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1971 Chevy Camaro - Countdown To 8s

One Guy's Approach To Horsepower, Traction, And The Quest For A Lower E.T.

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The 3.89-geared 9-inch Moser rear is a relative newcomer to the car. That's because the original 12-bolt broke spectacularly just a few months ago. Troy's starting-line video shows how the aluminum T/A rear cover disappears when both axletubes, which had been fully welded into the centersection, broke, snapping the driveshaft and shoving the pinion snout (still connected to the rearend) through the floor and ripping the backseat upholstery. That's when you know you're hooked up.

All of these compromises are in an effort to keep this a streetable car. The torque converter, leaf springs, and pump-gas-friendly compression limit the car's ultimate dragstrip e.t. and speed but pay off in terms of fun-behind-the-wheel time. We went for a check-out ride with Troy, and when you've got a 9-second car that will idle in neutral at 1,000 rpm with an idle vacuum of 9.5 inches even with a monster 256 at 0.050 camshaft, that's not much of a compromise. Even Troy was shocked when he measured it. The ride is almost living-room comfortable, but understand that's with soft shocks, no front sway bar, and not-for-highway-use slicks at 20 psi-certainly deceiving for a pavement pounder. The converter is tight, in fact it pulls at part-throttle almost like a stock converter.

Still, the lure is there to run an 8 in full street trim except for the slicks. Troy believes it can happen, and that's half the battle.

TROY' '71 CAMARO QUARTER-MILE HISTORY
E.T./Speed 60-Foot Description*
12.33/107.00 1.730 Previous-owner best, 406, Lunati cam
11.69/114.42 1.619 Lots of tuning, 28x10.5 slicks
11.479/115.39 1.564 Remove front sway bar, better air
11.366/118.13 1.681 Short-shifted 6,400 versus 6,800
10.894/122.66 1.599 New 434ci motor, same converter
10.766/125.32 1.531 New Yank converter and rebuilt trans
10.125/132.02 1.458 NOS 210hp shot, ran rich
9.94/132.61 1.353 150hp tune-up, NOS Cheater plate
10.618/126.05 1.507 Best on-motor pass
9.610/137.60 1.337 225 NOS shot, best pass to date
*All this occurred between 2001 and May of 2005.
Improvements
E.T.: 2.72 seconds
MPH: 30.60 mph
60-FT: 0.393 second

Tech Notes
What: '71 Chevrolet Camaro

Owner: Troy LaCrone, who also has a bitchin' Web site, enginecombination.com.

Hometown: St. Clair, Missouri, one of those little towns that has two exits off Interstate 44, just in case you miss the first one.

Techs: Troy is not shy about asking for help and is also willing to acknowledge guys like Tom Oermann at Meramec Automatics, Yank Racing, 10.5 tire racer Scott Lowery, Alan Casey, Tom Monehan, Brian Raymond, Roy Parmer, Mark Workman, J.T. Flora, Jason Sheets, and Patrick Meyers, along with his wife Tonya and his dad Mike.

Short-block: Motown iron block with an Ohio Crank 4340-steel forging and JE 10.6:1 forged pistons and Total Seal conventional rings.

Camshaft: Lunati RA1 mechanical-roller cam with 256/264 degrees of duration at 0.050-inch tappet lift and 0.624-inch valve lift for both.

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