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Fast Street Cars - Extreme Machines

10-, 11- & 12-Second Street Cars

Photography by Marko Radielovic

Innocuous Nova
The trick is to look stock and carry a big arm. Matt Curlovic is not a math major, but he likes that kind of equation. Matt bolted together a mundane machine, a sleepy-looking tan '76 Nova that looks like something the local librarian would drive to her Sunday social. Matt took an evil turn and yanked the original 305 and replaced it with a Scott Shafiroff-built 598ci Rat that thumps on pump gas. A 1,095-cfm Demon sits on top along with 2-inch Hooker headers.

On the chassis dyno, this rascal pumped out 790 rwhp at 6,200, and that was through a TH400. Most surprising of all is the stock-looking corporate 8.5 rear axle, but what you can't see is the 4.11 gear. Matt needs to actually take gear away from it since his last pass ran out of rpm before he ran out of track. With an Unlimited fiberglass 4-inch cowl hood the only external clue to this Nova's capabilities, Matt's got this sleeper thing covered, especially when the Nova will run 10.30s at 130.

Quick Tech
Car: '76 Nova
Owner: Matt Curlovic, Hartford, Illinois
Engine: Shafiroff-built 598ci big-block Chevy, 4.60x4.50, tall-deck Merlin iron block, Eagle 4340 steel crank and rods, J.E. 10.75:1 pistons, Comp Cams solid roller (0.650-inch lift), Dart Pro 1 CNC-ported aluminum heads, Dart single-plane intake, Demon 1,095-cfm carb, and a nitrous system soon
Trans: TH400, Coan 10-inch, 3,500 converter
Rear: GM 8.5-inch 10-bolt, 4.11 Richmond gears
Performance: 10.30 at 130 mph (ran out of rpm)

More Power
There's nothing like a big motor in a small car, and that's exactly what Hickory, North Carolina's Todd Howell did with his '69 Barracuda. Todd's best friend in high school drove this car, but when Todd took over, he decided it should drive him. Starting with a '68 440, it ended up at 451 inches with compression and some machine work by the legendary Herb McCandless. Todd also added a Mopar Performance cam, a little head work, and an NOS Big Shot nitrous system to help make the power.

In the best Mopar dragstrip tradition, Todd also added a set of Super Stock rear springs, along with an upgraded 727 TorqueFlite and a 4,000-rpm 9-inch converter spinning the driveshaft back to a set of 3.73 gears that complete the power play. With a set of sticky M/T tires out back, this little A-body makes excellent use of the big Mopar's torque to twist up mid-10s at 127 mph. 'Nuff said.

Quick Tech
Car: '69 Barracuda
Owner: Todd Howell, Hickory, North Carolina
Engine: 451 ci, 440-based RB engine, 11:1 TRW pistons, Mopar solid-lifter cam with 0.590 lift, Isky rockers, 2.14/1.81-inch valves, ported 915 iron heads, Milodon 8-quart oil pan, CCPA headers, M1 single-plane intake, Holley 1,050-cfm carb, NOS Big Shot nitrous plate system
Trans: Ed Roam 727 TorqueFlite, 9-inch, 4,000-stall converter
Rear: Dana 60 with 3.73, limited slip, pinion snubber
Performance: 10.65 at 127 mph "on juice"

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