Third Place Jerry Sipe Herbert, Il '67 Pontiac FirebirdThis is Jerry Sipe's fourth wheelie contest driving the family car. He was made famous in 2003 when he raised the launch rpm up for the killer wheelstand. The Firebird bounced off the rear bumper, landed on the driver-side door, and slid down the track at about 70 mph before flipping back onto its wheels, careening to the other side of the track, and hitting the wall. He won it that year. He told us, "It wasn't worth it that year moneywise, but it was cool to do one time."
Despite the damage, Jerry comes back every year for the fan approval and "because that car always did good wheelstands." The '06 event was the first with a double-plate nitrous system. "It went up onto the parachute bracket and came down straight and tore a hole through the parachute bag." He recalled. "I was just staring at the sky and waiting for the shift light. During the run, I don't know if I am going straight. In 2003, it was leaning over, so I knew what was happening. If it doesn't do that, you don't know where it is going when you are straight up."
Engine: It's all Indian with a 455 Pontiac bored to 473 inches, Edelbrock heads, and 12.0:1 compression sprayed with 325 horses of nitrous using twin plates on the homemade tunnel ram. It makes 700-750 on the motor.
Power-adder: He sprays Cold Fusion nitrous plates under twin Holley 850s.
Transmission: He runs a TH400 with a 3,400-rpm stall and a 4.10 Dana 60 rear.
What did you break? "I have broken the motor mounts, front motor plates, rims, rack-and-pinions, oil pans, and license plates-and a set of wheelie bars in 2003."
What do you always break? "The oil pan."
Quarter-mile: The Firebird is faster than ours with an 8.73 at 152 mph.
What do you do to prep for a wheelie? He told us he just takes the wheelie bars off.
On the line: He puts it on the limiter and releases the transbrake. A throttle switch activates the nitrous, and then he sits and waits for the shift light.