Silver State Classic Challenge
Confessions of an Open Road Race Convert
Photography by Marko Radielovic
With the popularity of trucks in both stock car and drag racing, along with Detroit's obvious efforts to build high-performance offerings, it comes as no surprise that someone put one together for this race. John Hall of Tucson, Arizona, and his capable crew of friends and family have screwed together one mean Chevy pickup. The '90 Chevy was built with open road racing in mind and equipped with what was arguably the meanest-sounding powerplant at the event--especially at speed. The 355ci small-block spins a lightweight SCAT crank, 6-inch SCAT rods, and Weisco 8:1 pistons for a bulletproof bottom end. A monster Comp roller bumps the valves and fully ported Dart aluminum heads, while a BDS 6-71 blower and a pair of Holley 650s round out the top end. The huffed Mouse is good for 726 hp at 7,500 rpm and enabled the portly 3,700-pound truck (without driver!) to exceed 160 mph. Most importantly, it finished on its maiden voyage--that in itself is quite an accomplishment in the faster classes. A Richmond four-speed and 2.70-geared 9-inch rear round out the drivetrain. We expect to see them back for more next year!
We don't recall when or if a De Tomaso Pantera has ever graced the pages of Car Craft, but this car warrants a closer look. A joint effort by Italian car builder De Tomaso and Ford resulted in this steel-bodied exotic powered by Ford's very own 351 Cleveland through a ZF five-speed transaxle. This fine example is owned by Dennis Antenucci, a Vietnam vet and construction project manager of Huntington Beach, California. Dennis' Pantera suffered a devastating fire at the conclusion of last year's Silver State and required a complete reconstruction. Powered by a poked and stroked Cleveland displacing 393 ci, 10.5:1 compression, and a big Isky solid flat-tappet cam, Dennis' Ford is topped with ported aluminum Ford Motorsport heads, a Holley Strip Dominator intake, and a 750 Holley. Shifting is performed with an aluminum ZF five-speed transaxle with a final gear ratio of 3.77:1. The engine has posted a best of 406 hp at the rear wheels with 384 lb-ft of torque. This was enough to push the Pantera at over 180 mph.
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