Discerning fact from fiction is often a difficult task. When a person makes a statement such as, "Oklahoma City has the fastest street cars in the country," a few reactions are possible. Indifferent people will say, "Whatever, who cares?" To which our response is, "Go drive your Prius off a cliff." Argumentative people will parse the definitions of fastest and street car. Is a car with a parachute mount really a street car? Does a real street car have Hard Blok in the engine? Must a street car have an alternator? Finally, competitive sorts will skip past all the discussion and build a car to beat the guys making the claim.
All that is fallout from the new TV show Street Outlaws on Discovery Channel. As a Car Craft reader, we'll assume you've seen the TV show, too. If you haven't, the second season will be airing soon. We hear they are filming it as this is being written.
Say what you will about the show, but there are two big factors in its favor: It is drawing attention to the issue of street racing, and it is inspiring other people to build fast cars of their own. Facebook and message boards are full of people talking about the show, both good and bad. The point remains, however: People are talking about the show, and they continued to watch through the first eight episodes. On top of that, the energy generated was enough to inspire people to get working on their own cars, building something that could hang with, or maybe beat, a car on the show.
While Car Craft fully supports people building fast cars, street racing is an issue we've tap-danced around. We like the cars and the adrenaline, but we can't and don't want to condone street racing. Nevertheless, Street Outlaws forces people to discuss this issue because one very common complaint is that the racing on the show is done on closed streets or airport runways. "How can they call themselves street racers if they are racing down a runway?" is a common complaint. The answer is obvious, of course: Neither the production company nor Discovery Channel want to be liable if someone were to be injured during the filming of the show, so the racing is done on closed roads. We obviously take the same position, which is why you won't see any street racing pictures in this article. Instead, we will focus on the people we met during our week in the 405 and the cars we saw while we were there. You'll notice a trend in Oklahoma City: Big-cubic-inch big-block Chevys with lots of nitrous rule the street. Oh, and the people are much cooler in person than the way they come across on TV.
Central Oklahoma's telephone area code is 405. It incorporates 25 counties, 111 cities (including OKC), and encompasses a population of 1,296,000 people. Whether or not the area has the fastest street cars in the country is open for discussion.
Chuck Seitsinger owns this '89 Mustang, the only car not powered by a big-block of some kind. Purists will still be offended by his choice to drop a small-block Chevy in it, though. His small-block is a potent piece, starting with a Dart block with a bore and stroke combination that calculates to 428 ci. Hensen racing Engines did the machining and assembly, and some of the goodies include a Callies crankshaft, r&r aluminum connecting rods, and ross racing pistons. The compression ratio is a stout 14.5:1, and the thing sounds absolutely killer when running. His cam is from Bullet, and he was intentionally vague on the specs but would admit to having more than 0.800-inch valve lift. Isky lifters and a Jesel shaft-mount rocker arm kit round out the valvetrain. The cylinder heads are from aFr, and they ingest the fuel mix from a Braswell 4375 carburetor, mounted sideways to quell the effects of fuel slosh under hard launches.
Chuck's been running a Monte Smith nitrous plate system but is planning a switch to turbochargers as his power-adder of choice. Chuck took some Internet commenter heat after the first two episodes of the show, with people saying he was a terrible driver. He's actually a record-holder in the now-defunct NDRA series in the Honda Civic on the lift. Its best pass was 8.21 at 184 mph. He did that with a stock-block 1.8L engine on 60 pounds of boost. Chuck says if the car had been rear-wheel-drive (and therefore able to hook better), he'd have been going 7.70s.
James "Doc" Love drove his '70 Monte Carlo to Chuck's shop for us to go over with our cameras. He's owned this car since 2003, and it was a decent performer at the time he purchased it, hitting low 11s at the track. It's also bit faster now, with a 570-inch, short-deck big-block Chevy packed with a Callies crankshaft, GRP connecting rods, and Diamond pistons. Race Flow Development built the cylinder heads, and Doc has an additional 600 hp available at the tip of his finger, should he want to hit both stages of the Monte Smith Performance nitrous kit. Mickey's Chassis Works in Norman, Oklahoma, built the rollcage and wheeltubs, and Andrew Teal did the bodywork and painted the car in Imperial Blue.
John "Baron" Gentry brought his budget-built Cutlass to Alternative Motorsports, too. His 468-inch big-block was built by Henson Racing Engines with an Eagle crank and rods, JE pistons, Chevrolet Performance rectangle port cylinder heads, and a Holley Dominator built by Madix Racing Carburetion. This relatively simple combination sends 560 hp to the rear wheels, naturally aspirated, and 898 hp on the unit. The sweet blue paint was a home-grown exercise he accomplished with several cans of Plasti-Dip, so John can peel the coating off whenever he gets sick of Smurf blue.