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Midwest Street Machines - Crazy 8s

In this wild pack of Midwest street machines, big-blocks, fogger nozzles, and 8-second timeslips are the norm. Watch and learn

By Stephen Kim, Photography by Stephen Kim

II The Extreme
1967 Chevy II
Gene Bruckner
Brookfield, WI

With enough thump to lay down 1,480 hp at the rear wheels, each cylinder in this Chevy II’s 540ci Rat puts out almost as much horsepower as an entire third-gen Camaro. And that’s what makes the car’s 8.56-at-162-mph e.t. so damn impressive. It was done with just seven cylinders. “When we pulled the car into the pits after that pass, the crew noticed that one of the plug wires had burned completely through. This car only weighs 3,250 pounds, so I figure it should run 7.80s when firing on all cylinders,” car owner Gene Bruckner reasons. Yeah, yeah—guys talk trash about what their cars should run all the time, but the math certainly works in Gene’s favor in this instance.

Arguably the wildest car out of this wicked collection of street machines, the ’67 Chevy II was rescued by Gene out of chassis-shop jail. His buddy took it in for a full tube chassis, and after finishing it seven years later, he lost interest in it and sold the car to Gene. With a chassis good for 7.50s, a ladder-bar rear suspension, and big tubs, the car was in dire need of an epic engine combo. To answer the call, Gene built a 540 big-block featuring an aluminum Dart Big M block, a Callies crank, Oliver rods, Diamond 8.7:1 pistons, AFR 357cc heads, an Isky 284/292-at-.050 solid roller cam, and a BDS 10-71 supercharger. Overdriven at 20 percent, the blower huffs out 20 psi of boost and squirts 120-octane fuel through 16 injectors.

Coupling all 1,480 ponies to 33x18.5x15 Mickey Thompson E.T. Streets are a TSI Racing TH400 trans and a Strange 9-inch rearend. Granted the Chevy II is the only big-tire car out of this overachieving pack, but when you’re making this much power, who cares? Besides, Gene’s already bored with the car and plans on giving it to his girlfriend. This would normally be cause for concern, but with a handle like Nitro Methane Mary, we’re sure she can handle it.

By Stephen Kim
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