point rollbar, a Halon fire suppression system and Baer brakes on all four corners.
Editor's note: Staff Editor John McGann secretly wants a V8-swapped Volvo 240 wagon.
I just received my Jan. '14 issue, and it's all Chevy! I don't see any reason to ever subscribe again. You guys are either all Chevy guys or too lazy to put anything else in the mag for the rest of us.
—Lloyd Lang, Morris, Oklahoma
We took your complaint, Lloyd, directly to our Bow-Tie card-carrying tech editor Smith who replied, "Off with his head!" After Smith remembered to take his court- mandated medications, he offered this more PC suggestion. "Well, Lloyd, why don't you write us and suggest stories you'd like to see!"
Frankly, we preferred the old Smith, he was far more entertaining…
Here's an Idea
You guys need to run an article on cheap fourth-gen Camaros. I just bought a '90 Z28 for $500, and I want to make it run 12s for less than $2,000.
—Mike Gonlin, via Facebook
"These are pictures of what used to be a pretty potent Chevy 383 from my '71 Impala. Apparently, even a forged crank, forged pistons, and H-beam rods are not as strong as you would think once the oil pump fails."
—Carl Harris, Baltimore, Maryland
"What do you get when you combine a high-performance engine, a 45-year-old Muncie, and a nut behind the wheel? An opportunity to do some under-car bonding!"
—Gene Legate, via email
Glenn Joseph emailed pictures of a repair shop in Grayling, Michigan, that burned to the ground. "The tow truck was on the hoist for some sort of repair, and it is the only thing left standing. There were four other cars in the rubble and an old Massey tractor."
In the February, 2013 "8,500 RPM!" story, we incorrectly listed the price of the AFR small-block Chevy 227cc heads. The correct price through Summit Racing is $1,596.62, which is downright attractive.
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